Tag Archives: Sea of Galilee

Exceeding Abundantly (OBJ LESSON)


Time
25 minutes

Description
This object lesson teaches about greed and selfishness and how God wants us to deal with the blessings that He gives us.  It uses a metaphor based on the two seas in Israel.

Scriptures
•    Luke 6:38, 12:13-21
•    Ephesians 3:20-21

Materials
•    Small, plastic cups (about 50)
•    Big, plastic cups (two)
•    Pitcher
•    Bucket
•    Water (enough to fill the pitcher)
•    Cookie sheet with a lip around the edge
•    Table
•    Bible

Preparation
•    Fill the pitcher with water
•    Practice the script.

Procedure
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
•    “Let’s read a story that Jesus told about a greedy man.”  (Ask volunteer to read Luke 12:13-21.)
•    “Why do you think Jesus told them this story?”  (Listen to responses.  The main idea is that Jesus wanted them to see that greed and the desire for earthly things were not the most important things for those in the Kingdom of God.)
•    “What do you think about the rich man in this story?”  (Listen to responses.)
•    “What else do you think the man could have done with all his extra crop?”  (Listen to responses.  The one you are looking for to begin the object lesson is that he could have shared the food with people who didn’t have very much.)
•    “I’m going to give you a picture of how God wants us to handle the blessings He gives us.”
•    “I need everyone to stand up and form a single-file line.”  (Help them get into a line.  It doesn’t have to be straight.  If you have a large number of participants, you can wrap the line around the room.)
•    “This line represents some very important bodies of water in the land of Israel.”
•    “At this end (designate one end of the line) is the Sea of Galilee.”  (Hand the participant on that end one of the large cups, and ask him/her to hold it.)
•    “And at this end (designate the other end of the line) is the Dead Sea.”  (Hand the participant on the other end the second large cup, and ask him/her to hold it.  Place the bucket nearby.  If you have a Bible with maps in it, you might want to show the group what Israel looks like and point out the two seas with the Jordan River between them.)
•    “The two seas are connected by the Jordan River.”  (Hand all the remaining participants one small cup each and ask them to hold it.)
•    “Now, even though these two seas are connected by the same river, they are very different from one another.”
•    “The Sea of Galilee contains 27 species of fish, some found nowhere else in the world.”
•    “Its sweet waters serve as the main water supply for Israel, and its shores are lush with vegetation.”
•    “Many people make their living from its waters, fishing or planting crops near the shore.”
•    “The Dead Sea, on the other hand, didn’t get its name for nothing.”
•    “There are no fish, no fishermen, no vegetation on its shores.”
•    “It’s twice as wide and almost four times as long as the Sea of Galilee, but the Dead Sea is toxic and bitter.”
•    “There is no life in it or around it except bacteria and one type of algea.”
•    “Why is it dead?  There are several reasons.”
•    “For one, it’s the point of lowest elevation on the planet outside of the ocean depths.”
•    “The Jordan River brings water and minerals into the Dead Sea, but it’s so low that the only way the water gets out is by evaporation.”
•    “And it’s so hot in this part of the world that seven million gallons of water evaporate from the Dead Sea every day!”
•    “So the water evaporates, but the minerals (like salt) stay.”
•    “In fact, the Dead Sea is six times saltier than the ocean!”
•    “You are probably wondering why I gave you the cups.”
•    “We are going to pretend like we are the two seas and the Jordan River to make a point about sharing what God blesses you with.”  (Go to the end of the line with the person representing the Sea of Galilee, and use the pitcher to pour water into his/her cup.  Then instruct him/her to pour water into the next person’s cup and so on down the line until the water reaches the “Dead Sea” participant.  Each time the “Sea of Galilee” participant’s cup of water is emptied, fill it back up.  Each time the “Dead Sea” participant’s cup fills up, have him/her empty it into the bucket.)
•    “In this demonstration, I represent the top of the Jordan River, which starts before the Sea of Galilee.”
•    “I’m sending water and fish and minerals into the Sea of Galilee, and those are travelling down through the Jordan River to the Dead Sea.”  (Keep pouring out water whenever necessary.)
•    “As a result, the Jordan River Valley is considered to be one of the most fertile places on the planet.
•    “It takes all these minerals and water down, down to the Dead Sea, but the fish know not to get too close or they will die.”
•    “Then, the water evaporates from the Dead Sea, leaving all the salt and minerals behind.”  (Have “Dead Sea” volunteer pour water into the bucket to demonstrate evaporation.)
•    “Now, the water is like God’s blessings, and I’m like God, pouring out blessings to this person.”
•    “He/she is then sharing those blessings with someone.”
•    “As long as he/she keeps sharing those blessings, I’ll keep more blessings coming.”
•    “But do you see what the Dead Sea person is doing?”
•    “He/she is keeping all the blessings for himself/herself!”
•     “That doesn’t work with God.”
•    “Just like in the story, God says, ‘You fool!  I’m taking to take those blessings away from you and give them to someone else.’”
•    “And so, just like that, when we try to keep all the blessings for ourselves, they evaporate!”
•    “Do you want to be a ‘Sea of Galilee’ person or a ‘Dead Sea’ person?”  (Listen to responses.)
•    “’Sea of Galilee’ people keep getting new blessings from God.”
•    “They enjoy those blessings and then pass them on to someone else, which gives them the blessing of the joy of sharing.”
•    “Okay, pass the last of your blessings down to the Dead Sea, and then bring your cups over here.”  (Move to the table, and set out the cookie sheet.)
•    “Everyone who has small cups, place them on this cookie sheet right-side-up.”  (Have them make a single layer of cups with each cup as close to the others as possible.  All sides should touch other cups if possible.  Once you have a bottom layer down, start stacking cups (use extras when you need to) on top to make a second layer.  Each cup should rest on top of three different cups beneath it.  When the second layer is done, add a third and a fourth until you have just one cup the very top of the pyramid you’ve created.)
•    “Let’s pretend these cups represent each one of us, and this pitcher represents God.”
•    “God pours his blessings out to you, and He wants you to enjoy them.”  (Demonstrate by pouring water into the top cup slowly and evenly.)
•    “But God never intends for you to keep that blessing all for yourself.”
•    “God will bless you more than you can handle all by yourself, and He wants you to share your overflow with those people He has put in your life.”  (Allow the water to overflow the top cup into the cups beneath it.  Ask volunteer to read Ephesians 3:20-21.)
•    “This Scripture says that God is able to bless us immeasurably more than we ask for or than we even imagine.”
•    “In the King James version of the Bible, it says that God is able to do exceeding abundantly more than we ask for or imagine.”
•    “Isn’t that cool?”
•    “The blessings will just keep coming and coming!”  (Keep pouring until the cups on the bottom level start to overflow.  It’s likely that not all the cups will receiver water from the upper rows.  That’s okay.)
•    “You just keep blessing those around you with your overflow, and God will keep blessing you.”
•    “Now, you know these people in the second row, but maybe you don’t know the people in the third row.”
•    “When you bless those close to you, it gives them the ability to bless those who are close to them who you don’t even know.”
•    “Then those in this third row can bless those in the fourth row!”
•    “When people get blessed, it’s easier for them to bless others.”
•    “And maybe some of them know God as their Lord, too.”
•    “God will bless them directly in addition to the blessings they get from knowing you.”  (Start filling the emptier cups on the second, third or fourth rows, and allow them to overflow to the rows beneath them.  Ask volunteer to read Luke 6:38.)
•    “God wants to bless you so much that it just runs over like this water, but He says that He will use the same measure you use to bless others.”
•    “In other words, the size of cup you use to pour our blessings on others is the same size cup God will use to bless you.”
•    “What size cup do you want to use to bless others?”  (Listen to responses.)
•    “I’m going to use the biggest cup I can find, because I want God’s blessings to keep coming and coming in huge amounts.”  (Thank everyone and let them take their seats.)

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Walking on Water


Time

30-45 minutes


Description

This object lesson is used as a highlight to the story of Peter walking on water.

The lesson is big and expensive. It takes lots of time to prepare, and it’s messy. It’s best reserved for large events. That said, there’s a lot of “wow factor.” This will be an activity that they will remember for years.

To see my blog and some video on when I did this object lesson, click here: They Walked on Water

Materials

· Drop cloth for the floor (if you do it indoors)

· Corn starch (8 lbs for every gallon)

· Water (1.5 gallons for every 8 lbs of corn starch)

· Kiddie swimming pool (90 gallons or more)

· Example: – if you use a 90 gallon pool, you will need 288 lbs of corn starch and 54 gallons of water

· Several buckets, water bottles, electric fans, rolls of blue wrapping paper

· Write out the following note cards with script for part of your enactment:

o Jesus: It’s all right. I am here! Don’t be afraid.

o Peter: Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.

o Jesus: All right…come.

    • Peter: Save me, Lord!
    • Jesus: You don’t have much faith. Why did you doubt me?

Preparation

· It’s best to do this activity outside because of the potential mess, but if you do it inside, lay out a drop cloth.

· Several hours before you run the lesson, mix the corn starch and the water in the pool.

· It’s best to mix it in small quantities and then pour them into the pool. (I recommend mixing 4.5 gallons of water with 24 lbs of corn starch each time.)

· Test the consistency by slapping or punching the surface. It should harden up and resist your blows.

· If this works, you should be able to run across or even on top of the surface. Use very quick steps.

· Have a way for those who get stuck in the pool to wash off.

· Set up a place in the teaching area near the pool to be a “boat.” You can do this with some cardboard boxes or with masking tape, or you could just designate an area of the floor as the “boat.”

· Put the buckets in the “boat.”

· Fill the water bottles with water.

· Set up the electric fans so that they face the boat.

· Roll out the blue wrapping paper on the floor (blue side up) under the boat or across the area of the designated “boat.”

Procedure

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

  • “After Jesus fed the 5,000, He went to a quiet place and prayed to God, the Father, and the disciples got into a boat to head across the lake.”
  • “The disciples sailed away from the shore and were in the middle of the Sea of Galilee when a huge storm rolled in!” (Ask for 12 volunteers, and have them get into the “boat.” Select one of them to be Peter. As you tell the story, they should act out what you are saying. Then get volunteers to spray the water bottles, turn the fans on and off, turn the lights on and off and create waves with the wrapping paper by holding either end and waving it up and down.)
  • “It was dark. The wind was howling!” (Have your fan volunteers turn on the fans.) “Water sprayed over the sides of the boat and drenched the apostles!” (Have your water bottle volunteers spray the apostles, and have your wave volunteers wave the paper up and down.) “Lightning flashed across the sky.” (Have your lights volunteer flick the lights on and off.)
  • “They were afraid that they might sink, so they used buckets to try and bail water out of the boat.” (Have the apostle-volunteers pretend to bail water.)
  • “Hours went by, and the apostles grew very tired. About 3 o’clock in the morning, things got worse!”
  • ‘A ghost came walking across the water straight at them!” (Have a volunteer play Jesus and run across the pool of “water” toward the others.)
  • “This was one fast-moving ghost!”
  • “They screamed in terror!” (If the disciples don’t scream, say, “A-hem, I said that the apostles screamed in terror!”)
  • “Then, something totally incredible happened!” (Have your helpers say the following lines from their note cards.)
    • Jesus: It’s all right. I am here! Don’t be afraid.
    • Peter: Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.
    • Jesus: All right…come.
  • “Peter went over the side of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus!” (Have Peter character run across the pool of “water.”)
  • “But then, he took his eyes off Jesus and looked around.”
  • “He saw the high waves! He noticed the howling wind!”
  • “He became terrified and began to sink under the water!” (Have character act this out running to the center of the pool, stopping and crying out.)
    • Peter: Save me, Lord!
  • “Jesus reached out His hand and grabbed Peter.” (Have character act this out by reaching in to grab “Peter” from outside the pool.)
    • Jesus: You don’t have much faith. Why did you doubt me?
  • “Jesus and Peter climbed back into the boat, and immediately, the wind stopped.” (Have “Peter” and “Jesus” join the other volunteers beside the pool.)
  • “Then the disciples worshipped Jesus.” (Have volunteers bow down to Jesus.)
  • “And they said, ‘You really are the Son of God!’”
  • “Peter walked on water! Can you believe that?”
  • “But then he began to sink.”
  • “Tell me…why did Peter start to sink into the water?” (He took his eyes off Jesus.)
  • “That’s right. He took his eyes of Jesus. He looked around at all the scary stuff around him, and he began to think, ‘I’m in big trouble. A person can’t walk on water! That’s impossible! I must have been crazy thinking I could have walked on water!’”
  • “Of course, Peter was right, but he forgot one very important thing…all things are possible with God!”
  • “When Peter began to sink under the water, he had a problem, but I’m learning that whenever I have a problem, I should give it to Jesus.”
  • “Anytime that I feel like I’m sinking under all my problems, I need to give them to Jesus.”
  • “As long as I keep my eyes on Him, He helps me with my problems.”
  • “But if I start to focus on the scary things that are happening around me, I’ll start to sink again.”
  • “Now you may think Peter looked pretty silly when he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink under water, but I don’t.”
  • “I admire Peter for having the courage to get out of the boat.”
  • “Peter was a Water Walker!”
  • “You know what all the other guys were? They were Boat Huggers!”
  • “While Peter walked on the water, they hugged the boat in fear.”
  • “Jesus told Peter that he only had a little faith, but even his little faith was a lot more than the Boat Huggers had.”
  • “A Water Walker trusts in God.”
  • “A Water Walker does the scary things that God wants him to do.”
  • “A Water Walker gets out of the boat to get closer to Jesus.”
  • “If you want to get closer to Jesus, you’re going to have to get out of the boat and walk on water.”
  • “Any of you want to be Water Walkers for Jesus?” (Allow all that are interested to take a run across the pool of “water.”)

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