Category Archives: temptation

The Amazing Journey (GAME SERIES)


I’ve published a new series on the Lesson and Material Downloads page.  It’s called, “The Amazing Journey” (or AJ for short), and there are 20 object lessons.  Ten of the lessons focus on the story of Daniel and ten focus on the story of Esther.  They are non-competitive, but you can make them competitive if you like.

I’m writing them for a summer camp that I have in a few days.  Some of them need facilitator notes to help you set them up, but you should be able to figure most of them out.  I won’t have time to do the facilitator notes until after camp, but if you need them for a lesson, drop me a comment, and I’ll write them up for you for any of the lessons.

Blessings….Michael

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Filed under Belief, Christianity, courage, Daily walk, Daniel, Esther, faith, Fear, Game, Games that Teach, God's Will, Hands-on, Kindness, leadership, Obedience, Object Lesson, prayer, Relationships, Satan's tactics, struggles, temptation, test

Be Careful What You Say (GAME)


 

Time

30-35 minutes

 

Description

This game teaches that it is important to think before we speak.

 

Materials

·      Game Cards – available at the end of this lesson (there are enough cards for a group of six to play three, full rounds (with a few extras), so you may need to divide groups larger than six into smaller groups and give each the identical game cards)

·      Watch or clock with a second hand or a sixty-second timer for each group

·      Paper and something to write with in order to keep score for each team

·      Prizes for winners (optional)

 

Preparation

·      Print out and cut out the game cards

·      Make any additional game cards that you might want to include

·      Organize the cards into identical stacks (one for each group)

·      Pass out paper and writing instrument to each table or group

·      Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

·      “We’re going to play a game today to help us to remember that we need to be careful what we say.”

·      “The Bible has many verses that tell us to be careful about our words and what comes out of our mouth.  Let’s read a few.”  (Ask volunteers to read the following verses, or select some of your own:

o        Proverbs 10:14 (Speaking too much can get you into trouble.)

o        Proverbs 10:19 (Speaking too many words lead to sin.)

o        Proverbs 10:31 (A perverse tongue is cut out.)

o        Proverbs 11:9 (The godless do harm to others with their mouth.)

o        Proverbs 12:18 (Words can hurt those around us.)

o        Proverbs 18:6 (Foolish people invite trouble when they speak.)

o        Proverbs 18:7 (A fool sets a trap for himself by what he says.)

o        Proverbs 26:7 (A fool’s mouth is useless to him.)

·      “And that’s just a few of the verses about watching what we say!  Our mouths can get us into a lot of trouble!”

·      “So, here’s how the game is played.” (Separate participants into groups if you have more than six participants.)

·      “First, we need a volunteer in each group to keep score.  Can I get some volunteers?”  (Make sure every group has someone to keep score and have them create a score sheet with the names of all the group members across the top of the page and columns for recording points.  Also appoint a timekeeper for each group.  Each round should last no more than sixty seconds.)

·      “Okay, each group (if you have groups) will get a stack of cards.  Be sure to keep them face down so that you can’t see them.”  (Hand out cards.)

·      “Each group member will take a turn drawing a card from the deck and reading it.”

·      “The cards have a word or phrase at the top of the card and some words commonly related to that word or phrase under it.”

·      “Then, he or she must give clues to the group to try to get them to guess the word or phrase at the top of the card.”

·      “The trick is that he or she cannot use any of the words on the card – not the word or phrase at the top of the card and not the commonly related words under it.”

·      “Also, he or she cannot use any form of the words or any gestures or body language of any kind.”

·      “To hold that person accountable, they have to show their card to the person on their right, but they shouldn’t show it to anyone else.”

·      “If the person on their right hears them use any of the words on the card or sees them do a gesture or body movement that might give away the word or phrase, he or she should stop the round and indicate which word was used.”

·      “The person on the right then gets a point, and the scorekeeper for the group should mark one point under that person’s name.”

·      “If, however, the person whose turn it is successfully gets someone to guess the word or phrase, then both the person whose turn it is and the person who guessed the word or phrase get a point.”

·      “The person with the most points after everyone takes three turns will be the winner.”

·      “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions, and run a practice round if you think it will be helpful.  After that, begin the game, and allow each person in each group to have three turns.  Have someone at the table watch the time so that they can signal when time is up.  Then have the scorekeepers calculate the totals, and announce the winners.  Award prizes if you want, then have each group work through the debrief questions listed below.)

 

Debrief Questions

·       “How difficult was it for you to avoid using the words on the cards?”

·       “Do you struggle with any of the following temptations related to what we say?

o   Gossiping / Telling rumors

o   Lying

o   Making promises you can’t keep

o   Swearing

o   Taking the Lord’s name in vain

o   Nagging

o   Being critical of others

o   Discouraging others

o   Dominating conversations

o   Exaggerating

o   Blaming

o   Saying “yes” when you should really say “no”

o   Bragging

o   Being unkind

·       “What other temptations of the mouth can you think of?”

·       “What can you do to prevent giving in to these temptations in the future?”


 

Toothbrush

 

Teeth                  Paste               Mouth

 

Cavity                  Rot               Enamel

 

Tongue                Lips                  Chew

Hammer

 

Nail                       Hit                 Pound

 

Wood                   Tool                  Claw

 

Sledge                 Build              Thumb

Moses

 

Burning               Bush                Israel

 

Shepherd           Plague               Egypt

 

Prince               Pharaoh             Aaron

School

 

Learn                Teacher          Building

 

Education          Library               Book

 

Study              Homework              Test

Fishers of Men

 

Peter                 Andrew             James

 

Catch                  Jesus                  John

 

Net                 Evangelism        Heaven

Bible

 

Book                   Holy           Scripture

 

Quiet                Devotion             Word

 

Read                 Leather            Church

Parents

 

Adult                  People                 Kids

 

Father             Grown-up       Guardian

 

Mom                    Dad              Mother

Video Games

 

Nintendo            X-Box                  Play

 

TV                   Controller                Wii

 

Friends                Role                 Shoot

Pets

 

Dog                      Cat             Hamster

 

Cage                   Leash                  Fish

 

Animal                Bark                Meow

Cross

 

Jesus                    Die                      Sin

 

Golgotha           Roman            Crucify

 

Pay                     Christ               Carry

Toast

 

Bread                  Jelly                   Jam

 

Food                  Toaster             Butter

 

Honey                Spread                   Eat

Old Testament

 

New                     Bible                 Book

 

Word                Promise        Scripture

 

God                     Holy             Prophet

Sunday School

 

Teaching           Church                 Kids

 

Today                 Word           Children

 

Learn                  Bible           Scripture

Friends

 

Kids                  Children            Buddy

 

Play                    Close                    Pal

 

Together            School               Know

Sports

 

Soccer              Football         Baseball

 

Volleyball         Hockey      Basketball

 

Play                   Athlete         Compete

Helicopter

 

Fly                    Propeller             Rotor

 

Passenger             Air                 Wings

 

Bird                     Chop                     Up

Israel

 

Place               Jerusalem            Jacob

 

Middle               Name          Abraham

 

Jew                   Hebrew               Isaac

Fiery Furnace

 

Shadrack         Meshack      Abednego

 

Daniel                  Bow                Statue

 

Fire                     Jesus                Angel

David and Goliath

 

Stones                 Giant                 Fight

 

Child                    Boy           Shepherd

 

Kid                      Sling               Rocks

Map

 

Countries         Pictures               Draw

 

Legend            Compass     Directions

 

Cities                 Places              Ocean

 

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Filed under Christianity, Discipline, Game, Games that Teach, Guard your gates, Hands-on, mouth gate, Speaking, temptation, Tongue

The Race


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that the Bible compares our lives to a race. Our sin and our past often become like heavy clothing or baggage to us, but God wants us to throw these off and run freely.

Materials

  • Lots of heavy clothing – boots, shoes, coats, sweaters….
  • Several backpacks, pieces of luggage (preferably without rollers), and bags loaded with heavy stuff.
  • Lots of wadded balls of paper or soft balls
  • Candy that will tempt the kids. Candy bars will work better than small candy.
  • A few small prizes for the racers.  It’s best to have prizes for everyone for both races, since it’s not important who finishes first in the race of life.
  • (Optional) Whistle to start the race.
  • (Optional) Water guns and/or water balloons
  • (Optional) Tape or twine to mark the finish line

Preparation

· This can be an indoor or an outdoor activity. Outdoors is preferable, because you can let the kids really get into the lesson, but either will work.

· Find a good starting place and finish line for your race, and make sure they are well marked.

· Put all your heavy clothing in a box and set it to the side.

· Put all your bags and luggage off to the side.

· Wad up your paper balls, or fill your water guns / water balloons.

· Put the candy in your pockets, or conceal it in some other way.

· If you have other creative ideas for encumbering the runners, use them. The idea is to make the first part of the race a frustrating experience.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Let’s run a race today!”

· “Who is interested in competing for the prize?” (Take up to six volunteers, depending on your class size. You will need several kids to stay in the role of spectator.)

· “Okay, the race will be from here (designate starting point) to there (designate finish line).”

· “Everyone ready?”

· “Okay! On your mark, get set…….oh, hold on a minute. You guys aren’t ready yet.”

· “If we want to make this race more realistic, I’m going to need you guys to wear these.” (Set out the box with all the clothes, heavy shoes, etc., and start handing them out to the volunteers. They should all get dressed up.)

· “Okay, that’s more like it. On your mark, get set……hmmmm….something’s still not right.”

· “Oh, I know! You need some of this!” (Hand out backpacks, luggage, bags, other articles for them to drag.)

· “Yes, that’s it! Okay, on your mark, get set…..Wait! Wait!”

· “I completely forgot to prepare the spectators on the sidelines and in the stands!” (Hand out wadded paper, soft balls (or if you’re brave) water guns or water balloons.)

· (To the spectators in a low voice so that the runners don’t hear…) “You guys are going to throw (squirt) these things at the runners as they run.”

· “I also need you to try to get them to leave the race to come and get these from you.” (Secretly hand them the candy.)

· (Still to the spectators…) “You guys are also going to boo at them and tell them things like, ‘You’ll never be able to win! Why are you even trying? My grandmother runs faster than you!…’ – Okay, you guys ready?” (Check to make sure that they understand what they are supposed to do.)

· “Okay, is everyone ready? On your mark, get set……GO!” (Blow whistle if you have it. Despite all the obstacles you’ve set up, it’s likely that a competitive spirit will drive kids to finish the race anyway. But whether they do finish or not is not too important on the first race. Just modify your questions for the runners to match what happened.  Award prizes for anyone who finished.)

· (After they’ve run the race or given up…) “So, how did that feel?” (Listen to responses.)

· “Do you feel like you were able to run your best race?….Why or why not?” (Listen for responses.)

· “What would have made the race easier to run?” (Listen for responses.)

· In today’s lesson, the race represents our life as Christians.”

· We are the runners.  The starting line indicate the moment we accepted Christ.  The finish line is heaven.”

· The heavy clothes and baggage represent the burdens that we bring into the race – our sin, bad stuff that has happened in our past, our weaknesses, our misunderstandings about God…”

· The spectators represent the demons, who are watching God’s plan for your life play out as we run the race.”

· The things they throw are fears, worries and doubts.”

· The candy they try to tempt you with represents Satan’s armies doing whatever they can to distract you from your mission.”

· “You see, most of us are not equipped to run this race we call life.”

· “We bring so much junk with us to the starting line, and we have no idea how to deal with Satan’s attacks.”

· “But as odd as it may seem, we do our training while we round the track.”

· “If we carry our Bible with us and pray and try to learn as we run, these strategies will help us get rid of the junk, ignore the distractions and make us faster.”

· “So, we need to start our race every day with our Bible, and we need to quit listening to all the voices that want to discourage us.”

· “They aren’t the only ones watching us run, by the way.”

· “God and the angels are also there, and if we listen carefully, we can hear their cheers for us above the discouraging shouts of our enemy.” (Have a volunteer read Hebrews 12:1.)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

· “That ‘great cloud of witnesses’ refers to all the angels – the heavenly host – that are watching us and cheering for us and even helping us at times while we run our race of life.”

· “So, what do you say we run that race again?”

· “This time, I want you to throw off everything that hinders you or slows you down.”

· “And this time, spectators, I want you to represent the angels in heaven, and I want you to cheer on the runners and encourage them to run their best!”

· “Okay, runners….On your mark, get set……GO!” (Blow whistle if you have one.)

· (After the race… Award prizes to everyone, and then ask…) “So, how did that feel? Was it different?” (Listen for responses.)

· “That’s the way God wants us to feel when we are running the race of life.”

· “But in order to feel that free, we’ve got to throw off our sin, our fears, our worries, and our doubts. We’ve got to get to know God better and refuse to believe the lies of the Enemy.”

· “As you go through your life, I want you to remember this lesson.”

· “Every time you sin, I want you to think of it like it’s putting on heavy clothing or boots or picking up a heavy bag that you’ll have to carry or drag through your race of life.”

· “And when you ask God for forgiveness, I want you to think of it like it’s throwing off that heavy clothing or dropping that heavy bag.”

· “That’s the way God wants us to run our race!”

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Filed under Angels, Challenges, Christianity, Daily walk, demons, Fear, Focus, forgiveness, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, Spiritual Warfare, struggles, temptation

Character Jenga


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches how important it is to maintain godly character by using the popular Jenga ® game from Hasbro.

Materials

  • Jenga ® game (or a similar game that is played with a block tower)
  • Label maker or permanent marker

Preparation

  • Using the label maker or the permanent marker, label all the Jenga blocks with the following virtues, or choose some of your own. (It’s okay to use a virtue more than once; just mix up the identical virtues when you set up the block tower.) Bolded virtues are the “fruit of the Spirit” from Galatians 5:22 in case you want to just focus on these.


· Courage

· Dependability

· Fairness

· Faithfulness

· Friendliness

· Generosity

· Goodness

· Helpfulness

· Honesty

· Integrity

· Joy

· Kindness

· Love

· Loyalty

· Patience

· Peace

· Responsibility

· Self-control

· Selflessness


· Build the tower in the teaching area according to the instructions in the game. Each new level should have three blocks turned 90 degrees (perpendicular) to the level below it.

Procedure

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

  • “A person’s character is a very important thing.”
  • “Does anyone know what the word, ‘character,’ means?” (Listen for responses and add to the definition if necessary.)
  • “Character is your moral quality. It’s your virtue. A person’s character is reflected in the things that he/she does or does not do. If they do good things, we say he/she has good character. If they do bad things, we say he/she has bad character.”
  • “People with good character are honest, friendly, helpful, loyal, fair…and a lot of other good things. These are called virtues.”
  • “But good character is a hard thing to keep. You’ve really got to work to make sure your good character stays good.”
  • “Good character is like this Jenga ® tower.” (Point out tower.)
  • “It’s made up of lots of different virtues, all stacked together.” (Carefully remove one or two of the top blocks from the tower, and show the labels to the group. Then, return the block to the top of the tower.)
  • “If we take away one of these virtues, the tower will still be pretty sturdy.” (Allow one of the kids to carefully remove one of the blocks from the middle of the tower. Let the child read the label out loud.)
  • “We can even take away several of the virtues, and the tower will still stand.” (Allow several kids in turn to take out a block and read the label.)
  • “But if we keep losing virtues from our character tower, it won’t stand for long.” (Allow kids to keep playing in turn until the tower falls.)
  • “Our character only stays strong as we continue to honor God through virtuous actions.”
  • “The devil likes to poke holes in our tower one piece at a time.”
  • “First he tempts you to tell a lie or be mean to someone.”
  • “When you give into the temptation and sin, you lose a piece of your character tower. In this case the “Honesty” virtue or the “Kindness” virtue.”
  • “The devil will continue to poke holes in your character tower over and over until it crumbles.”
  • “So, keep your tower safe! Don’t fall for the devil’s temptations!”
  • “And if you do, tell God that you’re sorry right away. He will immediately forgive you and help you to start rebuilding the part of your tower that you lost.”

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Filed under Character, Christianity, Game, Hands-on, Kindness, Love, Obedience, Object Lesson, Satan's tactics, temptation

Feed Your Spirit


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that you need to take care of your spirit each day, just like you need to take care of your body. Some assembly is required.

Materials

  • Two fans that can pivot to blow towards the ceiling
  • 3-4 wind socks or plastic table cloth (Windbags from Steve Spangler Science also work great. You can order them online at www.stevespanglerscience.com.)
  • Packaging tape or duct tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Electric power strip or extension cord
  • A few sheets of paper

Preparation

· You are going to create two mini-air dancers (like what were used at the Olympics in Atlanta or commonly in front of retail establishments).

Wind Sock or Windbag

· If you are using a wind sock or a Windbag, cut the cylinder down so that it is no more than three feet tall.

· You will need to tape up the hole at one end and cut two slits about 2/3rd of the way along the windsock for the arms.

· Do this with two of the wind socks. These are your “body” pieces.

· With the remaining two wind socks, cut them each in half to make the arms.

· Tape one end of the “arms” so that air can’t escape.

· Tape the open end over one of the slits in the “body” piece.

· Use the permanent marker to draw a smiling face near the top of the “body” piece.

· Tape the open end of the “body” piece over one of the fans so that air will blow directly into the body.

· Label one air dancer, “Body,” and one, “Spirit.”

· Practice the script, and test your air dancers for leaks and proper inflation.

Table Cloth

· If you are using a table cloth, you will follow all the same instructions as above with a few exceptions.

· Cut out your air dancer – 3 feet long by 18 inches wide.

· Roll it into a cylinder (the 18-inch wide part) and tape up the seam.

· Follow all the other instructions.


Procedure

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

  • (Start with your air dancers on a table next to each other – with a little elbow room for their soon-to-be-inflated arms. The fans should be off (but plugged in!), and the dancers should be deflated. Invite two volunteers up to the table.)
  • “Hi, guys! I’m wondering if you can help me with an object lesson.”
  • “Do you see these two balloon-like bags taped to these fans?”
  • “Well they are actually balloon people, and they represent the two major parts of each one of us.” (Ask volunteers to each read out loud the label on the front of the air dancer in front of them – one is “Body” and the other is “Spirit.”)
  • “Right! This one represents our Body, and this one represents our Spirit.”
  • “Would you say that those are two pretty important parts of each one of us?”
  • “Me, too!”
  • “We’ve got a problem, though. Neither one of these guys is doing so good right now. They are really low on energy.”
  • (Turn to the volunteer in front of the “Body” air dancer.)
  • “What do you think the balloon person representing our Body needs in order to feel better?” (Take ideas, and fill in any that are missed.)
  • “Right! It needs food, rest and exercise to feel good.”
  • “If you don’t get enough food, how do you feel?” (Encourage response.)
  • “How about if you don’t get enough rest?” (Encourage response.)
  • “You feel kinda like this balloon, don’t you?”
  • “Well, let’s say that this fan underneath the balloon person represents those things – food, rest and exercise.”
  • “Could you turn that fan on for me?” (Allow volunteer to turn on fan. Air dancer should inflate.)
  • “Wow! That’s better! When our Body gets food, rest and exercise, it feels good. It has energy.”
  • “But what would happen if you stop feeding it or if you stopped getting enough rest or exercise?” (Encourage response. Then have volunteer turn off fan to demonstrate.)
  • “Exactly! Our Bodies start to feel bad, and they lose energy. If you go too long without these things, your Body gets sick, right?”
  • “You’ve got to give it more food, rest and exercise for it to feel good again.” (Have volunteer turn on fan.)
  • (Turn to the volunteer in front of the “Spirit” air dancer.)
  • “Now, how about our Spirit? It doesn’t need food or rest or exercise to feel good. What do you think it needs?” (Take ideas, and fill in any that are missed.)
  • “That’s right! It needs prayer, Scripture, worship, fellowship and other good spiritual disciplines.”
  • “How do you think our Spirit feels when it isn’t getting those things?” (Encourage response.)
  • “Right! It feels terrible – maybe like this balloon person.”
  • “How do you think it feels when it does get prayer and Scripture and worship and fellowship?” (Encourage response. Then have volunteer turn on fan to demonstrate.)
  • “When it gets those things, it feels really good!”
  • “But I’m a little confused. I know when my body needs food or rest (and sometimes exercise), because it tells me.”
  • (Turn to the volunteer in front of the “Body” air dancer.)
  • “How would you say our body tells us what it needs?” (Encourage responses like “hunger pains,” “yawning” or “sleepiness.”)
  • “But how do I know when my Spirit needs prayer and Scripture and worship and fellowship? Does it tell me somehow?” (Encourage responses, but you will probably have to help with this one.)
  • “This one is tougher, because we aren’t as used to paying attention to our Spirit as we are to paying attention to our Body, but here’s what I think.”
  • “When our Spirit is feeling weak, we can tell because sometimes:
    • We are tempted by more bad things.
    • It is harder to say “no” to temptation.
    • We feel bad about ourselves.
    • We want to hide from God.
    • We worry a lot and are afraid.
    • We aren’t very nice to other people.”
  • “Have any of you ever felt like any of these examples?” ?” (Encourage responses from the entire class.)
  • “If you’re like me, sometimes you let days go by without praying or reading Gods’ Word.” (Have volunteer turn fan off.)
  • “I can go for a little while on the prayer and Bible reading that I did last week, but eventually, my Spirit starts to sag.”
  • “Then maybe I miss a week of going to church or do some things I know that I shouldn’t have done.”
  • “Before long, my Spirit gets sick, and it becomes harder and harder for me to say “no” to the things that I am tempted to do.”
  • “I’ve known people whose Spirits were really sick, because they never fed them.”
  • “They knew that something was wrong in their life, but they tried to fix it by feeding their Spirit the wrong things – like money or expensive things or too much entertainment or sometimes even drugs and alcohol.”
  • “But none of those things helps your Spirit to feel better.”
  • (Turn to the volunteer in front of the “Spirit” air dancer.)
  • “Remind me again. What does our Spirit need to stay healthy?” (Encourage responses. Then have the volunteer turn on the fan.)
  • “Exactly! We need prayer, Scripture, worship, fellowship and other good spiritual disciplines.”
  • “If we’re going to do good things for God, we need a healthy Spirit like this one.” (Pointing to air dancer.)
  • “So, let’s all try to feed our Spirit the things it wants before it even has to ask us for them!” (Thank and dismiss volunteers.)

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Filed under Christianity, Coping skills, Fear, Object Lesson, spiritual disciplines, temptation, Worry

Guard Your Gates! (OBJ LESSON)


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the need to protect our hearts and minds from the evil things that might get in them.

Materials

  • Small box
  • Heart-shaped object
  • A handful of candy or a few candy bars

Preparation

·You might need a confederate when you try to tempt the “gate-keepers” to let you into the city.Talk to one of the older children ahead of time, and let them know you want them to let you in the gate after you’ve tempted them some – maybe when you offer the candy.Ask the child to keep this a secret.

·Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “I am going to tell you a story from the book of Nehemiah.”
  • “In the time of Nehemiah, there was a temple in Jerusalem, but there were no walls around the city.”(Ask for a few children to volunteer to come be your temple.Have them stand together and hold the small box in the center.)
  • “This box represents the Ark of the Covenant.”
  • “The Ark was the most important thing in all of Israel.It represented where God came to meet with His people.”
  • “Now, without walls around the city, the temple was unprotected.”
  • “At any time, the enemy could just walk in and steal the Ark of the Covenant, because there was nothing to keep the enemy out.”(Pretend to be the enemy, and show how easy it is for you to come in and steal the Ark.)
  • “Now, the Ark of the Covenant is gone today.No one knows for sure what happened to it.”
  • “I think that’s because we don’t need it anymore.You see, God replaced the building that was called “The Temple,” with our hearts.He now meets with us in our hearts instead of in a building.”
  • “The Bible says that God removed our ‘heart of stone and gave (us) a heart of flesh.’” (Ezekiel 11:19 – Replace the box with the heart-shaped container.)
  • “And our enemy is Satan.He wants to steal our hearts so that God can’t use us for His purposes.”
  • “So, the temple is like our heart today.What did Nehemiah need to protect the temple?”(Walls)
  • “Right!And Nehemiah was smart.He put together a team of people, and they began building those walls.”
  • “But if Nehemiah needs physical walls to protect the temple, what do you think we need to protect our hearts?”(Spiritual walls)
  • “Exactly!We need spiritual walls!Well, just like you build physical walls stone by stone, you build spiritual walls piece by piece when you do good things for God.”
  • “Can anyone give me an example of a ‘stone’ you might put in your spiritual wall?”(Look for examples of spiritual disciplines and good works for God.As kids mention them, have them come up to be part of the wall around the temple.Examples include: Bible study, giving, helping others, prayer, meditating on God’s word, solitude, going to church, worship…Keep taking examples until you have a complete wall around the temple.)
  • “There!We have our spiritual wall to protect us from Satan’s attacks.If we didn’t have our spiritual walls up, Satan could come right in and steal our hearts.”
  • “Walls are good to have, but we are missing something.We also need gates!”
  • “Without gates in the wall of Jerusalem, the good stuff, like food and supplies couldn’t come into the city.”
  • “In the same way, without gates in our spiritual walls, there is no way to let in good things like God’s Word.”
  • “So, we need gates – can anyone think of what our gates might be?Where does the good stuff come into our minds and hearts?” (Ears, eyes, mouth)
  • “I’m going to make these people our gates keepers.”(Pick two or three pairs of children and have them hold hands to designate that they are the gates.Make sure you include your confederate if you are using one.)
  • “Having gates is good, because they let the good stuff in, but they can also let in bad stuff.Your gates are the weakest part of your spiritual wall, and Satan will try really hard to get in through them.”
  • “Can anyone give me some examples of things Satan might try to get past your ear gates, your eye gates or your mouth gate?”(Take examples, and if needed, supply the following:

omusic with bad lyrics

obad scenes in movies

oprofanity

opictures in magazines

ogossip

orumors

othings you might feel jealous about

omean words

othings that might make you feel bad about yourself

odrugs or alcohol (because they make you do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do – like open your ear gates and eye gates to really bad stuff)

oother peoples’ personal things that are not to be shared (like a diary)

oviolent scenes)

  • “Wow!Satan has thought of a lot of stuff to try to get in through our ear gates, eye gates and mouth gate.”
  • “Let me show you how he works.”(Go to one of your gate-keeper pairs and try to tempt them to open the gate to let you in.)
  • “Hey, guys!How are you today?Say, I would really like to get into that gate.Would you mind opening it for me?”(Assuming they say, “no,” try some of these temptations.)

o“Aw, c’mon, do it for your friend!We’re friends right?You don’t want to be uncool do you?”

o“Wait until everyone hears what a loser you are!”

o“What if I offered you this candy?Would you open it for me then?”

o“You would be my best friend ever!”

o“Those guys over there let me in all the time.”

o“If you let me in, I’ll give you something really cool!”

o(Add other temptations that you think might work.If no one succumbs to the temptations, use your confederate to get into the city.)

  • “HA!I knew I could get in!Now that I’m in here, I think I’m going to set up camp.”
  • “When Satan gets into your heart and sets up camp, the Bible calls it a stronghold.A stronghold is the place in your heart that Satan holds, and it’s where he attacks you from.”
  • “There is a story in the last chapter of Nehemiah in the Bible that tells about when one of Nehemiah’s enemies came to live inside the temple!”
  • “Nehemiah had left the country for some time, and while he was gone, some of the people who were friends with Nehemiah’s enemies let a man named Tobiah move in!”
  • “That’s like letting Satan live in your heart!Who wants that?”
  • “The good news is that Nehemiah was a man of God.When he found out that Tobiah had moved into the temple, he kicked him out of the temple and out of the city.Then, he bleached the place and filled it up with temple furniture and offerings.”(Nehemiah 13:4-9)
  • “So if Satan gets past our gates with his junk, what do you think we ought to do?”(Throw him out just like Nehemiah did!)
  • “That’s right!Kick him out of your heart and mind!Then close those gates, and don’t let him in again, because if you keep letting him in, he’s not just going to want to live in your heart – he’s going to want to steal it for himself!”(Demonstrate stealing the heart-shaped container from the temple.If, as often happens when I conduct this object lesson, you are mauled by the children, it’s best to give up the heart before you incite a riot.)
  • “So, how many of you are going to be careful to build your walls and guard your gates from now on?”

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Filed under Christianity, Coping skills, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Warfare, temptation