Children's Reading: John 3:16-18

Buddy Takes a Chance

Who do you trust? Why do you trust those people?

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

"God loved the world this way. He gave the world his only Son so that those who trust him may not die but would live forever. For God did not send his Son into the world so the Son could judge it. No, God sent him to save the world! God does not judge the person who trusts in his Son. But, whoever does not trust in the name of God's only Son has already been judged."

Buddy was a strange name for a boy, especially one who didn't have many friends. Buddy liked to play alone. He preferred imaginary playmates to real ones. And he didn't make much conversation with the few friends he did have.

Soon, the neighborhood understood that Buddy was a loner. So fewer and fewer friends came over, fewer and fewer people called him on the phone. One day, Buddy sat in his room and realized he had no friends. "What happened?" Buddy wondered. One by one, he thought of the people he once called his friends. And one by one, he realized it wasn't his shyness, or his thoughtfulness, or his serious nature that made everyone go away. He put these people at arm's length because, deep down, he didn't trust them. "Why?" Buddy wondered. "Why don't I trust them?" Buddy didn't know the answer.

At that moment, Buddy had an insight. "If I trust them a little, may be they'll trust me," Buddy thought. Immediately, Buddy jumped off his bed and began to call those people who were once his friends. "Freddy, would you like to come over this afternoon so we can play video games. You get to choose the game," Buddy asked. Freddy agreed. That afternoon, Buddy had the best time, simply because he trusted Freddy with his game.

The next day after school, Buddy invited George over to skateboard. He let George use his favorite skateboard. And they both had fun.

Day after day, Buddy made a new friend or played with an old one simply by giving them a little bit of time and a little bit of trust. Yes, his video games got old and his skateboard got used, but that didn't matter. People liked Buddy more. And Buddy liked himself more. All because Buddy took a chance to trust friends.

God trusts us a lot more than Buddy trusted his friends. God gave us more than video games and skateboards. He gave us his Son, Jesus. All we need to do is to trust Jesus to show us the way to heaven.

How can you show God that you trust him?