This object lesson teaches that it isn’t enough to be Christians in this world. We need to have “saltiness” so that we help to make life better, heal those who are hurting and save those who are lost. It uses a science experiment in which you can make an egg float by adding salt to water.
- Raw eggs (2)
- Salt (a small bag)
- Water (enough to fill two jars three-quarters full)
- Food coloring (a darker color)
- Vegetable oil (optional)
- 2 clear jars (bigger is better for visibility, but smaller requires less salt)
- Large spoon (1)
- Set out your materials on a table at the front of the room.
- Find the Bible passage, and highlight it or put a bookmark in that spot so that it will be easy to find later.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “We are going to do an experiment with an egg, some salt, water, and food coloring.” (Ask for two volunteers.)
- “I need each of you to fill the jar in front of you three-fourths full with water.” (Help the volunteers if needed.)
- “Now, add some food coloring to each jar, and stir until the water changes color.” (Assist if needed.)
- “Here are two normal eggs. They haven’t been boiled or changed in any way. They are straight from the chickens!” (Hold up the eggs, and let your volunteers hold them so that they can affirm that they are normal.)
- “If I put an egg into the water, will it float or sink?” (Acknowledge responses. Then, let one volunteer carefully place the egg in the water. It will sink.)
- “The water in the jar represents the world (not earth but the sinful world that is not part of God’s Kingdom).”
- “The egg represents God’s children, whom He has called to be part of his Kingdom.”
- “The world can be a dark place, and even a Christian can get lost in it if they act just like the world acts.”
- “The problem with this egg is that it sunk down into the world.”
- “God doesn’t bring us to Him for us to just get lost in the world. He has a bigger plan in mind.”
- “The Bible says we are to be the salt of the earth.” (Hold up the salt, and ask a volunteer to read Matthew 5:13.)
- “Salt does several things. It adds flavor to food. It can heal wounds. It can preserve meat.”
- “God wants us to be like salt to the world.”
- “He wants us to add flavor to life, which means that we should make life interesting and worth living for those around us.”
- “He wants us to heal those who are hurting.”
- “And God wants us to preserve – which means to save. He wants us to help people know about Jesus so that they can be saved.” (Ask your second volunteer to use a spoon to remove the egg from the jar. Then, have him or her pour several cups of salt into the water in his/her jar.)
- “To be any good to the world, we have to mix in with it.”
- “We won’t add flavor or heal or save if our saltiness stays in the bag.”
- “We’ve got to mix with the world so that all the people can experience our saltiness.” (Have volunteer thoroughly stir the salt and the water together.)
- “When we are salty Christians, something interesting happens to us.” (Have volunteer carefully place the egg back in the water. If there is enough salt mixed with the water, the egg will float about half in-half out of the water.)
- “The Bible teaches a principle that we are to be “in” the world but not “of” the world.”
- “This means that God left us in the world after we were saved even though this is not our home or our kingdom.”
- “He left us here so that we could bring more people to His Kingdom, and we do that not by sinking into the world and acting like it does but by being salty Christians, who add flavor, heal and save.”
- “When we are salty Christians, God will lift us up so that others notice our saltiness and will want to know about our God, who made us that way.” (Ask volunteer to read Matthew 5:13 again.)
- “The last part of Matthew 5:13 says that if we lose our saltiness, we aren’t good for anything and might as well just be thrown out.”
- “Like the egg without the salt, we will sink down into the world, and no one will even know that a child of God is there.”
- “But if we are salty, God will lift us up and make sure that people notice.”
For dramatic effect, you can also add vegetable oil. It won’t mix with the water, and it gives the egg the look of being suspended between the two levels (heaven and earth). You can point out that when we accept Christ into our lives, we are anointed (set apart for God’s purposes). In Biblical times, anointings were done with oil.
This object lesson teaches that we have no light of our own but that we are called to reflect God’s light to the world. It uses the story of Moses’ glowing face when he came down from Mount Sinai after meeting with God to make the point that the more time we spend with God, the more we will reflect His glory.
- Exodus 34:29-35
- Matthew 5:14-16
- John 8:12
- 2 Corinthians 3:18
- Small mirrors or other reflective surfaces (at least 5-6, but you may want more if you want the entire audience to participate)
- A bright light source and power to make it work (a large flashlight or lamp would work)
- A barrier behind which you will hide the light source (It should hide the light source from the audience.)
- Something (or someone) that can hold the light source steady and point it toward the front of the room.
- Anything you need to darken the room (You will need to block light coming from windows, doors and artificial light sources.)
- Set up the barrier near the front of the room but off to the side. It should allow the light source to show toward the front of the room but be concealed to all other parts of the room.
- Set up the light source and angle the light so that it points toward the front of the room. Turn the light on before you begin your lesson.
- Block light coming from any other light source (but leave the lights on until the appropriate time to turn them off in your lesson).
- Ask someone to turn off the lights for you when you give the signal.
- Set the mirrors or reflective surfaces near the front of the room where you can access them easily.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “One of the most important things we can do as Christians is to give glory to God.”
- “In the book of Exodus (2nd book of the Bible in the OT), it tells the story of Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets that had the ‘Ten Commandments’ on them.” (Have someone read Exodus 34:29-35.)
- “Because Moses had been spending so much time with God up on the mountain, when he came down, his face glowed with the glory of the Lord!”
- “It was so bright that the Israelites were afraid of Moses at first, and he had to put a veil over his face when he talked to them.”
- “Paul talks about this story in 2 Corinthians 3:18 (have someone read the Scripture), but he says we should act differently than Moses.”
- “We shouldn’t put a veil over God’s glory; we should let it reflect off of us as brightly as possible.”
- “In fact, he says that as we are being transformed to look more and more like Jesus, we will reflect more and more of God’s glory.”
- “It’s important to remember, though, that this glory isn’t from us.”
- “We don’t have any light of our own.”
- “All our light is reflected light from God.”
- “We should be like this mirror.” (Hold up a mirror to show the audience.)
- “How much light does the mirror emit by itself?” (Acknowledge responses, and lead them to the correct answer if they get it wrong.)
- “The truth is that the mirror cannot create light; it can only reflect light.”
- “Let me show you what I mean.” (Have your volunteer turn off the lights. Be careful not to angle your mirror toward your hidden light source. You don’t want it to reflect any light yet.)
- “What happened?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “When the lights went out, you couldn’t really see the mirror anymore.”
- “Why is that?” (Acknowledge responses, and guide them toward the right answer – it doesn’t emit any light of its own.)
- “The mirror only reflects – it doesn’t create light.”
- “But who has noticed that there is a light source somewhere in the room?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “Right! There is a light coming from over there!”
- “Now, none of you can actually see the light source, but you can see the evidence of the light source.”
- “What I mean is that you don’t know what is actually making the light, but you can see what it does – it makes things brighter and better.”
- “God is like that for most of the people in the world.”
- “We can’t see Him, but we can see what He does – He makes things brighter and better.”
- “He pushes back darkness and shines His glory in the world.”
- “Most people don’t know what the Light Source of the world is, but Christians do!”
- “If you are a Christian, you know where the light in the world comes from; it comes from Jesus.”
- “In John 8:12, Jesus tells us, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
- “That’s pretty cool – we’ll have the light of life and won’t walk in darkness.” (Angle your mirror so that it catches the light, but point the light away from the audience.)
- “But we aren’t supposed to just keep the light for ourselves.”
- “Jesus was the light in the world while He was here on earth, but now He has gone back to heaven, and no one can see Him.”
- “That’s why he tells His followers in Matthew 5:14, ‘You are the light of the world.’” (Have someone read Matthew 5:14-16.)
- “He tells them, ‘Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.’”
- “We can’t keep this light to ourselves – we have to let it shine!” (Angle your mirror so that the light falls on someone in the audience.)
- “Here’s what’s great! When you let the light of Jesus shine on someone, there’s a good chance that they will want see that light for themselves.” (Invite the person you shined the light on to come to the front of the room. Give him or her a mirror, and show him or her how to catch the light and angle it toward someone else in the audience.)
- “If they do, then they will start to reflect the light of Jesus in the world, and the person they shine it on might want to see the Light Source for himself/herself.” (Invite the person your volunteer shined the light on to come get a mirror and repeat the process. You can do this as many times as you would like to multiply the number of people shining the light of Jesus.)
- “How cool is this!”
- “By shining the light of Jesus out into the world, we help people recognize how much God loves them.”
- “When people know how much God loves them, they usually will want to see the Light Source for themselves.”
- “But we can’t keep the light to ourselves.” (Have all the mirror-holders angle their mirrors away from the audience.)
- “That would be selfish and disobedient to what God has asked us to do, and no one would know how much God loves them.” (Have them angle their mirrors back toward the audience and move them around so that the light dances around the room.)
- “Jesus tells us how we can reflect His light.”
- “He says in Matthew 14-16 that when we do good deeds because of our love of God, His light will reflect off of us, and people will praise God.”
- “So we’ve got to find ways to do good things for people who don’t know God.”
- “Right now, I want you to quickly think of one good thing you could do for someone (especially someone who doesn’t know God).”
- “Tell the person next to you what you thought of.” (Allow a few moments for them to share their idea.)
- “Who will actually go and do what you thought of?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “Excellent! That is how we can reflect God’s glory in the world!!” (Thank your volunteers, and let them return to their seats as you have your volunteer turn the lights back on.)
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