logoThe Layman's Bible

A potpourri of ideas and helps for the Sunday school teacher or youth leader

Train up a child in the way he should go...Prov. 22:6a

Object Lessons

Remember Now Thy Creator

This short object lesson is an affective way to encourage young people to give their lives to Christ at a young age.

Bring 2 pieces of wood. 2x4’s about 12 inches long work nicely. Have one piece nice and new and the other old and weathered. (You can find abundance of old scrapes at a lumber yard.)

Read Eccles. 12:1 and give a simple talk about how much better it is to give our lives to Christ while we are young and healthy. Show them the new board. Then you can talk about pursuing other things in life. It could be money, fame, drugs, etc. while holding up the old board. At the end ask them which board a carpenter would prefer using.


Pearl of Great Price

Items needed: A small pouch or bag with several small stones or buttons in it. You will also need one large stone or button to represent the “Pearl of Great Price”. Before the service put 4 of the “pearls” and the big “pearl” in different places around the front. (Ex. A corner of a pew, on the piano, etc.)

Scripture references PDF file

The first 3 “pearls” you can have in your bag and pull them out as you talk about each one. Then walk around as though you are looking in windows for more “pearls”. Find the other 4, one or two at a time, and talk about them.

Text: Matthew 13:45, 46

These pearls represent what different people are seeking for in life.

   1. Friendship: No one likes to be alone all the time. It’s ok to seek 
       friends as long as they are the right kind of friends.

   2. Security: This may be roots in a community or home. It may be
       stocks or bonds.

   3. Wealth: Money, riches, treasures, jewels. Jesus tells us to lay
       up treasures in heaven, not on earth.

   4. Fame: A big name for ourselves. If you want to be truly great
       then be willing to do the dirty job.

   5. Honor: People look up to you. The Bible shows us the true road
       to honor- Prov. 21:21; 22:4

   6. Happiness: This is sometimes sought for in the wrong places.
       Some things do not really satisfy.

   7. Society: Clubs, banquets, parties.

Our pearl buyer has all these but he is still not satisfied. He is still looking for “that Pearl”. Outside of Christ nothing can satisfy.

Walk by the “Pearl of Great Price” and stop to admire it. Then “step inside” to inquire of the price.

Pearl of Great Price:

    1. He doesn’t have enough money to buy it.

    2. He sells some of his pearls but still does not have enough.

    3. He finally sells all.

We have to let go of everything in order to find Jesus. Many times He allows us to have some of these things but we have to be willing to give them up.



Items needed: a toy doctor’s bag or stethoscope, something to represent exercise (small barbell, etc.), a small pillow, and a food box or bag.

Scripture references PDF file

Physical Fitness     

    1. Check-up. Call attention to the doctor’s kit. We need a check-up to keep things ok and to find out if anything is wrong.

    2. Exercise. Hold up barbell. Exercise is activity for training or developing the body or mind; especially for the sake of health. There are different kinds of exercise; exercise takes discipline.

    3. Rest. Show small pillow. This is an important part of our physical fitness.

    4. Proper diet. Hold up food. To be physically fit we need to eat the right kinds of food.

Spiritual Fitness  

    1. Check-up. We need to have the Lord check us over. We need to renew our commitments. Psa. 139:23; Psa. 57:7

    2. Exercise. Bible quizzes and Sword-drills are one form of exercise. Reading the Bible through is good discipline.  Stretching our prayer lives to reach others. 1 Tim. 4:7; Gen. 46:21 (This reference is correct. There are many such verses, but it is still God’s Word and it is good for us to read the Bible through.) 

    3. Rest. It’s good to occasionally get quiet before the Lord. Psa. 46:10; Isa. 40:31; Psa. 23:2

    4. Proper diet. Church attendance, prayer and Bible reading, good wholesome books are just a few of the things that should make up our diet as a Christian. Psa. 55:17; Matt. 26:41; I Pet. 2:2;  II Tim. 3:16

Watch out for food poisoning!  Some books may not be good for us. Some places may not be good for us to go to. II Cor.6:17



(Display a salt shaker)
Matt. 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 

Characteristics of salt:

Burns                                       Melts ice

Flavors food                            Makes you thirsty


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There is enough material here to stretch this out over several lessons. The number and variety of props is only limited by your imagination. You could start out by walking in carrying a suitcase and wearing a pair of sunglasses. Then throughout the lesson use maps, home-made street signs, a model car, etc.

Scripture references PDF file

First, let’s look at our destination. Usually one of the first things we decide is where we are going.

Only 2 choices- Deut. 30:19

Broad way

     · Broad- Matt. 7:13

     · Crowded- Matt. 7:13

     · Dark- Prov. 4:19

     · Crooked- Isa. 59:8

     · Hard- Prov. 13:15

     · Lack of help- Prov. 1:26-28

Narrow way

     · Narrow- Matt. 7:14

     · Just 2- Heb. 13:5

     · Light- Prov. 4:18

     · Straight- Heb. 12:13

     · Delightful- Psa. 119:35

     · Promises- Isa. 43:2


Let’s get out the road map and take a look at the routes.

Broad way

·      Waste and destruction- Isa. 59:7

·      Wrong way- Jer. 7:24

·      Toll master- the devil- Eph. 2:2

Narrow way

·      Mercy and truth- Psa. 25:10

·      Right way- Isa 30:21

·      Jesus, our Guide- Luke 1:79


What’s at the end of the road?

Broad way

·      Death- Rom. 6:23

·      Destruction- Phil. 3:19

·      Burning- Rev. 21:8

Narrow way

·      Everlasting life- Jn. 3:16

·      Mansion- Jn. 14:2

·      Heaven- Rev. 21:1


What do you consider is essential to any trip?        

·      Toothbrush

·      Money 

·      Map

·      Clothes

Essentials for our trip:

·      Salvation

·      Sanctification

·      Standards and convictions

Non-essentials: (Heb. 12:1)

·      Fads and fashions

·      Extravagant clothes, worldly hair styles, friends, books, family

·      Earthly possessions

·      Non-essentials will be different for different people.


Our road map through life is the Bible. (Heb. 4:12)

·      Inspired of God- 2 Tim. 3:16;  2 Pet. 1:21

We need to study God’s Word.     

Jn. 5:39; Deut. 11:18,19

We need to reverence God’s Word.

Reverence- To show devotion and honor to; to respect, adore, and worship. To regard with profound respect and honor. Psa. 89:7

Absolutely trustworthy.  1Ki. 8:56


Now let’s look at our car.               

First there are many sizes and shapes. There are many callings and talents in life. We are not all the same.

·      I Cor. 12:17-20

·      Various gifts- Rom. 12:6-8

·      There are varying degrees of ability.  Matt. 25:15

But we are all God’s ambassadors. 2 Cor. 5:20

Ambassador- A diplomatic agent of the highest rank sent with letters of authorization to a foreign government as the resident representative of his own government; appointed to a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.


Ok, we have a car; now let’s look at some of the features it has.

Gas gauge- E or F

·      Devotional life- Psa. 55:17; Duet. 17:19

·      Church attendance- Heb. 10:25

·      Divine fellowship- Psa. 73:28

Headlights- letting our light shine

·      Matt. 5:14-16

Radio- lots of confusion & static but we can be tuned to heavenly things

·      Col. 3:1, 2

Gear shift- We are not always driving on the interstate. There will be many stops, starts, and slow downs.

·      Park- there will be times of being still. Psa. 46:10

·      Reverse- I am sorry. Psa. 103:14

·      Drive- Isa. 40:31

Anti-freeze- warm in the cold places, cool in the heat (sanctification)

·      Acts 7:55; 2 Tim. 2:21; 1Thess. 5:23; Rom. 6:6   


Along the way        

·      Gas stations- Acts 3:19        

·      Rest stops- Psa. 4:4

·      Detours- Psa. 37:23

·      Pot holes- 1 Pet. 5:8

·      Long dry stretches- Psa. 63:1

·      Beautiful views- Psa. 68:19

Road Hazards

·      Wrong turn

·      Road construction

·      Traffic jam

·      Car trouble

·      Long distance

·      Tired

·      Rain



A Light       

Items needed: A simple household flashlight that is easy to take apart, several flashlights of various sizes and shapes.

Scripture references PDF file

Text: Matthew 5:14-16

Switch the light on and off a couple of times, then take it apart to show the different parts as you talk about them.

The Bulb     

If we are a Christian then our light should shine for Jesus. The bulb is what everyone sees. What do they see in you?

·      Our light should glorify God. Matt. 5:16

·      Our light should be an example to others. Titus 2:7

·      Our light should not be dimmed by grumbling, fault-finding, etc.
       Phil. 2:15

The Reflector

This reflects the light and makes it brighter. Sanctification makes us brighter Christians and gives us strength. Acts 1:8; 2 Tim. 2:21

The Lens

It’s hard to let the light through if it is dirty. Keep things clear between you and God and between you and others. Acts 24:16; I Peter 3:16

The Battery                                            

This is the real life of the flashlight. If it is weak the light will be dim. If it is corroded it will not work at all. This is a good example of our devotional life.

There are 2 poles or terminals to a battery. It takes both prayer and Bible reading to keep our lights shining.

·      Prayer: Matt. 26:41  Eph. 6:18

·      Bible reading: Psa. 119:105  1 Pet. 2:2

·      Remember—A weak battery means a weak light!

Display a variety of flashlights. There are many different kinds of flashlights: different sizes, shapes and purposes. God has a place for each of us. 1 Cor. 12:8-11




The Carpenter

Items needed: a small chest or tool box, level, saw, crow bar, nails, hammer, blueprints (can be home made), and 2 pieces of wood; one nice and new, the other old and rotten.

Have a small chest or tool box displayed on a table at the front and as you talk about the different tools lay them out on the table.

Scripture references PDF file

Tape Measure       

We can’t guess at our measurements. Well, this board looks about the right length we’ll use it here.

God’s Word is like the tape measure: it tells us how to live and how to make it to heaven. Psa. 119:11


We use a level to be sure our boards are straight. Can you imagine a house with boards leaning every-which-way?

We need a time of devotions to keep us level in this life. Spend some time every day in prayer and Bible reading. Deut. 17:19;  Eph. 6:18


It would be pretty hard to build a house without a saw.

Occasionally we may have to cut some things out of our lives; someplace we go, something we read, something we do, etc. Matt. 5:30

Crow Bar

Maybe we got one of our boards nailed up crooked or it’s warped a little bit. We have to pry it up and replace it.

We are only human and we will make mistakes and may mess things up. But we can ask the Lord to forgive us. Don’t go on and try to cover things up. Ocassionally we have to say  “I’m sorry”. 1 Jn. 2:1


A house would not be very strong if you just stacked the boards around and didn’t bother to nail them. Nails have sharp points but they are important to building our house.

None of us like to go through temptations and trials but they help us to be strong in the Lord. Job 23:10


It pounds the nail in but it also pulls the nail out.

God’s love allows things to come our way but only what we can take and what will help us be better Christians. 1 Cor. 10:13


There are all sizes and shapes of houses; all serving a good purpose.

God has a blueprint for each one of us. We need to let Him build us and shape us according to His plan. Duet. 10:12


Here is a nice smooth new board and here is an old half rotted one. Which would you like to use in your house?

We need to give our hearts and lives to God while we are young. He can do a lot more with us when we are “new” then if we wait till we are old and our life is almost over. Eccl. 12:1



Horticulture 101

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Scripture references PDF file

·      Good soil- Luke 8:8

In order to thrive a plant needs good soil. Luke 8:8

A good environment- we don’t go to places that have bad environments

·      Testing the pH level in the soil- II Tim. 2

We need to maintain a proper balance of prayer and Bible reading, church attendance, etc.

·      Cultivate the soil- Colossians 3:13

You need to keep the ground soft and loosened up.

We must keep the channels clear between others and ourselves even if it may not be our fault.

·      Fertilize- Luke 13:6-9

Fertilizing the plant helps it to grow strong, bear better fruit and helps the soil have the nutrients needed for good growth.

So how are we fertilized spiritually? By attending revival services, having those special times of prayer, meditating on God’s Word, etc.

·      Water- Ezekiel 34:26; Revelation 22:17

It is hard for a plant to exist without water.

God’s blessings are essential to our well being spiritually. He blesses us in so many ways!

·      Pruning- John 15:2

Pruning trims up the plant for a pleasing look, cuts away the dead and unnecessary part, and makes a more productive plant.

God from time to time needs to trim things out of our lives so that we can be more pleasing to Him, be more productive and to clear away unnecessary things in our lives that may hinder us from making it to heaven.

·      Sunlight- 2 Corinthians 4:6, Revelation 21:23

Sunlight is essential for proper growth.

We cannot exist spiritually without Christ.

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.




(At the beginning of your session you could have a number of items in a sack or in your pocket or purse. Items can include: a cell phone, keys, coins, pocket knife, handkerchief, pencil, nail, piece of paper, screw, toy car, etc. Pull them out while making up some conversation about all the things you carry. Maybe your spouse thinks you carry to much stuff, etc.
Put everything away and then see if they can remember each item you showed them.)

Remember: Keep in mind for attention or consideration. Have and bring to mind a memory of something; bring back knowledge from memory. Mention favorably, as in prayer. Call to remembrance; keep alive the memory of someone or something. To think of again.
Remembrance: The ability to recall past occurrences.
Memory: The power of retaining and recalling past experience. Something that is remembered.

We like to be remembered. On our birthday or Christmas, it’s nice to know people are thinking about us.

Genesis 8:1
 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;

Genesis 19:29
 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

Genesis 30:22
 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.

Numbers 10:9
 And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

1 Samuel 1:19
 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her.

Psalm 136:23
 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Proverbs 10:7
 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

Psalm 112:6
 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

Genesis 40:14
 But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:

Judges 16:28
 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

1 Samuel 1:11
 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

Matthew 26:13
 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

Psalm 25:7
 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

Hebrews 8:12
 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Luke 23:42
 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.


Oblivion: the condition of being completely forgotten; the state of being disregarded or forgotten.

Psalm 34:16
 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.




God’s Word

This lesson could be used as a Bible study lesson or as a Sword Drill and object lesson combined. Have a flashlight, hammer, play sword, etc. laid out on a table and hold up each article as the verse is read.

A Light-
Psalm 19:8 (KJV)

 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
2 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV)
 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Psalm 119:130 (KJV)
 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

A Lamp-
Psalm 119:105 (KJV)
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Proverbs 6:23 (KJV)
 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

A Hammer-
Jeremiah 23:29 (KJV)

 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

A Sword-
Ephesians 6:17 (KJV)

 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)
 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

1 Peter 2:2 (KJV)

 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Psalm 119:103 (KJV)

 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Job 23:12 (KJV)
 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Psalm 19:10 (KJV)
 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Seed Corn-
Mark 4:14 (KJV)

 The sower soweth the word.
Mark 4:20 (KJV)
 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Luke 8:11 (KJV)
 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.


Why was the Bible written?

 To show the divinity of Christ:
John 20:31 (KJV)
 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

To give hope to men:
Romans 15:4 (KJV)
 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

To give knowledge of eternal life:
1 John 5:13 (KJV)
 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.


Wasn’t the Bible written by man?

2 Peter 1:21 (KJV)
 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Psalm 68:11 (KJV)
 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

2 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
Revelation 21:5 (KJV)
 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.


Can we believe the Bible? 

Matthew 5:18 (KJV)
 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
1 Kings 8:56 (KJV)
 Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.
Isaiah 40:8 (KJV)
 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Luke 21:33 (KJV)
 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Proverbs 30:5 (KJV)
 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.


Should we study God’s Word?

 John 5:39 (KJV)
 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Acts 17:11 (KJV)
  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Matthew 22:29 (KJV)
 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
Deuteronomy 11:18-19 (KJV)
18  Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
19  And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 17:19 (KJV)
 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:

Good motto to follow: 

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.





A child’s toy box can hold many items that make nice object materials.


The important thing is not so much
that every child should be taught,
as that every child should be given the wish to learn.