Tag Archives: Spiritual Growth

Out of Orbit (Obj Lesson)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches about how difficult it can be for us to stay focused on following Jesus.

 

Scriptures

  • Philippians 3:12-14

Materials

  • A toy rocket or spaceship (or if you don’t have anything like that, improvise with a cardboard tube or just about anything else – the kids won’t mind)
  • One large ball (preferably yellow or orange)
  • Several smaller balls of varying sizes
  • Permanent marker
  • Index cards (one for each ball)
  • Tape
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Write the following words on different index cards, “SON,” “WORLD,” “Jealousy,” “Bitterness,” “Selfishness,” “Unkindness,” “Worry,” “Doubt,” “Foolishness,” “Pride,” “Fear,” “Greed,” “Ignorance,” or any others that you want to use.  The only ones that are required are the “SON” card and the “WORLD” card.
  • Tape these cards onto different balls.  The “SON” card should be taped to the largest ball.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “Do any of you ever have trouble staying focused on following God?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Me, too!  It’s so hard to always do what is right and stay on the path toward Him.”
  • “We are kind of like a rocket ship heading toward the sun (but actually, we are headed to the S-O-N, because we won’t burn up when we reach Him!)”  (Ask for enough volunteers to hold all the props you’ve brought – one for the rocket ship and one for each ball.  Put the person holding the “SON” ball at one end of the room, and place the person with the “WORLD” ball and the person with the rocket ship at the other end of the room.  Space those with the balls along either side of the path between the large ball and the rocket ship.)
  • “Before we know Jesus, we are stuck in the WORLD’s orbit.”  (Guide the person with the rocket ship by the shoulders to make several orbits around the person with the “WORLD” ball.”
  • “But then, we catch a glimpse of the SON and decide we want to follow Him.”
  • “We break free from the WORLD’s orbit and start heading toward the SON.”  (Guide the person with the rocket ship slowly toward the SON, but as soon as you get to the first person with a ball on the path, break off and orbit around that person.”
  • “Unfortunately, on the way to the SON, we get distracted by ________ (name whatever is printed on the card on the ball), and we go into orbit around it for a while.” (Keep going around this person.)
  • “The more times we go around _____________ (say what is on the ball again), the more we hate it, but it is soooooooo hard to break free from its gravitational pull!”  (Keep going around this person.)
  • “We keep seeing the SON every time we pass around __________________ (say the name of the ball), and eventually, His power pulls us free of the orbit of the dead planet we have been circling.”  (Break free and start back toward the SON.)
  • “Not everything is a temptation for us, so we will be able to pass some of these dead planets without any problem, but our Enemy, Satan, is not going to give us up without a fight.
  • “He will put a very tempting planet in our path, and sure enough, we will get distracted looking at it and get sucked into its gravitational pull!” (Guide the person with rocket to begin orbiting this new dead planet.)
  • “Even though the planet looked tempting from a distance, when we get close to it, we find that it is empty and lifeless.  It doesn’t satisfy.”
  • “The SON won’t let us forget Him.  We will see Him on every orbit, and eventually, He will pull us free from that dead planet and set us back on the path toward Him.”  (Guide the person with the rocket to break away and head toward the Son.)
  • “This keeps happening over and over and over again.  It’s very frustrating!”  (Guide the person with the rocket to get sucked into one orbit and then break away and then get sucked into another orbit and so on….)
  • “But there is good news!  The closer we get to the SON, the easier it gets to break free from these temptations.”
  • “We get stronger and stronger in our faith and our ability to resist temptation, and we stay longer and longer on the path toward the SON.”
  • “We just need to keep striving to reach the SON.  Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
  • “Paul was saying that he doesn’t look back at what’s behind him; he just keeps straining toward what is ahead of him.”
  • “He keeps his ship pointed toward the SON, and when he gets off-course, he gets back on-course as soon as possible to follow the SON.”
  • “One day, it will be time, and the SON will bring us the rest of the way to Him when we join Him in heaven (or when He comes back to join us on earth).  (Guide the person with the rocket ship to the SON and have him orbit the SON several times before ending the lesson.)

 

 

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Filed under Challenges, Daily walk, God's Will, Jesus, Obedience, Object Lesson, Pride, Repentance, sanctification, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Growth, temptation

Jesus Unlocked the Door (OBJ LESSON)


Time

30 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about trusting in Jesus as your Savior by using a Prisoner-of-War (POW) metaphor to describe our condition before salvation. The Bible teaches that before we became believers, we were spiritual POWs who were held captive by the devil, the god of this world (see 2 Timothy 2:26). Jesus came to free us. He can unlock the door, but we must walk through it. This lesson encourages children to let Him set them free.

Materials

  • An area in the room that represents a prison cell. It needs to have a door and a way to “lock” it. The lock doesn’t have to actually work, but it should be something visible so that the children can see it both before and after the prison door is unlocked.
  • Two pieces of fruit (apples are recommended).

Preparation

· Arrange for several adults or older children to get in the jail cell (when you give the cue).

· Tell them which of them you want to walk out of the jail cell (when you give the cue) and which you want to stay.

· Get an adult to play Jesus and an adult to play Satan, and tell them that they will follow your cues.

Procedure

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

  • “When God originally created the earth and Adam and Eve, this is how He intended for us to live.” (Gesture to all the people in the room.) “…Free and happy in the garden He created for them.”
  • “He only gave Adam and Eve one rule – ‘Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’”
  • “It was a good rule, intended to protect us from the knowledge of the terrible things done by Satan and his armies, but Adam and Eve couldn’t resist breaking it.”
  • “As soon as they ate from the tree (Give apples or some other type of fruit to a girl and a boy in the room, and have them each take a bite.), they knew what evil was.”
  • “They were surprised to find that one of the first evils they came in contact with was their own sin in disobeying God, so they hid from the Lord.”
  • “The rest of the story you probably already know. God came walking in the cool of the day and found Adam and Eve hiding from Him.”
  • “When asked why they were hiding, each blamed someone else for the sin. God cursed Adam, Eve and the serpent (Satan) and banished them from the garden.”
  • “But what I want to show you today is what happened spiritually at that moment.”
  • “In the invisible, spiritual realm, Satan was rejoicing. He had scored a monumental victory during the moment he convinced Eve to eat from the tree and entice Adam to do the same.”
  • “When Adam and Eve sinned, they became Prisoners Of War (POW’s) in Satan’s battle against God.”
  • “They broke the rules, and they had to pay the penalty. Satan knew that God was so holy that He couldn’t have rule-breakers on His side.”
  • “So, Satan took his new POW’s (Prisoners of War) and locked up their souls in prison.” (Have the children you gave the fruit to get up and go into the prison cell. Have the person playing Satan dramatically lock the door behind them.)
  • “Because they were his prisoners, even children born to them would be born as POW’s.” (Ask for volunteers, and load up the jail cell with the adults you talked to before the lesson and a few children. Again, have Satan dramatically lock the door behind them.)
  • “The only hope the POW’s had of getting out of prison was by living a perfect, sinless life. Satan wasn’t worried, though. He knew it was impossible. Some prisoners tried, but they all failed.”
  • “But God had a different plan altogether. He knew that someone had to pay the penalty for the rule-breakers, but He also knew that it didn’t have to be the rule-breakers themselves. After all, they could spend all their lives in prison and still never pay the full penalty.”
  • “So, God began to show us through stories, images and prophecy in the Old Testament how a perfect, sinless Savior could pay the penalty for us.”
  • “Some of the people believed what God was telling them, and they were saved. They had to wait for the Savior to come, but they knew that Satan’s prison could no longer hold them.”
  • “When the time was right, God sent the Savior, and His name is Jesus.”
  • “He lived 33 years as a man and never sinned. Then, He was killed on a cross.” (As you are talking, have the adult playing Jesus stand, raise his arms as if being crucified and then close his eyes and bow his head as if dying.)
  • When He died, He paid the entire penalty for every sin that had ever been committed from the time of Adam and Eve.”
  • “He also paid the penalty for every sin that would ever happen in the future – sins that I’ve done and sins that you’ve done. Sins that we haven’t even thought of but that we will do some day.”
  • “God knows everything, and He knows all the sins that we will ever commit.”
  • “Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. Through His death, He had broken the padlock off the prison door forever.” (As you are talking, have the adult playing Jesus forcibly break the padlock off the door and swing the door wide. He should then encourage all the POW’s to come out and “Follow Me.” Some should follow Him; others should stay. Allow all the children that want to leave to come out, but keep some of the adults in prison.)
  • “Jesus bought our freedom. He paid the price to rescue us from Satan. Some believed in Him and followed Him out of prison to eternal life, but others chose not to believe.” (Have the adult playing Satan come and close the door. However, this time, he can’t lock it.)
  • “Satan has tricked those people into thinking that they still have to stay in prison. Some of the people actually like prison better than freedom, because it’s the only thing they have ever known. Whatever the reason, they don’t follow Jesus. They act as if the padlock is still on the door to the prison.”
  • “Jesus paid the penalty for us, but He won’t drag us out of prison. He won’t make us walk through the door. He wants us to choose to love Him and follow Him.”
  • “So, He doesn’t take the freed prisoners to heaven right away. He leaves them here on earth and instructs them to keep going back to the prison to convince the prisoners that the door is unlocked.” (Have all the freed prisoners go back to the jail cell and try through various methods to convince the prisoners to come free – some can reach through the jail bars, some can enter the cell and try to lead individuals out, some can demonstrate that the door is unlocked, some can simply kneel and pray outside the jail cell. A few of those still inside should come out, causing the celebration of the freed prisoners and Jesus.)
  • “Some still refuse to leave, but we keep praying for them. As long as they are alive, we who have been freed will continue to do everything we can to help them get free.”
  • “So the question you should be asking yourself is this: ‘Am I inside or outside the prison?’”
  • “If you are outside the prison, look around in your life and find someone God has put you near that is still inside. Pray for them and do everything you can to help them get out.”
  • “If you think you might still be inside the prison, it’s because you haven’t asked Jesus to be your Lord and agreed to follow Him.”
  • “That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are many people around you that have asked Jesus to be their Lord and agreed to follow Him. Chances are, God has put them in your life so that they could come back to get you out of prison.”
  • “They want to help you get out. All you have to do is ask someone who is already a Christian to help you to know Jesus.”
  • “If you’re not sure if you are in or out of prison, talk to someone who you know for sure is outside with Jesus. They can help you figure it out.”

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Filed under Belief, Christianity, Eternity, Evangelism, faith, Heaven, Hell, Obedience, Object Lesson, salvation, Spiritual Warfare

Tool, Test or Territory


Time
30 minutes

Description
This object lesson teaches that God uses the people and the events in our lives as TOOLS (to shape us), TESTS (to help us see the condition of our hearts) or opportunities to take more TERRITORY for Him (to give us greater impact for His Kingdom). It focuses on the events in the life of Joseph, and it assumes that the children are familiar with the story. (If they aren’t, you may want to read it or give them the highlights before doing this activity.)

Materials

  • Optionally – a flip chart or whiteboard and markers (if you want to write the answers to the questions so that the children can see them)
  • A sheet of blank paper for every child.
  • Colored markers.

Preparation
Create “TOOL, TEST, TERRITORY” signs for each of the kids in your class. (You can also have the kids do this in class.)
• Take a normal sized sheet of paper, and fold it into thirds (It doesn’t matter if you start with the paper in either landscape or portrait orientation. Both will work.)
• Unfold the paper, and write one of each of the following words in each of the three panes you have created on the paper: TOOL, TEST, TERRITORY.
• Fold the paper so that it makes a triangle with the three words on the outside.
• Tape the edge of the triangle so that it will maintain its shape.
• Distribute these to the kids when they arrive.

Procedure
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
• “In our lives, we will have many experiences, and we will meet and get to know many people.”
• “I don’t believe that any of these experiences or people are in our lives on accident. God has a purpose for each one.”
• “How do you feel about that?” (Take responses.)
• “I believe that God uses these experiences and people in one of three ways:
o As TOOLS to shape us so that we look more like Him
o As TESTS to help us see the condition of our hearts
o As opportunities to take more TERRITORY for Him. This means that God gives us more responsibility to do His work here on earth. It’s like a promotion.”
• “Can you think of some times that God has used people and experiences in your life as TOOLS? What did that look like?” (Take responses.)
• “How about some TESTS God has given you?” (Take responses.)
• “How about opportunities to take more TERRITORY for Him?” (Take responses.)
• “When we start to realize that God uses everything in our lives for a purpose, it should change how we respond to what happens, shouldn’t it? How do you think we should respond?” (Take responses.)
• “I would like to take a look at the life of Joseph in the Bible and see if we can find some TOOLS, TESTS and TERRITORIES.”
• “I’m going to read a statement about Joseph’s life, and I want you to hold up your TOOL, TEST, TERRITORY triangles to show me which of the three you think the event represents.”
• “If you think it represents more than one of the three answers, flip your triangles back and forth like this.” (Demonstrate.)
• (Read the following statements. The answers are in bold and parentheses.)

o “God gave Joseph a dream to show him he would one day rule over his brothers and his parents.” (TOOL & TEST – Joseph didn’t receive the TERRITORY yet, but God gave him a sneak peak at it to see how he would respond (with pride, unfortunately) and to give Joseph a hope that would shape his decisions for years to come.)

o “Joseph’s father sent him to check on his brothers, who were supposed to be shepherding the flock.” (TEST – This was a test of obedience and determination, since Joseph’s brothers were not where they were supposed to be.)

o “Joseph’s brothers hated him and made fun of him.” (TOOL – Some of the tools God uses to shape us are not very enjoyable. God used the brothers’ hatred and mistreatment of Joseph to make him stronger for the difficult times ahead.)

o “Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery.” (TEST – God tested Joseph by taking away everything he had and allowing him to become a slave. How Joseph responded showed the condition of his heart.)

o “Joseph worked as a slave in Potiphar’s house.” (TOOL, TEST & TERRITORY – Being a slave is no easy assignment. Joseph had to get rid of his pride and do whatever he was asked to do. Even though he knew he would one day rule over many, he had to start as a servant. It was here that God shaped Joseph into a servant leader with incredible administrative and management skills. And it was here that God gave Joseph more TERRITORY. Whenever God puts you into a new place, He expects you to claim it for His Kingdom and to act accordingly.)

o “Joseph was promoted to be Potiphar’s chief servant.” (TOOL & TERRITORY – God gave Joseph even more TERRITORY by making him the leader of al the servants in Potiphar’s house, and God used this time to shape Joseph’s ability to lead at a high level.)

o “Potiphar’s wife tried to get Joseph to kiss her.” (TEST – You can bet that Potiphar’s wife was really pretty. God TESTED Joseph to see if he would show integrity and faithfulness.)

o “Joseph was thrown into prison for a crime he didn’t commit.” (TEST, TOOL & TERRITORY – God allowed Joseph to be punished for a crime he didn’t commit to TEST whether Joseph would continue to trust Him even when He didn’t seem to make sense. The prison was new TERRITORY for Joseph to claim for God’s Kingdom, and his time there shaped him into a more humble leader and administrator.)

o “Joseph was promoted to oversee the other prisoners.” (TOOL & TERRITORY – Joseph was given more responsibility – that’s TERRITORY – a promotion with more responsibility. God gave Joseph more practice at leading during this time.)

o “The chief baker forgot about Joseph.” (TEST – Would Joseph continue to trust God even when he faced such a big disappointment?)

o “Joseph had to stay in prison for two more years.” (TOOL – Joseph wasn’t ready for the giant leadership role God had in mind for him, so God continued to shape him during these difficult times.)

o “Pharaoh told Joseph that he heard about Joseph’s power to interpret dreams.” (TEST – Would Joseph try to take the credit for what God enabled him to do?)

o “Joseph was promoted to rule over Egypt.” (TERRITORY – Joseph had been faithful with small things; now God gave him larger things!)

o “Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy grain from Pharaoh.” (TEST – After all these years of suffering, how would Joseph react toward those who had sold him into slavery? Would he be able to forgive them?)

o “Joseph’s family came to Egypt.” (TERRITORY – The prophetic dreams finally came true! Joseph now ruled over his entire family in addition to the land of Egypt.)

• “Can you see how God uses TOOLS, TESTS and TERRITORY to help us accomplish great things for Him?”
• “Next time something weird or frustrating or scary happens to you, ask God, ‘Is this a TOOL, a TEST or new TERRITORY?’ and ‘How do you want me to respond?’”

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Filed under Christianity, God's Will, heart, Joseph, Obedience, Object Lesson, territory, test, tool, Trust