Tag Archives: God’s glory

Reflecting God’s Glory (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches that we have no light of our own but that we are called to reflect God’s light to the world.  It uses the story of Moses’ glowing face when he came down from Mount Sinai after meeting with God to make the point that the more time we spend with God, the more we will reflect His glory.

 

Audience

  • Children, Youth, Adults

 

Scriptures

  • Exodus 34:29-35
  • Matthew 5:14-16
  • John 8:12
  • 2 Corinthians 3:18

 

Materials

  • Small mirrors or other reflective surfaces (at least 5-6, but you may want more if you want the entire audience to participate)
  • A bright light source and power to make it work (a large flashlight or lamp would work)
  • A barrier behind which you will hide the light source (It should hide the light source from the audience.)
  • Something (or someone) that can hold the light source steady and point it toward the front of the room.
  • Anything you need to darken the room (You will need to block light coming from windows, doors and artificial light sources.)
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Set up the barrier near the front of the room but off to the side.  It should allow the light source to show toward the front of the room but be concealed to all other parts of the room.
  • Set up the light source and angle the light so that it points toward the front of the room.  Turn the light on before you begin your lesson.
  • Block light coming from any other light source (but leave the lights on until the appropriate time to turn them off in your lesson).
  • Ask someone to turn off the lights for you when you give the signal.
  • Set the mirrors or reflective surfaces near the front of the room where you can access them easily.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “One of the most important things we can do as Christians is to give glory to God.”
  • “In the book of Exodus (2nd book of the Bible in the OT), it tells the story of Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets that had the ‘Ten Commandments’ on them.”  (Have someone read Exodus 34:29-35.)
  • “Because Moses had been spending so much time with God up on the mountain, when he came down, his face glowed with the glory of the Lord!”
  • “It was so bright that the Israelites were afraid of Moses at first, and he had to put a veil over his face when he talked to them.”
  • “Paul talks about this story in 2 Corinthians 3:18 (have someone read the Scripture), but he says we should act differently than Moses.”
  • “We shouldn’t put a veil over God’s glory; we should let it reflect off of us as brightly as possible.”
  • “In fact, he says that as we are being transformed to look more and more like Jesus, we will reflect more and more of God’s glory.”
  • “It’s important to remember, though, that this glory isn’t from us.”
  • “We don’t have any light of our own.”
  • “All our light is reflected light from God.”
  • “We should be like this mirror.”  (Hold up a mirror to show the audience.)
  • “How much light does the mirror emit by itself?”  (Acknowledge responses, and lead them to the correct answer if they get it wrong.)
  • “The truth is that the mirror cannot create light; it can only reflect light.”
  • “Let me show you what I mean.”  (Have your volunteer turn off the lights.  Be careful not to angle your mirror toward your hidden light source.  You don’t want it to reflect any light yet.)
  • “What happened?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “When the lights went out, you couldn’t really see the mirror anymore.”
  • “Why is that?”  (Acknowledge responses, and guide them toward the right answer – it doesn’t emit any light of its own.)
  • “The mirror only reflects – it doesn’t create light.”
  • “But who has noticed that there is a light source somewhere in the room?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Right!  There is a light coming from over there!”
  • “Now, none of you can actually see the light source, but you can see the evidence of the light source.”
  • “What I mean is that you don’t know what is actually making the light, but you can see what it does – it makes things brighter and better.”
  • “God is like that for most of the people in the world.”
  • “We can’t see Him, but we can see what He does – He makes things brighter and better.”
  • “He pushes back darkness and shines His glory in the world.”
  • “Most people don’t know what the Light Source of the world is, but Christians do!”
  • “If you are a Christian, you know where the light in the world comes from; it comes from Jesus.”
  • “In John 8:12, Jesus tells us, ‘I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
  • “That’s pretty cool – we’ll have the light of life and won’t walk in darkness.”  (Angle your mirror so that it catches the light, but point the light away from the audience.)
  • “But we aren’t supposed to just keep the light for ourselves.”
  • “Jesus was the light in the world while He was here on earth, but now He has gone back to heaven, and no one can see Him.”
  • “That’s why he tells His followers in Matthew 5:14, ‘You are the light of the world.’” (Have someone read Matthew 5:14-16.)
  • “He tells them, ‘Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.’”
  • “We can’t keep this light to ourselves – we have to let it shine!”  (Angle your mirror so that the light falls on someone in the audience.)
  • “Here’s what’s great!  When you let the light of Jesus shine on someone, there’s a good chance that they will want see that light for themselves.”  (Invite the person you shined the light on to come to the front of the room.  Give him or her a mirror, and show him or her how to catch the light and angle it toward someone else in the audience.)
  • “If they do, then they will start to reflect the light of Jesus in the world, and the person they shine it on might want to see the Light Source for himself/herself.”  (Invite the person your volunteer shined the light on to come get a mirror and repeat the process.  You can do this as many times as you would like to multiply the number of people shining the light of Jesus.)
  • “How cool is this!”
  • “By shining the light of Jesus out into the world, we help people recognize how much God loves them.”
  • “When people know how much God loves them, they usually will want to see the Light Source for themselves.”
  • “But we can’t keep the light to ourselves.”  (Have all the mirror-holders angle their mirrors away from the audience.)
  • “That would be selfish and disobedient to what God has asked us to do, and no one would know how much God loves them.”  (Have them angle their mirrors back toward the audience and move them around so that the light dances around the room.)
  • “Jesus tells us how we can reflect His light.”
  • “He says in Matthew 14-16 that when we do good deeds because of our love of God, His light will reflect off of us, and people will praise God.”
  • “So we’ve got to find ways to do good things for people who don’t know God.”
  • “Right now, I want you to quickly think of one good thing you could do for someone (especially someone who doesn’t know God).”
  • “Tell the person next to you what you thought of.”  (Allow a few moments for them to share their idea.)
  • “Who will actually go and do what you thought of?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Excellent!  That is how we can reflect God’s glory in the world!!”  (Thank your volunteers, and let them return to their seats as you have your volunteer turn the lights back on.)

 

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Filed under God's Glory, Great Commission, Jesus, Light of the world, Moses, Object Lesson, Testimony, Transformation, Veil, Witness

Lazarus (DEVOTION)


As a group, read the following Scriptures and answer the questions below.

John 11:1-44 (entire chapter)

1.    Why do you think Jesus waited before going to Mary and Martha?

2.    Have you ever had a time in your life when you desperately prayed for God’s help but God chose not to give you what you asked for?

3.    What do you think God’s purposes are in these situations?

Now, think back through the story, and put yourself in the role of Lazarus.  Instead of focusing on Lazarus’ physical sickness and death, though, now focus on your spiritual sickness and death before you became a Christian.

4.    How is the story about Lazarus’ resurrection like your own story of spiritual rebirth?

5.    What insights does this give you about the story?

 

Facilitator Notes for Large Group Debrief

o  Like Lazarus, we were dead, but our sickness which led to death was spiritual rather than physical.

o  Jesus waited until we were aware of our deadness before He brought us into life everlasting.

o  Releasing Lazarus from the grave was a visual representation of what Jesus was about to do for all of us.

o  When Jesus rolled away the stone from His own grave in the garden, He rolled away the stone for all of humanity.  Death could no longer hold us!

o  The stone that blocked our way to new life has been rolled away.

o  Jesus calls our name and invites us to come out to enjoy new life with Him.

o  Unfortunately, many of us chose to stay in our tombs rather than respond to Jesus’ call for us to come out.

o  As long as we stayed in our graves, we were still dead in our sin.

o  But for those of us who responded when Jesus called our names, we have new life!

o  But that’s not the entire story of how we got free, because even though we had been freed from the power of death, we, like Lazarus, were still bound in our grave clothes.

o  Satan had wrapped us up pretty tightly.

o  Many of us emerged from the grave, but we weren’t truly free yet.  The sins and scars of our past still held us.  We wanted to be free to enjoy the life that Jesus promised, but we didn’t know how to separate ourselves from those grave clothes.

o  Some of us are still bound today.  We still don’t know how to get free of our past.  What we did or what was done to us prevents us from experiencing the full joy of our new freedom.

o  Like the burial custom practiced in Lazarus’ time, Satan tied our hands and our feet, wrapped us in grave clothes and veiled our faces.

o  He tied our hands, because it’s with our hands that we do God’s WORK.

o  He tied our feet, because it’s with our feet that we WALK with the Lord.

o  He veiled our faces, because it’s with our faces that we bear WITNESS to God’s glory.*

o  Many of us are alive in Christ but still tied up in sin, guilt, shame, pain, or ignorance that keeps us from our WORK, our WALK and our WITNESS with and for God.

o  It sometimes takes a long time to recognize our freedom, and we need the help of the Church to get free.  We need our brothers and sisters in Christ to do for us what those who witnessed Lazarus raised from the dead did for Lazarus.  We need our brothers and sisters to “Take off (our) grave clothes and let (us) go!”

o  We can’t get free ourselves.  This is part of the role of the Church.

o  So, as we see other brothers and sisters emerge from the grave, we need to step forward and help them in whatever way God gives us.  We need to get them free from their grave clothes.

o  And if you are still bound and don’t know how to get free, don’t try to do it alone.  Turn to your brothers and sisters in Christ and to Christian professionals who can help you to cut those bounds and walk free in Christ.

 

* There are at least three important veils in Scripture. Moses wore his veil to hide God’s glory when he came down from the mountain, because the sinful people couldn’t stand the bright holiness of God. But when Jesus died, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom because all could now have access to a holy God through Christ. Satan wants to keep us veiled like Lazarus, but it’s no longer necessary to hide God’s glory.

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Filed under Daily walk, Devotion, God's Will, Healing, Jesus, Martha, Mary, Resurrection, Witness