This object lesson teaches that we should not try to cover up our sin but instead recognize that it has been covered by the blood of Jesus.
- Psalm 32:1-5; 103:12
- 1 John 1:7
- Foot air pump (like you use to pump up a bicycle tire)
- Two large balloons (the same color)
- Permanent marker with a wide tip
- Piece of red felt or other fabric (at least 12”x12”)
- Piece of dark blue felt or other fabric (at least 12”x12”)
- Tape (duct tape is preferable)
- Straight pin or push pin
- Set up the table at the front of the teaching area. Try to elevate it so that it will be above the eye level of your participants.
- Place the tablecloth over the table so that it hangs down to the floor and prevents participants from seeing what is happening behind it.
- Write the word, “SIN,” on one of the balloons (while deflated) in bold letters so that participants will be able to read it when you hold it up.
- Put the other balloon on the nozzle of the air pump. You may want to tape it on to make sure that it doesn’t fly off when it gets some air in it.
- Hide the air pump on the floor behind the table so that it cannot be seen.
- Tuck the balloon that is attached to the nozzle underneath the tablecloth. If you can get it to stay in the middle of the table, that’s great. If not, you may need to tape the hose to the table. Make sure that participants won’t be able to see the bulge caused by the air pump nozzle and balloon.
- Lay the pieces of fabric and the 2nd balloon close by for use during the lesson.
- Practice the lesson so that you are sure the participants won’t be able to see what you are doing behind the table. (NOTE: if your air pump makes noise when you pump it, you might need to pump more slowly or oil the parts.)
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “All of us sin sometimes, right?” (Look for agreement. If you don’t get agreement, you can have a volunteer read Romans 3:23.)
- “God is not surprised when we sin. He wants us to quickly admit it and start obeying Him again.”
- “Unfortunately, what a lot of us do is we hide our sin from the people we love and even from God sometimes.”
- “King David in the Old Testament was very close to God most of his life, but even he tried to hide his sin sometimes.” (Ask volunteer to read Psalm 32:1-5.)
- “David had done something very bad. He had stolen something from a friend and then had his friend killed to hide what he had done.”
- “For a long time after he did this terrible thing, he tried to hide it.”
- “But then, a good friend of David’s – the prophet Nathan – came to David and told him that he knew AND GOD KNEW what David had done.”
- “When David heard this from his good friend, He confessed his sin and asked for forgiveness. Then he wrote this Psalm.”
- “Notice that he says, ‘When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night, your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.’”
- “David was saying that he was miserable the entire time he tried to hide his sin.”
- “He was being eaten up on the inside even though he tried to pretend that everything was okay on the outside.”
- “You see, many times when we sin, we are so afraid of what will happen if people find out that we try to hide it.”
- “Sometimes we say that we hide the bad things we do and that it is like trying to ‘sweep them under a rug.’”
- “Have you heard this expression before?” (Look for responses. If they haven’t heard it, explain that sweeping sins under the rug means that we try to hide them where people can’t see them – like sweeping dirt under a rug instead of really cleaning it up.)
- “Let’s say that this balloon (show the balloon that isn’t attached to the foot pump) represents our sin.”
- “When we are afraid of the punishment or consequences of our sin, we might try to ‘sweep them under the rug’ so that no one will be able to see our dirt, our filth.” (Lay the balloon on the table at about the same spot where the hidden balloon is. Then cover it with your ‘rug,’ which will be your dark blue piece of fabric.)
- “But you know what happens when we try to hide our sins, to sweep them under the rug?” (Listen for responses.)
- “They GROW!” (As you say this, begin to secretly pump air into the hidden balloon, letting it get bigger and bigger.)
- “Sins are like mushrooms. They grow best in the dark.”
- “When we hide our sins, Satan will tempt us to sin more.”
- “He will try to get us to lie about our sins and to do even bigger sins to hide what we’ve already done – like when David killed his friend just so that he wouldn’t have to admit that he stole something from him.” (Keep pumping until the balloon is an impressive size under the dark fabric.)
- “In darkness, our sins get bigger and bigger until they are impossible to hide.”
- “Then, they start to show even though we’ve done our best to cover them up.” (Pump balloon a few more times, until it lifts the cover so high that the balloon is clearly visible to everyone in the room.)
- “But you know what? God doesn’t want us to hide our sins. He wants us to confess them.”
- “In our Bibles, God tells us that he doesn’t want our sins covered up – He wants them covered!”
- “You see, Adam and Eve tried to cover up their sin by wearing fig leaves, and the ancient Hebrews tried to cover up their sin by sprinkling animal blood over the box (the Arc of the Covenant) that held God’s law.”
- “But neither of these were good ways to cover sin.”
- “Fig leaves are itchy, and animal blood only covered up the Hebrews’ sin for a short time.”
- “So, God provided a better way to cover our sins. He sent His son Jesus.”
- “When Jesus died on the cross, His perfect blood (perfect because Jesus never sinned) covered our sins for ever!” (Cover the dark blue fabric with the red fabric.)
- “In fact, the blood of Jesus does more than just cover our sins; it cleans them.” (Have volunteer read 1 John 1:7.)
- “So, it’s much better than just covering our sins.” (Have volunteer read Psalm 103:12.)
- “How far do you think the east is from the west?” (Listen to responses.)
- “It’s pretty far, since the east and the west will never meet.”
- “The blood of Jesus first covers our sins, and then Jesus removes them completely.” (Use the pin to pop the balloon through the fabric.)
- “Now we can understand what David says in his psalm.” (Have a volunteer read Psalm 32:1-2.)
- “We are blessed when our sins are covered by the blood of Christ.”
- “So don’t try to cover up your sins; if you believe that Jesus is your Savior, then He has already covered them with His blood, removed them as far as the east is from the west and forgiven them so that they won’t count against you.”
This object lesson teaches what it means when God calls us to be the salt of the earth.
- Matthew 5:13
- 2 Kings 2:20-22
- Salt that you can pass around for the kids to taste
- Small, draw-string bag with salt in it
- Salt shaker
- Piece of meat (fish, chicken or beef – real or fake – I used Play Doh) with salt on it
- Medicine bottle filled with salt
- Bottle of water
- Put salt in the draw-string bag.
- Salt the piece of meat on all sides.
- Fill the medicine bottle with salt.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 5:13. Then begin passing the salt around, and encourage everyone to taste some.)
- “Salt was very important during the time that Jesus was here on earth.”
- “Roman soldiers often received part of their pay in salt.” (Set out bag with salt in it. As an alternative, you can put all these props into a bag and let a volunteer try to figure out which prop you want put out each time. You can coach them if they run into trouble.)
- “In fact, the word we use for what you get paid for working is ‘salary,’ and ‘salary’ actually means ‘salt money.’”
- “Salt was also important for making things taste better, just like it is today.” (Set out the salt shaker.)
- “What would potato chips or French fries be like without salt?”
- “When Jesus compares us to salt, He is saying that we should make things better.”
- “We should make life better for others. They should enjoy being around us.”
- “But Jesus asks, ‘What good is salt if it has lost its flavor?’”
- “He says that it will be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
- “The Romans use to make roads out of bad salt that wasn’t salty anymore.”
- “In fact, one of their greatest military roads was the Via Salaria, or the Salt Road.”
- “Jesus was saying that if we aren’t salty any more as Christians, we are no longer making life better for those around us.”
- “And so He asks, if you aren’t making things better anymore, what good are we?”
- “He doesn’t have any use for us here on earth unless we are going to make things better, because that is the work He has for us to do.”
- “But salt was good for more than just salaries and making things taste better.”
- “People also used it to preserve meat.” (Set out piece of meat with salt on it.)
- “You see, they didn’t have refrigerators back then, so if they wanted their fish, chicken or their beef to not go bad, they covered it with salt.”
- “The salt kept bacteria from growing on the meat and spoiling it, and it kept the flies from laying their eggs in it.”
- “When Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth, He is saying that we should be preserving (which means saving) the earth.”
- “We should be saving those who are lost and headed towards Hell.”
- “Without us, the bacteria of sin would grow unchallenged in the hearts of those who don’t know Jesus, and Satan, who is also known as Beelzebub (or the Lord of the Flies) would plant evil in their hearts.”
- “But that’s not all that salt can do.”
- “Salt also heals.” (Set out medicine bottle filled with salt.)
- “When you get a sore throat, one of the best things you can do for it is to gargle with hot, salty water.”
- “Elijah used salt in 2 Kings 2:20-22 to heal poisonous water.”
- “When Jesus says we are the salt of the earth, He is saying that we should bring healing to those who are sick with sin.”
- “But that’s not all that salt can do.”
- “Salt also creates thirst.” (Set out a bottle of water.)
- “If you eat something salty, you immediately want something to drink.”
- “When you buy popcorn at the movies, I bet you always get a drink, because you know that you are going to be thirsty after eating it.”
- “When Jesus is saying that we are the salt of the earth, He is saying that we should create thirst for the living water (which is the Holy Spirit) that God offers to every person on earth.”
- “When people see how much God has blessed us, they will want to know Jesus as their Savior, too.”
- “So, salt may have seemed pretty ordinary to you, but now I hope you see how important it is.”
- “Salt has value. It makes things better; it saves; it heals and it creates thirst.”
- “That’s what we should do as followers of Jesus.”
This object lesson teaches that you need to stay connected to Jesus in order to have the power to live a godly life and produce the fruit of the Spirit.
- John 7:37-39, 15:1-5
- Galatians 5:22
- Garden hose (long enough to reach your teaching area from the water spigot
- Short garden hose (a hose reel leader hose works well)
- Two quick connect adapters for the hose – need to have an automatic stopper so that the water doesn’t continue to flow after you disconnect it
- Water nozzle (as small as you can find so that you can use it to fill water balloons)
- Water supply that you can hook the hose to
- Nine large balloons (purple is the best color for the lesson if you can find it – you may want to have extra balloons in case any pop or have a leak)
- Posterboard – one sheet of any light color or white
- Permanent marker to label nine, small signs with the name of the nine fruits of the Spirit
- Lanyard or twine
- Clear, plastic tub to hold the balloons as they fill with water
- Thin piece of plywood or piece of plastic or metal (4 ft long) with nine 3/4 in holes drilled in it about 5 inches apart and 5 inches from the end of either side of the board. (You can often find a piece of metal that has pre-drilled holes in it that will work just fine near the shelving part of your local hardware store.)
- Drill and ¾ inch drillbit (if you need to make the board mentioned above)
- Nine, large washers with a ½ inch hold in the center (the washers must be big enough that they won’t fall out of the balloon once you put them in the opening)
- (SEE DIAGRAMS AT END OF LESSON)
- Connect the hose to the water spigot.
- Connect the quick connect adapter (the one with the automatic stopper) to the end of the hose, and turn on the water. Use a steady stream of water but not full force – maybe about 1/4-1/2 turn.
- Connect the short hose to the quick connect adapter at the end of the longer hose.
- Connect the other quick connect adapter to the end of the short hose, and screw on the water nozzle.
- Run the hose segments and the nozzle into the teaching area.
- Make a large sign that says, “DISOBEDIENCE,” and put it on the lanyard/twine so that someone can wear it around their neck.
- Ask a volunteer to be your “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer and to be ready when you call them. Give him/her the sign to wear when the time is right.
- Put a washer in the opening of each balloon.
- Push each balloon through one of the nine holes in your board. The opening of the balloon and the washer should be on top of the hole with the rest of the balloon below the board.
- Put the board with the balloons across the clear, plastic tub so that the balloons hang down into the tub.
- Cut out nine, small rectangles from the posterboard (each about 4 in long and 2 in tall).
- Write the nine fruits of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control) on these.
- Tape the signs to the bottom of the tub on the outside, facing the audience. Each sign should be in front of a different balloon.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “I’m going to show you why it is so important for you to stay close to God.”
- “The night before Jesus was crucified, he said something very important to his closest disciples.” (Have volunteer read John 15:1-5.)
- “Jesus was making a comparison between His relationship with His disciples and a grapevine.”
- “Jesus said that He is the grapevine. That’s the thickest part of the plant that is rooted to the ground.”
- “He said that the disciples are branches and that the branches hold the fruit.”
- “We know from Galatians 5:22 that the fruit that Jesus is talking about is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (If the kids are not familiar with the fruit of the Spirit, you might want to take a moment to describe each one for them.)
- “And He says that if we (as the branches) don’t stay connect to Him (the vine), we won’t have any of this fruit.”
- “But….if we stay connected to Jesus, we will have LOTS of fruit.” (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front, and allow him/her to help you in the following demonstration.)
- “I don’t have a grapevine here today, and even if I did, we don’t have an entire season to watch the grapes grow on the vine.”
- “So, instead of using a real grapevine, I’m going to use this hose, this nozzle and these balloons to demonstrate what Jesus is talking about.” (Ask volunteer to hold the nozzle at the end of the hose.)
- “Imagine that this hose represents Jesus as the vine.”
- “Through Him comes a steady flow of living water, which the Bible tells us is the Holy Spirit according to John 7:39.” (Turn on the nozzle (if it isn’t already) and have the volunteer point it into the tub. Have another volunteer read John 7:37-39.)
- “This nozzle represents us as the branches, and these nine balloons represent the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. They are like the grapes on the vine.”
- “Now, the goal is to produce fruit and lots of it.”
- “We produce fruit by filling the balloons with the water. This is like the Holy Spirit flowing through us (the nozzle) to do the good works that the fruit represents.” (Allow your volunteer to begin to fill one of the balloons. Turn off the nozzle when the balloon is full enough that the water doesn’t come shooting back out the top – over half-way.)
- “But by itself, this nozzle is pretty useless. It has no water of its own to share.”
- “We can’t connect just the nozzle to a balloon and fill it.” (Disconnect the nozzle from the hose and give it to the volunteer. Ask them to try to fill the balloons with just the nozzle.)
- “That’s what it’s like if we try to do God’s work without God.”
- “There is just no power in it.”
- “So we have to stay connected to the hose if we want to have the power to do the work that God has given us to do.” (Reconnect the nozzle, and let the volunteer continue filling the first balloon. When it gets about full, start filling up another balloon.)
- “What does it mean to be connected to the hose? In other words, how can we stay connected to Jesus so that His Spirit flows through us and produces fruit?”
- “There are two things we need to do in order to stay connected to the hose/to Jesus.”
- “We need to spend time with God, and we need to obey God.”
- “If we do these two things, we will stay connected to Jesus, and His power will flow through us and produce lots of fruit.” (Allow volunteer to keep filling balloons slowly. Don’t allow them to fill all the balloons before you finish the next part.)
- “How can we spend time with God?” (Listen to answers. You are looking for things like, “Go to church, worship, praise, pray, read your Bible…”)
- “Excellent! During those times, God will tell us what He wants us to do in our lives.”
- “But spending time with Him is not enough. We have to also do what He says.”
- “Sometimes, we know what God wants us to do, but we don’t want to do it.”
- “That’s called ‘DISOBEDIENCE’ (bring your “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer forward), and it’s disconnecting the hose so that the living water won’t pass through.” (Have “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer disconnect the hose so that the water stops.)
- “Disobedience stops the flow of the living water coming through your nozzle.”
- “Another word for ‘disobedience’ is ‘sin.’”
- “Sin stops the flow of God’s power, which He sends through His Holy Spirit, through you.”
- “But it’s easy to get the living water flowing again. What do you think you have to do?” (Listen to responses. You are looking for someone to say, “obey.”)
- “That’s right! Obey, and living water flows through you again to create more fruit.” (Have “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer reconnect hose, and allow volunteer to fill in the rest of the balloons. Then dismiss the volunteer.)
- “So what are the two things we need to do to stay connected to God?” (Listen for the answers, “spend time with Him” and “obey Him.”)
- “Fantastic! Let’s all go and produce lots of fruit!”
Filed under Annointing, Daily walk, Fruit of the Spirit, Hands-on, Listening to God, Obedience, Object Lesson, sanctification, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Health, Transformation
This object lesson teaches that spending time with God can have a contagious impact on everyone around us.
- One large jar of gold glitter
- A drop cloth or piece of fabric (about 4 feet long and 3 feet wide)
- Open the Bible up to the passage in Exodus, and sprinkle some gold glitter onto the page.
- Open up the drop cloth or sheet, and sprinkle a large amount of glitter all around.
- Carefully conceal the drop cloth / sheet or fold it up and put it aside.
- Arrange for two helpers to come and help you open the sheet when you give the cue.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Here’s what happens when we spend time with God.” (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front.)
- “When you read your Bible or spend time in prayer or worship, a little bit of God rubs off on you.” (Have the volunteer read Exodus 34:28-29 out loud. It’s okay if he/she has to move some of the glitter out of the way in order to read the passage.)
- “Moses spent 40 days on the top of a mountain in the presence of God, and when he came back down, his face glowed with the glory of God.”
- “When you spend time with God, your face may not actually glow, but God’s glory still shines through you.” (Have volunteer put his/her fingertips into the gold glitter and then touch his/her face.)
- “Then, as you go out and live your life, everyone you come in contact with gets a little bit of contact with the glory of God.” (Have the volunteer go into the audience and shake hands with a few people and then return.)
- Now, if you spend time with God every day, a lot of His glory is going to rub off on you.” (Have volunteer put his/her entire hands into the glitter and then touch his/her face.)
- “Now when you go out and live your life, you’re going to really bless people with the glory of God. Their lives will be better, because they had contact with you after you had spent time with God.” (Have volunteer go out and shake hands with different people this time and then return.)
- “But what if, like Moses, you spent a lot of time praising and worshipping God, praying to Him and reading His Word?”
- “What would that look like?”
- “I think it would look a little like this.” (Have the two helpers you selected before your lesson come and lay out the drop cloth or sheet with glitter on it. Then, have your volunteer lay down on it and roll around a few times. When they are pretty well covered in glitter, have them go around hugging people.)
- “The more time we spend with God each day, the more we will be able to share His glory with those we come in contact with.”
- “As Christians, we should always leave people, places and things better than they were when we found them.”
Filed under Annointing, Bible study, blessing, Christianity, Daily walk, Great Commission, light, Light of the world, Love, Moses, Object Lesson, prayer, Relationships, sanctification, Shekinah Glory, spiritual disciplines, Testimony, Transformation, Veil, Witness