Category Archives: Eternity

Do Clothes Really Make the Man? (OBJ LESSON)


Time

30 minutes
Description

This object lesson looks at the different clothing Joseph wore and asks the question, “do clothes really make the man?”  The old adage means that how you dress says a lot about you, but in Joseph’s case, he was the same person in any costume.  However, no matter how good Joseph was, he couldn’t be good enough to impress God just through his good works.  God isn’t interested in what we DO until He changes WHO we are, and that only happens when we accept Jesus as our Savior.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37-50
  • Isaiah 64:5-6
  • Isaiah 61:10

 

Materials

  • Several smocks (Loose-fitting fabrics that simply have a hole in the middle to fit over the head (for quick changing during the lesson) and a belt to tie them off.  You can do more elaborate costumes if you want, but these simple outfits will work.)
    • One plain white smock (to start the story)
    • One “coat of many colors”
    • Two dingy-colored or burlap smocks (for slavery before being sold and for prison)
    • One nicer white smock (for serving Potiphar)
    • Two even nicer smocks (for when Potiphar put Joseph in charge of his entire estate and for when Joseph comes up from prison)
    • One even nicer, nicer smock (for when Joseph was put in charge of Egypt – “robes of fine linen”)
    • One “filthy rags” smock (to represent our “righteousness”)
    • One “golden” smock (to represent the righteousness of Christ)
    • Gold chains costume jewelry
    • Ring costume jewelry

 

Preparation

  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “There is famous saying that ‘Clothes make the man.’”
  • “It means that what you wear says a lot about you and that people will judge you based on the clothes that you wear.”
  • “I think we ought to be careful about judging people based on the clothes that they wear.”
  • “They could be a great person inside of terrible clothes.”
  • “For example, Joseph wore many clothes in his lifetime, but for most of his life, Joseph was the same person underneath those clothes.”  (Ask for volunteer to come to the front, and put the plain, white smock on him or her.)
  • “Here’s Joseph, a young man of 17 years.”
  • “Look closely at him.  I want you to tell me if he changes when he gets his new clothes.”
  • “Joseph had 11 brothers, ten older than him.”
  • “In Hebrew culture, the oldest son was supposed to get the best treatment, but Joseph’s father loved him more than all the others, because he was the firstborn son of Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife.)
  • “To show his love for Joseph, Jacob gave him a fancy coat to wear.”  (Put coat of many colors on volunteer.)
  • “Look closely; is it the same person or a different person underneath?” (Acknowledge responses.  Hopefully, the participants will agree that Joseph was the same person no matter what he was wearing.)
  • “This made Joseph’s brothers really jealous and angry with him, and they got even angrier when Joseph started having dreams about ruling over his brothers.”
  • “The next time the brothers were out shepherding their sheep, Joseph’s father sent him to check on them.”
  • “He made the mistake of wearing his fancy robe to go and find them.”
  • “The brothers were all wearing the clothes of smelly, dirty shepherds, and here came Joseph, wearing the clothes of someone who didn’t have to work because he was so special.”
  • “When they saw Joseph with his fancy coat, they were furious with him and talked about killing him.”
  • “In the end, they decided to sell him to a passing group of slave traders.”  (Put the dingy-colored smock on the volunteer.)
  • “What do you think now?  Is it the same Joseph, or did the clothes change him?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “The slave traders took Joseph to Egypt and sold him to an Egyptian, named Potiphar.  There, he was given the clothes of a servant.”  (Put nicer white smock on volunteer.)
  • “Same Joseph or different?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Joseph served Potiphar so well that Potiphar soon promoted him and put him in charge of everything in his household.”  (Put even nicer white smock on volunteer.)
  • “Is he different yet, or is he the same Joseph he was when we started the story?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “But then a terrible and unfair thing happened!  Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of doing something he didn’t do, and Potiphar was so angry that he threw Joseph into prison.”  (Put second dingy smock on volunteer.)
  • “Do these clothes make him someone different?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Joseph was in prison for years, but he served the prison warden so well that the warden put him in charge of everything in the prison.”
  • “There came a day when Pharaoh (the king of Egypt) had a few dreams that bothered him.”
  • “No one could interpret the dreams for him, but he learned from one of his servants that Joseph had the power to interpret dreams.”
  • “Pharaoh called Joseph up from prison, and they dressed him in nicer clothes to prepare him to meet Pharaoh.”  (Put second even nicer white smock on volunteer.)
  • “Has he changed?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams for him, and Pharaoh was so impressed that he promoted Joseph to the 2nd highest level within Egypt.  Only Pharaoh was more powerful than Joseph.”
  • “Pharaoh had Joseph dressed in robes of fine linen and put gold chains around his neck and an important ring on his finger.”  (Put even nicer, nicer smock, gold chains and ring on volunteer.)
  • “Even in this really nice set of clothes, isn’t Joseph still the same person underneath?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “In this new role, Joseph did even better than he did in all his other roles.”
  • “He helped the Egyptians to save some food during the good years when there was lots of food, and when the famine came, there was plenty of food for everyone in Egypt and in the surrounding nations.”
  • “So, here we have Joseph with his eight different sets of clothes.”  (Show all eight smocks.)
  • “But the Joseph underneath is the same Joseph no matter what he is wearing.”
  • “Joseph always did his best and served those in authority faithfully, and in the end, he was recognized as a great and wise leader by Pharaoh.”
  • “Joseph was a pretty impressive guy!”
  • “When we read about him, most of us think it would be pretty cool to be like Joseph.”
  • “But you know what?  No matter how impressive Joseph is to us, he doesn’t impress God just because he was a good person.”
  • “The Bible tells us in Isaiah 64:5-6, ‘How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.’”
  • “What that means is that even the ‘best’ person in the world – the one who does the most good things – looks like he is dressed in filthy rags to God.”  (Put filthy rags smock on volunteer.)
  • “We can’t save ourselves from Hell just by being good – not even if we are as a good as Joseph was.”
  • “You see, God doesn’t care what you DO until you change WHO you are, and there is only one way to change WHO you are in God’s eyes…you have to accept Jesus (God’s Son) as your Savior.”
  • “Two thousand years ago, Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins.”
  • “He had to do that because we sin.”
  • “You sin, I sin…everyone who has ever lived sins.”
  • “The Bible says that the penalty for sin is death.  That means separation from God.”
  • “But God loved us so much that he didn’t want us to be separate from Him.”
  • “So He sent His Son, Jesus, to take the penalty of our sin for us.”
  • “Jesus died on a cross to pay for our sins.  Then He rose from the dead to give us new life!”
  • “But you have to accept what Jesus did for you.  It’s a gift, and He won’t make you take it.”
  • “If you want to, you can still pay the penalty for your own sins, but that would be a terrible waste of the gift Jesus bought for you when He died on the cross.”
  • “But here’s what’s cool about accepting Jesus’ gift!”  (Have someone read Isaiah 61:10)
  • “This Scripture is talking about two of the things Jesus did for us by dying on the cross.”
  • “The first is that He clothed us with salvation.  In other words, we get to go to heaven.”
  • “The second is that He dressed us up in a robe of righteousness.  In other words, He covered our unrighteousness (our filthy rags) with His righteousness.”  (Put golden smock on volunteer.)
  • “Now THIS impresses God!”
  • “When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He covers our sinfulness with His perfection.”
  • “Then, whenever God, the Father, looks at us, He sees the righteousness of His Son, Jesus.”
  • “This is the only set of clothes that will ever change WHO you are, because it makes you a child of God.”
  • “It has nothing to do with what you DO, because it’s a gift from Jesus.”
  • “You can’t earn it.  You can only accept it.”
  • “So in a sense, clothes really do make the man, but in God’s eyes, there are only two types of clothes that say anything about WHO you are.”
  • “Are you wearing the filthy rags of sinfulness? (Show the filthy rag smock.) ….or the righteous robe of a child of God?”  (Show the golden smock.)
  • “I hope you will accept the wonderful gift Jesus bought for you.  He really wants you to have it!”  (Thank and dismiss volunteer.  At this point (depending on your tradition), you might want to make an invitation for the audience to accept the gift of salvation and the robe of righteousness that Jesus has purchased for each of us.)
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Filed under acceptance, Agape Love, Belief, Character, Christianity, Eternity, faith, Jesus, Joseph, Object Lesson, Performance, salvation, sanctification, Transformation

Why Jesus Came to Earth (BIBLE LESSON)


Time

25-30 minutes
Description

This lesson teaches about why Jesus came to earth.  It’s a good lesson to do around Christmas time, and it includes a game to keep things light.

 

Scriptures

  • Matthew 5:17, 20:28
  • Luke 4:18, 5:32, 19:10
  • John 3:17, 6:38-40, 6:51, 10:10, 12:46, 18:37
  • 1 John 3:8, 4:9-10

Materials

  • Cups (14 per team – teams will be about 6-10 people each)
  • Future board or cardboard (2 ft x 2 ft per team)
  • Plastic balls (14 per team – a kind that fits into the opening of the cups and that you can write on with a permanent marker)
  • Permanent marker
  • Tape
  • Small candies (at least one per cup)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Make tape loops with the tape, and use them to stick the cups to the future board or cardboard in a rounded pattern to resemble the world.  (You can stick them in rows using the following pattern: 2, 3, 4, 3, 2.)
  • Use the permanent marker to write the following Scripture summaries on the balls (one per ball):

§  “To destroy the works of the devil – 1 John 3:8”

§  “To give His life as a ransom for many – Matt 20:28”

§  “As a light so that no one who believes in Him should stay in darkness – John 12:46”

§  “To fulfill the Law and the Prophets – Matt 5:17”

§  “So that we might live through Him – 1 John 4:9”

§  “So that we can have abundant life – John 10:10”

§  “As a sacrifice to pay for our sins – 1 John 4:10”

§  “To proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind and to set the oppressed free – Luke 4:18”

§  “To seek and to save the lost – Luke 19:10”

§  “To do His Father’s will and raise up those the Father gave Him at the last day – John 6:38-40”

§  “To call sinners to repentance – Luke 5:32”

§  “To testify to the truth – John 18:37”

§  “To save the world through Himself – John 3:17”

§  “To give eternal life – John 6:51”

  • Put a candy or multiple candies into each cup.
  • Put the balls into the cups (one per cup).
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Have any of you ever wondered why Jesus came to the earth?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Why do you think He came?”  (Allow volunteers to share reasons, and expand on each one if needed.  For any reasons that aren’t mentioned, use the notes below to add to what the participants say.  You can use the notes on the balls to help you remember the reasons.

§  To destroy the works of the devil – 1 John 3:8 – The devil had authority over the world until Jesus came, so Jesus came to take that authority away.

§  To give His life as a ransom for many – Matt 20:28 – We were held captive by Satan because of our sin, so Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and exchanged His life for ours.

§  As a light so that no one who believes in Him should stay in darkness – John 12:46 – Before Jesus came, the world was a dark place, but Jesus came as the Light of the world and pushed back the darkness.

§  To fulfill the Law and the Prophets – Matt 5:17 – The Law and the Prophets were what we call the Old Testament.  The Old Testament promised the Jews that Jesus was coming, and Jesus was the fulfillment of those promises.

§  So that we might live through Him – 1 John 4:9 – We were dead in our sin, so Jesus came to give us life.

§  So that we can have abundant life – John 10:10 – And Jesus didn’t just come to give us life, He came to give us ABUNDANT life – meaning a life full of joy and love and peace.

§  As a sacrifice to pay for our sins – 1 John 4:10 – The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, which means that death is what we earn as a result of our sin.  We have to pay for our sin with our deaths, but God allowed another way.  Something or someone innocent could take our place.  In the Old Testament times, they used to sacrifice innocent animals for pay for their sins, because no human was innocent.  Everyone deserved death because of their sin.  But Jesus came and lived a perfect and innocent life that allowed Him to die for us and pay our debt.

§  To proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind and to set the oppressed free – Luke 4:18 – Jesus came to preach the Gospel (the good news), to heal and restore people who were sick, blind, lame or deaf and to set those who were slaves to Satan free.

§  To seek and to save the lost – Luke 19:10 – Jesus came to look for those who were lost in their sin and to save them by inviting them to believe in Him and join Him in heaven.

§  To do His Father’s will and raise up those the Father gave Him at the last day – John 6:38-40 – Jesus said He never did anything that God, the Father, didn’t want Him to do, and He said that His Father’s will was that He save the lost so that He could present them to God the Father as His own on the last day, which is the day of judgment.

§  To call sinners to repentance – Luke 5:32 – Jesus came to invite those who were sinning to turn away from their sin and follow Him.

§  To testify to the truth – John 18:37 – Jesus came to be a witness to what is true and to show the difference between truth and the devil’s lies.

§  To save the world through Himself – John 3:17 – Jesus came to save the world by trading His life for everyone else’s.

§  To give eternal life – John 6:51 – Jesus came to die on the cross and pay for our sins so that we can live with him forever in heaven.

  • “Let’s play a game to help us remember all these reasons.” 
  • “This board and these cups represent the world, and each of these balls has a reason written on it for why Jesus came to the earth.”
  • “I’m going to divide you into teams, and you will try to toss the balls into the cups from a few feet away.”
  • “The first team to fill each cup with a ball wins (if you are doing a competition – or you could just say that they are done when each cup has a ball in it.)”  (Divide the participants into groups of about 6-10, and give each team a board with cups and balls on it.  Place the boards on the floor or on a table.  Have the participants grab 2-3 balls each and step about 2-4 feet away (depending upon the age of your group and how difficult you want this to be).  Then, have them line up and take turns tossing one ball at a time and seeing if they can make it into a cup (only one ball per cup).  If they miss, they can grab their ball and return to the end of the line.  When all the cups have a ball in them, they can divide the candy inside among themselves.  You might want to let them keep the balls as a reminder of why Jesus came to the earth.  When everyone is done, have them take a seat.)
  • “I’ve heard a story that gives another reason why Jesus came to the earth.”
  • “A pastor once shared about how he went to visit the pre-school children in his church’s children’s ministry.”
  • “He said that he walked into the room with his biggest smile and greeted all the children.”
  • “But to his surprise, all the children hid from him.
  • “After thinking about why they were afraid of him, he realized that he must look like a giant to them.”
  • “So, he got down on the floor and greeted the children again.”
  • “This time, the children all ran to him and begin jumping on him and climbing all over him.”
  • “He said that the Holy Spirit spoke quietly to his heart in that moment, and he realized that this was precisely one of the reasons why Jesus came to earth.”
  • “It’s hard to have a relationship with someone who’s ‘up there,’ whom you’ve never met before, who seems so unlike you.”
  • “But when Jesus came to earth as a powerless, little baby, He became someone we could relate to.”
  • “By coming to the earth, Jesus got down on our level so that God was no longer an intimidating person we had never met.”
  • “So, there are many reasons why Jesus came to the earth, but the most important reason and the reason that motivated all the others is LOVE.”
  • “God loves us so much that He didn’t want us to die in our sins.”
  • “He sent Jesus so that we could be together in heaven forever.”

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Tell Two Friends


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson helps kids understand the impact they each can have on the Kingdom if they will help to lead just a few people to Christ during their lifetime.

Materials

  • Beads (You can also use beans, rice, BBs – anything small that you can gather in the appropriate amounts.)
  • Ziplock bags
  • Permanent marker
  • A large, see-through bucket, vase or jar
  • Tray to fit under the bucket, vase or jar to catch the overflow beads
  • Display table

Preparation

· Put beads in bags and label them (with the permanent marker) according to the following allotments.  (I don’t actually count the beads when I get into the higher numbers.  I find out how many will fit into a measuring cup or drinking cup (approximately).  Then, I just estimate how many beads I’ve put in the bags by how many cups I used.)

o #1 – 2 beads

o #2 – 4 beads

o #3 – 8 beads

o #4 – 16 beads

o #5 – 32 beads

o #6 – 64 beads

o #7 – 128 beads

o #8 – 256 beads

o #9 – 512 beads

o #10 – 1024 beads

o #11 – 2048 beads

o #12 – 4096 beads

o #13 – 8192 beads

· You can do more than thirteen bags if you have enough beads. Follow the same procedure as above.

· Set up the bucket, vase or jar on the display table with the tray underneath it.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “Does anyone know what the Great Commission is?” (Listen for responses. If the children don’t know, have them read it in Matthew 28:16-20.)

· “One of the last things Jesus asked the disciples to do was to go and make more disciples, so it’s very important that we share our faith in Jesus with the people He has put into our lives.”

· “Knowing about Jesus is such an incredible thing that we should want to share it with lots of people.”

· “We want them to come to heaven with us, right?” (Listen for responses.)

· “I want to show you the power of sharing your faith with other people.”

· “If everyone who ever believed in Jesus would just help two other people come to know Him, it would absolutely change the world!”

· “Let me show you how….I need 13 volunteers.” (Select 13 volunteers, and line them up, and hand each of them a bag of beads in order from #1 to #13. #1 should be closest to the display table.)

· “These beads in the bags I’ve given our volunteers represent people.”

· “Let’s say that someone led two people to Jesus during his lifetime.” (Show beads.)

· That would be three people who knew Jesus, right (the first person plus the two he led to Jesus)?” (Have first volunteer empty beads into the bucket.)

· “If each of those two people then led two people to Jesus, there would be 7 people who knew Jesus. (original 3 + 4 new)” (Have volunteer #2 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those people then led two people to Jesus, there would then be 15 people who knew Jesus. (original 7 + 8).” (Have volunteer #3 empty beads into bucket.)

· “So far, that’s not a lot of beads, but keep watching!”

· “If each of those people then led two people to Jesus, there would be 31 people who knew Jesus (15 original + 16 more).” (Have volunteer #4 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 63 (31+32).” (Have volunteer #5 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 127 (63+64).” (Have volunteer #6 empty beads into bucket.)

· “Still doesn’t look like much, I know, but keep watching!”

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 255 (127+128).” (Have volunteer #7 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 511 (255+256).” (Have volunteer #8 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 1023 (511+512).” (Have volunteer #9 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 2047 (1023+1024).” (Have volunteer #10 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 4095 (2047+2048).” (Have volunteer #11 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 8191 (4095+4096).” (Have volunteer #12 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 16384 (8191+8192).” (Have volunteer #13 empty beads into bucket. If the beads haven’t started overflowing before this point, they should now.)

· “Now think about that! From the first two people who shared Jesus, over 16,000 people came to know Christ!”

· “Do you think you could tell two people about Jesus?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Can you tell one in the coming week?” (Listen for responses.)

“Then do it! When you get to heaven, you might be greeted by 16,000 or more people who want to thank you for starting the chain of events that led them to know Jesus!”

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Heavenly Bodies (OBJ LESSON)


Time

20-30 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about our new, resurrection bodies by using a simple science experiment. You will demonstrate how ultraviolet rays change the color of UV-sensitive beads and how medicine bottles block UV rays. The beads will represent our spirit, and the bottles will represent our earthly bodies (which keep our spirit from showing its full potential).

Materials

  • Color Changing UV Beads (available from www.stevespanglerscience.com for about $7 per 250 beads) – you will want enough so that each child can have at least 8-10 beads.
  • Prescription medicine bottles (the translucent, brown type) – enough so that each child can have one. It’s best if the bottles have lids that aren’t child-proof, since the kids will be opening and closing them on their own. However, if you can only get bottles with child-proof lids, you can still use them if you help the kids open their bottles when it comes time.

Preparation

· Order Color Changing UV Beads

· Obtain prescription medicine bottles. (If you are using bottles that have previously contained medicine, be sure to sterilize them to get rid of all medicine residue. Some pharmacies will be willing to give you unused bottles if you tell them what you are using them for.)

· Put at least 8-10 beads in each of the bottles, and then close the lids.

· Keep one bottle for demonstration, and put the rest to the side. You’ll probably want to wait until the end of the lesson to pass them out, because they can become a noisy distraction if you pass them out too soon.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “How many of you know that you will get a new body in heaven?” (Demonstrate that you are looking for a show of hands.)

· “Well, you will! Let’s look at the Scripture that tells us about it.” (Have volunteer read 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.)

· “This Scripture is a little hard to understand, so let me help with it.”

· “The Apostle Paul is talking about our bodies by comparing them to seeds.”

· “He says earlier that the bodies we have now will die one day, but they will be replaced with new bodies.”

· “Someone will bury our old bodies, but our new bodies will rise to be with Jesus in heaven.”

· “This is like when you plant a seed in the ground. The seed is dead, but when you bury it, it comes back to life and grows into a plant of some sort.”

· “And Paul is saying that what grows out of the seed is very different from the seed itself, just like your new, heavenly bodies will be very different from your current earthly bodies.”

· “Your earthly body is ‘perishable,’ which means that it can die. But your new body will be ‘imperishable,’ which means that it cannot die.”

· “Your earthly body is ‘sown in dishonor,’ which means that it was sinful up to the time it will be buried in the ground. But your new body will be ‘raised in glory,’ which means that it will have no sin in it at all.”

· “Your earthly body is ‘sown in weakness,’ which means that even when you try to do good things, you sometimes do bad things. You aren’t strong enough to always do good things. But your new body will be ‘raised in power,’ which means that your spirit and your body will both be free of sin so that you are able to always do good things.”

· “Finally, Paul says that your earthly body is ‘sown a natural body,’ which means that it has to obey the physical laws of the natural world. But your heavenly body will be ‘raised a spiritual body,’ which means that it will be free of the limitations of the natural world. I think it means that we will be able to walk through walls and fly and stuff like that, because Jesus was able to do those things when He came back from the dead.”

· “Still, it’s hard to understand exactly what your new body will be like in heaven.”

· “We have a hard time imagining a body free from sickness, that never gets old and that can do incredible things, but let me give you this word picture – maybe it will help.” (Show a prescription medicine bottle with UV color-changing beads inside.)

· “This medicine bottle represents your body.”

· “Inside the medicine bottle are some white beads, and those represent your spirit.” (Open the bottle, and pour out a few beads to show the class. Then return them to the bottle, and close the top.)

· “Your spirit is different from your earthly body, but it has to stay inside it for now.”

· “Unfortunately, your earthly body is sick with sin. It has been since before you were born, because that’s how all people since Adam and Eve have been.”

· “Your spirit doesn’t like being trapped inside your body, because the Bible says that your body and your spirit are in constant conflict with each other.” (Have volunteer read Galatians 5:17.)

· “Your body wants things that your spirit doesn’t want, and your spirit wants things that your body doesn’t want.”

· “Now, these beads that I have in this bottle are not normal beads. They are color-changing beads that turn different colors when the ultraviolet rays (UV rays) of the sun shine on them.”

· “What’s sad is that they can’t change colors while they are trapped inside these bottles, because medicine bottles are made of a special material that blocks the UV rays of the sun from getting into the bottle.”

· “The beads inside the medicine bottle are like your spirit inside your earthly body.”

· “They want to get free so that they can be beautiful, but they are trapped inside the medicine bottle.”

· “Your spirit wants to get free, but it’s trapped inside your earthly body.”

· “But here’s the good news. If you have asked Jesus to come into your heart, there will come a day when your spirit will be free of your body.”

· “It might be on the day that you die and go to be with Jesus in heaven, or it might be the day that Jesus comes back to rule over the earth, but one day, your spirit will be free.”

· “Jesus is going to give your spirit a new body that isn’t sick with sin.”

· “In your new, sinless body, your spirit will be exposed to the unfiltered Son-light of Jesus Christ, and something incredible will happen.”

· “Your new spirit-body won’t fight against itself anymore, and it will show its true potential.” (Go to a window or outside, and take the beads out of demonstration bottle to show the kids how they change colors in the sun. It will take just a few seconds for them to react – even on a cloudy day.)

· “I can’t tell you exactly how incredible your new body will be, because some of it is still a mystery that God wants to surprise us with later.”

· “But your new spirit-body is going to be something special, just like these beads.”

· “And believe me, the change will be even more dramatic than what you see here!” (Pass out bottles with beads in them to each child, and let them play with them to see the difference between being in the bottle and being out of the bottle.)

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Gumball Magnets



Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about how appearances can be deceiving when it comes to salvation. Just because we go to church and hang out with Christians doesn’t mean we are necessarily going to be saved, and it’s what is inside us that makes the difference.

Materials

· Bag of Magnetic Marbles from www.stevespanglerscience.com (about $4)

· Box of multi-colored gumballs

· Magnet (just about any kind will do)

· Clear container in which to mix gumballs and magnets

· Display table

Preparation

· Pour both the Magnetic Marbles and the gumballs into the clear container and mix them thoroughly. (If you look closely, it’s possible to see differences in them, but they are not noticeable from a distance.)

· Position the container on the display table where it can be seen by everyone.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

· “I have here a bucket of gumballs.”

· “What you may not be able to tell is that not all of them are regular gumballs.”

· “In fact, some of them are very, very special. They’re magnetic!”

· “I wonder how I could figure out which ones were magnetic….” (Pause to allow the kids to make recommendations.)

· “Oh, yeah! I could put a magnet down inside and see what it pulled out! Perfect!”

· “I’m going to need a volunteer, though.” (Select volunteer from the audience.)

· “Okay, I just happen to have this magnet with me.”

· “Take this, and put it down in the gumballs to see which ones it attracts.” (Allow volunteer to search through gumballs with the magnet. The magnetic marbles should come out easily.)

· “Isn’t that interesting? The magnetic gumballs look a lot like the normal gumballs.”

· “But we know they can’t be the same because they act differently from the others.”

· “They’ve got something different on the inside that the real gumballs don’t have – a magnet. And that magnet is attracted to this magnet.” (Thank volunteer and let him/her return to his/her seats. Put magnetic gumballs back into the container, and mix them in.)

· “You know what else is interesting? We’re a lot like those gumballs.”

· “If you are a Christian, you have something inside of you that is attracted to God, and that something is also God.”

· “Christians have Jesus in their hearts, and He changes their heart so that it is attracted to God.”

· “Once you have Jesus in your heart, you want to get closer and closer to God.”

· “But just looking at all of you, I can’t tell which of you are Christians and which of you are not.”

· “You come to church, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “You own a Bible, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “You look like pretty nice people, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “There is only one thing that makes you a Christian. Can anyone tell me what that is?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Right. You have to believe and accept that Jesus died for your sins. That makes Him your Savior.”

· “So, it’s possible for us to look the same on the outside but be very different inside – just like these gumballs.”

· “But God is like this magnet. He knows who trusts in Him and who doesn’t, and there’s coming a day when He will call all His people to join Him in heaven.” (Put magnet back into gumballs and pull out the magnetic marbles.)

· “Even though we may look the same, God knows which of us are His children and which aren’t, because He can see our hearts.” (Have someone read 1 Samuel 16:7.)

· “Only those who believe in Jesus will be called, so make sure you tell Him you want to be one of His gumballs!”

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Resurrection Plants



Time

15 minutes (actual teaching time – more time should be allotted for the plants to change.)


Description

This object lesson helps participants understand that Jesus rose from the dead after three days. It takes at least an hour for the plants to show signs of life, so you will want to conduct this object lesson at the beginning of class. If you are teaching a multi-day program, you can do PART 1 on the first day and PART 2 on the second.

Materials

· Several Resurrection Plants (a.k.a. The Rose of Jericho). They can be ordered online or through a local nursery.

· A shallow dish or bowl for each plant.

· A little water for each dish or bowl.

· Ziplock bags (optional)

Preparation

Put a little water into the bottom of each bowl.

Practice the script.

Procedure

PART 1

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “I’m going to need a few volunteers.” (Select one volunteer per Resurrection Plant.)

· “I would like each of you to take one of these.” (Hand out plants to each child.)

· “What do you think that is?”

· “Would you agree that it looks pretty dead?”

· “Yeah, it looks dead to me, too, but I know something about these plants. They are very special.”

· “In front of each of you, there is a plate/bowl with a little water in it. I would like for each of you to put your plant in that water.”

· “We are going to leave those there for a little bit and see what happens.” (Allow volunteers to return to their seats and continue with other parts of your lesson. The plants will need at least an hour to show a difference.)

PART 2

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “Let’s take another look at those plants.” (Ask your volunteers to rejoin you up at the front.)

· “Take a look at your plant. What do you think?” (Have them hold up their plants so that everyone can see them.)

· “Isn’t that amazing! Didn’t they look dead before?”

· “We call them Resurrection Plants, because ‘resurrection’ means to ‘come back to life.’”

· “That’s just what Jesus did. He died and was buried, but three days later, He came back to life! These plants are a good reminder that Jesus is risen!”

· “God puts many things in nature to remind us of Him and of His truths. The resurrection plants are an example of that. Can you think of any other examples from nature that teach us about God or His truth?” (The children might have all types of ideas, but here are a few to help if they can’t think of any:

o At night, the sun goes away, but the moon continues to reflect its light (Jesus is like the sun, and we are like the moon.)

o Sheep follow their shepherd just like Jesus wants us to follow Him.

o Dogs know how to show unconditional love. Even if you forget to feed them one day, they forgive you right away.)

· “Can anyone think of anything that dies and comes back to life?” (Take responses. If they struggle, you can remind them that seeds from fruits and plants have to die and be buried in order to grow into the trees and plants that they one day become.)

· “So God has left all these things for us as reminders of what His Son did.”

· (Allow volunteers to return to their seats. You can let them put the plants in ziplock bags and take them home, or you can let they dry out so that you can use them again later.)

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, Hands-on, Object Lesson, Resurrection

Mr. Bobby’s Sacrifice


Time

20-25 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross and helps children to recognize that He did it for all of us – even those of us who choose not to accept His gift. (It’s called “Mr. Bobby’s Sacrifice in honor of the big man with a bigger heart who always volunteers for this strenuous activity.)

This activity works best with a larger group of kids. However, if you have a small group, try having each child make several trips up to put their rocks in the bucket. Only on the last trip can they get the incentive.

Materials

  • Two buckets with strong handles
  • A place where children can pick up at least two rocks each
  • Some type of incentive for the children (I’ve used individually wrapped packages of fruit snacks and candy before.) If you can get something that most of the kids will like but that a few will not, you will have more success with the activity. (In this case, be sure to have another incentive hidden that these children can choose at the end of the activity.)
  • Two signs that say, “SIN.”
  • Tape

Preparation

· Find a strong volunteer, and explain the object lesson to him.

· Put your incentives in a place where they will be easily seen by the children and where they have easy access to them.

· Put tape of your “SIN” signs, and lay them close to the teaching area

· Ask the children to each grab at least two rocks for a special activity in class. They can grab more than two rocks if they want, but they must have at least two. Rocks can be the size of a small egg or larger.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “Hey, everyone! Did each of you grab at least two rocks before you came in here?” (Have the children hold them up so that you can see them.)

· “Fantastic! Hey, I’ve got great news! Mr. (supply the name of your volunteer) wants to buy everyone some (supply the name of your incentive)!”

· “How many of you want some (incentive)?”

· “Okay, Mr. (volunteer) is going to earn those for you by showing us how strong he is.”

· “Everyone who wants (incentive) has to line up with your rocks right here.”

· “When I tell you to, you will trade your rocks for the (incentive) by putting at least one in each of Mr. (volunteer’s) buckets.”

· “He will earn the incentive for you by carrying your rocks.”

· “Isn’t Mr. (volunteer) great!” (Encourage enthusiastic responses.)

· (Have Mr. (volunteer) stand at the front of the room with a bucket in each hand. As well as he is able, he should stretch his arms wide like Jesus on the cross. It’s important for the kids to be able to tell that this is challenging and painful to the volunteer. Have the children line up with their rocks.)

· (Ask the first child.) “Do you want a (incentive)? Okay, then divide all your rocks between the two buckets.”

· (After the child puts his/her rocks into the two buckets, allow him/her to get the incentive and then return to his/her seat. Keep working your way through the children, occasionally pointing out your volunteer’s straining or facial expressions.)

· (If a child says, “no” to the incentive, he or she should lay his or her rocks down on the floor and return to his/her seat. Your volunteer should then set down the buckets, pick up the rocks and divide them between the two buckets. Then, he should resume his former position. This typically doesn’t happen until later in the object lesson, and it usually requires some prodding to get the first child to lay down his/her rocks.)

· “Did you notice that he still picked up the rocks? You see, Mr. (volunteer) already agreed to pay for everyone. Even if you don’t want your (incentive), he will still pay for it for you.”

· (Continue having children put their rocks in and take their incentives. If you get three-fourths of the way through the children without one of them laying down his or her rocks, you will need to do some prodding using the following script.)

o “Wow! Mr. (volunteer) is really sweating! It looks like a real struggle holding up those buckets?”

o “How do you feel about that?”

o “Mr. (volunteer), how are you feeling?” (Have him be honest about the pain and struggle.)

o “If it’s that difficult, why are you doing it?” (Have him share about his love for the children.)

o (Back to the children) “Is it okay with you that he is having to work so hard for you to you’re your (incentive)?”

o “Do you think it is fair that he is having to go through so much pain?”

o “Are you sure, you want to put your rocks into his buckets”

· (After all have made (or not made) the trade, allow your volunteer to put the buckets down.)

· “Kids we did this activity to give you a picture of how much Jesus loves you. Just like Mr. (volunteer) loves you enough to pay for your (incentive), Jesus loves you enough to pay for you to join Him in heaven.”

· “The rocks you brought today represent your sin, the bad things you’ve done.” (Label both buckets with the “Sin” signs.)

· “You may have noticed that some of you brought small “sins,” and some of you brought big “sins.” Some of you brought just two “sins,” and some of you brought several handfuls!”

· “When we go before God, some of us will just have a few sins compared to the others. And our sins might not seem that bad compared to theirs, but to God, sin is sin – no matter how small and no matter how few.”

· “The Bible says that the payment, the punishment for sin is death. It’s what we owe to pay for our sins.” (Romans 6:23)

· “Unfortunately, none of us can pay for our sins. We owe too much.”

· “The only One who could pay was someone who didn’t owe anything of his own.”

· “And the only Person who has ever lived and not sinned is Jesus. He’s the only One who could pay what we owed for our sin.”

· “Just like Mr. (volunteer) spread his arms to pay for your (incentive), Jesus spread His arms on the cross to pay for your sins and mine.”

· “But do you remember that not everyone wanted their (incentive), but Mr. (volunteer) paid for them anyway?”

· “You see, Jesus paid for everyone’s sins – even those of us who don’t want to believe in Him.”

· “And isn’t that a shame? To leave something that is already paid for on the table?”

· “Shouldn’t we enjoy it if Jesus went to so much trouble to get it for us?”

· “Jesus paid for it! He didn’t just die for a few. He died for ALL of us!”

· “But Jesus loves us so much that He won’t force us to take what He bought for us. He still lets us choose.”

· “You have to want it and accept it, but you don’t have to do anything to earn it.”

· “If you want what Jesus has bought for you on the cross… if you want life with Him forever in heaven, all you have to do is tell him in your prayers.”

· “Tell Him that you want what He bought. Tell Him you want to follow Him and to go to heaven.”

· “And then, tell all of us so that we can celebrate with you!”

· “I know that some of you who didn’t take your (incentive) did it out of your love for Mr. (volunteer).”

· “If you are one of those people, Mr. (volunteer) wants to see you after we finish.” (Have your volunteer tell these children how much he appreciates the sacrifice they made for him and that they really helped with the lesson. Then, he can give them the choice of taking the incentive – no rocks this time.)

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Filed under Agape Love, Christianity, Eternity, Heaven, Hell, Love, Object Lesson, salvation