Tag Archives: hurts

Good Seed – Bad Seed (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Audience

Children, Teens, Adults

Description

This object lesson teaches about wounds that we get when people or circumstances hurt us.  These take up a place in our hearts, because our hearts are where we keep things that are very important to us (both good and bad).  Wounds are very fertile places in our hearts, so both God and Satan will try to plant seeds there.  God’s seeds will turn our wounds into something beautiful, but Satan’s seeds will turn them into something painful, shameful, bitter and/or destructive.  (Note: You will need a break in the lesson and/or a helper to plant the flowers and the weeds in the soil.)

Scriptures

  •   Romans 8:28

 

Materials

  • 1 large, heart-shaped pan or container (open at the top and about 3-5 inches deep – will be used as a planter for flowers and weeds and filled with soil.)
  • 2 large, over-sized “packages” of seeds (They should be really big – preferably 2 ft tall for an exaggerated effect.  They could created out of flipchart paper or something else (like a large mailing envelope.)
  • 1 watering can (to water the flowers)
  • Thick marker
  • Sheet of paper
  • Tape
  • Flowers (these can be real or fake – enough to fill the heart-shaped container)
  • Weeds (these can be real or fake – about 10 of these)
  • Soil (enough to fill the heart-shaped container)
  • Seeds to go in each of the seed packages (It doesn’t matter what kind as long as they are large enough to be visible.  Sunflower seeds would work well.  Put several handfuls into each package.)

 

Preparation

  • Spread the soil around the heart-shaped container.
  • Fill the watering can with water, and have it ready nearby the teaching area.
  • Put the flowers and weeds somewhere where they can’t be seen and where you will be able to plant them later without being seen.
  • Practice the script.
  • Label one package of seeds in large letters that say, “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.”
  • Label the other package of seeds with large letters that say, “Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control.”
  • Use the sheet of paper, marker and tape to label the watering can with a sign that says, “Living Water.”

Procedure

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

  • “Sometimes bad things happen to us.”
  • “People mistreat us or hurt us, we have a bad experience, we make a mistake and have to suffer from the consequences…”
  • “These things happen to everyone, but sometimes the experience hurts us so much that it creates a wound in our heart.”
  • “A wound in your heart is a painful place; it hurts just to think about it.”
  • “When you remember what happened, you feel terrible sadness or anger or jealousy or shame and embarrassment.”
  • “Don’t raise your hand, but just think to yourself – do you have a wound like that in your heart?”  (Allow participants a few moments to consider and remember a wound that they have suffered.)
  • “I imagine that we can all think of at least on painful experience in our lives that just won’t go away.”  (Ask for a volunteer to come to the front.)
  • “A wound is a really fertile place in your heart; that means that it’s a place where things can grow really well.”
  • “It’s really fertile because of the pain from the wound.  That pain can change you – it can change you for good or change you for evil.”
  • “Let’s imagine that this heart-shaped container represents a wound in your heart.”  (Show the heart-shaped container, and have the volunteer put his/her fingers through the soil.)
  • (To the volunteer…) “Does that look like some fertile soil to you?”  (Acknowledge response.)
  • “It’s really good soil, and you could grow almost anything in there.”
  • “Well, there are two ‘gardeners’ who are very interested in growing things in that soil; one is God, and one is Satan.”
  • “They both want to grow things in your wound, because they know how fertile the soil is.”
  • “God brings His seeds.”  (Hand the large package of God’s seeds (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control) to your volunteer, and have him/her hold it up where everyone can see.)
  • “God’s seeds will grow into the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  (Have volunteer shake some seeds into the soil in the heart.)
  • “The Bible says in Romans 8:28 that God will use ALL things for the good of those who love Him.”
  • “That means that God can even take the wounds in your heart, the worst things that you have ever experienced, and turn them into blessings for you!”
  • “But Satan also brings his seeds.” (Set the God seeds aside and hand the volunteer the other package of seeds.)
  • “Satan’s seeds will grow into the fruits of evil, which are the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit: Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control.”   (Have volunteer shake some seeds into the soil in the heart.)
  • “Now, these two sets of seeds are going to compete to grow in the soil of your heart.”
  • “Since the wound is so fertile, they are definitely going to grow, but you get to decide which type of seeds fill up your heart.”
  • “Do you want the seeds that grow into the fruit of the Spirit to fill your heart, or do you want the seeds of evil to grow there?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “If you want the fruit of the Spirit to grow, you’ve got to water those seeds every day with Living Water.”  (Hand your volunteer the watering can, making sure that the audience can see the “Living Water” label.  Have the volunteer sprinkle some water over the soil.)
  • “Living Water is the Word of God – the Bible.”
  • “When you water with Living Water every day, the seeds that turn into the fruit of the Spirit are going to grow.”
  • “But if you do nothing, the weeds of evil will grow instead.”
  • “They don’t need any help to grow, because they grow naturally all by themselves.”
  • “The fruit of the Spirit, on the other hand, only grows when you spend time getting closer to God each day by studying His Word, praying and doing your best to follow what His Word says to do.”
  • “Let’s give these some time to grow and see what happens.”  (Hand the heart-shaped container to a helper (or take a break) to take away and plant the flowers and weeds.  Thank and dismiss your volunteer.  Plant the flowers all around the heart, and insert weeds at different places.  Then, bring the container back into the teaching area to finish the lesson.)
  • “Let’s pretend that some time has passed.”
  • “Our flowers that represent the fruit of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control) have grown up, because we have been watering them every day with Living Water by spending time praying, reading God’s Word and doing what it says to do.”
  • “Unfortunately, some weeds of evil (Hate, Sadness, Fear, Impatience, Meanness, Sinfulness, Disloyalty, Harshness, Lack of Control) have also grown up in our heart.”
  • “That’s the way Satan works.  He never gives up.”
  • “Even when we are working really hard to let God use the wound to bless us and those around us, Satan will still plant seeds of evil around God’s seeds.”
  • “You will have forgiven the person who hurt you, but every once in awhile, feelings of hate or mean thoughts will spring up in your heart.”
  • “You may have trusted God with the mistake you made, but every once in awhile, feelings of deep sadness or sinful thoughts or actions might spring up.”
  • “Don’t be surprised when this happens…it’s normal.”
  • “What you have to do is pull those weeds.”  (Ask for volunteer to come up and carefully pull the weeds out without uprooting the flowers.)
  • “The way you get those weeds out of your heart is by giving them to God whenever you notice them in your heart.”
  • “Pray to God, and ask Him to take away your bad feelings and your bad thoughts.  Ask Him to help you stay away from bad actions.”
  • “Keep the garden of your heart clean from weeds so that the fruit of the Spirit can really grow and make your heart beautiful.”
  • “In that way, God will take a wound in your heart and make it into something beautiful for you and everyone God puts in your life.”  (Thank and dismiss your volunteer.)

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Filed under blessing, Bullying, Challenges, Fruit of the Spirit, God's Protection, God's Will, Healing, heart, Object Lesson, Overcoming obstacles, purity

Jigsaw Body


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about how the Body of Christ is connected and emphasizes how God uses our imperfect parts and our struggles to join us to others. It uses the metaphor of a jigsaw puzzle.

Materials

  • Computer, LCD Projector and screen
  • PowerPoint presentation, “Jigsaw Body (PowerPoint).” See “Lesson and Material Downloads Page” at https://teachthem.wordpress.com/

Preparation

· Set up projector and screen.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

· “The Body of Christ is a giant jumble of all kinds of different people. Black people, white people, yellow people, tan people…. fat people, skinny people, funny people, serious people, musical people, logical people, poor people, rich people…”

· “And then there are the many different traditions and styles of worship and ways of teaching and ways of expressing our gifts. What are some of the ways you have seen people worship God?” (Listen to responses, and be careful not to discount the different expressions of worship. They might not be familiar to us, but that doesn’t always mean that they aren’t valid.)

· “How many of you know that God loves variety?” (Model that you are looking for a show of hands, then show the first slide.)

· “Here’s a collage of pictures of people worshipping and honoring God in many different ways. I think He enjoys all of these different ways, because having us all worship in just one way would be pretty boring.” (Show first slide.)

· “But you know, besides the fact that all Christians call Jesus Christ Lord and Savior, there is at least one other thing that we all have in common: we all have struggles.”

· “No Christian, no matter how spiritual they are or how long they have been a Christian, is ever completely free from struggles.”

· “We can’t graduate from the ‘school of hard knocks.’ They keep coming all throughout our lives.”

· “Even Saint Paul, who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, told us about having what he called a ‘thorn in the flesh.’ We don’t know exactly what it was. Some think it was a problem with his eyes; others think it was some type of temptation.”

· “But whatever it was, God wouldn’t take it away even though Paul prayed and asked Him to three different times.”

· “Why do you think God lets us struggle sometimes?” (Listen for responses. Then add the following.)

· “Those are good responses. In addition to what you’ve said, I can think of three good reasons God leaves us with our struggles.

o They keep us in communication with Him. While we are struggling, we pray more and with more intensity. If it weren’t for our difficult times, God might never hear from some of us!

o They are a greenhouse for spiritual growth. Do you know what a greenhouse is? (Listen for responses, and add if necessary: a greenhouse is a house made of glass or plastic that lets sunlight in and keeps it in to help plants grow better in a warm, tropical environment.) When we submit our difficult areas to God, we learn spiritual lessons that we couldn’t learn if everything was easy.

o They connect us to each other. When we have needs, we reach out to others for help. Some of us wait until we are really hurting before we swallow our pride and admit that we can’t do it alone, and that might be the whole point of why God allows our suffering to continue so long.”

· “I think the Body of Christ is really like a giant jigsaw puzzle.” (Show next slide.)

· “Each of us has jagged parts and unfinished parts that God is still working on to make us look more like Him.”

· “All of us have places in which we need to receive from others and places where we can give where others are in need.”

· “None of us is perfect, and that’s by God’s design. God has a purpose for our imperfection.”

· “Perfect people would be like puzzle pieces with smooth edges.” (Show next slide.)

· “They wouldn’t need anyone else, and they would have no reason to want to help their brothers and sisters in Christ (since none of us would have any needs, either).”

· “Everyone would live independent lives without any needs.”

· “There would be nothing to force them to reach out to their neighbor or to the Church.”

· “Over time, the Church would stop looking like an interdependent, connected Body of Christ.”

· “Rather than being jointed together like a jigsaw puzzle, we would just be jumbled – overlapping but not connecting.” (Show next slide.)

· “What do you notice is harder to see in this picture?” (Listen for “the cross.”)

· “Right! When we don’t join together as the Body of Christ, it’s hard to see Christ in us.”

· “Our jagged edges and lack of ability to do everything for ourselves force us to get help from one another.”

· “Our struggles and our needs are God’s way of forcing us to reach out and to receive from others. They bond the Body together.”

· “I think we should give God praise for every struggle we have and everything that isn’t perfect about us.”

· “God left us with those struggles and those imperfections, because they fit perfectly with someone else that God has brought or will bring into our lives – like your parents or your friends or your teacher or someone else that you might not have even thought about yet.”

· “Also, we should be careful not to limit these connections to just members of the Body of Christ.”

· “God has a plan to draw more and more people to Him, and He wants those that He brings to us to have some place to connect with us.”

· “Our struggles and our pains and our imperfect parts are the places where He connects us with them.” (Show final slide.)

· “Putting our “perfect” sides out for the world to see creates pressure for us to live a ‘perfect lives,’ but nobody is perfect except for Jesus.”

· “Trying to look like we are perfect is just a lie to make us feel good about ourselves, and when people find out about our jagged edges, they realize that we are just pretending to be perfect.”

· “Smooth edges don’t make people want to be Christians. They push them away.”

· “They make people who aren’t Christians think that they have to clean up their lives and become perfect before becoming a Christian.”

· “So, if we want to win the world to Christ, we’ve got to stop polishing our edges and let the world see us as we really are.”

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Filed under Authenticity, Challenges, Christianity, diversity, individuality, Object Lesson, Relationships, self-image, struggles

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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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, heart, Religion, Spiritual Growth