Time for Repentance (1 of 3) | Devotions with Dad

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Time for Repentance (1 of 3)

For DAD Only:

Specific Repentance

The next three weeks we will be presenting the plan of salvation.  If your kids are unsaved, use this opportunity to lead them into the Kingdom.  If they have already experienced the new birth, teach them to should share this message with their friends.

The message of the gospel should move easiest with children.  Unlike sinful adults, they haven’t spent decades hardening their hearts against God.  They still want to do right.  Capitalize on that desire to help your child feel the joy of forgiveness.

A direct approach works best when getting a child to repent of his sins.  You can tell an adult, “Ask the Lord to forgive you of your sins.”  This may be effective with certain people who can instantly visualize all their sins and begin to weep before the Lord.  But you’ll penetrate your child’s heart more effectively when you get him to repent of distinct sins.

Have you ever watched the insincerity of a kid apologizing to a sibling?  “Sorry,” he says with a shrug.  You know he didn’t mean it.  I like to hear my kids be honest: “I’m sorry I took your toy.  Will you forgive me?”

Kids will take a short cut if you let them.  Saying “Please forgive me if I did anything bad” doesn’t do the job.  Instead, before praying with your child, discuss what he needs forgiveness from.  You can feel the sincerity when he says, “Lord Jesus, please forgive me for taking the last cookie that belonged to my sister.”

We can only sin in three different ways: actions, words, and thoughts (body, spirit, and soul).  Often, kids will think of actions first when talking about sins.  Remind your child that Jesus wants to forgive us for the mean things we say or any lies we have told.  Next, be sure your child repents of any evil thoughts (such as being selfish about who got to go to the store with mom). It won’t hurt to pray for each issue separately.  Remember, it’s better to keep it simple rather than feel rushed.

Finally, teach your child that God doesn’t want to chase after us, forgiving us for sin after sin after sin.  He’s not a slavish mom who cleans up after every little spill and catastrophe that the two-year-old creates.  God wants to clean us up and see us stay out of trouble.  Teach Johnny that repentance means we don’t just say we’re sorry, but we also change our actions.

If you have young ones who cannot read well yet, get them A Child’s First Bible.


Dad, read this story with your kids:

A Clean Heart

“You’re on my side!” Misty said to her brother.

Rusty looked at her.  “I’m not touching you.”

“You’re book is over the line.”

“Misty,” Dad said as he drove, “let’s not talk rudely, please.”

Misty scowled at her brother and then snatched up the coloring book.  “Fine, I’ll just look at it if you are going to put it on my side.”

Rusty started to say something, but crossed his arms and turned his head away from Misty.

Soon they arrived at church.  Misty bounded inside, ahead of her family.  Kids were already arriving for children’s church and the children’s minister told them all, “Line up, it’s time to go in.”

As the kids formed a line, Misty hurried to get to the front and bumped into another girl.  “Hey, I was here first,” she said as she turned to see who it was.  It was a girl she hadn’t seen before.  “Who are you?” Misty asked.

The girl looked down at her hands and mumbled, “Amy.”

The door opened and the kids walked inside to find a seat for children’s church.  Misty rushed to the front and sat down.

Sis. Johnson came out and led the kids in some fun songs.  Then they all quoted their memory verse together.  Next it was time for a puppet story.  Sis. Johnson disappeared behind the curtain where her son David had gone earlier.  Suddenly, a bright red heart popped up.

“What a lovely day we are having, friends!” the heart said.  “I’m so glad to be at church today.  I just love to sing and clap my hands!”

Another heart came up next to the first one.  This one was dark and ugly looking.  Old rags hung from this heart and his eyes looked sad.  “This day stinks,” he said.

“It’s a wonderful day,” said the red heart.

“It stinks,” said the ugly heart.  “I didn’t want to get out of bed.  I wanted to stay home and eat potato chips.”

“I love to learn about Jesus,” said the red heart.

“I’m so mad,” said the ugly heart.  “I don’t even want to be here.  I don’t want anyone to see me.  I feel so yucky.”

The red heart looked that the sad heart.  “Why do you feel yucky?”

“Because I am so full of all this gunk.  I just want to be myself again.”

“How did you get so yucky?” the red heart asked.

“Well, this gunk here was from the time I told a lie.”


“And this blotch here came when I pushed my friend down in the mud.”


“And these rags got stuck to me when I cheated in school.”

“Wow.  That’s a lot of rags.”

“I know.  I did it a few times.”

The red heart looked at the kids.  “Do you think there is any hope for a dirty heart?”

Some of them said, “No!” Others said, “Yes.”

“Oh, please tell me there is hope,” begged the ugly heart.  “I don’t want to stay this way.”

“You can be a happy heart,” the red heart explained.  “First, you have to decide that you want to live a better life.  You have to choose not to sin, but do things that are right.”

“Okay, okay.  I will do better.  I will be nice and honest.  But I feel so awful like this.”

“You need to confess your sins.”

The ugly heart looked at his friend.  “What do you mean?”

“I mean, you need to talk to Jesus.  Tell Him what you did wrong and ask for His forgiveness.”

“How does that work?”

“Well, everyone knows that the blood of Jesus can take the darkest heart and make it as white as snow.”

“It does?”

“The Bible says ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'”

“Just by asking Him?”


“Cool.  So, um, what do I do?”

“Talk to Him.”

The ugly heart looked at the kids.  “Okay, here goes.”  He bowed his head.  “Lord Jesus, I’ve done some pretty rotten stuff.  I told a lie.  I was mean to my friend.  And I even cheated on my homework.  I don’t like the way bad things make me feel.  I am really sorry.  Jesus, will you forgive me?  I will live better.  Amen.”  Suddenly the ugly heart started whirling and swirling around and around.

“What’s happening?” asked the red heart.

“Whoa! Whoa!” the ugly heart said.  Then he disappeared.  In a flash, he popped back on stage as a bright white heart.

“Wow!” the red heart said in shock.

“Whoa!  I feel so new and clean!  This is great!”

“See, that’s what Jesus does for us hearts!” the red one said.  “Now, my new friend, let’s go find your friend so we can tell him what Jesus has done for you.”

“Yeah.  I’ll never push him down again.  I don’t like the way it makes me feel.”

“All right.  Let’s go tell somebody about this!”  The two hearts walked down out of sight.

After a moment, Sis. Johnson stepped out from behind the puppet stage.  “Well, class,” she said, “that was really great.  Did you see what happened to the ugly heart?”

“Yeah, how did you do that?” one of the kids asked.

“What’s more important, Ian, is the question ‘How does Jesus do that?’  The Lord Jesus can take our dirty old hearts and make them new and fresh again.”  She looked at all the kids.  She looked at Misty.

“Do any of you feel like you have an ugly heart?  Have you said bad words?  Have you done mean things?  Have you thought about bad things?”  She looked everyone in the eye again.  Misty squirmed and looked down at her shoes.

“Do you like how sin makes you feel?” she asked.

The kids shook their heads and some said, “No.”

“Then lets get our hearts clean before Jesus right now.  Let’s ask Him to clean out all the gook and junk that can fill our hearts.  Are you ready?”  Several of the kids nodded their heads.  So did Misty.

“Then pray with me, okay?  Bow your heads and close your eyes.”  Sis. Johnson bowed her head and began, “Lord Jesus.”

“Lord Jesus,” the kids repeated.

“I need you to forgive me.”

The kids repeated each phrase Sis. Johnson said.

“I have done sinful things.” Misty felt a lump in her throat.

“I have said bad words and mean things.” Misty’s eyes got drippy.

“I have thought about bad things and had evil attitudes.”

“Please clean up my ucky heart.”  Misty felt tears drip down her cheek.

“Make me feel new and clean inside.”

“Forgive me, in Jesus’ Name.”


Sis. Johnson looked up with a big smile on her face.  Misty wiped at her tears and sniffled.  Sis. Johnson put her arms around Misty.  “Do you feel better, girl?”

Misty nodded.  “I feel light and fluffy,” she said with a big grin.

“Good!  Has anyone else been forgiven this morning?”  Several other children nodded, even Rusty.

After children’s church dismissed, Misty waited for Amy, the new girl.  “Hi,” Misty said.

“Hi,” Amy answered.

“I’m sorry I was rude to you earlier.  I was in a bad mood.”

“It’s okay,” Amy said.

“What do you like to do?” Misty asked.


“Really?”  Misty said.  “I love skating, too.”


When Jesus forgives our sins, does He ever remember them?

Why does it help to say exactly what we did wrong?

What two things does Proverbs 28:13 say we should do to receive God’s mercy?

Have you ever felt like you had an icky heart?

If we pretend we haven’t sinned, what happens?

Are there things in your life that you need to repent of right now?

Let’s pray together and ask God to forgive each of us for our sins.


Read the following scripture with the family:

A Sorry Person

Luke 18:9-14

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,

God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying,

God be merciful to me a sinner.

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.


Do we ever talk “big” to God and try to impress Him in our prayers?

Have you ever looked too much at other people’s faults so that you didn’t notice your own sin?

Was the effective prayer elaborate or complicated?  Why was it effective and the other not?

Because the tax collector prayed from his heart, not just his head.

In Matthew 4:17, what did Jesus command the people to do?  In Acts 2:38, what did Peter tell the people to do?  Why is this so important?

Repentance prepares us for the Kingdom of Heaven.  It prepares a person to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

When should we repent?

As often as we sin.

Action plan: Lead the family in repentance of their sins!


Color this picture with your kids

Coloring Page

Go to http://www.devotionswithdad.com/AP01Coloring.pdf and print out as many as you like.  Happy coloring!


Memory Verse:

Acts 2:38

Then Peter said unto them,


and be baptized

every one of you

in the name of Jesus Christ

for the remission of sins,

and ye shall receive

the gift of the Holy Ghost.

<a target=”_blank”  href=”http://www.amazon.com/Childs-First-Bible-Kenneth-Taylor/dp/0842331743?ie=UTF8&tag=danieljkoren-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969″>A Child&#39;s First Bible</a><img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=danieljkoren-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0842331743″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important; padding: 0px !important” />

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