Tag Archives: God

Unforgiving Servant (QUICK DRAMA)


Matthew 18:21-35

 

Two men enter with a prisoner in chains.  They bring him before a king and throw him down.  The king addresses the prisoner.

 

KING: “My records show that you owe me $3,267,500.  Pay today, or I will sell you, your wife, your children and all you own to pay the debt.”

SERVANT: “Oh, please, your Majesty!  Please have mercy on me!  I can’t pay you today, but I will!  I promise!”

KING: “Hmmmm… On second thought, there’s no way you could every pay off such a large sum.  You seem repentant.  Your debts are completely forgiven.”

SERVANT: “Really?  Completely forgiven?  Oh, THANK YOU, your Majesty!”

The servant leaves, bouncing out of the room while thanking the king.  As soon as he leaves the king’s presence, however, he comes across a man in the hallway and begins yelling at and choking him.

SERVANT: “You lousy rat!  Where’s that lunch money you borrowed from me?  You better pay up!”

MAN (falling on his knees): “Oh, I will!  I will!  I promise you will have all your money back, but I don’t have it on me today!”

SERVANT: “Don’t have it on you, huh?  Guards!  Arrest this man and throw him into prison!  He owes me money!”  (Guards enter and take man to prison.)

Several of the king’s servants observed the unforgiving servant’s behavior, and they quickly reported it to the king.  Enraged, he demands that the unforgiving servant be brought before him.

KING: “I’ve heard how you treated the man who owed you lunch money.  Because you are such an unforgiving servant and couldn’t overlook such a small amount after I had forgiven you of so much, I’m ordering you to be tortured by my guards until you’re ready to forgive that man.”

 

Isn’t it silly that the unforgiving servant couldn’t forgive a few dollars after he had just been forgiven millions of dollars?  God says that ‘s what it’s like when we won’t forgive people for things they’ve done to us.  Compared to how much God had to forgive us for, it’s like the difference between millions of dollars and lunch money.

 

When we won’t forgive others, our relationship with God suffers.  It’s like being in prison.  It won’t keep us from getting into heaven, but it will make life miserable.  But if we will forgive those who intend to harm us, God forgives us and fixes our relationship with Him again.

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Filed under Character, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, drama, forgiveness, Grace, Relationships, unconditional love

God Doesn’t Waste Anything (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

 

Description

This object lesson teaches about how God brings good things out of bad and uses the metaphor of turning lemons into lemonade.

Scriptures

  • Romans 8:28
  • Galatians 5:22

Materials

  • Several cow patties if you can find them.  If you can’t, use a bag of fertilizer and just explain that many fertilizers include animal waste.
  • A pot of fragrant flowers
  • A piece of fruit that most people would enjoy eating

Preparation

  • Lay out materials for the lesson.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Who knows what this is?”  (Hold up dry cow patty.)
  • “Right?  It’s a cow patty.”  (Pass it around to kids.)
  • “Now, it doesn’t smell too bad right now, but who has ever smelled a fresh one?” (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “They’re stinky, aren’t they?”
  • “So, you probably wouldn’t go around smelling them, would you?”
  • “But would you smell this?”  (Hold up flowers in a pot.)
  • “Sure, because it smells good, right?”
  • “Did you know that this (hold up another cow patty) was used to make this (hold up flowers) smell so good?”
  • “How did that happen?”  (Take responses until someone mentions fertilizer.)
  • “Right!  Cow manure is one of the most common ways to fertilize plants and flowers.”
  • “How many of you would eat this?”  (Hold up cow patty.)
  • “But would you eat this?”  (Hold up fruit.)
  • “Believe it or not, there’s some of this (hold up cow patty) in this (hold up fruit).
  • “God made it so that plants and flowers take the nutrients out of the manure and reuse them to help the fruit and the flowers grow.”
  • “God doesn’t waste anything.  He even takes bad stuff (hold up cow patty) and turns it into good stuff (hold up or point to fruit and flowers).”
  • “If God can do that with cow poop, He can do that with the bad stuff in your life, too.”
  • “Some of the stuff that happens to us really stinks, but God will use it to do good stuff in our lives so that we come out smelling like a rose.”
  • “He can use those bad things to create fruit in our lives like the fruit He talks about in the Bible.”  (Have volunteer read Galatians 5:22).
  • “So, whatever bad stuff happens in your life, give it to God to use as fertilizer, and He will bring good fruit out of it.”  (Have volunteer read Romans 8:28.)
  • “God will use everything to bless you if you trust Him with it!”  (You can use the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the lesson.)

 

Rhyme Time

If we trust Him and obey, God makes bad things go OUR way!

 

 

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Filed under blessing, Challenges, Change, Choices, Conflict Resolution, Fruit of the Spirit, God's Plan, Healing, Hope, Object Lesson, Problem solving, Solutions, test, tool, Training

Do Clothes Really Make the Man? (OBJ LESSON)


Time

30 minutes
Description

This object lesson looks at the different clothing Joseph wore and asks the question, “do clothes really make the man?”  The old adage means that how you dress says a lot about you, but in Joseph’s case, he was the same person in any costume.  However, no matter how good Joseph was, he couldn’t be good enough to impress God just through his good works.  God isn’t interested in what we DO until He changes WHO we are, and that only happens when we accept Jesus as our Savior.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 37-50
  • Isaiah 64:5-6
  • Isaiah 61:10

 

Materials

  • Several smocks (Loose-fitting fabrics that simply have a hole in the middle to fit over the head (for quick changing during the lesson) and a belt to tie them off.  You can do more elaborate costumes if you want, but these simple outfits will work.)
    • One plain white smock (to start the story)
    • One “coat of many colors”
    • Two dingy-colored or burlap smocks (for slavery before being sold and for prison)
    • One nicer white smock (for serving Potiphar)
    • Two even nicer smocks (for when Potiphar put Joseph in charge of his entire estate and for when Joseph comes up from prison)
    • One even nicer, nicer smock (for when Joseph was put in charge of Egypt – “robes of fine linen”)
    • One “filthy rags” smock (to represent our “righteousness”)
    • One “golden” smock (to represent the righteousness of Christ)
    • Gold chains costume jewelry
    • Ring costume jewelry

 

Preparation

  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “There is famous saying that ‘Clothes make the man.’”
  • “It means that what you wear says a lot about you and that people will judge you based on the clothes that you wear.”
  • “I think we ought to be careful about judging people based on the clothes that they wear.”
  • “They could be a great person inside of terrible clothes.”
  • “For example, Joseph wore many clothes in his lifetime, but for most of his life, Joseph was the same person underneath those clothes.”  (Ask for volunteer to come to the front, and put the plain, white smock on him or her.)
  • “Here’s Joseph, a young man of 17 years.”
  • “Look closely at him.  I want you to tell me if he changes when he gets his new clothes.”
  • “Joseph had 11 brothers, ten older than him.”
  • “In Hebrew culture, the oldest son was supposed to get the best treatment, but Joseph’s father loved him more than all the others, because he was the firstborn son of Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife.)
  • “To show his love for Joseph, Jacob gave him a fancy coat to wear.”  (Put coat of many colors on volunteer.)
  • “Look closely; is it the same person or a different person underneath?” (Acknowledge responses.  Hopefully, the participants will agree that Joseph was the same person no matter what he was wearing.)
  • “This made Joseph’s brothers really jealous and angry with him, and they got even angrier when Joseph started having dreams about ruling over his brothers.”
  • “The next time the brothers were out shepherding their sheep, Joseph’s father sent him to check on them.”
  • “He made the mistake of wearing his fancy robe to go and find them.”
  • “The brothers were all wearing the clothes of smelly, dirty shepherds, and here came Joseph, wearing the clothes of someone who didn’t have to work because he was so special.”
  • “When they saw Joseph with his fancy coat, they were furious with him and talked about killing him.”
  • “In the end, they decided to sell him to a passing group of slave traders.”  (Put the dingy-colored smock on the volunteer.)
  • “What do you think now?  Is it the same Joseph, or did the clothes change him?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “The slave traders took Joseph to Egypt and sold him to an Egyptian, named Potiphar.  There, he was given the clothes of a servant.”  (Put nicer white smock on volunteer.)
  • “Same Joseph or different?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Joseph served Potiphar so well that Potiphar soon promoted him and put him in charge of everything in his household.”  (Put even nicer white smock on volunteer.)
  • “Is he different yet, or is he the same Joseph he was when we started the story?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “But then a terrible and unfair thing happened!  Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of doing something he didn’t do, and Potiphar was so angry that he threw Joseph into prison.”  (Put second dingy smock on volunteer.)
  • “Do these clothes make him someone different?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Joseph was in prison for years, but he served the prison warden so well that the warden put him in charge of everything in the prison.”
  • “There came a day when Pharaoh (the king of Egypt) had a few dreams that bothered him.”
  • “No one could interpret the dreams for him, but he learned from one of his servants that Joseph had the power to interpret dreams.”
  • “Pharaoh called Joseph up from prison, and they dressed him in nicer clothes to prepare him to meet Pharaoh.”  (Put second even nicer white smock on volunteer.)
  • “Has he changed?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams for him, and Pharaoh was so impressed that he promoted Joseph to the 2nd highest level within Egypt.  Only Pharaoh was more powerful than Joseph.”
  • “Pharaoh had Joseph dressed in robes of fine linen and put gold chains around his neck and an important ring on his finger.”  (Put even nicer, nicer smock, gold chains and ring on volunteer.)
  • “Even in this really nice set of clothes, isn’t Joseph still the same person underneath?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “In this new role, Joseph did even better than he did in all his other roles.”
  • “He helped the Egyptians to save some food during the good years when there was lots of food, and when the famine came, there was plenty of food for everyone in Egypt and in the surrounding nations.”
  • “So, here we have Joseph with his eight different sets of clothes.”  (Show all eight smocks.)
  • “But the Joseph underneath is the same Joseph no matter what he is wearing.”
  • “Joseph always did his best and served those in authority faithfully, and in the end, he was recognized as a great and wise leader by Pharaoh.”
  • “Joseph was a pretty impressive guy!”
  • “When we read about him, most of us think it would be pretty cool to be like Joseph.”
  • “But you know what?  No matter how impressive Joseph is to us, he doesn’t impress God just because he was a good person.”
  • “The Bible tells us in Isaiah 64:5-6, ‘How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.’”
  • “What that means is that even the ‘best’ person in the world – the one who does the most good things – looks like he is dressed in filthy rags to God.”  (Put filthy rags smock on volunteer.)
  • “We can’t save ourselves from Hell just by being good – not even if we are as a good as Joseph was.”
  • “You see, God doesn’t care what you DO until you change WHO you are, and there is only one way to change WHO you are in God’s eyes…you have to accept Jesus (God’s Son) as your Savior.”
  • “Two thousand years ago, Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins.”
  • “He had to do that because we sin.”
  • “You sin, I sin…everyone who has ever lived sins.”
  • “The Bible says that the penalty for sin is death.  That means separation from God.”
  • “But God loved us so much that he didn’t want us to be separate from Him.”
  • “So He sent His Son, Jesus, to take the penalty of our sin for us.”
  • “Jesus died on a cross to pay for our sins.  Then He rose from the dead to give us new life!”
  • “But you have to accept what Jesus did for you.  It’s a gift, and He won’t make you take it.”
  • “If you want to, you can still pay the penalty for your own sins, but that would be a terrible waste of the gift Jesus bought for you when He died on the cross.”
  • “But here’s what’s cool about accepting Jesus’ gift!”  (Have someone read Isaiah 61:10)
  • “This Scripture is talking about two of the things Jesus did for us by dying on the cross.”
  • “The first is that He clothed us with salvation.  In other words, we get to go to heaven.”
  • “The second is that He dressed us up in a robe of righteousness.  In other words, He covered our unrighteousness (our filthy rags) with His righteousness.”  (Put golden smock on volunteer.)
  • “Now THIS impresses God!”
  • “When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He covers our sinfulness with His perfection.”
  • “Then, whenever God, the Father, looks at us, He sees the righteousness of His Son, Jesus.”
  • “This is the only set of clothes that will ever change WHO you are, because it makes you a child of God.”
  • “It has nothing to do with what you DO, because it’s a gift from Jesus.”
  • “You can’t earn it.  You can only accept it.”
  • “So in a sense, clothes really do make the man, but in God’s eyes, there are only two types of clothes that say anything about WHO you are.”
  • “Are you wearing the filthy rags of sinfulness? (Show the filthy rag smock.) ….or the righteous robe of a child of God?”  (Show the golden smock.)
  • “I hope you will accept the wonderful gift Jesus bought for you.  He really wants you to have it!”  (Thank and dismiss volunteer.  At this point (depending on your tradition), you might want to make an invitation for the audience to accept the gift of salvation and the robe of righteousness that Jesus has purchased for each of us.)

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Negotiation Game (GAME)


Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Time

30-40 minutes (longer if you use the Bible study at the end)
Description

This game teaches about negotiation skills and going for win-win.  It has elements of a “Gotcha” activity (an activity where participants are set-up to fail in order to create an awareness of a learning need).  Teams compete with each other and often end up doing worse overall than they could have done if they had cooperated and gone for win-win.

Scriptures

o  Genesis 18:1-33

Materials

o  Flipchart and marker

o  Notecards that say “Win-Win” on one side and “Win-Lose” on the other (one per team)

o  (Optional) Projector, Computer and Screen to display PowerPoint slides with the rules and the debriefing questions.  You can access these by downloading the file “Negotiation Game – Slides” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at http://www.teachingthem.com.)

o  (Optional) Prizes for the highest-scoring team.

o  Bible

Preparation

o  Write “Win-Win” on one side of each of the notecards.

o  Write “Win-Lose” on the other side of the same notecards.

o  Draw a score chart on the flipchart.  It should look like this (add more columns if you have more teams):

Team #1 Team #2 Team #3 Team #4
WW / WL Points WW / WL Points WW / WL Points WW / WL Points
Round 1
Round 2
Total After 2 Rounds
Round 3
Total After 3 Rounds
Round 4
Total After 4 Rounds
Round 5
Final Score

Procedure

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

  • “Let’s play a game about negotiation.”
  • “In this game, your team will have two choices: go for Win-Win or go for Win-Lose.”
  • “Win-Win means that you want to win but only if the other teams can win, too.”
  • “Win-Lose means that you want to win even if it means that another team might have to lose.”
  • “In a perfect world, we would always go for Win-Win, but this isn’t a perfect world.”
  • “I’m going to give you incentives for going for Win-Lose that will make you have to think hard about what you want to do.”  (Share slides on the PowerPoint if you want to.)
  • “Each round, your team will decide if it wants to go for Win-Win or Win-Lose.”
  • “You will make your decision known by holding up this card.” (Show one of the notecards, and show both sides so that they can see their choices.  Pass out one card to each team.)
  • “If ALL the teams go for Win-Win, the facilitator gives each team 100 points.”
  • “If more than half the teams go for Win-Lose, the facilitator takes away 100 points from every team.”
  • “But if less than half the teams go for Win-Lose, the facilitator gives the Win-Lose teams 200 points and takes away100 points from the Win-Win teams.”
  • “We will play five rounds.”
  • “Each team should now select a Negotiator.”
  • “This person will meet with the Negotiators from the other teams before each round and have three minutes to come to an agreement about what strategy to take.”  (Allow teams to select a Negotiator.  This person will have to be the Negotiator for the entire game.)
  • “What questions do you have before we start to play?”  (Answer questions.  Then, give the Negotiators time to meet outside the room for three minutes.  Afterward, have them come back to their teams.  On the count of three, have the Negotiator on each team raise their card with the side that has their choice (Win-Win or Win-Lose) facing you.  Record these choices on the flipchart, and assign scores to each team.  Then, allow 5 minutes for the team to discuss changes to their strategy before starting the process over again and sending the Negotiators outside the room.  Run all five founds.  If everyone is choosing Win-Win, you can add pressure by doubling the point amounts for a particular round.  When you’ve finished the game, award a prize for the highest scoring team if you want and have the teams discuss the Debriefing Questions below (and also on the 2nd PowerPoint slide.)

Debriefing Questions

• What makes the win-win strategy difficult?

• What are the problems with the win-lose strategy?

• How should we handle it when we are going for win-win, and someone takes advantage of us?

• Why should we strive for the win-win strategy?

Idea for Bible Lesson

If you want to do this game is connection with a Bible lesson, try having participants read Genesis 18 and answer the following questions:

1.    What did Abraham do before the negotiation that helped make it successful?

2.    What did Abraham do during the negotiation that helped make it successful?

3.    Was Abraham going for Win-Win or something else?  Why do you think so?

4.    Why do you think Abraham stopped at ten?

5.    Could he have gotten the Lord to agree to a lower number?  Why do you think so?

6.    What practices of good negotiation can you use in your negotiations?

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Filed under Abraham, Abram, competition, Game, Games that Teach, Intercession, Negotiation

Negotiation (DEVOTION)


In your table groups, read through the Scriptures below and then answer the following questions.

Genesis 18:1-33

1.    What did Abraham do before the negotiation that helped make it successful?

2.    What did Abraham do during the negotiation that helped make it successful?

3.    Was Abraham going for Win-Win or something else?  Why do you think so?

4.    Why do you think Abraham stopped at ten?

5.    Could he have gotten the Lord to agree to a lower number?  Why do you think so?

6.    What practices of good negotiation can you use in your negotiations?

 

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Filed under Abraham, Abram, Devotion, God's Will, Intercession, Negotiation

Why Jesus Came to Earth (BIBLE LESSON)


Time

25-30 minutes
Description

This lesson teaches about why Jesus came to earth.  It’s a good lesson to do around Christmas time, and it includes a game to keep things light.

 

Scriptures

  • Matthew 5:17, 20:28
  • Luke 4:18, 5:32, 19:10
  • John 3:17, 6:38-40, 6:51, 10:10, 12:46, 18:37
  • 1 John 3:8, 4:9-10

Materials

  • Cups (14 per team – teams will be about 6-10 people each)
  • Future board or cardboard (2 ft x 2 ft per team)
  • Plastic balls (14 per team – a kind that fits into the opening of the cups and that you can write on with a permanent marker)
  • Permanent marker
  • Tape
  • Small candies (at least one per cup)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Make tape loops with the tape, and use them to stick the cups to the future board or cardboard in a rounded pattern to resemble the world.  (You can stick them in rows using the following pattern: 2, 3, 4, 3, 2.)
  • Use the permanent marker to write the following Scripture summaries on the balls (one per ball):

§  “To destroy the works of the devil – 1 John 3:8”

§  “To give His life as a ransom for many – Matt 20:28”

§  “As a light so that no one who believes in Him should stay in darkness – John 12:46”

§  “To fulfill the Law and the Prophets – Matt 5:17”

§  “So that we might live through Him – 1 John 4:9”

§  “So that we can have abundant life – John 10:10”

§  “As a sacrifice to pay for our sins – 1 John 4:10”

§  “To proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind and to set the oppressed free – Luke 4:18”

§  “To seek and to save the lost – Luke 19:10”

§  “To do His Father’s will and raise up those the Father gave Him at the last day – John 6:38-40”

§  “To call sinners to repentance – Luke 5:32”

§  “To testify to the truth – John 18:37”

§  “To save the world through Himself – John 3:17”

§  “To give eternal life – John 6:51”

  • Put a candy or multiple candies into each cup.
  • Put the balls into the cups (one per cup).
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “Have any of you ever wondered why Jesus came to the earth?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Why do you think He came?”  (Allow volunteers to share reasons, and expand on each one if needed.  For any reasons that aren’t mentioned, use the notes below to add to what the participants say.  You can use the notes on the balls to help you remember the reasons.

§  To destroy the works of the devil – 1 John 3:8 – The devil had authority over the world until Jesus came, so Jesus came to take that authority away.

§  To give His life as a ransom for many – Matt 20:28 – We were held captive by Satan because of our sin, so Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and exchanged His life for ours.

§  As a light so that no one who believes in Him should stay in darkness – John 12:46 – Before Jesus came, the world was a dark place, but Jesus came as the Light of the world and pushed back the darkness.

§  To fulfill the Law and the Prophets – Matt 5:17 – The Law and the Prophets were what we call the Old Testament.  The Old Testament promised the Jews that Jesus was coming, and Jesus was the fulfillment of those promises.

§  So that we might live through Him – 1 John 4:9 – We were dead in our sin, so Jesus came to give us life.

§  So that we can have abundant life – John 10:10 – And Jesus didn’t just come to give us life, He came to give us ABUNDANT life – meaning a life full of joy and love and peace.

§  As a sacrifice to pay for our sins – 1 John 4:10 – The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, which means that death is what we earn as a result of our sin.  We have to pay for our sin with our deaths, but God allowed another way.  Something or someone innocent could take our place.  In the Old Testament times, they used to sacrifice innocent animals for pay for their sins, because no human was innocent.  Everyone deserved death because of their sin.  But Jesus came and lived a perfect and innocent life that allowed Him to die for us and pay our debt.

§  To proclaim good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind and to set the oppressed free – Luke 4:18 – Jesus came to preach the Gospel (the good news), to heal and restore people who were sick, blind, lame or deaf and to set those who were slaves to Satan free.

§  To seek and to save the lost – Luke 19:10 – Jesus came to look for those who were lost in their sin and to save them by inviting them to believe in Him and join Him in heaven.

§  To do His Father’s will and raise up those the Father gave Him at the last day – John 6:38-40 – Jesus said He never did anything that God, the Father, didn’t want Him to do, and He said that His Father’s will was that He save the lost so that He could present them to God the Father as His own on the last day, which is the day of judgment.

§  To call sinners to repentance – Luke 5:32 – Jesus came to invite those who were sinning to turn away from their sin and follow Him.

§  To testify to the truth – John 18:37 – Jesus came to be a witness to what is true and to show the difference between truth and the devil’s lies.

§  To save the world through Himself – John 3:17 – Jesus came to save the world by trading His life for everyone else’s.

§  To give eternal life – John 6:51 – Jesus came to die on the cross and pay for our sins so that we can live with him forever in heaven.

  • “Let’s play a game to help us remember all these reasons.” 
  • “This board and these cups represent the world, and each of these balls has a reason written on it for why Jesus came to the earth.”
  • “I’m going to divide you into teams, and you will try to toss the balls into the cups from a few feet away.”
  • “The first team to fill each cup with a ball wins (if you are doing a competition – or you could just say that they are done when each cup has a ball in it.)”  (Divide the participants into groups of about 6-10, and give each team a board with cups and balls on it.  Place the boards on the floor or on a table.  Have the participants grab 2-3 balls each and step about 2-4 feet away (depending upon the age of your group and how difficult you want this to be).  Then, have them line up and take turns tossing one ball at a time and seeing if they can make it into a cup (only one ball per cup).  If they miss, they can grab their ball and return to the end of the line.  When all the cups have a ball in them, they can divide the candy inside among themselves.  You might want to let them keep the balls as a reminder of why Jesus came to the earth.  When everyone is done, have them take a seat.)
  • “I’ve heard a story that gives another reason why Jesus came to the earth.”
  • “A pastor once shared about how he went to visit the pre-school children in his church’s children’s ministry.”
  • “He said that he walked into the room with his biggest smile and greeted all the children.”
  • “But to his surprise, all the children hid from him.
  • “After thinking about why they were afraid of him, he realized that he must look like a giant to them.”
  • “So, he got down on the floor and greeted the children again.”
  • “This time, the children all ran to him and begin jumping on him and climbing all over him.”
  • “He said that the Holy Spirit spoke quietly to his heart in that moment, and he realized that this was precisely one of the reasons why Jesus came to earth.”
  • “It’s hard to have a relationship with someone who’s ‘up there,’ whom you’ve never met before, who seems so unlike you.”
  • “But when Jesus came to earth as a powerless, little baby, He became someone we could relate to.”
  • “By coming to the earth, Jesus got down on our level so that God was no longer an intimidating person we had never met.”
  • “So, there are many reasons why Jesus came to the earth, but the most important reason and the reason that motivated all the others is LOVE.”
  • “God loves us so much that He didn’t want us to die in our sins.”
  • “He sent Jesus so that we could be together in heaven forever.”

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Filed under Christianity, Christmas, Eternity, Game, Games that Teach, God's Plan, Gospel, Heaven, Jesus, light, Light of the world, Repentance, salvation

Scattered (Obj Lesson)


Time

20-25 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches about why God scattered the people after they tried to build the Tower of Babel.

 

Scriptures

  • Genesis 11:1-9
  • Nehemiah 8:1
  • Proverbs 3:11-12
  • Proverbs 29:23
  • Ezekiel 34:11-16

Materials

  • Stackable items (e.g., blocks, sugar cubes, cups, etc.) You will need at least enough for each person to have one, and you may want to have enough for everyone to have more than one to increase the level of difficulty.
  • A timer, stopwatch or watch/clock with a second hand
  • Table (optional)
  • Small prize for everyone after finishing the challenge (optional)
  • A set of dice (2)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Spread the stackable items out on a table or floor
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “Let’s do a group challenge, called ‘Scattered.’”
  • “I will need a volunteer to roll the dice and keep time.” (Select a volunteer.  You could have two separate people doing these roles if you like.)
  • “Everyone else come and grab one (or more) of the blocks (or other stackable items) on the table (or floor).”
  • “Your goal is to work together to build a tower using all of the blocks (or other stackable items).”
  • “You will have a time limit, and your tower must be finished before time runs out.”
  • “We will find out how much time you have by rolling the dice and multiplying the total by five.”
  • “So, for example, if we roll a six and a three, that equals nine. Multiply that times five, and you get 45.  Then, you would have 45 seconds to finish your tower.”
  • “If we roll a two and a four, you will only get six times five seconds, which equals 30 seconds.”
  • “If you are not finished when the time runs out, I will call out, ‘SCATTER!’ and everyone will have to grab their block(s) and scatter away from the building area.”
  • “Then, we will roll the dice again, and you will get another chance to build your tower.”
  • “Does everyone understand how to do the challenge?”  (Answer any questions.  Then, go through several rounds of the challenge.  If they are really struggling, take a moment between rounds to show them how to build a step pyramid.  It looks like the pyramids of Egypt.  The first level is the biggest.  The second level is smaller and goes on top.  This is a stable way to build the tower, and it is easy to make the pyramid bigger by adding another row to the first level and then building on top.  If they just can’t get the tower built in the time, consider doubling it by multiplying the dice roll by ten instead of five.  When participants have successfully built the tower in the time limit, congratulate them and offer a prize (if you want).  Then, have them return to their seats.)
  • “Did you think that was easy or difficult?”  (Take responses.)
  • “For those of you who thought it was difficult, what made it hard to do?” (Take responses.  One of the responses you are hoping to hear is that they had to keep scattering.)
  • “I think so, too.  It’s hard to finish something if you have to keep taking it apart and scattering.  That leads me to our lesson for today.”
  • “Today’s lesson is going to be about the story of the Tower of Babel.”
  • “How many of you remember the story?”  (Allow someone to share it if they feel confident.  Then ask a volunteer to read it out loud from Genesis 11:1-9.)
  • “This story happened after Noah had built the ark and the floods had come, killing everyone on earth except the eight members of his family.”
  • “When the flood dried up, and the ark landed on a mountain, Noah, his wife, their children and their spouses all got off the ark.”
  • “Before long, their families started to grow, and when there were too many people to live in the same place, they began to move eastward.”
  • “When they came to the plain of Shinar, they thought it looked like a good place to live and got the idea to build a huge tower.”
  • “So, why do you think the people scattered?”  (Response should include that they spoke different languages and could no longer understand each other.)
  • “Right!  Think how difficult it would be to work together if you couldn’t understand what the other people were saying.”  (You might want to act out the story at this point to get a laugh.  Mimic the actions of a bricklayer laying bricks and spreading mortar.  Begin to ask someone to bring you more bricks, and begin speaking gibberish in midsentence.  Continue for a few moments, acting like you are getting increasingly frustrated by your inability to communicate.)
  • “This is where we get the word, ‘babel,’ which means a confusing noise.”
  • “God made the people babel (make a confusing noise) at the Tower of Babel.”
  • “Probably after a few hours of that, they gave up trying to talk with people who couldn’t understand them and started to form groups with people who did understand them.”
  • “Then, those groups separated from the other groups and went to different places around the earth.”
  • “So, why do you think God changed their language and scattered them?” (The reason you are looking for is that they were building the tower for the wrong reasons.  They built it to “make a name for ourselves.”)
  • “In other words, they were building a tower to show how great they were.  This is a motive called pride.”
  • “God hates pride.  In Proverbs 29:23, He says, ‘A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.’”
  • “God hates pride, because it means that we are taking credit for everything and giving no credit to God.”
  • “Do you think these people could have built the tower without the mud and straw that God provided for the bricks?”  (Listen for responses.)
  • “Do you think they could have built it without the strength in their arms and legs that God gave them to carry and stack the bricks?”  (Listen for responses.)
  • “Do you think they could have built it without the intelligence that God gave them to create a plan for how to build the tower?”   (Listen for responses.)
  • “We can’t take credit for any good thing that we are able to do without giving credit to God for giving us the materials, the strength and the intelligence to do it.”
  • “Everything good comes from the Lord, so He deserves our appreciation.”
  • “These people building the Tower of Babel didn’t appreciate what the Lord had done for them.”
  • “They thought that they could do everything in their own power, so God changed their language to show them that without the blessing of a common language, they really didn’t have as much power as they thought.”
  • “When they couldn’t understand each other, they found people who they could understand and scattered over the earth in these groups.”
  • “This isn’t the only time God scattered people.  In Nehemiah 1:8, the Scriptures tell us that God threatened to scatter His people if they were unfaithful to him.” (Have a volunteer read Nehemiah 1:8.)
  • “You see, God knew that the Israelites would get proud and think that they didn’t need God.”
  • “He threatened to scatter them as discipline for their pride.”
  • “But discipline is a good thing.  God says that He disciplines those He loves and calls His children, so while it might not sound great to get scattered, it really means that God loved them.” (Proverbs 3:11-12)
  • “The Israelites disobeyed God and got scattered for many years.”
  • “But God promised He would also bring them back to their land.”  (Have volunteer read Nehemiah 1:9.)
  • “And God did bring them back.  In fact, Nehemiah (the one who wrote the book from which we are reading the Scripture) was one of the ones God gathered back.”
  • “When he wrote this book of the Bible, he was rebuilding the ruined wall of Jerusalem.”
  • “God scattered the people multiple times throughout the Bible as a way of disciplining them and reminding them that need Him – that they can’t do everything by themselves.”
  • “But God didn’t leave them scattered.  Like a good shepherd gathering his lost sheep, God brought His people back home.”  (Ezekiel 34:11-16)

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Filed under Discipline, Humility, Pride