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Liz answered, “It’s like being a pumpkin: God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off you may have gotten from the other pumpkins. Then he cuts the top off and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc., then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.”
Later on the Lord led Liz to turn this illustration into a children’s book called The Pumpkin Patch Parable. I love reading this story to my little girl each October. Afterwards we like to carve a happy pumpkin, going through the gospel message as we carve. We just carved our pumpkin the other day and it was a lot of fun, but more importantly it was a fun time of sharing the gospel with my little girl.
As we laid out our pumpkin supplies, I remind her that just as we chose this pumpkin, God chose us before the foundation of the world.
Washing the dirt off our pumkin, I pointed out, just as no pumpkin comes out of the patch spotless and perfect, nobody is perfect and we all need our sins washed away by Jesus.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)
Sometimes we try to hide our sin from God and others but God knows us completely from the inside out
”O Lord, You have searched me and known me.” (Psalm 139:1)
While carving the top off our pumpkin, it was the perfect time to share…
“God’s word is alive & working. It is sharper than a double-edged sword. It cuts all the way into us… And God’s word judges the thoughts & feelings in our hearts.” (Hebrews 4:12)
As we began the messy and tediuous task of cleaning out that pumpkin, it was a great opportunity to talk about how our hearts are filled with icky sin until we ask the Lord Jesus to forgive us of our sins, and welcome Him into our life as our Lord and Savior.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:10)
As we finished cleaning out the pumpkin, it was fun to share that just as we removed all the ick from inside the pumpkin and made it clean, when we ask Jesus to be our Savior, He takes all our icky sin away from us and makes us clean.
”He has taken our sins away from us as far as the east is from the west.” (Psalm 103:12)
How does God make us clean?
God sent His one and only Son, Jesus to the world to pay for all our sins so that if we simply believe in Him and what He did for us at the cross, all our sins will be washed away and we will be made clean. That is great news!
To celebrate the good news, we carved a happy face on our pumpkin
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
We have much to be happy about because when Jesus died on the cross, He took the punishment due for our sins and He paid it completely. We should have taken our punishment, but because of His great love for us Jesus was happy to go to the cross for us, so we didn't have to.
Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy set before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:2)
We have even more reason to rejoice because the cross wasn’t the end of Jesus. He was buried and then rose to life three days later—just as He said He would! He was victorious over death so that we could have eternal life.
“He is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:6)
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom. 10:9)
With a happy face carved, we turned down the lights and lit the pumpkin, and explained when we first got the pumpkin it was dirty and needed a lot of cleaning inside and out before we transformed it into this beautifully lit pumpkin. Likewise, when we turn our lives over to the Lord, He not only cleanses us from our sins, but He makes us into a new creation.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
As a new creation, we are to shine brightly for Jesus so that others might see His light in us and learn what He has done for them on the cross, too so they can be saved, also!
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)
Question for you: What ways do you share Christ with the little ones in your life this time of year when the message of Halloween is shouting the exact opposite?
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