I have said it before and I will say it again, “The difference between Christianity and all the other religions of the world can be summed up in one word, ‘RELATIONSHIP!’” A relationship with God is unlike any other relationship we know. Look at all the metaphors that God gives us in His word to help us try to wrap our minds around the relationship we can have with Him.

Creator and creation – Genesis 1

Mother and child – Psalm 131:2

Sovereign King and submissive subject- Psalm 47:7; Matthew 18:23-35

Master and servant– Luke 19:11-27

Landowner and dayworkers – Matthew 20:1-16

Judge and the judged- 1 Peter 1:17

Commander and soldier- 2 Timothy 2

Father and son – Luke 15:11-32

Father and adopted child -John 1:12 Romans 8:15

Friends – John 15:14

Brothers – Romans 8:29

Husband and wife – Matthew 25:1-13

In reality, God is so other than us, that even with all the metaphors that we are given we still come up short when trying to fully understand Who He is and who we are in relation to Him. We have to come to grips with the simple truth about God. He is God and we are not.

This truth is simple enough that even a child can grasp that thought. To be honest, children many times grasp their relationship with God much better than adults. For this reason, Jesus said to His disciples, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, had him stand among them, and said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn around and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven! Whoever then humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:1-4 (NET Bible)

In human relationships those who overstep the boundaries of propriety become the offender. In our relationship with God as over stepper we are called a sinner. We all fall short of keeping the boundaries God has set for us. We fall short of being able to have a relationship with God. He in turn goes beyond what we could have imagined.

He becomes the God Man. Both God and man, He takes on the sins of the world, our punishment. He dies a cruel death on the cross. Three days later the resurrected Christ meets with His followers on the road to Emmaus. He uses the Old Testament Scriptures to teach them what He has done.  “Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about himself in all the scriptures” Luke 24:27.

He spent hundreds of years preparing the world for the Messiah and then He sent Him. Now hundreds of years later we still are reaping the relationship that is possible because He came. There is no greater relationship we can have. Our children need to know this. They need to be taught from an early age that the greatest friend they will ever have is Jesus. The only One who can save us from our sins is Jesus. As we focus our lessons and devotions on the person of Jesus and the amazing relationship that we can have with Him we will be teaching them that Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship. One they can have with God because of Jesus.

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."

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