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Michael turned some wood over in his hands. “What about this piece, Dad?” he asked. His dad nodded, and Michael gave a little shout of joy. This rough plank would become his very own boat! Each day, Michael rushed home to work on his boat. He and his father cut, sanded, and glued with care. Finally, Michael brushed on the last coat of paint. His boat was finished!

Michael spent many happy days by the edge of a nearby river. He would let his boat sail out and then coax it back with a long stick. But one windy afternoon, a strong gust pushed the boat into deeper water. Try as he might, he couldn’t reach it. He ran along the shore, but the river’s current had caught the boat. Soon it raced out of sight. Michael cried as he trudged home. “I made that boat myself,” he thought. “It was my best toy.”

Sometime later, Michael and his family spent a day at the ocean. As they strolled past the beach shops, Michael stopped short. He could hardly believe his eyes. That was his boat in the store window! Going inside, he exclaimed to the shop’s owner, “You have my boat!”

“That isn’t your boat, young man. It’s mine. I found it,” the man replied.

Michael stared at his toes. What could he do? Then, he smiled. He would rescue his boat! He would buy it back.

At home, Michael worked on extra chores. Soon, he had saved enough money—but would his boat be there? Michael waited anxiously all the way back to the beach shops. He peered in the window—there it was! He cheerfully handed his money to the man. His boat had a few new scuffs and scratches, but Michael didn’t mind. He was already planning wonderful new adventures! Hugging the boat, he whispered, “You are mine twice! I made you . . . and I bought you back.”

Created and Bought

Did you know that God made you . . . and bought you back, too? God was pleased when He made people. “God looked at everything he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). But it didn’t stay good for long. The first people God made chose to disobey, and the Bible says, “All people have sinned” (Romans 3:23). Sin causes big and small problems, from children fighting over toys to worldwide wars. Sadly, “the payment for sin is death” (Romans 6:23). That’s expensive! But even though we’ve made bad choices, God loves us. In fact, “His love continues forever” (Psalm 136:26). So, God made a plan to pay for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to die. Instead, God allowed His Son to die on the cross. Now, God can give us “the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:23)!

Michael’s boat didn’t have a choice when he bought it back, but we do have a choice. We can decide if we want God’s gift. We can keep our sin and selfishness, or we can ask forgiveness for our sins. Would you like to accept Jesus’s gift? You can right now! Here is one way you can ask: “Dear God, thank you for making me and loving me. I am sorry for my sins, and I choose to accept your gift of eternal life. Amen.” Now Jesus is your Friend and Savior—and you have life forever!

What Now?

Remember those new scuffs on Michael’s boat? When he arrived home, he fixed them with new paint. Sin causes problems in our lives. Now that you belong to Jesus again, He’ll start to fix them. Sometimes it happens slowly, but He turns selfishness into love and sadness into joy!

Friendship with Jesus is a wonderful adventure. Here are some ways to get closer to your new Friend. 

  1. Ask your parents to help you join a Bible class. Or sign up for free Bible lessons at kidsglow.org.
  2. Plan a time to read the Bible by yourself or with your family every day.
  3. Talk to Jesus during the day and before you go to sleep. 
  4. Tell others about Jesus so that they can get to know Him too.

Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.