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“Hi, Mom!” Justin bounded into the kitchen after shopping with his friend, Jessie. “What’s for dinner?”
“Hello, Justin. We’re having leftovers,” Mom replied.
“Oh.” Justin frowned. “I was hoping for something good like fried chicken.”
“We’ve got leftover fried chicken.”
“Yeah, but, it’s just not the same when it’s left over. All the best parts are gone, like the drumsticks.”
“I see,” said Mom as she set plates on the table. “Did you enjoy your shopping trip?”
“Yeah! I got these great action hero cards, see?” Justin showed his mom a stack of cards with superheroes on each one. “There’re so many of them, I haven’t even looked through them all yet.”
“Well, you’ll have to look at them later; it’s time to eat.”
Justin took his cards to his room then washed up for dinner. He picked at his leftover fried chicken and munched on some leftover spaghetti. After dinner, Justin and his family watched a movie together. Finally, Justin’s dad looked at his watch. “Oh my, it’s past your bedtime, Justin.”
“You better get to bed,” said Mom. “We have church in the morning, and then you have kids’ club tomorrow afternoon. It’s going to be a busy day.”
Yawning, Justin tromped up the stairs to his room. Mom and Dad tucked him in, and Justin closed his eyes. Then suddenly, his eyes popped back open. “My cards! I totally forgot to look at them.” Justin was wide awake now and excited to see all the cards he bought that day. He grabbed a flashlight and started going through the cards, looking at the pictures and reading the special powers for each hero on the back. Before he knew it, the clock by his bed showed 12 midnight. “Oh no!” thought Justin. “I better get to sleep.”
The next morning, there was a knock on Justin’s bedroom door, and Dad popped his head in. “Good morning, Justin. Get up. We don’t want to be late for church.” Justin rolled over. He could hardly open his eyes. He slowly crawled out of bed and got dressed. He dragged himself downstairs for breakfast then out to the car.
Once Justin got into his Sunday school room, he sat down and closed his eyes. Jessie sat down beside him. “Justin,” she whispered. “Justin, are you praying?” There was no answer. Then Jessie heard a strange sound—snooork-shooo; Justin was snoring! “Wake up!” Jessie poked her friend in the ribs.
“Huh? What?” Justin sat straight up and looked around.
Jessie laughed. “Wake up, Silly,” she said. “It’s time for Sunday school.”
Justin blinked at Jessie then turned to listen to the teacher. She was telling the class how the priests in the Old Testament were not giving God their best. “It was sort of like giving God their leftovers,” she said. “They were offering animals that were sick, or blind, or crippled. The hearts of the priests were not right, so their worship wasn’t right either.” Mrs. Jacobs continued teaching, then asked, “What about each of us? How might we give God leftovers?”
A boy raised his hand. “My mom says when I get money, I should take some out for church first ’cause if I don’t then I might spend all of it and just have a penny left over for God.”
“Good, Patrick,” said Mrs. Jacobs. “Anyone else? Justin?”
Justin heard his name called, but he was so sleepy he didn’t know what to say. “Umm, what was the question?” he asked. The class snickered.
Jessie raised her hand. “When we stay up too late on Saturday night and feel too tired for church, that can be like giving God leftovers.”
“Yes, that’s true, Jessie,” Mrs. Jacobs agreed. “When we don’t do what we should to be ready for worship, like getting rest, reading the Bible, or praying, it makes it hard to give God our best.”
After church, Justin and Jessie ate lunch in the kids’ club room while they listened to a special guest. “Most of the kids at our mission school can’t even buy pencils or paper, so these packs will be a special way for you to show them God’s love. Choose a backpack and put one of each item inside of it. There are snacks, school supplies, and even toothbrushes.”
Jessie reached for a purple backpack. “First, I’m going to put in a purple hairbrush and some crackers. What about you, Justin . . . Justin?” There was no answer.
Jessie looked at Justin, who was seated beside her. He had not chosen a backpack yet like all the other kids had. Instead, he sat with his eyes closed and his mouth wide open. As Jessie stared at her friend, he started to lean over. Before Jessie knew it, Justin’s head clunked onto her shoulder! Justin was asleep—again. “Oh, brother!” said Jessie, shaking Justin’s arm.
“Huh, what?” Justin woke up suddenly. “What’s going on?”
“Oh, nothing,” said Jessie. “You were just giving God your leftovers.”
“I what?” Justin was confused, but then he understood what Jessie meant. “Oh, yeah. I should’ve been ready to do my part. I’m sorry.”
“Well, now that you’re awake, you can help us pack these backpacks.”
“Okay,” Justin agreed. “No more leftovers for God. And next Saturday, I’m going to bed on time so I can give him my best!” With that, Justin grabbed a backpack and started packing.
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.