Tag Archives: difficulties

God Is There When It’s More Than We Can Bear (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes

Description

This Challenge teaches that God will help us get through difficult times and temptations.  He never leaves us alone when we suffer.  The lesson is made by sticking wooden skewers through balloons without popping them.

Scriptures

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13

 

Materials

  • Large balloons – 2-3 per person
  • Wooden skewers – 2-3 per person
  • Vegetable oil – 1 small container per group
  • Duct tape – 1 roll per group

 

Preparation

  • Practice doing the exercise.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to do an object lesson today to learn how God helps us during difficult times.”
  • “Bad stuff even happens to Christians, but God will never leave you alone when you suffer.”
  • “I know that because 1 Corinthians 10:13 in the Bible says, ‘No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.’” (The Message)
  • “Let’s demonstrate this.”
  • “Okay, let’s say that you are one of the balloons in our kit.”
  • “Let’s blow it up, and tie it off.” (Help participants if they have trouble with this.  Don’t blow the balloons up fully.  You want there to be some thickness of the rubber at the nipple and at the place where you tied off the balloon.)
  • “Now, let’s say that one of those skewers is a bad thing or a temptation that’s about to happen to you.”
  • “What would happen if you put the skewer (the bad thing or temptation) through the balloon (the you)?” (Listen to responses.)
  • “Right! It’s going to pop us!”
  • “But I know a way that we can keep ourselves from being popped by these bad things and temptations.”
  • “When you face something bad, you need the covering of the Holy Spirit.”
  • “That’s God’s covering over your life, and it will protect you during bad times.”
  • “In the Bible, oil often represents the anointing of God. Let’s anoint this skewer so that it can be used by God.”  (Dip the skewers into the oil.  Then instruct them to insert them slowly into a balloon through the tie-off area and out the very top (the nipple).  These are the areas where the rubber of the balloon stretches the least, so they are more likely to receive the skewer without popping.  If the balloon pops, laugh nervously and grab another balloon – kids love it when things don’t go the way an adult plans them.)
  • “Look at that! God’s anointing was all it took!”
  • “You see, if God allows bad stuff to happen to us, He anoints it so that it ends up doing His work in our lives. God knows where you can handle the bad stuff, just like I knew just where the balloon could handle the skewer.”
  • “Now, sometimes, God allows bad stuff and temptations to happen to you, but he provides grace and strength for going through those things.”
  • “Let’s pretend that this duct tape represents God’s covering of grace and strength for us.” (Have everyone blow up new balloons.  Then, put pieces of duct tape across both the front and back sides of balloon.  Then, have them slowly twist and poke a skewer though – dry ones, not the ones with the oil.  You can repeat this several times for dramatic effect.)
  • “Sometimes during tough situations, you might feel like you could just burst.”
  • “But remember that God is with you during those times. Pray for His covering, and He will help you through them.”
  • (When you are finished, have them answer the Debrief Questions below (also on their Challenge Cards). The Rhyme Time is to help them recognize that God can cover them during times of temptation and testing.  They need to trust in Him for His protection.)

  

Debriefing Questions

  1. Why didn’t the balloons pop when the skewers went through them?
  2. How is this like how God protects us during times of suffering?
  3. If you have to go through a time of suffering in the future, how will you handle it?

 

Rhyme Time

God is there when it’s more than we can bear!

 

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Filed under Annointing, Challenges, Coping skills, courage, Failure, Fear, God's Protection, Hardship, Joseph, Object Lesson

Light of the World


Time

10-15 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about our role as light of the world until Jesus returns. In it, you will be giving birthday candles to children and lighting them, so you may need to consider the age-appropriateness of this lesson for your group.

Materials

  • Birthday candles (enough for each child)
  • Larger candle with a candle holder (for you)
  • Lighter or matches to light your candle
  • Finger protectors made from paper or poster board

Preparation

· Cut out enough finger protectors for each child.

o 3” to 4” square should be about the right size.

o Cut an “X” or a star in the middle of each finger protector for the candle to slip through.

· Before class starts, light your candle, and put it in its candle holder somewhere out of the way. You can even conceal it behind something as long as it doesn’t present a fire hazard.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Matthew 5:14-16 says that we are the light of the world.” (Have volunteer read Scripture.)

· “What do you think it means to be the light of the world?” (Listen for responses, and make comments as appropriate.)

· “You know, Jesus is the Light of the world, but after He died on the cross, He went back up into heaven.”

· “We who believe in Him are now supposed to reflect His light to the world.”

· “That’s why God doesn’t take you straight to heaven when you become a Christian.”

· “Christians are important in the earth as reflectors of God’s light until He comes back again.”

· “So, according to the Scripture we just read, we are supposed to give light to everyone in the house (which means “the earth.”)”

· “Let’s read verse 16 again.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 5:16.)

· “What does it mean to let your light shine before men?” (Listen for responses, and make comments as appropriate. Some ideas you can include if they aren’t mentioned are: doing nice things for others, speaking kindly to others, showing love to others, giving to the church and to missions, helping the poor, avoiding the temptation to do bad things, being a friend to those who have no friends, taking good care of the things God blesses you with, telling others about God.)

· “So, let’s practice letting our light shine. I’m going to hand out some candles to each of you.”

· “They have a finger protector on them, so you should hold them underneath that piece of poster board/paper.”

· “Even though they have a finger protector, these candles can still be dangerous, so I need you to be extra careful with them once they are lit.”

· “Can everyone do that?” (Hand out candles with finger protectors.)

· “Now that everyone has a candle, we just need to turn out the lights and light them.” (Have a volunteer turn out the lights.)

· “Hmmm…. I don’t have a lighter. Does anyone have an idea how we could light these?” (Children should notice the light coming from the candle that you concealed before class. If they don’t, walk over to it in order to draw their attention there.)

· “Hey! There’s a candle over here already!”

· “How many of you noticed that the candle was over here before the lights went out?” (Look for a show of hands.)

· “Looks like most of us didn’t notice it when the lights were on.”

· “I think we can learn something from this.”

· “Let’s say that having the lights on is like when things are going well for people and that having the lights out is like when bad or difficult things happen to them.”

· “When the lights are on in someone’s life, they may not notice that you are a Christian who is reflecting God’s light.”

· “But when the lights go off in their life (like when a pet or someone they love dies, or they lose a friend, or they get into some trouble…), your light really shows up.”

· “Your light sometimes shines even brighter if the lights have gone out in your life, and you are going through a difficult time, too.”

· “When they see how you handle a difficult situation by trusting in God and giving your fear or worry or pain to Him, those who don’t have His light will be attracted to it.”

· “That’s when they will come and ask you about your light, and that will be your signal that God has opened their heart to hearing about Him.”

· “Do you know what you should do then?” (Listen for responses. You want to hear that you should share your light with them. When you get this response, use your candle to light one of the children’s candles. Then, ask that child to light someone else’s candle. Have the next child pass his/her light on to the next person and so on until all candles are lit.)

· “Amazing, huh? Look at all the light we have generated!”

· “And did you notice? We were all able to share our light with someone else without losing any of our own light.”

· “That’s God’s miracle when we can give something away without losing any of it!”

· “You know what else? The light pushes back the darkness.”

· “The darkness represents the evil that Satan wants to do in the world.”

· “It’s our job to reflect God’s light to push back Satan’s darkness.”

· “The more people we share God’s light with, the further back we push Satan’s darkness.”

· “I have a cheer for us that will help us to remember to keep pushing back Satan’s darkness.”

· “I’ll say it the first time, and then I want you to join me in saying it.”

· “We’ll start quietly – almost a whisper – and then we’ll get louder and louder until we are shouting it.”

· “Are you ready?”

· “Okay, it’s very simple. This is what we are going to do to the darkness…

Push it back! Push it back!

Waaaaaaaay back!

· “Say it with me.” (Start with a whisper, and get progressively louder until the children are shouting it with you.)

· “Excellent! I feel like going out and sharing God’s light with someone right away. I hope you do, too!” (Have the lights turned back on, and have the kids extinguish the candles.)

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Filed under Challenges, Christianity, Evangelism, Hands-on, light, Light of the world, Object Lesson, Witness

Spotlight Effect


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that when God shines His favor on us, it blesses other people around us, as well. It uses the story of Joseph to illustrate this principle.

Materials

· Powerful flashlight or spotlight

Preparation

· Make sure you can get the room dark with the lights turned off. You may need to cover up some windows or pull the blinds.

· Make sure that flashlight/spotlight is fully charged or has new batteries. You want a powerful beam of light for the whole lesson.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “When you look at the life of Joseph in the Bible, one of the things you will notice is that he blessed those around him.”

· “Joseph had a hard early life. His brothers hated him so much that they sold him into slavery, but even in slavery, Joseph blessed others.” (Have a volunteer read Genesis 39:1-6)

· “It says that ‘the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph’ and ‘The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field…’”

· “Just having Joseph in his house was a blessing to Potiphar.”

· “Because Joseph followed God, God blessed him. And because God blessed Joseph, everyone around him was blessed.”

· “But Joseph’s misfortune wasn’t over. He was wrongly accused of a crime, and Potiphar threw him into prison.”

· “It wasn’t fair for an innocent man to be arrested, but even in prison, Joseph blessed those around him.” (Have volunteer read Genesis 40:20-23.)

· “The prison warden didn’t have to worry about anything while Joseph was there. Joseph took care of everything, and God blessed all the work of his hands.”

· “Finally, Joseph was released from prison, and God rewarded him for his continued trust and obedience by making him the second highest official in all of Egypt.”

· “In this role, too, Joseph blessed those around him.” (Have volunteer read Genesis 41:46-49.)

· “Joseph was in charge of saving food in preparation for a famine, and God blessed him so much that Joseph couldn’t even keep records of how much food he had saved.”

· “He was able to save all of Egypt and neighboring countries from starving to death.”

· “So, let me give you a picture of what was happening with Joseph.”

· “To do this, I’m going to need to turn off the lights, but I’ll have this flashlight/spotlight on.” (Turn on flashlight/spotlight, and ask a volunteer to turn off the lights.)

· “Let’s say this flashlight/spotlight is God’s favor.”

· “And, let’s say this is Joseph.” (Pick a kid in the audience who is close to other kids.)

· “Because Joseph was always doing his best to be obedient to the Lord, God’s favor was always on him.” (Hold flashlight/spotlight above volunteer’s head so that the light shines down on him/her.)

· “Notice that while ‘Joseph’ is getting most of the light of God’s favor, there is still some that spills over onto those around him.” (Point out kids that are also in the light.)

· “We can call this the ‘Spotlight Effect.’ When God shines His light on you, it ends up blessing more than just you – it blesses everyone around you!”

· “Wherever Joseph goes, he takes God’s favor with him.” (Have volunteer get up and slowly move around the room to be closer to other kids. Follow him/her with the flashlight/spotlight.)

· “When Joseph was working for Potiphar, Potiphar’s entire house was blessed!”

· “When Joseph was in prison, the whole prison was blessed!”

· “When Joseph was the prime minister of Egypt, all the land of Egypt and all the surrounding nations were blessed!”

· “That brings up another point. As God shines His light on you, He will lift you up so that you can provide light for more and more people.” (Have ‘Joseph’ volunteer sit on the floor near some other kids. Shine the flashlight/spotlight on him/her just above his/her head, and point out how the light touches just a few people. Then have ‘Joseph’ stand, and raise the flashlight/spotlight. Point out how the light now touches even more people. Then, thank your volunteer, and have the lights turned back on. Leave the flashlight/spotlight on.)

· “Jesus talks about this in the New Testament.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 5:14-16.)

· “Jesus is saying that we are supposed to be a light in a dark place (the world), and He will put us on a stand – up high where we can give light to everyone around us.”

· “That’s exactly what He did with Joseph. God raised him up to the second-highest position in Egypt so that the light of God’s favor could bless many people and save many lives.”

· “Now, here’s something interesting. How many of you knew that I never turned off the flashlight/spotlight?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Right! It’s still on! You see, God blesses us in good times and in bad times.” (Shine light back on ‘Joseph’ volunteer.)

· “During good times, it’s like all the lights are on, so not many people may notice God’s favor on us.”

· “But during bad times, it’s like the lights go out for people.” (Have volunteer turn out lights.)

· “That’s when everyone notices where God’s favor is!”

· “It becomes so obvious who God is blessing when the lights go out.”

· “When all of Egypt was facing starvation, everyone could tell that Joseph was really blessed by God, because He had the wisdom and the skills to save all the peoples’ lives.”

· “Once God has His light on us, He will sometimes let the lights go out (bad times happen) in order to get their attention.”

· “That’s when people will start coming to you to find out why you’ve got so much blessing in your life, and that’s when you can tell them about your love for Jesus.”

· “Oh, but there’s something you’ve got to remember.”

· “You’ve got to stay inside God’s light if you want to have His favor and be able to bless others.”

· “Let me show you what I mean.” (Ask the ‘Joseph’ volunteer to take a step out of the light, but don’t follow him/her this time.)

· “It’s possible for you to step out of God’s favor and blessings by sinning.”

· “If Joseph had not been so obedient to God during his time with Potiphar and in the prison, he would not have had God’s light on him.”

· “You’ve got to stay in the center of God’s blessings and favor by doing what He tells you to do in the Bible.” (Thank volunteer again, and have the lights turned on. You can turn off the flashlight/spotlight at this point.)

· “So there it is! The ‘Spotlight Effect!’”

· “Follow God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and His blessings will follow you wherever you go!”

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Filed under Belief, blessing, Challenges, God's favor, Obedience, Object Lesson, struggles, Trust

That’s Not Fair!


Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps kids to understand that unfair things happen to all of us. We can’t always change that, but we can change how we respond to what happens to us. If we look for the positive aspects, we might find that God has really blessed us through what originally looked unfair.

Materials

· “Magic Coloring Book & Crayons” from www.stevespanglerscience.com (about $15)

Preparation

· Practice the trick. You’ll need to be very smooth with your hand movements in order to fool the kids.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “I have a magic trick to show you today, and I’m going to need a volunteer.” (Select volunteer to join you up front.)

· “I went to the store the other day and bought a new coloring book, but when I got home, I found that all the pages were blank!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the bottom corner of the spine. Make sure that the child stands to the side so that the audience can see the blank pages.)

· “That’s so unfair! I used my whole allowance on this!”

· “But then I realized that I had the coolest coloring book in the world!”

· “I mean, other kids have coloring books with pictures already in them.”

· “All they can do is color them. I had page after page of blank paper, and I could draw anything I wanted.”

· “So I drew pictures on every page.” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the top corner of the spine. Black and white illustrations will appear.)

· “When I got done, I was really tired. So I put my cool coloring book under my pillow and I went to bed.”

· “In the morning, I got up, pulled out my cool coloring book, and flipped through the pictures.”

· “I was very surprised to see that I had colored in all the pages in my dreams!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the middle part of the spine. Colored pages will appear.)

· “At first, I thought this was really, really cool! But then I realized that there was nothing left to do with the book.”

· “I decided that I would try to un-color the book in my dreams.”

· “So I put it back under my pillow that night before I went to bed.”

· “When I got up the next morning, I was surprised to see that I had gone too far.”

· “Not only did I un-color the pages, but I un-drew them, too!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the bottom corner of the spine again.)

· “That may sound bad to you, but I thought it was really cool, because other kids have coloring books with pictures already in them. But I have a coloring book in which I can draw anything I want!” (Thank child and dismiss.)

· “Sometimes unfair things happen to us.”

· “We don’t get what we deserve. Someone gets more than us, or we get something bad that we didn’t deserve.”

· “Those things happen, but if we keep trusting God, He will bring good things out of bad. (Romans 8:28)”

· “We might even be surprised to find out that something that looked unfair at first really turned out to be a blessing in disguise!”

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Filed under Challenges, Christianity, Coping skills, fairness, illusion, Magic, Object Lesson, struggles, test, tool