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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.

 

Fitness

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

 

Salt

(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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Travels                                

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

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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

                                                 

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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

Level    

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

Saw                            

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

Nails

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

Hammer

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

Blueprints

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

Wood

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

                             

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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.

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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.