Chapter 5 – Obedience

Little Joe loved being the youngest kid, well most of the time he did.  For one thing, he did not have to do as many chores as Emily and Molly.  He didn’t have to go to school, or do homework and he got to play most of the day.  Even though he was free to explore and have fun he was also learning to be, what Mama calls, responsible.

Little Joe was learning how to make his bed, pick up his toys after playing and brush his teeth after eating.  He was learning how to do the dishes and mama said he was getting real good at it.

His favorite thing to do each day was to play with Timmy.   Timmy was little Joe’s neighbor and his best friend too.  His mommy allowed Little Joe to play with Timmy whenever he wanted to.

Even though Little Joe was always allowed to play with Timmy he had to stay in his yard at all times. That is one of the things, about being the youngest kid, little Joe did not like.  Molly and Emily could cross the street whenever they wanted to, why couldn’t he?

One day when Timmy and Little Joe were playing ball outside, the ball rolled across the street. Little Joe knew that he could not leave the yard but he was so tempted.  It would only take a split second to grab the ball and bring it back to the yard.  Before he knew itScreenshot 2016-03-10 at 20.53.47 his little legs were running as fast as they could.  He wanted to get that ball and bring it back before anyone saw him.

Just as he was about to run into the street he heard a loud SCREECH and as he looked left he saw a big white car swerve so close to him he thought he was going to be hit.

Uncle Joe came running from behind the garage and yelled, “Little Joe, are you okay?” But Little Joe could not speak and he could not move.

Just then Mama came out the door.  Her pretty face looked terrified.  “Little Joe, get out of the street Right Now!” she ordered.

Little Joe backed up until he felt the safety of the curb.  He stepped up on the curb as his legs went weak.  Suddenly he was on the ground.  Little Joe pulled his legs up close to his body, dropped his head to his knees and wrapped his hands behind his neck.  Hot tears welled up in his eyes.  His legs and his whole body started shaking.  He was afraid to look up.  “If only I could go back and call for Uncle Joe to get the ball for me,” he thought.

When Little Joe looked up Uncle Joe was standing next to him and Mama was waving at the big white car.  Uncle Joe spoke softly, “Little Joe, are you okay?”

Little Joe shook his head yes and then he began to cry loudly.  “I’m so sorry Uncle Joe.”  Just then Mama came walking up to Little Joe.  There was fear in Mama’s eyes.  Little Joe whimpered, “I almost got killed, Mama !”  

Uncle Joe bent down and rubbed Little Joe’s head.  “Come on Wee Man, get up, you’re safe now.  As little Joe stood to his feet he said, “Why do I always disobey the rules, Uncle Joe? I know the rules but I just don’t want to obey them.”  

Uncle Joe’s face got serious and that far away look washed over him. “Well, Wee Man, ever since the beginning of time people have had a problem with rules.  Every person wants to do things their own way, nobody really wants to obey the rules.  It’s only when we understand that God gave us rules to protect us, not hurt us, that we begin to see why we must obey the rules.” 

Little Joe looked up at Mama as a tear slipped from his eye.  “Mama, I’m sorry I disobeyed you. Sometimes I think rules are dumb but I know that you give me rules to protect me, just like God gives me rules to protect me.  Will you forgive me, Mama?”  

Mama’s face softened and the corners of her mouth turned up as her eyes twinkled.  “Yes, Wee man, I do forgive you.”  Mama wrapped her arms around Little Joe as she picked him up and twirled him around two times.  Little Joe loved his Mama and he was so sorry he disobeyed and frightened her.

Little Joe was beginning to understand why Mama and Papa said the rules in the Summerfield family must be obeyed.  If a rule is broken, there is alway a consequence.  “Mama, what is my consequence?”  asked Little Joe.

 Mama held Little Joe’s hand and looked directly into his eyes, “What do you think your consequence should be?” she asked

Little Joe hung his head and thought about it. “Well Mama, I think I should go to bed without supper and I should be grounded to the house for a whole month.”  

Mama patted Little Joe’s head gently as she bent down beside him.  “Wee man, I think you have punished yourself pretty hard all by yourself.  I believe you learned an important lesson today.  I’ve decided to give you grace.”  

“What do you mean Mama?  What does grace mean?”  said Little Joe.

Looking up into the trees, Mama took a moment to think, as if she might find the right words falling like the leaves around her. “What I mean when I say Grace is that I will not give you a consequence this time, even though you deserve one.”

“Really Mama!  No Consequence!”  Little Joe said as he looked at his mama in amazement.

“Really Little Joe, no consequence at all!” answered Mama

Just then Timmy, who had been watching the whole thing, ran up to Little Joe and fell into his arms.  He gave his friend a full bear hug and as he tucked his face into Little Joe’s shoulder he said, “You coulda got killed, Little Joe! You coulda got killed!! I am so glad you didn’t!  You are so lucky!”

Mama laughed softly as she reached out to ruffle Timmy’s hair. “Timmy, I’d say Little Joe was protected, not lucky.”  Timmy’s face turned red because Mama always made his face turn red.

Little Joe gave Timmy a friendly punch on the arm, grabbed the ball, and said, come on Buddy let’s play ball!







Christmas, What Can I Give Him?

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Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas

Hi kids,  are you excited about Christmas!  Our family is buzzing with activity and anticipation of Christmas Day.  I have a treat for you today, it is a song by a little girl – it has a very special message too.  Merry Christmas and don’t forget that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

This precious little girl is singing a story about her wish to give Jesus a gift for Christmas; because after all it is His birthday.   She knows that Jesus gave everything, even His life, for her.  She sings, “What can I give Him?”

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Give Him My Heart

In the song you will hear her trying to figure out what she will give Jesus for Christmas.  She finally has a GREAT idea.  She will give Jesus the gift of her heart.  It is not a gift He can hold in his hand …  NO …  her present is way bigger than that.  It is the BEST and most important gift she could ever give to Jesus because it is the GIFT he wants most.

You see this little girl understands that Jesus loves her more than anyone in the world could ever love her.  Why, Jesus love is so gigantic that He could not stand the thought of living in Heaven without her or without you.

Even though Jesus gave His life so we could live forever, we all turn our backs on Him and we do what we want to do no matter if it is good or bad.  We want our own way!  God calls this SIN.  There is always a punishment for sin and doing wrong.

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sin separates
Sin Separates us from God

Here is the BIG problem.  We learn in God’s word that the payment for our sin is DEATH.  Whoa, hold on there Georgie!  Now that’s a thought to stop you in your tracks!  You might be thinking, You got to be kidding me?  No Way Hosea!   Nope I am not kidding you .. not one little bit!

Let me explain to you why the payment for sin is death.  You see Father God is perfect and Holy; He has NO sin and He cannot have sin in His presence.   He cannot let sin (any thought or action that is displeasing to God) into Heaven.   But we have ALL sinned and decided to live our lives exactly the way we want!    If God cannot let sin into Heaven that means none of us can go to Heaven or even talk to God.

Here is what God says in His Word:   “The wages (or payment for sinning) of Sin is Death BUT the Gift of God is eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”   Romans 6:23

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Cookie Monster
Cookie Monster

Have you ever been punished for doing something wrong?  Your payment is what you get for doing wrong.   If you take a cookie without asking permission, it is the same as stealing.  Your mom knows she must punish you for stealing.  She gives you a punishment and sends you to your room to be alone for 30 minutes.  Afterwards she talks to you about the sin of stealing and you tell her you are sorry and ask her to forgive you.

God also punishes wrong doing or sin.  He tells us in the Bible (TRUTH) that the punishment for sin is death.  That’s a deadly punishment that lasts forever.

When the word death is used in this verse it means to be separated.  Our sin separates us in two ways.  It makes it so we cannot talk to God and He cannot hear us.   It also keeps us from Heaven;  Forever separated.   Now that you know the bad news, let me tell you the GOOD NEWS!

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All We Like Sheep

God tells us that we are just like sheep.  Sheep are sort of dumb animals.  They just wander all over the place and away from the Shepherd who is there to take care of them and protect them.  They wander off  the path and get lost and even worse sometimes they are attacked by wolves.

God says we are like sheep.  We go our own way and get into trouble all the time … BUT God loves us and He made a plan to bring us back home to His heart.   “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD (Father God) has laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity (sin) of us all.”  Isaiah 53:6

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Jesus Loves
Jesus Loves

Do you understand how much God loves you?  Even though you and everyone else turns their back on Him,  He still made a way to save us from death (the punishment for our own rebellion and sin.)

Jesus, God’s one and only son, so loves us too.  Jesus has NO sin and He is the ONLY way to Heaven and the only one (without sin) who could take our sin in His own body and die for it.

God’s plan was to send Jesus to earth to die.  It should have been me and it should have been you who died for our own sin BUT Jesus took our place and paid the price for our sin.   He wanted to do this because He could not stand the thought of living without you.

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The Cross

Yes, we deserved to die for our own sin BUT Jesus willingly gave up His own life to pay for our sin.   The wicked people, blinded by sin, were so angry with Jesus  that they hit Him over and over again with leather whips.  They beat Him until he had huge sores on his back and legs.  His body was bruised and bloody.  They made fun of Him and spit on Him.  Eventually they forced Jesus to carry a heavy wooden cross on his bleeding beaten back.  He carried it through the crowds and up to a Hill where they nailed Him to that cross through his hands and into his feet.  He hung on that cross until he died … His very last words were,  “It is finished!”   The payment for our sin was finished or complete when Jesus died that day.

He suffered all of this for you and for me.   Jesus did not have to die for us.  He could have saved Himself the pain and shame of being nailed to a cross by those rebellious people.   But Jesus knew that He was the only one who could pay for your sin.

He gave His life’s blood for you and for me.   He gave His all to save us from the penalty of our own sin .  That’s how much He loves you and me!  Today, anyone who believes in Him and gives their heart to Him becomes part of God’s family.  As God’s child we bow down and say thank you Jesus for giving your life so we could live.

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baby in womb2
Baby In Womb

We give God our lives because of what He did for us.  When we give Him our heart  He wipes away the sin and ugliness inside of you and me.  He even gives us a new heart and a new life as a Child of God.  He adopts us into His family … how cool is that!

We trust God the Father and Jesus the Savior after all, we were made by Him.  The Bible says He knit us together in our Mother’s womb.   He knows you inside and out!  In fact, He knew you before you were in your mommy’s tummy.  He even knows the number of hairs on your head.  He is God and He knows everything.  He is almighty and powerful.

The God who created you wants your love and loyalty.  He wants you to trust Him with your whole heart.  He asks you to confess your sin and He will forgive you.  When God forgives your sin you can  talk to Him any time – He loves it when His children pray to Him.  Someday His children will live with Him forever and ever and ever.

He is a gentleman and He will never force His way in .. He knocks gently and asks if you will let Him in.

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baby Jesus
Baby Jesus

Merry Christmas to each of you.  Don’t forget the reason we celebrate this special day … Jesus came down from Heaven and He was born in a manger knowing He would someday die to pay the price for our sin.

It was the ONLY way we could be restored to our Father God.  Listen to what Jesus tells His disciples:   “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.   If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going …. No, we don’t know, Lord,”  Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one can come to the Father except through me.”

close to Jesus
close to Jesus

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Jesus is calling to you.  He wants you to get close to His heart.  He talks to you through the Living Word of God.  Be sure to thank Him for ALL He does for you, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  James 1:17   

Thank Jesus for giving His life up so you can live BIG and have peace on this earth and live eternally in Heaven.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  Luke 18:17

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happy kids


by Susan Ream