Tag Archives: separation

Gift of Eternal Life (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches that Jesus purchased a gift for everyone who has ever lived or ever will live.  It was the gift of eternal life.  But even though He paid a tremendous price for it, He still allows us to choose whether or not we will receive it.

 

Audience

  • Children, Youth, Adults

 

Scriptures

  • Romans 3:23
  • Romans 6:23

 

Materials

  • Small gift bags for each person.  (They should be nicely decorated, and each gift should have someone’s name on it.  For children, I recommend some snacks and maybe a few small toys or giveaway items.  For youth and adults, you might want to buy something a little more substantial or symbolically meaningful.)
  • A sheet or table cloth to cover the gift bags.
  • Signs for “SIN,” “GOD,” “US” with a string looped across the top so that volunteers can wear them around their necks.
  • A large cross made from cardboard or some other material.  (4 ft tall or so)
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Arrange the gift bags at the back of the room, and cover them so that you can reveal them later.
  • Have your other props somewhere accessible to the front of the room.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “The Bible tells us that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’” (Romans 3:23)
  • “The word, ‘sin,’ in the language that Jesus spoke (Aramaic) was an archery term.”
  • “It was what the scorekeeper yelled when an arrow missed the target.”
  • “He would shout, ‘SIN!’ to give feedback to the archer, because he was often too far away from the target to see if he hit it or not.”
  • “’Sin’ means ‘to miss the mark’ – to miss the goal.”
  • “When we sin, we are missing the target that God has set for us.”
  • “That target is holiness – to be like God by being morally and spiritually excellent.”
  • “The place where the arrow landed was called ‘evil.’”
  • “Evil is the opposite of holiness.”
  • “If you have ever lied, cheated, stole something, hurt someone on purpose, disrespected your parents, said something mean, pretended to be something that you were not, refused to forgive someone…you have sinned.”
  • “You’ve missed the mark, the target, of holiness.”
  • “Your arrow has landed in evil.”
  • “The Bible says we have all done it, and because we have sinned, our arrow falls short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
  • “And there is a penalty for missing the mark.”
  • “Romans 6:23 tells us that the ‘wages of sin is death.’”
  • “Wages are what you earn for your work.”
  • “So what you earn for the work of sin is death.”
  • “This verse is talking about two kinds of death.
  • “First, unless Jesus comes again before it happens, we will all die someday.”
  • “Second, sin brings death to our relationship with God – it separates us from Him.”
  • “Our God is so holy that He can’t have sinfulness in His presence.”
  • “He is 100% holy, and His holiness is so pure it would destroy sinfulness and evil in His presence.”
  • “For that reason, our sin separates us from God.” (Ask for three volunteers to come up to the front.  Hand one the sign that says, “SIN.”  Hand another the sign that says, “GOD.”  Hand the third the sign that says, “US.”  Have them put the signs around their necks.)
  • “It used to look like this.” (Put the volunteer with the “US” sign and the volunteer with the “GOD” sign together.)
  • “God and human beings were together in the Garden of Eden.”
  • “Adam and Eve were in God’s presence, and they had a wonderful, meaningful relationship with Him.”
  • “But then Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which God had told them not to do.”
  • “This was sin.  They fell short of the glory of God.”
  • “That sin separated Adam and Eve from God.” (Put the “SIN” volunteer between the “GOD” and “US” volunteers, and have her push them away from each other with her arms.)
  • “SIN created a giant chasm (or never-ending pit) between US and GOD, and no human being could cross it to the other side.”
  • “Of course, God still loved Adam and Eve, but He had to send them out of the Garden.”
  • “They could no longer be in His presence.”
  • “Since that day, we have all been separated from God because of sin.”
  • “But God wasn’t surprised when Adam and Eve sinned.”
  • “He knew the exact moment that it would happen….and He already had a plan!!” (Ask volunteer to read all of Romans 6:23.)
  • “The wages of sin is death – we earned it, we deserve it…BUT….the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord!”
  • “God had a plan – He’s given us a gift!”
  • “And it’s a pretty awesome gift – eternal life!”
  • “We earned death, but He gave us life as a gift.”
  • “We can live forever with Jesus!”
  • “But how did this happen?  Sin was separating us from God.” (Point to your volunteers.)
  • “Jesus came to earth as a baby and lived a perfect life without ever sinning.”
  • “None of his arrows missed the mark.”
  • “Everyone made a bull’s-eye in the center of holiness.”
  • “But just like God’s holiness can destroy evil, evil does it’s best to destroy holiness.”
  • “There were people in authority who didn’t like Jesus at all, and they convinced the Roman governor to crucify Jesus, which means that they nailed his body to a cross to kill him.”
  • “Satan thought that he had destroyed holiness by nailing Jesus to the cross, but he didn’t understand God’s plan.”
  • “Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead.  He defeated death for all of us who believe in Him.”
  • “By dying on the cross, Jesus paid our sin debt, what we earned for sinning.”
  • “He knew that we could never pay our debt by ourselves, so He did it for us.”
  • “This is a little like if you were a criminal and went before the judge to be sentenced to death for your crimes but were saved when someone in the courtroom jumped up and said they would take your punishment for you.”
  • “So Jesus paid the price, He died, but because He is God, He was able to defeat death and come back to life!”
  • “And here’s the coolest part!  That cross that God’s enemies used to punish Jesus actually became a bridge that connects US back to GOD over the giant chasm of SIN.” (Ask for another volunteer, and hand her the cross.  Have him stand in front of SIN and push her back while he uses the cross to connect GOD and US.)
  • “Now, even though the chasm of our SIN is still there, the cross bridges over the top of it to connect US to GOD so that we can come into His presence again.”
  • “I told you God had a plan!” (Thank your volunteers and let them have a seat.)
  • “Here’s something else you should know.  God doesn’t make anyone go across that bridge.”
  • “He let’s you choose.”
  • “You can stay on the other side of SIN if you want.”
  • “He does that because He loves you enough to give you a choice.”
  • “He won’t make you come into His presence, because He didn’t create robots; He created human beings, and He wants a relationship with us.”
  • “You can’t have a relationship with a robot.”
  • “Romans 6:23 says that this is a gift – ‘The wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’”
  • “A gift is something that is free.  You can’t do anything to earn it, and you don’t have to take it if you don’t want to.”
  • “But I’m going to tell you….you SHOULD want to!”
  • “If you accept this gift from God, you get eternal life with Jesus in heaven!”
  • “That’s the most incredible gift anyone will ever give you.”
  • “Let’s think of it another way.”
  • “What if I told you that I had prepared a gift for you, and that I had it ready for you at the back of the room?”
  • “And what if I told you that the gift is really great and has YOUR name on it?  It’s not for anyone else.  It’s just for you!”
  • “Would you walk out the door after this lesson and just leave that gift laying there?”
  • “No one else can take it, because it was purchased just for you.”
  • “If you don’t take it, it will be wasted, and I’ll be sad, because I really wanted to bless you with it.”
  • “Would you just leave it there?” (Listen for responses.)
  • “Right!  Neither would I.  If someone loves me enough to buy me a gift, I’m going to accept it!”
  • “So to help you remember that the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, I really do have a gift with your name on it at the back of the room!!”
  • “It’s free.  You don’t have to do anything to earn it.  And you don’t have to take it if you don’t want to….but I hope you will!”
  • “Please accept this gift from me as a reminder of God’s incredible love for you and of the gift that Jesus bought for you when He died on the cross.”  (Allow them to receive their gift.)
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Filed under Jesus, Object Lesson, salvation, Sin

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

Stronger Together (LESSON)


Time
30 minutes

Audience

Children, youth, adults

Description

This lesson helps participants understand how important it is to have unity in the Body of Christ.

Scriptures

  • John 13:34-35; 17:20-23
  • Romans 15:5-6
  • Ephesians 4:1-6, 4:9-12, 4:25-32
  • Hebrews 10:23-25

Materials

  • Paper currency (enough bills so that you have one for every three or four participants and one for yourself – NOTE: you are going to have them tear the money into smaller pieces.  If this is considered disrespectful or illegal in your country, you may want to use pictures of currency instead of the real thing.  For that matter, you may not want to see your hard-earned cash being torn into pieces.  Feel free to substitute.)
  • Clear tape (like the kind for wrapping presents.  Enough for each group of three or four participants to have a roll and one for yourself.)
  • Optional – a flipchart or whiteboard and markers
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Write the Scriptures on slips of paper (one per slip) so that you can hand them out to participants.
  • Before you begin teaching, hand out the slips of paper to different participants, who brought their Bibles.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “Today is your lucky day!”
  • “I’ve got extra money, and I would like to share it with you!”
  • “But first, I need to put you into groups.”
  • “I want everyone to line up single-file in the order of how many pets you have ever owned.”  (Or you can choose a different sorting technique.)
  • “I want the person who has owned the most on this side of the room, and the person who has owned the least on this side of the room.  (Gesture to either side of the room as you give these instructions.  It doesn’t matter which side you choose for most or least.)
  • “Everyone else will line up between those two people in the order of the number of pets you’ve owned.”
  • “Any questions?” (Answer questions.) “GO!”
  • “Okay, now we need to see how many pets you’ve had and what kinds.”  (Go down the line and ask each person how many and what kind of pets they owned.  If anyone is in the wrong place based on number of pets, move them to the right place in the line.)
  • “Okay, now I need to put you into small teams to receive your money.”
  • “I am going to number you off – one to ___.”  (You will want three to four people in each group, so count the total number of participants, and divide that number by either three or four.  This will tell you how high they need to count off.  For example, if you have 24 people and want to divide them into groups of four, 24/4=6.  You would have them number off one to six, and that would give you six groups of four people each.  Once you’ve told them how high to count, number them off.)
  • “Now, I want all the ‘ones’ to get together and all the ‘twos’ to get together.”  (Do the same with each number group.)
  • “Great job!  Now here is your money!  Congratulations!”  (Hand out one bill of currency to each group.)
  • “I know, I know…we’ve got a small problem.”
  • “I only gave each group one bill, but there are three (or four) of you.”
  • “Don’t worry; I have a solution!”
  • “I want the person who has the money in each group to tear it into three (or four) equal pieces and hand them out to all the team members.”  (Encourage them to do this.  They may be reluctant.  If so, convince them you are serious by demonstrating with a bill at the front of the room.  Keep encouraging them until every team has torn the bill and shared it equally.)
  • “There!  Isn’t that great?  Everyone happy?”  (Participants will most likely not be too happy and will tell you so.  Act as if you can’t understand why they wouldn’t like your solution.)
  • “What’s wrong?  I just gave you free money!  You should be happy!”  (Listen to their feedback.)
  • “Oh, so you’re saying that the money isn’t worth anything when it’s torn up like that?” (Listen to responses.)
  • “You’re saying that the money is more effective at what it does when it is all together?”  (Listen to responses.)
  • “That’s really interesting!  And it reminds me of something I’ve read in the Bible.”  (Ask everyone to take a seat with his or her groups.  Then, have a volunteer read John 17:20-23.)
  • “This is Jesus’ prayer the night before He died on the cross.”
  • “It’s probably a very important prayer if it’s one of the last ones that He prayed.”
  • “Why do you think He prayed for ‘complete unity’ between the believers and with God?”  (There could be many answers, but one will be so that the world will know that God sent Jesus and loved the believers just as He loved Jesus, His Son.)
  • “That’s not all the Scriptures say about unity between the believers.”  (Have a volunteer read Romans 15:5-6.)
  • “What is Paul saying about unity to the Romans?”  (Answers may include that it enables us to glorify God with one heart and mouth.  Have a volunteer read Ephesians 4:9-12.)
  • “What do you think Paul is saying in this Scripture about unity?”  (Listen to responses.  A main idea that you want to bring out is that being alone isn’t good.  We need others to help us when we get into trouble.)
  • “If Jesus and Paul feel the need to pray for the believers and encourage them to keep unity, it probably isn’t so easy to do.”
  • “What do you think gets in the way of unity among believers?”  (Answers might include differences of opinion, different denominations, differences of beliefs, jealousy, unforgiveness, lack of time, distance, etc…  You may want to put these on a flipchart or whiteboard.  I recommend drawing a line down the middle of the space and writing a minus sign at the top of the left column and a plus sign at the top of the right column.)
  • “That’s quite a list, and I think it would definitely break the unity of a group of believers.”
  • “Unity is hard.  Human nature (our sinful nature) leads us to want to divide rather than do the hard work to stay together.”
  • “There’s an old saying: ‘People like people who are like them.’”
  • “This means that we are drawn to people who look the same, act the same, have the same opinions, have the same backgrounds, etc.”
  • “It’s easier to keep relationships with these people, because we have so much in common.”
  • “If I had let you make your own groups earlier, you probably would have divided up based on ‘dog people’ and ‘cat people’ and ‘fish people’ and ‘hamster people,’ and all of you would have thought that you were better than the other groups.  Am I right?”
  • “But when people are different than us in the way they look or act or think…, we have to work hard to keep the relationships strong.”
  • “In fact, we might have to make some changes in our own lives in order to keep the relationship together.”
  • “So, let’s make a list of things we can do or the changes we can make to preserve or build unity.”  (Have a volunteer read John 13:34-35.)
  • “What’s the ingredient this Scripture mentions that we need to have for unity?”  (Answer should be ‘love.’ .  If you are using the flipchart or whiteboard, write these down on the “plus” side.  Have a volunteer read Hebrews 10:23-25.)
  • “What ingredient does this Scripture mention?”  (Answers should include ‘meeting together’ and ‘encourage one another.’ Have a volunteer read Ephesians 4:1-6.)
  • “What ingredients does Paul mention in this Scripture?”  (Answers should include ‘humility,’ ‘gentleness,’ ‘patience’ and ‘bearing with one another in love.’  Have a volunteer read Ephesians 4:25-32.)
  • “Last one.  What is Paul telling the Ephesians to do in this Scripture in order to preserve unity?”  (Answers should include ‘put off falsehood’ (or ‘be honest with each other’), ‘speak truthfully,’ ‘be angry sometimes but don’t sin by holding onto your anger,’ ‘do not steal from each other,’ ‘do your share of the work,’ ‘share with those in need,’ ‘don’t gossip, spread rumors or criticize,’ ‘build others up,’ ‘get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, fighting, slander (or ’saying bad things about others’), and any kind of bad feelings for others,’ ‘be kind and compassionate,” and ‘forgive each other.’)
  • “Look at all the things we need to do to keep our unity!”
  • “How are we ever going to be successful at all this stuff?”
  • “The good news is, we don’t have to do it by ourselves.”
  • “In truth, we are a lot like the money you have in your hands.”
  • “It doesn’t have any power in itself to put itself back together.  Neither do we.”
  • “But we do have a power given to us by the Holy Spirit.”  (Bring out some of the tape, and use it to tape back together the bill that you tore earlier.)
  • “The Holy Spirit is a little like this tape.”
  • “He has the power to bring us back together.”
  • “All we have to do is surrender to God’s will and allow Him to mend us, to bring us back together.”  (Pass out rolls of tape to each of the groups.)
  • “Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit bring you back together?”
  • “Then tape that money back together.”  (Give them a few moments to tape the money.)
  • “Now the money is powerful and effective again!”
  • “Know this: one of the Enemy’s favorite and most effective weapons against us is a strategy called ‘Divide and Conquer.’”
  • “The Scripture says that Satan is like a roaring lion watching for someone to devour.”
  • “If you have every watched Animal Planet, you probably know that lions don’t attack herds; they attack the animals that wander away from the herd.”
  • “They attack the weak ones, the sick ones, the lazy ones, the ones doing their own thing.”
  • “That’s because attacking the herd is dangerous; they could easily trample the lion or gore him or kick him in the head.”
  • “Satan wants to divide us from the herd – the rest of the Body of Christ – so that he can attack us and have a really good chance of taking us down.”
  • “Don’t give him the opportunity!  Stick with the herd!”
  • “We are stronger and more powerful together!”  (You can allow the participants to keep the money or you can collect it back.  It might be interesting to encourage them to pool their money in order to increase its buying ‘power.’  Maybe they could buy something with it that would benefit everyone.)

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Filed under Agape Love, Christianity, conflict management, Conflict Resolution, forgiveness, Relationships, Satan's tactics, teambuilding, unity

Don’t Break the Chain


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that unforgiveness can hinder our prayers for forgivenss.

Materials

  • One “Energy Ball” from www.stevespanglerscience.com. (This ball sends a small electric current through your body when you touch a metal strip on the side. (You cannot feel the current.) The current will pass through as many people as you link together (through holding hands). As long as everyone is touching in the chain, the ball will light up with the last person touches the metal strip with you.)

Preparation

· Purchase the “Energy Ball” (under $10). Allow a few weeks for shipping and delivery.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “How many of you know how important it is to forgive other people when they do something that upsets you?” (Look for a show of hands.)
  • “When we won’t forgive someone, it separates us. Let me show you what I mean.” (Ask for a volunteer to come up.)
  • (Child’s name) and I are good friends. We are very close.” (Give child a side hug.)
  • “But if I get upset with (child’s name) because of something he/she does, it separates us.” (Gently push child about an arm’s length away.)
  • “As long as I’m mad at (child’s name), we are no longer in fellowship.”
  • “But when I forgive (child’s name), it brings us back together. (Give child a side hug.)
  • “Now, God says in the Bible that if we are angry with someone and won’t forgive them, He won’t forgive us of our sins.”
  • “How many of you knew that already?” (Look for a show of hands.)
  • “Well, I didn’t know it for a long time. Let’s look at the Scripture that says this.” (Ask a volunteer to read Mark 11:25-26.)
  • “Jesus is saying that if we are upset with someone, we shouldn’t even bother praying for forgiveness for our own sins until we have forgiven that person.”
  • “What He is not saying is that if we don’t forgive someone we can’t go to heaven.”
  • “The only thing you have to do to go to heaven is believe that Jesus died for your sins and accept the gift of his sacrifice on the cross.”
  • “But what He is saying is that your relationship with God will suffer until you forgive that person you are upset with.” (Ask for a second volunteer to come up. Put this volunteer on the opposite side of you.)
  • “It works like this. When I’m close to (first volunteer’s name), then it’s possible for me to be close to God. (Give both children a side hug at the same time.)
  • “But when I won’t forgive (first volunteer’s name), then it’s not possible for me to be close to God.” (Gently push both volunteers about an arm’s length away from you.)
  • “God wants us to forgive others just like He has already forgiven us for all our sins. In other parts of the Bible, He points out that the person who is forgiven of much should also forgive others of much.”
  • “Let me show you another way. Let’s say this ball (show Energy Ball) will tell us if God will or will not answer our prayers for forgiveness.”
  • “If it lights up, God will answer our prayers. If it doesn’t, He won’t.” (Have child put finger on one sensor, and you put finger on other sensor. Then, join hands in a circle with volunteer representing God.  The ball should light up.)
  • “Good! I don’t have anything against (first volunteer’s name), so God will answer my prayers.”
  • “But if I’m upset that (first volunteer’s name) took the last piece of dessert at lunch (separate from both children and touch one sensor while the first volunteer touches the other sensor), God won’t answer our prayers until I forgive (first volunteer’s name).” (Join hands in a circle again while touching sensors, and ball should light up.)
  • “Cool, huh? Let’s see what happens when we add people.” (Get a few more volunteers and have them form a circle and each hold hands with the person next to them.)
  • “So, now what we are creating is the Body of Christ, which is made up of all the people who trust Jesus as their Savior.”
  • “When we love each other and forgive each other for things that upset us, God is pleased and answers our prayers.” (Have the original volunteer stand at the beginning of the circle and touch a sensor while the last person in the circle touches the other one— the ball should light up.)
  • “But if one of these people is mad at this other one because he jumped on top of him in the swimming pool…” (point to two children as you say this, and separate their hands as you do so – they should not be touching in any way. — The light will go out),
  • “…God won’t answer their prayers until this one forgives this one.” (Have them join hands again, and the ball should light up.)
  • “Now, let’s see what happens if we add everyone else to the circle!” (Allow all the other children to join the circle. They should hold hands like the others, and the first and last people in the circle should touch the contact points on the ball.)
  • “Hey! God must be answering our prayers!” (Let individuals in the circle break the chain and then reestablish it to see what happens to the ball.)HHey
  • “Jesus said that people will know we are His followers if we love one another.” (John 13:35)
  • “Loving one another makes us look so different from those who don’t know Jesus that they will want to know why we are so different, and that gives you a chance to tell them about Jesus.”
  • “You can’t love someone in the same way God loves us (unconditionally) if you are resentful of them, so let’s keep practicing forgiveness so that we can show the world what a forgiving God we have!” (Let other children be the ones to touch the contact points on the ball and experiment with it.)

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Filed under Agape Love, Christianity, forgiveness, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, prayer, Relationships, unconditional love