(From the song “Romans Road”)
REVIEW: We all sin by hurting other people.
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”
Romans 3:23 NIV
When I was a kid, we had a “once a year” physical fitness test in school. We’d have to run, do sit-ups, and pushups. The hardest part of the test was the pull-ups. Many of my fellow 10-year-olds couldn’t manage even one. Some were stronger and could do two or three.
Me? I could do one pull-up, and I felt good about that. Many couldn’t that, so compared to them I was strong. I felt good about my pull-ups. Until the end of class, that is.
At the end of class, it would be Steve’s turn to do pull-ups. His last name began with a W, and because we went in alphabetical order he was last. Steve could do a lot of pull-ups. In fact, I remember the bell ringing and we’d all have to leave for the next class while the gym teacher stayed with Steve as he kept pulling his chin over that bar again and again. I don’t know how many he did, but it was a lot.
Compared to some of my class who couldn’t do any, I looked strong. Compared to Steve, I wasn’t very strong at all.
That’s the way it is with sin. We all make mistakes. But sometimes we compare ourselves to people who make worse mistakes, just like I compared my pull-ups to people who couldn’t do any pull-ups. When God looks at our sin, he doesn’t compare us to other people who have sinned more or worse. He compares us with his perfect standard. When compared to that, we all “fall short.” Just like I fell short when comparing my pull-ups to super-strong Steve.
And that’s how we know we need help. A perfect standard is too hard to reach, so we all fall short. We need Jesus. Jesus reaches the perfect standard for us.
Imagine the coach writing Steve’s number of pull-ups on my chart, instead of my measly one pull-up. That’s what Jesus does for us.
PARENT: Tell a story of comparing yourself to someone else and “falling short.” Maybe someone in school who was smarter, or more talented than you. Connect with how we all fall short of God’s perfect standard. That’s why we need Jesus.
PRAY: “Thank you Lord that even though we can’t be perfect, you have sent your perfect Son Jesus to be perfect for us.