2019 VBS

Topic: World Changers

Scripture: Matthew 5:13-14; Acts 1:6-8

Background Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20

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This year’s VBS theme examines the topic of Christians changing the world by carrying out Jesus’ command to them to share the Gospel. The Gospel rests on the fact that the world needs changing from its sinful disposition to a state of divine blessedness and salvation. Jesus came into the world to enact this change by ushering in the precepts of the Kingdom of God. He told His disciples in John 10:10 that He had come to give life and life more abundantly. After creation, human sin fostered the growth of evil and wickedness further pushing and pulling humanity away from its relationship with God the Creator and from adhering to His standards for the living of life. In the fullness of time, God sent Jesus to save humanity from sin and empower it to overcome evil by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived the perfect life and became the shining example of how to live to please God.

According to Matthew 16:13, Jesus called disciples to assist Him in spreading the Good News. He preached a message of repentance and faith in God. They were to follow His example as He ministered to others. In fact, Jesus charged them with the task of changing the world by being like salt and light. They were to go into all the world starting in their own communities and share His message of love and divine forgiveness. This five-day VBS series focuses the purpose of this ministry of change and on the practical things Christians can do to carry out Jesus’ imperative.


Day 1

Topic: Go Forth In Jesus’ Name

Scripture: Matthew 28:16-18

Background Scripture: Matthew 5:13; 28:16-20; Acts 1:6-8

Key Verse: Matthew 28:19

Key Words: Go, Commission, Commandments, Jesus’ Name

Key Concept: Jesus ordered His disciples to change the world by presenting the Gospel.

Not only were they to carry His loving words to others, but they were also to display what the Gospel meant to them in their hearts. In the Great Commission, Jesus commanded His disciples to “Go” into all the world. As they went they were to transform the world with the Good News of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. On the mountain, Jesus gave strict instructions to His disciples to not be stationary, but mobile. They were to go forward in His name. They were to preach about the things God had done through Him to bring humankind into a personal relationship with their Lord. To their credit, the disciples went as Jesus instructed them and turned their world upside down. They changed their world by showering hope, love, and the power of the Holy Spirit upon it. As the disciples traveled from Jerusalem, into Judea, Samaria, and to the other parts of the world, they carried the message and presence of Jesus with them. Current day disciples must change their communities and world by sharing the love and message of the Gospel beyond the four walls of their homes and church structure.


Day 2

Topic: Teach Jesus!

Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20

Background Scripture: Acts 1:6-8

Key Verse: Matthew 28:19-20

Key Words: Teach, Baptize, Make Disciples

The Great Commission required the disciples to change the world by teaching it about Jesus, what He said and did. Jesus initially came on the scene, according to Mark, calling for people to repent, to turn toward God and to have faith in the Kingdom of God coming near them (Mark 1:14-15). The word repent means to change their attitude and ways toward God and to return to His love and care. Christian teaching involves enlightening others, so they may come to see God more clearly and understand His purpose for their lives. Jesus ordered the disciples to teach about Him and the things He had taught them to observe. They were to teach others the purpose and will of God as it related to living for God and doing His will. Their lessons were to come from the Word of God and the lessons He taught them personally, lessons on love, forgiveness, patience, sin, and a host of other topics and life situations. His teachings were the paramount truths upon which human life was to be erected and changed.   


Day 3

Topic: Live for Jesus

Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20

Background Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:6-8

Key Verse: Mark 1:15

Key Words: Live, Obey, Understand

Needless to say, the disciples listened attentively to Jesus’ instructions. Because of their ministry and service, the Church is here today as His contemporary witness to the world. We do not hear the disciples’ response to Jesus’ initiative, but we do see their action. They went out and evoked change in men, women, boys, and girls. They went from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the outer parts of the world carrying the message about Christ Jesus. They told others of God’s initiative to send Him as the Way to salvation from sin and evil. As we serve Jesus we are to live in such a way that our words and lifestyle go hand-in-hand. What we say should be affirmed by what we do. Our lives should confirm the presence of the Lord living within us. When the Jewish leaders saw the boldness of Peter and John they took knowledge that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). What they did told others who they were and what they were about. Our lives should also inform others of our relationship with Jesus. It should be the sermon that others see, the lesson of life that is taught demonstrating what it means to be changed by Him and to become His disciple. The words Jesus first used in Mark’s Gospel account was a call for people to live for God by repenting of their sins and expressing faith and obedience to the word of God. 


Day 4

Topic: Like Salt

Scripture: Matthew 5:13

Background Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:6-8

Key Verse: Matthew 5:13

Key Words: Salt, Seasoning, Changes, Taste

Salt does two things. First, it is a preservative. Second, it seasons or changes the taste of food. Jesus’ intent here is to emphasize its ability to change the taste of food. He is effectively saying here that the disciples are to be like salt and change or add divine or spiritual seasonings to the world. The salt of which Jesus is speaking is the content of His message lived out in the lives of His disciples and displayed before the people. Jesus adds in this verse that salt is for seasoning. If it fails to season, to change the taste of food, then it has lost its true purpose. Accordingly, Christians are to season the world with the love of God. They are to be examples of positive change that will enable them to enhance their relationship with God and live according to His standard of righteousness (Matthew 5:48).

Like salt sprinkled on food to preserve it, the disciples are to also preserve the good things that are in the world while changing those things that God is not pleased with. Christians are to support this concept of spiritual transformation by modeling the contents of their own message about God. Then they are to concretize these efforts by putting them in a framework that reminds Christians of their obligation to walk with God on a daily basis.


Day 5

Topic: Like Light

Scripture: Matthew 5:14

Background Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:6-8

Key Verse: Matthew 5:14

Key Words: Light, darkness, shine, see, good works, glorify, change

Light enables us to see things. It illuminates objects in our sight path. It overcomes darkness. Genesis 3 tells us how the world became engrossed in the darkness of sin. Jesus as the Antidote to sin came to show us the way back to the arms of our loving heavenly Father (see John 1). In this Scripture passage, Jesus tells His disciples they are to be the light of the world, just as He is the Light of the world (see Matthew 5:48; John 7:59; 8:12). As His representatives on earth, we are to illuminate the pathway so that people can have a relationship with God, their Creator.  As Christians walk in the light of His presence, others will see their good works, their righteousness and glorify God. The Light that illuminates the pathway to the Creator is the Light of the Holy Spirit with us. We are showing others a different way to live. We live lives that will evoke change in others.

In conclusion, this VBS series emphasizes change. The Holy Spirit changes us so we can change others. We have been transformed by the renewing of our minds and the Holy Spirit uses us to renew, reform, and change the mind of others (Romans 12:1-2). At the beginning of this series we highlighted repentance. It means to turn from sin toward God. In the Great Commission, Jesus ordered to the disciples to go into their own communities and then to other parts of the earth to disseminate and display His message of love and salvation. It is nothing more than using the platform He has called us to, to teach others about Him. He challenges us to be like salt and light as we go with His word. We must let our light so shone before others that they will see the good works and glorify the Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:14).