Tag Archives: Eternity

Easter Stations of the Cross (EXERCISE)


Time

30 min

 

Description

This activity teaches about the events leading up to the resurrection of Jesus.  It doesn’t follow all the traditional stations of the Catholic version but rather focuses on the most important events for sharing the Easter story.

 

Scriptures

Matthew 26-28

 

Materials

  • One copy of each of the puzzles that represent the different Stations of the Cross.  You can find this on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  The file is called, “Easter Stations of the Cross – Puzzles.ppt”
  • Scissors or cutting tool
  • 12 Ziplock bags (sandwich size)

 

Preparation

  • Printout one copy of the puzzles.
  • Cut along the outlines of the puzzle pieces.
  • Put each set of puzzle pieces into a Ziplock bag.
  • Create the following “Stations” around the room by setting out the appropriate puzzle at each Station:
  1. Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  2. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested.
  3. Jesus is tried by the Sanhedrin.
  4. Jesus is denied by Peter.
  5. Jesus is judged by Pilate.
  6. Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns.
  7. Jesus takes up his cross and is helped by Simon.
  8. Jesus is crucified between two thieves.
  9. Jesus promises the thief eternity in paradise.
  10. Jesus dies on the cross, and the veil is torn in two.
  11. Jesus’ is removed from the cross and buried.
  12. Jesus rises from the dead.

 

Procedure

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

  • “Some Christian traditions have a ritual called, Stations of the Cross.”
  • “The Stations are different places in a room, or on a road or in a building that you walk to and then stop to think about Jesus and how much He loves you.”
  • “The Stations each have a description, and they are usually about different events related to the Easter story.”
  • “Today, we’re going to go through some of the most important events (or Stations) and learn about what happened during that part of the story.”  (Divide the group into twelve smaller groups, and assign each one to one of the Stations.  If you have less than 12 people, you can assign multiple stations to each person.  Have these groups or individuals go to different stations and put the puzzles together.  They should then read the Scriptures on their puzzle and be ready to summarize that part of the story when the group reaches that Station.  After all the puzzles are done, gather everyone back together, and go through the Stations in the order listed above.  As you reach each station, allow everyone to look at the picture, and have the person or group who completed the puzzle summarize the story for the larger group.  When you’ve finished all the stations, you can sing the Alleluia chorus or do a short wrap-up lecture on the importance of the resurrection.)
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Filed under Christianity, Easter, Jesus, Judas, Resurrection, Simon-Peter

Facing Your Giants (QUICK DRAMA)


Time
10 minutes

Description
This Quick Drama teaches that we shouldn’t fear the giants in our lives but that we shouldn’t try to take them on alone, either.  (I’ve chosen giants who represent fears children might have, but feel free to change the type of giants to match your audience.)

Audience
Children, youth, adults

Materials
o    Life-size drawings of different giants (4 that are about 2 sheets of foam board-high each)

o    Foam board (10-12 pieces)

o    Different colored paints or markers

o    Paint brushes

o    Utility knife and razor

o    Tape
Preparation
o    Draw and color the giants on foam board, and make them free-standing by taping some “wings” near the bottom and on the back.  These wings should fold out so that they are perpendicular to the bottom of the foam board with the picture on it.
o    Razor the back side of the giants to weaken them, so that they will break apart easily when they are attacked.
o    Arrange the giants in different places around the room.
o    All the giants can be voiced by one or more people offstage.
o    Practice the script.

Script
Narrator:  All of us have mean, ugly giants in our lives…things we are afraid of dealing with.  Just like in King David’s time, God often leaves giants in our paths in order to teach us warfare.  Of course, we won’t ever fight a Goliath, but we will fight against other types of giants.

[Brad enters followed by God.  Brad sees the first giant and tries to run away.  God gently catches him and turns him back toward the giant.]

GOD:    [Whispers to Brad] Remember, you’re not alone.

Brad:     [Tentatively approaches giant] Wh-wh-what do you want?

Giant #1:     I am the giant of Darkness and Monsters!  FEAR ME!

Brad:     I-I-I-I-I…

GOD:    Remember, you’re not alone.

Brad:     [Turning to God] Can you help-help me, God?

GOD:     Yes, I can.  Please step aside.  [Cracks knuckles, stretches, then loudly karate chops the giant (e.g., “Hi-ya!”) until he is demolished – really hams it up for the kids.]

Brad:     Hey!  That was SO cool!  Will you teach me how to do that?

GOD:    Sure, Brad.  I see another giant over there.  [Points]

Brad:     Oh, uh, I didn’t mean so soon, but okay.  [Goes up to giant timidly.]

Brad:    What…What do you want?

Giant #2:    I am the giant of No Friends and Being Alone.  FEAR ME!

Brad:     God, what do I do?

GOD:    Are you asking for my help?

Brad:     Yes, please!

GOD:    Okay, watch this!  Hi-ya!  Hu-ya! [Saves a small piece for Brad]

Brad:     [Tentatively] Hi-ya! [Then cowers in case giant attacks.]

GOD:    Excellent!  Now you’re getting it! [Notices another giant] Hey, isn’t that another monster over there?

Brad:     [Confidently] Yeah!  Let’s get him!  [Goes up to giant]  What do you want?

Giant:     I am the giant of People Who Try to Hurt You!  FEAR ME!

Brad:     Oh yeah?  Well, take this!  [Karate chops with no effect]  Hi-ya!  [Tries again with no effect]  Hu-ya!  [Tries several more times with no effect]

Giant:     FEAR ME!

Brad:    [Turns back to God] God!  What happened?  I did everything you showed me!

GOD:    You forgot the most important part.

Brad:    What was that?

GOD:     Me.  You tried to do it all alone.

Brad:     [Sheepishly] God, will you help me with this one?

GOD:    Sure, Brad, and I’ll save a small part for you to do so that you can keep growing.  [God attacks giant but saves a piece for Brad.  Brad destroys it and genuinely enjoys attacking the giant with God.  They high five.]

Brad:    I see one more giant over there.  Let’s do this one together!  [Approaches giant]  Who are you?

Giant:     I am the Giant of Death.  FEAR ME!

Brad:    Death?  How do I fight this one, God?

GOD:    Brad, I have to do this one all by myself.  [Completely destroys giant]  Brad, there was only one way to destroy the Giant of Death.  I had to send my Son, Jesus, to die on the cross.  But when He died, He defeated death and rose back to life three days later.  Now, anyone that believes wht Jesus did and askes Him to be Lord of their life doesn’t have to fear the Giant of Death anymore.  Whenever a Christian dies, He immediately joins Jesus in heaven.

Brad:     Oh, God, I want that!  Will you help me make Jesus Lord of my life?

GOD:     You bet! [Both exit]

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Filed under Belief, Bullying, Challenges, Christianity, courage, David, drama, faith, Fear, Heaven, prayer, salvation, skit, Spiritual Warfare

Tell Two Friends


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson helps kids understand the impact they each can have on the Kingdom if they will help to lead just a few people to Christ during their lifetime.

Materials

  • Beads (You can also use beans, rice, BBs – anything small that you can gather in the appropriate amounts.)
  • Ziplock bags
  • Permanent marker
  • A large, see-through bucket, vase or jar
  • Tray to fit under the bucket, vase or jar to catch the overflow beads
  • Display table

Preparation

· Put beads in bags and label them (with the permanent marker) according to the following allotments.  (I don’t actually count the beads when I get into the higher numbers.  I find out how many will fit into a measuring cup or drinking cup (approximately).  Then, I just estimate how many beads I’ve put in the bags by how many cups I used.)

o #1 – 2 beads

o #2 – 4 beads

o #3 – 8 beads

o #4 – 16 beads

o #5 – 32 beads

o #6 – 64 beads

o #7 – 128 beads

o #8 – 256 beads

o #9 – 512 beads

o #10 – 1024 beads

o #11 – 2048 beads

o #12 – 4096 beads

o #13 – 8192 beads

· You can do more than thirteen bags if you have enough beads. Follow the same procedure as above.

· Set up the bucket, vase or jar on the display table with the tray underneath it.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “Does anyone know what the Great Commission is?” (Listen for responses. If the children don’t know, have them read it in Matthew 28:16-20.)

· “One of the last things Jesus asked the disciples to do was to go and make more disciples, so it’s very important that we share our faith in Jesus with the people He has put into our lives.”

· “Knowing about Jesus is such an incredible thing that we should want to share it with lots of people.”

· “We want them to come to heaven with us, right?” (Listen for responses.)

· “I want to show you the power of sharing your faith with other people.”

· “If everyone who ever believed in Jesus would just help two other people come to know Him, it would absolutely change the world!”

· “Let me show you how….I need 13 volunteers.” (Select 13 volunteers, and line them up, and hand each of them a bag of beads in order from #1 to #13. #1 should be closest to the display table.)

· “These beads in the bags I’ve given our volunteers represent people.”

· “Let’s say that someone led two people to Jesus during his lifetime.” (Show beads.)

· That would be three people who knew Jesus, right (the first person plus the two he led to Jesus)?” (Have first volunteer empty beads into the bucket.)

· “If each of those two people then led two people to Jesus, there would be 7 people who knew Jesus. (original 3 + 4 new)” (Have volunteer #2 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those people then led two people to Jesus, there would then be 15 people who knew Jesus. (original 7 + 8).” (Have volunteer #3 empty beads into bucket.)

· “So far, that’s not a lot of beads, but keep watching!”

· “If each of those people then led two people to Jesus, there would be 31 people who knew Jesus (15 original + 16 more).” (Have volunteer #4 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 63 (31+32).” (Have volunteer #5 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 127 (63+64).” (Have volunteer #6 empty beads into bucket.)

· “Still doesn’t look like much, I know, but keep watching!”

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 255 (127+128).” (Have volunteer #7 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 511 (255+256).” (Have volunteer #8 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 1023 (511+512).” (Have volunteer #9 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 2047 (1023+1024).” (Have volunteer #10 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 4095 (2047+2048).” (Have volunteer #11 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 8191 (4095+4096).” (Have volunteer #12 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 16384 (8191+8192).” (Have volunteer #13 empty beads into bucket. If the beads haven’t started overflowing before this point, they should now.)

· “Now think about that! From the first two people who shared Jesus, over 16,000 people came to know Christ!”

· “Do you think you could tell two people about Jesus?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Can you tell one in the coming week?” (Listen for responses.)

“Then do it! When you get to heaven, you might be greeted by 16,000 or more people who want to thank you for starting the chain of events that led them to know Jesus!”

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, Evangelism, Great Commission, Hands-on, Object Lesson, Witness

Jesus Unlocked the Door (OBJ LESSON)


Time

30 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about trusting in Jesus as your Savior by using a Prisoner-of-War (POW) metaphor to describe our condition before salvation. The Bible teaches that before we became believers, we were spiritual POWs who were held captive by the devil, the god of this world (see 2 Timothy 2:26). Jesus came to free us. He can unlock the door, but we must walk through it. This lesson encourages children to let Him set them free.

Materials

  • An area in the room that represents a prison cell. It needs to have a door and a way to “lock” it. The lock doesn’t have to actually work, but it should be something visible so that the children can see it both before and after the prison door is unlocked.
  • Two pieces of fruit (apples are recommended).

Preparation

· Arrange for several adults or older children to get in the jail cell (when you give the cue).

· Tell them which of them you want to walk out of the jail cell (when you give the cue) and which you want to stay.

· Get an adult to play Jesus and an adult to play Satan, and tell them that they will follow your cues.

Procedure

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

  • “When God originally created the earth and Adam and Eve, this is how He intended for us to live.” (Gesture to all the people in the room.) “…Free and happy in the garden He created for them.”
  • “He only gave Adam and Eve one rule – ‘Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’”
  • “It was a good rule, intended to protect us from the knowledge of the terrible things done by Satan and his armies, but Adam and Eve couldn’t resist breaking it.”
  • “As soon as they ate from the tree (Give apples or some other type of fruit to a girl and a boy in the room, and have them each take a bite.), they knew what evil was.”
  • “They were surprised to find that one of the first evils they came in contact with was their own sin in disobeying God, so they hid from the Lord.”
  • “The rest of the story you probably already know. God came walking in the cool of the day and found Adam and Eve hiding from Him.”
  • “When asked why they were hiding, each blamed someone else for the sin. God cursed Adam, Eve and the serpent (Satan) and banished them from the garden.”
  • “But what I want to show you today is what happened spiritually at that moment.”
  • “In the invisible, spiritual realm, Satan was rejoicing. He had scored a monumental victory during the moment he convinced Eve to eat from the tree and entice Adam to do the same.”
  • “When Adam and Eve sinned, they became Prisoners Of War (POW’s) in Satan’s battle against God.”
  • “They broke the rules, and they had to pay the penalty. Satan knew that God was so holy that He couldn’t have rule-breakers on His side.”
  • “So, Satan took his new POW’s (Prisoners of War) and locked up their souls in prison.” (Have the children you gave the fruit to get up and go into the prison cell. Have the person playing Satan dramatically lock the door behind them.)
  • “Because they were his prisoners, even children born to them would be born as POW’s.” (Ask for volunteers, and load up the jail cell with the adults you talked to before the lesson and a few children. Again, have Satan dramatically lock the door behind them.)
  • “The only hope the POW’s had of getting out of prison was by living a perfect, sinless life. Satan wasn’t worried, though. He knew it was impossible. Some prisoners tried, but they all failed.”
  • “But God had a different plan altogether. He knew that someone had to pay the penalty for the rule-breakers, but He also knew that it didn’t have to be the rule-breakers themselves. After all, they could spend all their lives in prison and still never pay the full penalty.”
  • “So, God began to show us through stories, images and prophecy in the Old Testament how a perfect, sinless Savior could pay the penalty for us.”
  • “Some of the people believed what God was telling them, and they were saved. They had to wait for the Savior to come, but they knew that Satan’s prison could no longer hold them.”
  • “When the time was right, God sent the Savior, and His name is Jesus.”
  • “He lived 33 years as a man and never sinned. Then, He was killed on a cross.” (As you are talking, have the adult playing Jesus stand, raise his arms as if being crucified and then close his eyes and bow his head as if dying.)
  • When He died, He paid the entire penalty for every sin that had ever been committed from the time of Adam and Eve.”
  • “He also paid the penalty for every sin that would ever happen in the future – sins that I’ve done and sins that you’ve done. Sins that we haven’t even thought of but that we will do some day.”
  • “God knows everything, and He knows all the sins that we will ever commit.”
  • “Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. Through His death, He had broken the padlock off the prison door forever.” (As you are talking, have the adult playing Jesus forcibly break the padlock off the door and swing the door wide. He should then encourage all the POW’s to come out and “Follow Me.” Some should follow Him; others should stay. Allow all the children that want to leave to come out, but keep some of the adults in prison.)
  • “Jesus bought our freedom. He paid the price to rescue us from Satan. Some believed in Him and followed Him out of prison to eternal life, but others chose not to believe.” (Have the adult playing Satan come and close the door. However, this time, he can’t lock it.)
  • “Satan has tricked those people into thinking that they still have to stay in prison. Some of the people actually like prison better than freedom, because it’s the only thing they have ever known. Whatever the reason, they don’t follow Jesus. They act as if the padlock is still on the door to the prison.”
  • “Jesus paid the penalty for us, but He won’t drag us out of prison. He won’t make us walk through the door. He wants us to choose to love Him and follow Him.”
  • “So, He doesn’t take the freed prisoners to heaven right away. He leaves them here on earth and instructs them to keep going back to the prison to convince the prisoners that the door is unlocked.” (Have all the freed prisoners go back to the jail cell and try through various methods to convince the prisoners to come free – some can reach through the jail bars, some can enter the cell and try to lead individuals out, some can demonstrate that the door is unlocked, some can simply kneel and pray outside the jail cell. A few of those still inside should come out, causing the celebration of the freed prisoners and Jesus.)
  • “Some still refuse to leave, but we keep praying for them. As long as they are alive, we who have been freed will continue to do everything we can to help them get free.”
  • “So the question you should be asking yourself is this: ‘Am I inside or outside the prison?’”
  • “If you are outside the prison, look around in your life and find someone God has put you near that is still inside. Pray for them and do everything you can to help them get out.”
  • “If you think you might still be inside the prison, it’s because you haven’t asked Jesus to be your Lord and agreed to follow Him.”
  • “That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are many people around you that have asked Jesus to be their Lord and agreed to follow Him. Chances are, God has put them in your life so that they could come back to get you out of prison.”
  • “They want to help you get out. All you have to do is ask someone who is already a Christian to help you to know Jesus.”
  • “If you’re not sure if you are in or out of prison, talk to someone who you know for sure is outside with Jesus. They can help you figure it out.”

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Filed under Belief, Christianity, Eternity, Evangelism, faith, Heaven, Hell, Obedience, Object Lesson, salvation, Spiritual Warfare

For God So Loved


Time
10 minutes

Description
This object lesson helps children (and adults) understand that Jesus died on the cross for each of us. It is intended to help them make a personal connection to John 3:16.

Materials
Slides or a whiteboard/flipchart made up with the three sets of text described below.

Preparation
Create the following three slides or write these words on a whiteboard or flipchart.

1. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
2. For God so loved (person’s name) that He gave His one and only Son, that if (person’s name) believes in Him, (person’s name) shall not perish but have eternal life.
3. For God so loved me that He gave His one and only Son, that if I believe in Him, I shall not perish but have eternal life.

Use a different color for the underlined words so that they stand out. Organize these three slides/pages so that you can reveal them one at a time.

Procedure
• Before you reveal any of the slides, ask the class if anyone can recite John 3:16. (Allow several to recite the verse.)
• Show the first slide, and have the class recite it together.
• Say, “That may be the most well-known verse in the world, and it’s so important. It tells us that God loved us enough to send His Son to die a terrible death on a cross, and it tells us that if we believe in Him, we can be with Him in heaven forever.”
• Say, “I would like us to recite this verse again, but this time, I want us to recite it as a blessing to each other.” (Show second slide.)
• Divide group into pairs. If you have an odd number of participants, you can stand in to make the last pair.
• Say, “This time when you say the verse, I want you to substitute the name of your partner for some of the words.”
• Demonstrate to the group using a name from the group or a made-up name.
• Have the group recite the verse as a blessing for each of their partners.
• Then, have the other person in each pair recite the verse as a blessing for his or her partner.
• Say, “That was great! Now I think we are starting to see that Jesus died for each one of us. Even if your partner was the only one in the world, Jesus would have died for him or her.”
• Say, “Now I want to recite the verse again, and this time, you are going to substitute yourself for some of the words.”
• Show the third slide and demonstrate how to recite the verse.
• Have each person recite the verse out loud simultaneously, substituting “I” and “me” in the appropriate places.
• Say, “How does that make you feel?”
• Have the group recite the verse again from the third slide.
• Say, “Do you see? Jesus died for you! He loved you so much that He was willing to take your punishment for sin. Jesus died for everyone, and He died for anyone….anyone who would accept the gift of His death on the cross. I hope you will accept His gift.”

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, Heaven, Object Lesson

The Dot and the Line


Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about the importance of living for eternity rather than just for today.

Materials

None

Preparation

Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to do an activity to show the difference between our life on earth and our life in heaven.” (Have kids line up, single-file in a spiral. Put the last kid at door to the room. The kid in the center (beginning of the line) is “The Dot,” and the rest of the kids are “The Line.”)
  • “This person is the ‘The Dot.’ S/He represents our lifetime here on earth.”
  • “Everyone else is ‘The Line.’ You represent our life in heaven, in etermity.”
  • “Most of us think life on earth is more like The Line, but God says it isn’t.”
  • “Life on earth is short – maybe 80-90 years – maybe less.”
  • “Then it ends, and The Dot is over, and The Line starts.”
  • “The Line goes and goes and goes.”
  • “You see (child’s name) is at the door – that’s to show that the line never stops.”
  • “Imagine a line of kids out that door that goes on forever! That’s eternity!”
  • “Now, this doesn’t mean that The Dot isn’t important – it’s hugely important!”
  • “The Dot is a test and a tool.”
  • “Say it with me, ‘a test and a tool.’”
  • “What do I mean by that?”
  • “It’s a test, because your life will be full of tests, and these tests reveal the quality of your heart. Will you cheat on the test like your friend? Will you tell untrue stories about other kids? Will you lie to your mom and dad about where your friends are going? Will you take more than your fair share?”
  • “Test, test, test, test, test”
  • “Each time, your decision reveals the quality of your heart.”
  • “If you fail a test, God will give it to you again.”
  • “If you continue to fail it, God will let you follow the evil desires of your heart.”
  • “And trust me, that leads nowhere good.”
  • “If you follow the evil desires of your heart for too long, all you get is unhappiness and pain.”
  • “But if you pass the test, God will be pleased. He will keep testing you, but it might be in other areas for a while.”
  • “So, that’s why The Dot is a test. Why is The Dot a tool?”
  • “Because God uses our lives on earth to shape us to be more like him. He cuts away the bad stuff until we look more like him.”
  • “How silly would it be for us to focus all our attention on The Dot?”
  • “Compared to The Line, it’s nothing right?”
  • “So anything we do in The Dot should be focused on improving The Line.”
  • “You could have a really fancy Dot (dress up the kid who is “The Dot” with some fake jewelry or clothes) with lots of riches and fame and toys, but if the way you got those things was through dishonesty or greed or jealousy, you’re going to have a really crummy Line.” (Have kids in The Line fall to floor in domino pattern).
  • “But if you use your Dot to honor God (give child salt and light or a cross or picture of Jesus), your Line will ROCK!” (Have kids in The Line jump up!)
  • “So, do you want to live for The Dot (have kids in The Line crumple) or for The Line?” (Have kids in The Line jump up!)
  • “Me, too!”

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, God's Will, Heaven, Hell, Object Lesson

Comp-HEART-ments


Time

20 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about our hearts – how we let Jesus in and how he wants access to every room in them.

Materials

  • Slide show (“Comp-HEART-ments” – see Downloads page)
  • Computer and LCD projector
  • Screen

Preparation

Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Your spiritual heart is different from your physical heart.  Your physical heart pumps blood throughout your body and keeps you alive.  It’s very important.  But believe it or not, it’s not quite as important as your spiritual heart.” (Show slide 1.)

  • “You can’t actually find your spiritual heart in your body.  It’s part of your mind, but no one is really sure what part.  Most likely, it’s a combination of parts that all work together.  In your spiritual heart, you store the things that are most important to you.  These can be people, places and things, and each one gets its own special room.” (Show slide 2.)

  • “Everyone has a door on the outside of their heart. Sometimes people decide what important things they let into their hearts through this door, but sometimes things force their way in. Anything that is very emotional for us has a way to get past the door to our heart and take over a room on the inside.”
  • “More than anything, Jesus wants to come into our hearts, but He will never force his way in. He stands outside and knocks on our door, and even though He is powerful enough to come in without our permission, He always waits to be invited. In the book of Revelation, Jesus says:”

‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in..’. (Revelation 3:20)

  • “If we open the door to Him, He comes into the first rooms in our heart, which are the places God reserved for Eternity when He created us.” (Show slide 3.)

  • “Every human being was created with these rooms in his or her heart, because God didn’t want us to be satisfied living without Him. Unfortunately, many people don’t ever answer the door when Jesus knocks. Instead, they try to fill these rooms with other things (like money, relationships and things) so that they won’t feel so empty.”
  • “But if we do allow Jesus to come into these rooms, the first thing He does is turn on the lights. This gives us hope and excitement for the things Jesus is ready and willing to do in our lives. Often, this leads us to invite Jesus into other rooms, like the one that determines who (or what) we worship.” (Show slide 4.)

  • “Once Jesus enters that room, He starts to show us what we’ve been worshipping instead of Him. He starts to “rearrange the furniture” in our rooms. In other words, He evaluates what’s in there and either asks us to get rid of it (if it’s junk) or to put it in the right place (if it’s worth keeping but getting more attention than it deserves).”
  • “When those rooms are in pretty good shape, Jesus will knock on doors to other rooms. He never barges in. We have to open the door for Him.”
  • “Sometimes opening the doors is very scary for us. We worry about what Jesus will think of us when He sees what we’ve put in the rooms, and we worry that He will make us get rid of some of the things we really, really like. As a result of our fears, we don’t always let Jesus into all our rooms.”
  • “We may only let Him into a few rooms at a time, and He might have to do a lot of knocking to get into them. While He stands on the other side of the door, we sometimes have a conversation with Him that goes something like this:”

JESUS: “I would like to meet your friends. Will you let me into that room?”

US: “Oh, uh, my friends? Well, some of them aren’t the kind of people you would like very much.”

JESUS: “Really? Why would you think that?”

US: “Well, they use bad language and do things they shouldn’t do sometimes.”

JESUS: “So did you before you let Me into your heart.”

US: “Hmmm… well, that makes sense. Okay, I’ll try to find a good time to introduce You.” (Show slide 5.)

JESUS: “Thanks for introducing me to them. I’ve been knocking on the doors to their hearts for years, but I think they are just now starting to hear Me.”

US: “Yeah, that wasn’t so tough. I’m going to start praying for them every day.”

JESUS: “Say, what about the friends in that other room?”

US: “Oh, I can’t introduce You to them. They hate it when anyone talks about You. They make fun of Christians, and they definitely will make fun of me if they find out I’m one.”

JESUS: “Still, I would really like to meet them, and I wish you weren’t ashamed of Me around them. If they don’t like you because of Me, maybe you should find some other friends. Why don’t you introduce Me, and we’ll see how it turns out?”

US: “Okay, but that scares me to death. Please give me courage.” (Show slide 6.)

US: “That wasn’t easy, but I can see now how those friends were hurting my spiritual growth. I’m glad I let You in that room.”

JESUS: “Keep praying for them. I’ve got plans for their lives, too. You’ve taken a really big step by opening that room to Me. Now let’s talk about all these other places you could open up.”

  • “And the conversation continues, Jesus knocking, us choosing whether or not to respond to His knock. Sometimes we have a major spiritual breakthrough and start throwing many doors open to Jesus. We let Him into our family relationships, our crushes and dating relationships, how we spend our free time, how we spend our money, the things we desire for ourselves and others…” (Show slide 7.)

  • “Jesus sanctifies each room (that’s a big word that means setting something aside for God). He claims each room for His purposes and begins to show us His will for those things that are so important to us. Sometimes He completely empties a room and replaces what was in it with something better, like when He introduces us to new people and helps us care for them or like when He shows us the ministry where He wants us to use our time, talents and treasure.” (Show slide 8.)

  • “Room-by-room, Jesus brings light to our heart. He will go anywhere we invite Him, but He knows that some rooms will take more time for us to open. The rooms that hold our Fears, Disappointments, Hates and Hurts are particularly difficult. We didn’t invite these things; they forced their way in and claimed rooms in the deepest, darkest corners of our heart. Over the years, they have become strongholds for Satan. He uses them as his bases of operation as he leads us into sin and prevents us from becoming all that God wants us to be.”

  • “It takes incredible courage to open the doors of these rooms to Jesus. Each one is filled with so much fear and pain that the doors can only open a fraction at first. If our courage fails us, we slam them shut again, but if we release these rooms to Jesus, He enters boldly, throws the light switch and evicts the Enemy!”

  • “In the light, Jesus shows us the lies that Satan has been telling us about these rooms while we were too afraid to open them and inspect them carefully. Under His loving care, we begin to see how we can turn these Fears, Disappointments, Hates and Hurts into New Hope, New Acceptance, New Love and New Strength.” (Show slide 9.)

  • “Jesus is patient, but He isn’t satisfied with only part of our heart.  He’ll keep knocking until we open every door to every room.  He’s persistent with a purpose.  Jesus wants us to know that those things we don’t release to Him end up owning us.  They lead to unhappiness and failure, and they give Satan a hold on our hearts.  It’s only the heart completely open to God that can fully shine His light.”

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