Category Archives: salvation

Lemme See (QUICK DRAMA)


DESCRIPTION

This short drama reenacts the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector from Luke 19:1-10.  It is intended to make the story a little easier for young minds to understand or to give new perspective for older minds.

 

PREPARATION

  • Have a ladder ready and off to the side for “Zach” to use.
  • Assemble a costume for the person playing Jesus (white robe, sash or shawl, beard, etc.)

 

 

SCENE:         A crowd of three or four people is standing around waiting for something special to happen and straining to see who is coming in the distance.  Zach enters from behind the crowd but can’t see what all the excitement is about. The actor should come in on his knees to simulate being much shorter than all the others.

 

Zach –              “Hey, what’s going on?”

 

Person 1 –        (Not even looking at Zach but still watching for something special to happen) “Quiet down, little man!  We’re waiting for the miracle worker.”

 

Zach –              (Trying to pry a space between people so that he can see) “Miracle worker?  I want to see!  Can you let me through?”

 

Person 2 –        (Intentionally blocking his way) “Oh, no you don’t!  The miracle worker isn’t interested in someone like you.  You’re a bad person!”

 

Zach –              (Trying to pry a space between people in another part of the crowd) “Come on, guys! I just want to see him!  I heard he has someone like me on his team.”

 

Person 3 –        (Blocking the way) “You mean a tax collector?  (Looking puzzled and asking a question of the person next to him/her) Yeah, why DID he pick that Matthew guy to be on his team?  All those tax collectors are criminals.  He must have chosen Matthew because he is rich from stealing our money!”

 

Zach –              (Still trying to break through) “I don’t think that’s why…I heard Matthew left all his money behind when he followed the miracle worker.  Please let me through!  I should be allowed to see him, too!”

 

Person 1 –        (Blocking the way) “Not if I can help it!  Any miracles he does today will be for me!”

 

                        (Zach realizes he can’t get through the crowd and comes up with a better idea.  He grabs a ladder and climbs up on top (on his knees if possible and safe).  Just then, Jesus arrives and calls out to him.)

 

Jesus –             “Hi, Zach!  What are you doing up there?  Come down so that I can spend some time with you!”

 

                        (The crowd gasps!  Zach climbs down and forces his way through the crowd to Jesus.)

 

Person 2 –        “Doesn’t he know what a bad person that guy is?”

 

Person 3 –        “That’s TWO tax collectors he has talked to!  What kind of miracle worker is this?”

 

Person 1 –        “Hey, what about me?  I want a miracle!”

 

Zach –              (Looking up at Jesus) “Jesus, they are right.  I’ve been a bad person…but I’m willing to fix it right here and right now!  I will give half of what I own to the poor, and I’ll pay back anyone I’ve cheated four times as much as I took!”

 

Jesus –             (Smiling) “Okay, Zach, it’s a start…and a good one.  I don’t care as much about what you’ve done in the past as I do about what you choose to do today, and you are choosing well.”

 

Zach –              (Taking Jesus by the hand and walking toward the door) “I want you to meet my friends.  (Pausing)  Uh….they are a lot like me…you don’t mind, do you?”

 

Jesus –             “Of COURSE I don’t mind, Zach…those are exactly the people I came to find.  I want to meet all your friends!”

 

Zach –              “Awesome!  They are going to love you! (Pausing before opening the door) Hey, can you do one of those miracles and make me taller?”

 

Jesus –             (Opening the door for Zach, and walking through) “Zach, you stood taller today than you have in your entire life!”

 

EXIT

 

END SCENE

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Filed under drama, forgiveness, God's Plan, Obedience, Quick Drama, Repentance, salvation, Transformation, unconditional love

The WHO and the DO (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson teaches that the most important question to answer correctly in this life is the question Jesus asked of His disciples, “Who do you say I am?”  Answering that question correctly changes who we are and makes us children of God, and who we are to God matters even more than what we do in this life.

 

Scriptures

  • Matthew 16:13-18
  • John 1:42
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • 1 Peter 2:9-10

 

Materials

  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Dot and the Line, The (OBJ LESSON)” (Object lesson that you will teach in the middle of this lesson to explain the difference between our life on earth and eternity.  There are a few optional supplies you might want to gather for this part of the lesson that are mentioned in the document.)
    • “Who and the Do, The – Signs” (This file also includes a slide with one of the main teaching points.  You can project this if you are using PowerPoint.)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print out “The Dot and the Line” object lesson, and review it to make sure you are ready to teach it.
  • Gather any props for “The Dot and the Line” if you intend to use them.
  • Print out the “WHO” and “DO” signs.
  • Put markers in the Bible in the place where you want your volunteers to read the Scriptures for the lesson.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

  • Jesus asked his disciples a very important question one day.  ‘Who do people say that I am?’  (Have volunteer read Matthew 16:13-14.)
  • “They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist.’”
  • “That was strange.  How could Jesus be John the Baptist?  John the Baptist was a good friend of Jesus’, but he had been killed by an evil king named Herod not long before.”
  • “Even if it were possible for people to come back from the dead, Jesus couldn’t have been John the Baptist, because they lived at the same time.”
  • “Then they said, ‘Some say you are Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’”
  • “All these people were dead long before, but they had all been godly men who had shared God’s word.  Elijah was even able to do miracles like Jesus.”
  • “They thought Jesus might be one of these people because of all the miracles they saw Him do and the truth they heard Him speak.”
  • “Then Jesus asked them an even more important question.”  (Have volunteer read Matthew 16:15)
  • “Jesus asked them, ‘Who do you say I am?’”
  • “This is the most important question you will ever answer in your entire lives!”
  • “It’s more important than questions on a test at school.”
  • “It’s more important than questions your parents ask you.”
  • “It’s more important than a question a police officer or a fireman might ask you.”
  • “It’s even more important than a question a game show host would ask you if you were about to win $1 million!”
  • “Touch your neighbor, and say, ‘Man!  That IS an important question!’”
  • “This question is so important, because it determines where you will spend eternity.”
  • “And maybe you’re thinking, ‘Huh?  What’s eternity?’”
  • “I’m glad you asked!  Let me show you!”
  • (Facilitate “The Dot and the Line” object lesson.)
  • “So what was the question that I said was so important?”  (Expected response: “Who do you say Jesus is?”)
  • “Right!  And our friend Peter is going to help us with the right answer.” (Have a volunteer read Matthew 16:16.)
  • “Who is Jesus?”  (Expected response: “The Christ, the Son of the living God.”)
  • “What does that mean?  Does anyone know what a Christ is?”  (Expected responses: “Savior, Expected Deliverer, Messiah”)
  • “He was the One that the Jews had been waiting for!  The One the Scriptures talked about!”
  • “He was the One who they expected to be their King!”
  • “That’s the right answer to the question, ‘Who do you say Jesus is?’”
  • “Jesus is our Savior, our Lord, our King and our God.”
  • “If you get this answer right, it will make your Dot better and your Line very, very good.”
  • “Jesus was really happy that Peter got the question right.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 16:17-18.)
  • “This is not the first time Jesus has given Simon the name Peter, remember.”  (He also did it in John 1:42.)
  • “Jesus said Peter was a ‘rock,’ because he wanted him to become someone all the others could depend on – someone who was strong and unmovable in his dedication to God.”
  • “And you know, Simon is not the only one who got a new name in the Bible.”
  • “Can anyone remember any of the others who got new names?”  (Expected responses: “Saul-Paul, Abram-Abraham, Jacob-Israel, Sarai-Sarah…”)
  • “The Bible says, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • “When God changes your name, it’s because He sees you as He knows you will be, not as what you currently are.”
  • “Peter didn’t act like a ‘rock’ when Jesus gave him his new name.  It took many years for him to change.”
  • “But God looks past your behaviors to your relationship to Him.”
  • “He cares more about your WHO than what you DO.”  (Invite two volunteers to the front and give one the “WHO” sign and one the “DO” sign.  It might be better to have one girl and one boy for comedic effect because you will be giving them a big hug a few times that squishes them together.)
  • “Touch a neighbor and say, ‘He’s cares more about my WHO than what I DO!’”  (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “No matter what bad stuff you DO, God will always love you because of WHO you are to Him.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “Before you ask Jesus into your heart, you are God’s incredible creation, and He loves you because of that.”
  • “But after you ask Jesus into your heart, you become a son or daughter of God!  A child of the King!  A prince or a princess!  You’re royalty!”
  • “Turn around and tell somebody, ‘I’m royalty!’” (You may want to have a volunteer read 1 Peter 2:9-10.)
  • “When you ask Jesus into your heart, you move from being someone who isn’t one of God’s people to someone who is one of God’s people.  That’s SO awesome!”
  • “Now just because God cares about your WHO more than what you DO doesn’t mean that He doesn’t care at all about what you DO.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “He does care a lot.”
  • “He says that because of your new WHO (child of God) when you accept Jesus as your Lord, what you DO should get better and better every day.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “Peter didn’t act like a ‘rock’ when Jesus gave Him the name, but Jesus expected him to work toward becoming more and more like a rock every day.”
  • “And the same is true for you.”
  • “Children of the King act in a different way that those who aren’t children of the King.”
  • “The King expects more out of you.”
  • “That means that you have to follow your leader – DO what you see Him doing in the Bible.”
  • “You won’t be perfect.  You’ll make lots of mistakes, but keep trying every day.”
  • “You goal is to make what you DO match your WHO.” (Bring your two volunteers close together, and give them a big squeeze for comedic effect.)
  • “When they don’t match (push volunteers apart) people get confused.”
  • “They say, ‘I thought he was a child of the King, but he’s telling lies.’ or, ‘I thought she was royalty, but she is acting nasty to her friends.’”
  • “It’s hard for them to understand how your WHO and what you DO can be so different.” (Point to each volunteer as you mention their sign.)
  • “So bring those two together (bring volunteers in close for another big hug!) so that no one will be confused.” (Thank and dismiss your volunteers.)
  • “Touch your neighbor, and say, ‘I’m gonna make what I DO match my WHO!’”
  • “And what is your WHO again?” (Expected response: “Child of the King or Child of God!”)
  • “So remember, the most important thing in life is WHO you say Jesus is.”
  • “If you get that right, it will change your WHO forever and make you a Child of God.”
  • “And every day, we should work at making what we DO match our new WHO!”  (You might want to reinforce the lesson by having  everyone saying the Rhyme Time below several times.)

Rhyme Time            

When I trust in Jesus

He changes my WHO.

Now I try every day

To improve what I DO.

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Filed under Jesus, Obedience, Peter, salvation, sanctification

Gift of Eternal Life (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches that Jesus purchased a gift for everyone who has ever lived or ever will live.  It was the gift of eternal life.  But even though He paid a tremendous price for it, He still allows us to choose whether or not we will receive it.

 

Audience

  • Children, Youth, Adults

 

Scriptures

  • Romans 3:23
  • Romans 6:23

 

Materials

  • Small gift bags for each person.  (They should be nicely decorated, and each gift should have someone’s name on it.  For children, I recommend some snacks and maybe a few small toys or giveaway items.  For youth and adults, you might want to buy something a little more substantial or symbolically meaningful.)
  • A sheet or table cloth to cover the gift bags.
  • Signs for “SIN,” “GOD,” “US” with a string looped across the top so that volunteers can wear them around their necks.
  • A large cross made from cardboard or some other material.  (4 ft tall or so)
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Arrange the gift bags at the back of the room, and cover them so that you can reveal them later.
  • Have your other props somewhere accessible to the front of the room.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “The Bible tells us that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’” (Romans 3:23)
  • “The word, ‘sin,’ in the language that Jesus spoke (Aramaic) was an archery term.”
  • “It was what the scorekeeper yelled when an arrow missed the target.”
  • “He would shout, ‘SIN!’ to give feedback to the archer, because he was often too far away from the target to see if he hit it or not.”
  • “’Sin’ means ‘to miss the mark’ – to miss the goal.”
  • “When we sin, we are missing the target that God has set for us.”
  • “That target is holiness – to be like God by being morally and spiritually excellent.”
  • “The place where the arrow landed was called ‘evil.’”
  • “Evil is the opposite of holiness.”
  • “If you have ever lied, cheated, stole something, hurt someone on purpose, disrespected your parents, said something mean, pretended to be something that you were not, refused to forgive someone…you have sinned.”
  • “You’ve missed the mark, the target, of holiness.”
  • “Your arrow has landed in evil.”
  • “The Bible says we have all done it, and because we have sinned, our arrow falls short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
  • “And there is a penalty for missing the mark.”
  • “Romans 6:23 tells us that the ‘wages of sin is death.’”
  • “Wages are what you earn for your work.”
  • “So what you earn for the work of sin is death.”
  • “This verse is talking about two kinds of death.
  • “First, unless Jesus comes again before it happens, we will all die someday.”
  • “Second, sin brings death to our relationship with God – it separates us from Him.”
  • “Our God is so holy that He can’t have sinfulness in His presence.”
  • “He is 100% holy, and His holiness is so pure it would destroy sinfulness and evil in His presence.”
  • “For that reason, our sin separates us from God.” (Ask for three volunteers to come up to the front.  Hand one the sign that says, “SIN.”  Hand another the sign that says, “GOD.”  Hand the third the sign that says, “US.”  Have them put the signs around their necks.)
  • “It used to look like this.” (Put the volunteer with the “US” sign and the volunteer with the “GOD” sign together.)
  • “God and human beings were together in the Garden of Eden.”
  • “Adam and Eve were in God’s presence, and they had a wonderful, meaningful relationship with Him.”
  • “But then Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which God had told them not to do.”
  • “This was sin.  They fell short of the glory of God.”
  • “That sin separated Adam and Eve from God.” (Put the “SIN” volunteer between the “GOD” and “US” volunteers, and have her push them away from each other with her arms.)
  • “SIN created a giant chasm (or never-ending pit) between US and GOD, and no human being could cross it to the other side.”
  • “Of course, God still loved Adam and Eve, but He had to send them out of the Garden.”
  • “They could no longer be in His presence.”
  • “Since that day, we have all been separated from God because of sin.”
  • “But God wasn’t surprised when Adam and Eve sinned.”
  • “He knew the exact moment that it would happen….and He already had a plan!!” (Ask volunteer to read all of Romans 6:23.)
  • “The wages of sin is death – we earned it, we deserve it…BUT….the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord!”
  • “God had a plan – He’s given us a gift!”
  • “And it’s a pretty awesome gift – eternal life!”
  • “We earned death, but He gave us life as a gift.”
  • “We can live forever with Jesus!”
  • “But how did this happen?  Sin was separating us from God.” (Point to your volunteers.)
  • “Jesus came to earth as a baby and lived a perfect life without ever sinning.”
  • “None of his arrows missed the mark.”
  • “Everyone made a bull’s-eye in the center of holiness.”
  • “But just like God’s holiness can destroy evil, evil does it’s best to destroy holiness.”
  • “There were people in authority who didn’t like Jesus at all, and they convinced the Roman governor to crucify Jesus, which means that they nailed his body to a cross to kill him.”
  • “Satan thought that he had destroyed holiness by nailing Jesus to the cross, but he didn’t understand God’s plan.”
  • “Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead.  He defeated death for all of us who believe in Him.”
  • “By dying on the cross, Jesus paid our sin debt, what we earned for sinning.”
  • “He knew that we could never pay our debt by ourselves, so He did it for us.”
  • “This is a little like if you were a criminal and went before the judge to be sentenced to death for your crimes but were saved when someone in the courtroom jumped up and said they would take your punishment for you.”
  • “So Jesus paid the price, He died, but because He is God, He was able to defeat death and come back to life!”
  • “And here’s the coolest part!  That cross that God’s enemies used to punish Jesus actually became a bridge that connects US back to GOD over the giant chasm of SIN.” (Ask for another volunteer, and hand her the cross.  Have him stand in front of SIN and push her back while he uses the cross to connect GOD and US.)
  • “Now, even though the chasm of our SIN is still there, the cross bridges over the top of it to connect US to GOD so that we can come into His presence again.”
  • “I told you God had a plan!” (Thank your volunteers and let them have a seat.)
  • “Here’s something else you should know.  God doesn’t make anyone go across that bridge.”
  • “He let’s you choose.”
  • “You can stay on the other side of SIN if you want.”
  • “He does that because He loves you enough to give you a choice.”
  • “He won’t make you come into His presence, because He didn’t create robots; He created human beings, and He wants a relationship with us.”
  • “You can’t have a relationship with a robot.”
  • “Romans 6:23 says that this is a gift – ‘The wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’”
  • “A gift is something that is free.  You can’t do anything to earn it, and you don’t have to take it if you don’t want to.”
  • “But I’m going to tell you….you SHOULD want to!”
  • “If you accept this gift from God, you get eternal life with Jesus in heaven!”
  • “That’s the most incredible gift anyone will ever give you.”
  • “Let’s think of it another way.”
  • “What if I told you that I had prepared a gift for you, and that I had it ready for you at the back of the room?”
  • “And what if I told you that the gift is really great and has YOUR name on it?  It’s not for anyone else.  It’s just for you!”
  • “Would you walk out the door after this lesson and just leave that gift laying there?”
  • “No one else can take it, because it was purchased just for you.”
  • “If you don’t take it, it will be wasted, and I’ll be sad, because I really wanted to bless you with it.”
  • “Would you just leave it there?” (Listen for responses.)
  • “Right!  Neither would I.  If someone loves me enough to buy me a gift, I’m going to accept it!”
  • “So to help you remember that the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, I really do have a gift with your name on it at the back of the room!!”
  • “It’s free.  You don’t have to do anything to earn it.  And you don’t have to take it if you don’t want to….but I hope you will!”
  • “Please accept this gift from me as a reminder of God’s incredible love for you and of the gift that Jesus bought for you when He died on the cross.”  (Allow them to receive their gift.)

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Filed under Jesus, Object Lesson, salvation, Sin

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

New Life (DEVOTION)


As a group, read the following Scriptures.  Then, create a flipchart that compares what you know about the man before and after he met Jesus.

Luke:8:26-34


1.    What changes did you notice?

2.    Why wouldn’t Jesus allow the man to go with Him?

3.    What impact do you think these changes had on the community as the man continued to interact with them in a new way?

4.    Now, look at the story as a metaphor for what happens in a new believer’s life when he/she comes to Christ.  What comparisons can you make?

5.    How should this story influence how we live today?

 

Facilitator’s Notes

Here are some of the comparisons about the before and after conditions of the demon-possessed man you can point out if the group doesn’t notice them.  The middle line represents the man’s encounter with Jesus.

 

BEFORE AFTER
o  Spiritual bondage, demon possessed

o  Naked

o  Social outcast, living in tombs

o  Chained, physical bondage

o  Cursing, shouting, running

o  Hurting himself

o  Freed, delivered

o  Fully clothed

o  Came home

o  Freed

o  Sitting at the feet of Jesus

o  In his right mind

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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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The Roman Road (LESSON)


Scriptures:
Romans 3:23
Romans 6:23
Romans 5:8
Romans 10:9
Romans 10:13

Description: Within the book of Romans, the author has given us a path toward salvation.  Some call it the Roman Road.  This lesson helps participants to memorize the Scriptures of the Roman Road so that they can share it with their friends.

Time: 45 minutes

Materials:

  • Printouts of the Roman Road pictures (You can find these on the Lesson Materials and Downloads page on www.teachingthem.com.  The file is called, “Roman Road – Cards.ppt.”  You will want one enough flash-card size sets for every person to have one.  To get this size, go to File, then Print on the Menu Bar of PowerPoint.  Then, under “Print What:,” choose Handouts (6 slides per page).  Change the slides that you want to print to “From: 2” and “to: 19.”  This will give each person three sets of the six pictures (one with just the chapter and verse, one with just the Scripture words and one with neither).  If you don’t want each person to have all three sets, choose just the ones you want.
  • Scissor or a cutting board to cut out the flash cards
  • Rubber bands or envelopes (one per person in your group)
  • Cut out the flash cards, and put them in rubber bands or in envelopes to make them easy to distribute.
  • Practice the lesson.

o  LCD projector, computer and screen to project the slides (if you don’t have these, you can print out full-sized versions of the slides to use as displays.)
o  Bible

Preparation:
o  Print all the sets of the flash cards
o Cut out the flash cards, and put them in rubber bands or in envelopes to make them easy to distribute.
o Practice the lesson.

Procedure:
Use the following script or modify to suit your needs:

  • “The author of the book of Romans gave very clear instructions about how we can be saved and go to heaven.”
  • “Several Scriptures in the book link together to give us the plan of salvation.”
  • “These Scriptures are often called “The Roman Road.”  (Show title slide.)
  • “There are two reasons for this.  The first is that the Scriptures are in the book of Romans, and they describe the path (or road) to salvation.”
  • “The other reason is called a play on words, or a clever way of using a familiar term in a new way.”
  • “The roads built by the Romans a few thousand years ago were famous around the world during the early church period, because they were all straight, paved roads that led back to Rome.”
  • “The Roman Road in Scripture won’t lead you to Rome, Italy, but it will help you to walk the straight path to Jesus Christ.”
  • “So calling it a ‘Roman Road’ is just a way to make it easier to remember.”
  • “I’m going to take you down the Roman Road, and we are going to memorize the Scriptures together.”
  • “That way, you will be able to share it with your friends if God provides you an opportunity to share your faith with them.”  (Show Romans 3:23 slide, and ask for a volunteer to read it out loud from his or her Bible.)
  • “This means that there isn’t anyone who has ever lived with the except of Jesus Christ who has lived without sinning.”
  • “Our sin makes us fall short of God’s glory, but God is perfect and without sin.”
  • “In the game of ice hockey, if a player breaks a rule, he gets sent to the penalty box, also known as the ‘Sin Bin.’”
  • “In the same way, when we break one of God’s rules, we have to pay a penalty in the ‘sin bin.’”
  • “We put ourselves into spiritual prison, and Satan is the prison warden.”
  • “He can keep us locked up, because we broke the rules.  God has given him that authority over sinners, because God is too holy to allow sinners into His presence.”  (Show Romans 6:23a slide, and ask volunteer to read just the first part of the Scripture from his or her Bible.)
  • “Wages are what you get paid for work you do.”
  • “This Scripture is saying that our payment for the work of sin that we have done is death.”  (RIP on the tombstones in the picture stands for “Rest In Peace,” which used to be a common sentiment when someone died.)
  • “We have earned death because of our sin, and there are two kinds of death that this Scripture is talking about.”
  • “First, there is spiritual death in our relationship with God.”
  • “Sin separates us from God.  It creates a giant chasm between us, and none of us can leap over that chasm to get back to God.”
  • “The second kind of death is the one we are more familiar with – death of our bodies.”
  • “Before Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they were going to live forever, but because of sin, they ruined their physical bodies.”
  • “What that physical body wears out of gets too sick or suffers a mortal injury, it dies.”
  • “So far, the death rate for human beings is just about 1 to 1 – one death for every life.”  (Exceptions might be Enoch and Elijah.  Show Romans 6:23b slide and have volunteer read it out loud.)
  • “This is a GREAT Scripture!”
  • “We earned death because of our sin BUT God has given us a gift – the gift of living forever with Jesus!”
  • “But notice that it’s a gift.”
  • “A gift is FREE!  There is nothing that you can do to earn it.”
  • “It comes from the generosity of the giver.”
  • “That means that we can’t earn our way into heaven; we can only receive it as a free gift from God.”
  • “Also, a gift is free, but you don’t have to accept it.”
  • “Millions and probably billions of people will live their lives here on earth and never accept the gift that Jesus bought for them.”
  • “Sometimes they don’t accept it, because they don’t know that it exists.  That’s why you have to tell everyone about the incredible gift Jesus bought for them.”
  • “Even more often, though, people don’t accept the gift, because they don’t trust the Gift Giver.”
  • “They think the gift is a trick or too good to be true or not worth having, so they don’t take it, and that’s a terrible shame, because Jesus was thinking about them when He bought it.”  (Show Romans 5:8 slide, and have volunteer read it out loud.)
  • “I said the gift was free, but that’s not totally true.”
  • “Someone had to pay for it.”
  • “It’s free to us, but it cost Jesus dearly.”
  • “Remember that I said that the wages of sin is death – the payment for our sin is that we have to die?”
  • “And remember that we are in the Sin Bin because we broke the rules and that Satan keeps the keys to our prison cell?”
  • “Well there is a way to pay the payment for our sin without us having to personally die.”
  • “In the Old Testament, the Hebrew/Israelites would kill animals to pay for their sins.”
  • “Animals could pay the debt we owed for our sin, because they were innocent and hadn’t sinned.”
  • “The problem with this arrangement, though, was that the death of the animal (really the blood of the animal) couldn’t clear our debt.”
  • “Animals are innocent, but that’s because they couldn’t sin if they wanted to – they don’t have the ability to choose to sin or to not sin.”
  • “So using their blood to pay for their debt was kind of like cheating.”
  • “It wouldn’t really pay for it.  It would just cover their debt for a year, but then the Israelite priests had to kill another animal to cover their sin again.”
  • “This had to happen every year, and they never really got out of Satan’s prison.  We just got to walk around the prison yard some. (joke – not meant to represent anything in doctrine)”
  • “In the end, Satan still owned us.  The Bible says we were his slaves.”
  • “We needed a better solution.”
  • “This is why Jesus came to live as a man on the earth.”
  • “He had to become like one of us and live a life completely free of sin.”
  • “That way, He qualified to pay our debt, because when He died, He didn’t have any debt of His own.”
  • “He took our punishment of death.  He paid our debt for us.”
  • “And the incredible thing is, He came and died for us ‘while we were still sinning.’”
  • “Who does something like that?”
  • “Do you give your friend money when he hasn’t paid you back the money you already gave him?”
  • “Do you buy your enemy a gift while he is cursing your name?”
  • “Nobody does that but God!”
  • “God loves us soooooooooo much that He overlooks our sin, our pride, our selfishness, our betrayal, and He pays the prison warden to get us out of prison!”
  • “That is an awesome God!”  (Show Romans 10:9 slide and have volunteer read it out loud.)
  • “I told you that what Jesus did was a gift and that you don’t have to take it.”
  • “But if you want to take it, this is the way to do it: confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.”
  • “That’s how you accept the gift.  That’s how you walk out of Satan’s prison.”
  • “You see, when Jesus died for us, He broke the lock off of the prison door.”
  • “Unfortunately, many people are staying in prison, because (like I mentioned before) they either don’t know the lock is broken, or they don’t trust the One who broke it off for them.”
  • “All they have to do is accept the gift Jesus bought, and they can walk straight out of that prison cell, but many choose to stay.  It’s very sad.”
  • “One way of summarizing what you have to do to be saved from the punishment for sin is A-B-C.”
  • “A is for Accept the gift that Jesus bought for you.”
  • “B is for Believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.”
  • “C is for Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord!”  (Review A-B-C, Accept-Believe-Confess several times so that they remember it.  Then show the Romans 10:13 slide, and have a volunteer read is out loud.)
  • “This Scripture says that ‘Only God’s favorite people will be saved, right?’”  (They should respond with a loud, “NO!”)
  • “Only those who lead a good life will be saved?”  (Get them to respond with a loud, “NO!”)
  • “Only those who go to church every Sunday?”  (Allow responses.)
  • “Only those who give to the poor?”  (Allow responses.)
  • “Only those who help little, old ladies across the street?”  (Allow responses.)
  • “What does it say?  ‘EVERYONE who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!’”
  • “Halleluja!  That’s the best news you will ever hear in your life!”
  • “God doesn’t want to leave ANYONE behind!”
  • “EVERYONE who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!”
  • “You don’t have to be good looking or strong or smart or even good – God bought this gift for EVERYONE!  You just have to accept it!”
  • “On the cross, Jesus paid our entire debt!”
  • “Our bill is cancelled!”
  • “Satan has nothing against us!  He has no power to keep us in prison any longer!”
  • “That’s called the ‘Gospel!’  ‘Gospel’ means ‘good news,’ and this definitely qualifies!”
  • “That’s news so good you just HAVE to share it with somebody!”
  • “So I’m going to help you memorize this so that you can share it whenever God leads you to tell a friend or someone you meet.”  (Go through the next six slides slowly, allowing everyone to say the Scriptures out loud a few times before advancing to the next slide.  After the six slides that show the Scriptures, there are six slides with blank spaces where the Scripture or verse reference use to be.  See if anyone is brave enough to stand up and say it from memory.)
  • “Fantastic, but we need more practice, so I’ve made up some flash cards for each of you.”  (Hand out flash cards to each person.)
  • “I want you to find a partner and go through these flash cards to help each other memorize each step of the Roman Road.”
  • “You will notice that you have three sets of the six pictures.”
  • “One set shows the actual words of the Scripture.”
  • “One set shows just the chapter and verse reference, and the third set is blank – just the picture.”
  • “You can use whatever set you think you are ready to use.”
  • “If you don’t have anything memorized yet, use the one with the words.”
  • “If you kinda have the words, you might want to use the one with just the chapter and verse reference.”
  • “If you think you have it all memorized, use the blank flash cards.”
  • “Tell your partner which ones you want to use, and have him or her hold them up for you until you can say the Scripture.”
  • “Then trade, and you hold up the flash cards for your partner.”  (Ask for questions.  After you have answered them, have them start helping each other.  Allow ten minutes or so depending on time available.  Then give opportunities for individuals to come up front and recite all six Scriptures (if you count Romans 6:23a and b as two Scriptures).)

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Filed under Belief, Christianity, Evangelism, forgiveness, God's Plan, Great Commission, Jesus, memory, salvation, sanctification, Transformation, unconditional love, Witness