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.
- Matthew 16:13-18
- John 1:42
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
- 1 Peter 2:9-10
- 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.)
- 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.
- “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.)
When I trust in Jesus
He changes my WHO.
Now I try every day
To improve what I DO.
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.
- Genesis 37-50
- Isaiah 64:5-6
- Isaiah 61:10
- 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
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.)
Filed under acceptance, Agape Love, Belief, Character, Christianity, Eternity, faith, Jesus, Joseph, Object Lesson, Performance, salvation, sanctification, Transformation
For summer camp this year, I’ve written ten Challenges (Bible activities for small groups and a leader to do together – sometimes in competition with other groups) and some large group lessons on the story of Joseph. They are all located on the Lesson and Material Downloads page (see the link at the top of the screen), and you can find them alphabetically in the list. They all start with the letters “JJ” for “Joseph’s Journey.”
Hope you can find some lessons that will be useful for you!
Filed under Abraham, Abundance, acceptance, activity, Agape Love, Annointing, Belief, Bible study, blessing, Challenges, Change, Character, Christianity, Comfort Zone, Coping skills, courage, Discipline, distractions, drama, exercise, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Future, Game, Games that Teach, God's dream, God's favor, God's Plan, God's Will, Hands-on, Healing, heart, Hope, Humility, Jesus, Joseph, Kindness, leadership, Lesson, Listening to God, Love, Obedience, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, Pride, purity, Relationships, Repentance, Salt of the earth, sanctification, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Health, Spiritual Warfare, Strengths, struggles, team, temptation, territory, test, tool, Transformation, Trust, unconditional love, Waiting on the Lord
This object lesson teaches about how difficult it can be for us to stay focused on following Jesus.
- A toy rocket or spaceship (or if you don’t have anything like that, improvise with a cardboard tube or just about anything else – the kids won’t mind)
- One large ball (preferably yellow or orange)
- Several smaller balls of varying sizes
- Permanent marker
- Index cards (one for each ball)
- Write the following words on different index cards, “SON,” “WORLD,” “Jealousy,” “Bitterness,” “Selfishness,” “Unkindness,” “Worry,” “Doubt,” “Foolishness,” “Pride,” “Fear,” “Greed,” “Ignorance,” or any others that you want to use. The only ones that are required are the “SON” card and the “WORLD” card.
- Tape these cards onto different balls. The “SON” card should be taped to the largest ball.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Do any of you ever have trouble staying focused on following God?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “Me, too! It’s so hard to always do what is right and stay on the path toward Him.”
- “We are kind of like a rocket ship heading toward the sun (but actually, we are headed to the S-O-N, because we won’t burn up when we reach Him!)” (Ask for enough volunteers to hold all the props you’ve brought – one for the rocket ship and one for each ball. Put the person holding the “SON” ball at one end of the room, and place the person with the “WORLD” ball and the person with the rocket ship at the other end of the room. Space those with the balls along either side of the path between the large ball and the rocket ship.)
- “Before we know Jesus, we are stuck in the WORLD’s orbit.” (Guide the person with the rocket ship by the shoulders to make several orbits around the person with the “WORLD” ball.”
- “But then, we catch a glimpse of the SON and decide we want to follow Him.”
- “We break free from the WORLD’s orbit and start heading toward the SON.” (Guide the person with the rocket ship slowly toward the SON, but as soon as you get to the first person with a ball on the path, break off and orbit around that person.”
- “Unfortunately, on the way to the SON, we get distracted by ________ (name whatever is printed on the card on the ball), and we go into orbit around it for a while.” (Keep going around this person.)
- “The more times we go around _____________ (say what is on the ball again), the more we hate it, but it is soooooooo hard to break free from its gravitational pull!” (Keep going around this person.)
- “We keep seeing the SON every time we pass around __________________ (say the name of the ball), and eventually, His power pulls us free of the orbit of the dead planet we have been circling.” (Break free and start back toward the SON.)
- “Not everything is a temptation for us, so we will be able to pass some of these dead planets without any problem, but our Enemy, Satan, is not going to give us up without a fight.
- “He will put a very tempting planet in our path, and sure enough, we will get distracted looking at it and get sucked into its gravitational pull!” (Guide the person with rocket to begin orbiting this new dead planet.)
- “Even though the planet looked tempting from a distance, when we get close to it, we find that it is empty and lifeless. It doesn’t satisfy.”
- “The SON won’t let us forget Him. We will see Him on every orbit, and eventually, He will pull us free from that dead planet and set us back on the path toward Him.” (Guide the person with the rocket to break away and head toward the Son.)
- “This keeps happening over and over and over again. It’s very frustrating!” (Guide the person with the rocket to get sucked into one orbit and then break away and then get sucked into another orbit and so on….)
- “But there is good news! The closer we get to the SON, the easier it gets to break free from these temptations.”
- “We get stronger and stronger in our faith and our ability to resist temptation, and we stay longer and longer on the path toward the SON.”
- “We just need to keep striving to reach the SON. Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
- “Paul was saying that he doesn’t look back at what’s behind him; he just keeps straining toward what is ahead of him.”
- “He keeps his ship pointed toward the SON, and when he gets off-course, he gets back on-course as soon as possible to follow the SON.”
- “One day, it will be time, and the SON will bring us the rest of the way to Him when we join Him in heaven (or when He comes back to join us on earth). (Guide the person with the rocket ship to the SON and have him orbit the SON several times before ending the lesson.)
Filed under Challenges, Daily walk, God's Will, Jesus, Obedience, Object Lesson, Pride, Repentance, sanctification, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Growth, temptation
This object lesson teaches that you need to stay connected to Jesus in order to have the power to live a godly life and produce the fruit of the Spirit.
- John 7:37-39, 15:1-5
- Galatians 5:22
- Garden hose (long enough to reach your teaching area from the water spigot
- Short garden hose (a hose reel leader hose works well)
- Two quick connect adapters for the hose – need to have an automatic stopper so that the water doesn’t continue to flow after you disconnect it
- Water nozzle (as small as you can find so that you can use it to fill water balloons)
- Water supply that you can hook the hose to
- Nine large balloons (purple is the best color for the lesson if you can find it – you may want to have extra balloons in case any pop or have a leak)
- Posterboard – one sheet of any light color or white
- Permanent marker to label nine, small signs with the name of the nine fruits of the Spirit
- Lanyard or twine
- Clear, plastic tub to hold the balloons as they fill with water
- Thin piece of plywood or piece of plastic or metal (4 ft long) with nine 3/4 in holes drilled in it about 5 inches apart and 5 inches from the end of either side of the board. (You can often find a piece of metal that has pre-drilled holes in it that will work just fine near the shelving part of your local hardware store.)
- Drill and ¾ inch drillbit (if you need to make the board mentioned above)
- Nine, large washers with a ½ inch hold in the center (the washers must be big enough that they won’t fall out of the balloon once you put them in the opening)
- (SEE DIAGRAMS AT END OF LESSON)
- Connect the hose to the water spigot.
- Connect the quick connect adapter (the one with the automatic stopper) to the end of the hose, and turn on the water. Use a steady stream of water but not full force – maybe about 1/4-1/2 turn.
- Connect the short hose to the quick connect adapter at the end of the longer hose.
- Connect the other quick connect adapter to the end of the short hose, and screw on the water nozzle.
- Run the hose segments and the nozzle into the teaching area.
- Make a large sign that says, “DISOBEDIENCE,” and put it on the lanyard/twine so that someone can wear it around their neck.
- Ask a volunteer to be your “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer and to be ready when you call them. Give him/her the sign to wear when the time is right.
- Put a washer in the opening of each balloon.
- Push each balloon through one of the nine holes in your board. The opening of the balloon and the washer should be on top of the hole with the rest of the balloon below the board.
- Put the board with the balloons across the clear, plastic tub so that the balloons hang down into the tub.
- Cut out nine, small rectangles from the posterboard (each about 4 in long and 2 in tall).
- Write the nine fruits of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control) on these.
- Tape the signs to the bottom of the tub on the outside, facing the audience. Each sign should be in front of a different balloon.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “I’m going to show you why it is so important for you to stay close to God.”
- “The night before Jesus was crucified, he said something very important to his closest disciples.” (Have volunteer read John 15:1-5.)
- “Jesus was making a comparison between His relationship with His disciples and a grapevine.”
- “Jesus said that He is the grapevine. That’s the thickest part of the plant that is rooted to the ground.”
- “He said that the disciples are branches and that the branches hold the fruit.”
- “We know from Galatians 5:22 that the fruit that Jesus is talking about is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (If the kids are not familiar with the fruit of the Spirit, you might want to take a moment to describe each one for them.)
- “And He says that if we (as the branches) don’t stay connect to Him (the vine), we won’t have any of this fruit.”
- “But….if we stay connected to Jesus, we will have LOTS of fruit.” (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front, and allow him/her to help you in the following demonstration.)
- “I don’t have a grapevine here today, and even if I did, we don’t have an entire season to watch the grapes grow on the vine.”
- “So, instead of using a real grapevine, I’m going to use this hose, this nozzle and these balloons to demonstrate what Jesus is talking about.” (Ask volunteer to hold the nozzle at the end of the hose.)
- “Imagine that this hose represents Jesus as the vine.”
- “Through Him comes a steady flow of living water, which the Bible tells us is the Holy Spirit according to John 7:39.” (Turn on the nozzle (if it isn’t already) and have the volunteer point it into the tub. Have another volunteer read John 7:37-39.)
- “This nozzle represents us as the branches, and these nine balloons represent the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. They are like the grapes on the vine.”
- “Now, the goal is to produce fruit and lots of it.”
- “We produce fruit by filling the balloons with the water. This is like the Holy Spirit flowing through us (the nozzle) to do the good works that the fruit represents.” (Allow your volunteer to begin to fill one of the balloons. Turn off the nozzle when the balloon is full enough that the water doesn’t come shooting back out the top – over half-way.)
- “But by itself, this nozzle is pretty useless. It has no water of its own to share.”
- “We can’t connect just the nozzle to a balloon and fill it.” (Disconnect the nozzle from the hose and give it to the volunteer. Ask them to try to fill the balloons with just the nozzle.)
- “That’s what it’s like if we try to do God’s work without God.”
- “There is just no power in it.”
- “So we have to stay connected to the hose if we want to have the power to do the work that God has given us to do.” (Reconnect the nozzle, and let the volunteer continue filling the first balloon. When it gets about full, start filling up another balloon.)
- “What does it mean to be connected to the hose? In other words, how can we stay connected to Jesus so that His Spirit flows through us and produces fruit?”
- “There are two things we need to do in order to stay connected to the hose/to Jesus.”
- “We need to spend time with God, and we need to obey God.”
- “If we do these two things, we will stay connected to Jesus, and His power will flow through us and produce lots of fruit.” (Allow volunteer to keep filling balloons slowly. Don’t allow them to fill all the balloons before you finish the next part.)
- “How can we spend time with God?” (Listen to answers. You are looking for things like, “Go to church, worship, praise, pray, read your Bible…”)
- “Excellent! During those times, God will tell us what He wants us to do in our lives.”
- “But spending time with Him is not enough. We have to also do what He says.”
- “Sometimes, we know what God wants us to do, but we don’t want to do it.”
- “That’s called ‘DISOBEDIENCE’ (bring your “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer forward), and it’s disconnecting the hose so that the living water won’t pass through.” (Have “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer disconnect the hose so that the water stops.)
- “Disobedience stops the flow of the living water coming through your nozzle.”
- “Another word for ‘disobedience’ is ‘sin.’”
- “Sin stops the flow of God’s power, which He sends through His Holy Spirit, through you.”
- “But it’s easy to get the living water flowing again. What do you think you have to do?” (Listen to responses. You are looking for someone to say, “obey.”)
- “That’s right! Obey, and living water flows through you again to create more fruit.” (Have “DISOBEDIENCE” volunteer reconnect hose, and allow volunteer to fill in the rest of the balloons. Then dismiss the volunteer.)
- “So what are the two things we need to do to stay connected to God?” (Listen for the answers, “spend time with Him” and “obey Him.”)
- “Fantastic! Let’s all go and produce lots of fruit!”
Filed under Annointing, Daily walk, Fruit of the Spirit, Hands-on, Listening to God, Obedience, Object Lesson, sanctification, spiritual disciplines, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Health, Transformation
This object lesson teaches that spending time with God can have a contagious impact on everyone around us.
- One large jar of gold glitter
- A drop cloth or piece of fabric (about 4 feet long and 3 feet wide)
- Open the Bible up to the passage in Exodus, and sprinkle some gold glitter onto the page.
- Open up the drop cloth or sheet, and sprinkle a large amount of glitter all around.
- Carefully conceal the drop cloth / sheet or fold it up and put it aside.
- Arrange for two helpers to come and help you open the sheet when you give the cue.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Here’s what happens when we spend time with God.” (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front.)
- “When you read your Bible or spend time in prayer or worship, a little bit of God rubs off on you.” (Have the volunteer read Exodus 34:28-29 out loud. It’s okay if he/she has to move some of the glitter out of the way in order to read the passage.)
- “Moses spent 40 days on the top of a mountain in the presence of God, and when he came back down, his face glowed with the glory of God.”
- “When you spend time with God, your face may not actually glow, but God’s glory still shines through you.” (Have volunteer put his/her fingertips into the gold glitter and then touch his/her face.)
- “Then, as you go out and live your life, everyone you come in contact with gets a little bit of contact with the glory of God.” (Have the volunteer go into the audience and shake hands with a few people and then return.)
- Now, if you spend time with God every day, a lot of His glory is going to rub off on you.” (Have volunteer put his/her entire hands into the glitter and then touch his/her face.)
- “Now when you go out and live your life, you’re going to really bless people with the glory of God. Their lives will be better, because they had contact with you after you had spent time with God.” (Have volunteer go out and shake hands with different people this time and then return.)
- “But what if, like Moses, you spent a lot of time praising and worshipping God, praying to Him and reading His Word?”
- “What would that look like?”
- “I think it would look a little like this.” (Have the two helpers you selected before your lesson come and lay out the drop cloth or sheet with glitter on it. Then, have your volunteer lay down on it and roll around a few times. When they are pretty well covered in glitter, have them go around hugging people.)
- “The more time we spend with God each day, the more we will be able to share His glory with those we come in contact with.”
- “As Christians, we should always leave people, places and things better than they were when we found them.”
Filed under Annointing, Bible study, blessing, Christianity, Daily walk, Great Commission, light, Light of the world, Love, Moses, Object Lesson, prayer, Relationships, sanctification, Shekinah Glory, spiritual disciplines, Testimony, Transformation, Veil, Witness