Clean Pennies, Clean Hearts

You Will Need: 

  • A few dirty pennies
  • Some hot sauce
  • A Bible turned to 1 John 1:9

If you don’t have these items: You can do the following activity to make the same point: Make a mess and clean it up. There are number of fun ways to do this—Play in the mud outside, have a shaving cream fight, have a paper-wad fight, fix a meal together or cookies (it always makes a mess in my kitchen!) or just jump in when someone accidentally spills their milk. Then begin at the DISCUSSION section below.


Set out several dirty pennies on a plate. 


Pour hot sauce on the tops of all but one of them. 


Wait about four minutes and then wipe and wash them off.


Compare the pennies to the one you didn’t put hot sauce on. Do you see the difference?


SAY—A person who has given his or her life to Jesus has been cleaned from their sins. Their sins are gone just like the dirtiness that we just cleaned up. But this doesn’t mean that they will be perfect. When a Christian does something wrong, even though he is already saved, he still needs to ask for forgiveness. Why? Not to go to heaven. Someone who is saved is going to heaven and nothing can change that, but to have a good relationship with God. 

SAY—Think of it this way: Let’s say one day you punch your brother (or sister) in the nose. 

ASK—Are you still part of the same family? Of course. When you give your life to Jesus, you become a part of God’s family and nothing can change that.

ASK—So if you do something wrong, are you still a part of God’s family? Of course—just like you would still be brother and sister and part of the same family, even though you did something wrong. 

ASK—But if you punched your brother (or sister) in the nose, would you be right with them? No You punched him in the nose! 

ASK—So what would you have to do to get right with each other? Say you’re sorry. When you do wrong things in life, even though you’re still going to heaven, you still need to ask for forgiveness (say you’re sorry) to clean up your relationship with God. 

Read 1 John 1:9 from the Bible.

This verse tells us what to do when we do something wrong.

PRAY—And thank God for providing a way through Jesus to take your sins away—a way for you to be forgiven.