1 Corinthians 7:23; Galatians 5:13; John 3:16
- American Flag
(Show the American Flag).
Do any of you know what this is? Yes! This is the flag of the United States of America. This flag reminds us of the freedom citizens of America enjoy but it also helps me to remember what Jesus did for me.
On June 14, 1777 the founding fathers of America decided that the flag should have stripes with red, white and blue. When I look at these things is reminds me of Jesus.
The stars that are on the flag reminds me of the very first verse in the Bible, Genesis 1:1. It says that in the very Beginning God created everything. Even the stars. Can you imagine how big and powerful God must be to be able to create the stars!
The stripes and the red color remind me about the stripes from the whip that Jesus had on his back. He bled and died for me. He wanted to take my sin upon him and he gives me forgiveness. He was beaten and whipped so that I could have healing.
The white stripes remind me that once Jesus died and rose again he cleaned my heart. The Bible says in Psalm 51:7 that God will clean us and make us whiter than snow.
The last color of the flag is the Blue. Blue is a very royal color that kings and queens wear. This reminds me that Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and He rules everything from His throne is Heaven.
When we see the flag let is remind us of the great country that we live in, but also let it remind us of the sacrifice that Jesus made and the love that He has for us.
1 Corinthians 7:23; Galatians 5:1; Galatians 5:13
- American Flag
Do you of you know what holiday we are celebrating this weekend? (Wait for responses.) That’s right we are celebrating Memorial Day. Do you know what memorial means? It means that we are supposed to remember something. But I can’t seem to remember, what we are supposed to remember.
(Take out the American Flag).
Maybe this will help me to remember. This is the flag of the United States of America, and it does help me to remember. On Memorial Day we remember the soldiers who fought and died so that we can live in a free country. Many of them sacrificed their lives so that we could gather together and worship Christ without being afraid of being punished.
There are many countries around the world that cannot worship God freely. They have to meet in secret so that no one can find them. If they were caught they would get throw into prison and sometimes even killed.
On this day we remember the men and women who fought for our freedom. But we also remember Jesus Christ who fought for our freedom. He died so that we could have freedom from our sins.
As we remember the patriots that died for our country, let us also remember our Savior who died for us. But the great thing is that Jesus did not stay dead! He rose from the dead on the third day!
1 Peter 2:24
2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:4-6; Hebrews 9:28; Matthew 8:17; Galatians 3:13
- Large shirt that you don’t mind ruining. A button up shirt will probably work the best as it is easiest to put on and off.
- Permanent markers
(Call up a volunteer and put the large shirt on them.)
Here is my friend and just like you they have sinned against God at times. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned, so let us think of some different sins that this person may have committed. (You can ask for sins if you want, or you can just write down the ones that you want to.)
Stealing. Maybe this person was at a store and really wanted a pack of candy and instead of paying for it they just snuck it in their pocket. That is a sin, and we will write it down. (White “stealing” on the shirt in permanent marker.)
Maybe this person told a lie also, so let’s write that down as well. (Write “lying” somewhere else on the shirt.
Perhaps they were taking a test and they decided to cheat, do you think that would please God? No! Let’s write down “cheating” as well.
Maybe they were playing ball with some friends and they all started bullying someone else who wasn’t playing the game as well. Let’s write down “bullying” too.
(Feel free to write down as many as you want to.)
Wow! Look at this person! They are covered in sin aren’t they? Do you think that they can wipe all these sins off?
(Instruct the helped to try to wipe all the sins off of the shirt.)
They may scrub and wipe and struggle, but there is nothing that they can do to remove these sins that we have written down. There is not way to make themselves clean again.
(Have another volunteer come out and play Jesus, or you can play it.)
What Jesus did when he went and died on Calvary was he took the sins away from us. God could not be near sin and since we were covered with sin God could not be near us. So Jesus took our sins and put them on himself.
(Take the shirt off the helped and put it on Jesus, or yourself.)
Then when God saw Jesus all he could see what the sin. Jesus died on the cross wearing all of our sin on his back. When Jesus died the sin and death could not hold him any longer. (Take the shirt off and throw is far from you.) Jesus came back alive and left the sin in the grave. He is now alive and offers us freedom from the sin that once held us captive.
John 12:9-19; Matthew 21:5; Mark 11:1-11
- Palm branch
Do you know what today is? It is Palm Sunday! This is the day that we celebrate when Jesus rode into Jerusalem shortly before He was crucified. They call it His Triumphal Entry. That mean he rode in victoriously! Like a king!
(Show the palm branch)
One day Jesus was going into Jerusalem. He was riding in on a donkey which no one had ever ridden on before. As he rode into Jerusalem people started cutting down palm branches and throwing them on the road in front of him. Some people even took off their coats and threw them on the road for the donkey to walk on.
(Throw the branch and your coat on the ground and walk across them)
Jesus rode over the coats and palm branches and as he did the crowd starting shouting. They said “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” Let’s say that together!
When a king would come riding into town everyone would gather around for the great parade. Even though Jesus was not the earthly king, people realized that He was the King of Kings.
Revelation 13:8; Revelation 20:12; Revelation 20:15; Revelation 3:5; Revelation 21:27
- Guest Book. Even a plain notebook will do.
Have you ever been to a really nice restaurant before? When you go to a nice restaurant you don’t just barge in and sit down wherever you want. You usually have to go up to a counter and they ask for your name. Some really nice restaurants even want you to call in a reservation before you come.
(Show the guest book.)
The receptionist will write your name down in the book and let you know when they will seat you. Once they are ready with a table for you they will call you and let you come and sit down and enjoy your delicious meal.
If you just came running in do you think they would give you a table? No! Because you do not have a reservation.
Did you know that Heaven has a reservation list too? It is called the Lamb’s Book of Life. The Bible teaches us that anyone who believes that Jesus is Lord gets their name written in that Book. Once day when we get to Heaven before they let us in they will check to make sure that our name is in the Book of Life.
If your name is in the Book because you gave your life to Jesus then they will let you in. But the Bible says that if your name is not in the list you will be cast out of Heaven and will not be allowed to enter.
If your name in the Book of Life? When we believe that Jesus is Lord and say that with our mouth then God puts our name in the book and makes our reservation for our home in Heaven.
1 Corinthians 9:27
Galatians 5:22-23; Titus 2:12; Philippians 3:19
- Bag of potato chips (Lay’s is best because the slogan is “bet you can’t eat just one.”
(Take out the bag of potato chips.)
Do any of you like potato chips? What is your favorite kind? (Allow for some responses.) I love potato chips too.
(Open the bag of potato chips and start eating them as you talk).
The problem that I have is when I open up the bag and start eating them, I want to keep eating and eating them until the whole bag is gone. Have you ever done that before? Maybe you are sitting watching a movie and you don’t even realize that you keep eating them and eating them. You finally realize it when they are all gone!
Do you know what the Bible calls that? Gluttony! Being a glutton is when you are not able to control how much you eat.
(Hand out a chip to everyone.)
I am going to give you all a chip, but I do NOT want you to eat it. This is going to take some self-control. Do you know what the slogan of Lay’s potato chips is? “Bet you can’t eat just one.”
(Eat a chip.) Man they are right! It is so hard to eat just one! They are so salty and crispy and taste so good. I just want to eat the entire bag right now! Would you like to eat your chip? (Wait for a response). Nope! Not yet.
In 1 Corinthians 9:27 it says that we should discipline our bodies and keep them under control. It is ok to eat a chip or some good food, but when we get out of control it turns into sin. Are you ready to eat the chip? Not yet!
We need to control ourselves. That means being able to say “NO” to certain things. Maybe it’s food, maybe it is something else that you need to say “NO” to. God wants us to have self-control. It is one of the fruits of the spirit.
Are you ready to eat the chip? OK, let’s see if you can really just eat one.
(Let everyone eat the chip.)
Great job! You only ate one and you practiced self-control!
Proverbs 11:2; Galatians 6:3; James 4:6
- Bubble gum. You can give everyone a piece if you want. (You could also use bubbles or a balloon for a similar effect).
(Take out a piece of bubble gum and put it in your mouth and begin to chew it. You could also get a volunteer if you wanted to.)
Does anyone here like bubble gum? What is your favorite kind? (Wait for responses.) Do you know how to blow a bubble? Did you know that some people can blow huge bubbles!
I can’t blow a really big bubble, but I will show you how big of a bubble I can blow. (Blow the bubble until it pops.)
Did you know that some people are just like this bubble? They get really puffed up. Do you know what it means when you are puffed up? You are full of yourself or you are prideful.
Being proud means that you think that you are more important that others. God does not like it at all when we are full of pride.
Do you know what happens when we get full of pride? In Proverbs 16:18 it says that pride comes before destruction. That is just like a bubble gum bubble. It gets puffed up as it becomes more and more proud and then finally…POP! It is totally destroyed.
God’s Word tells us that pride will lead us to destruction. Let us put other people and God before ourselves. Let us not boast about things that we have. Let’s make sure that we don’t have a big ego.
Let us walk with humility before our God.
Romans 12:18; Psalm 34:14; Galatians 5:22-23
- Just your hands
Everyone show me your hands. Now clap them together and hold them firmly. (Demonstrate this as you go along.) Now rub them back and forth. Faster! Faster!
(Have everyone keep rubbing their hands together until they start to heat up a lot.)
Do you feel your hands heating up? Do you know why they heat up like that? It’s because the friction between your hands. As you rub them together the friction generates heat.
This is what happens when two people are around each other. They start rubbing each other the wrong way. They start irritating each other and they get frustrated. As their frustrating and friction increases the heat builds up. Not the kind of heat that warms up your hands, but this heat comes out with anger or being a hot head.
If you are in a situation that causes friction with someone else you should try to bring peace instead of bringing anger. The Bible says in Matthew 5:9 that God blessed those that work for peace. Peace is also one of the fruits of the spirit.
Maybe you see two other people who are rubbing each other the wrong way. Being a peacemaker means that you step in and try to bring peace to the situation. Some people just sit back and don’t try to help, but God blesses you when you try to bring peace.
1 Peter 2:21
Matthew 16:24; 1 Corinthians 11:1-2; Luke 9:23; Mark 8:34
- Train set
(Show everyone the train set.)
Have you ever played with a model train before? Some people get really excited about model trains. They will build elaborate train sets with mountains and towns and train stations. The trains will travel over the mountains and through tunnels and over bridges. Do you know what every train has in common? They always follow their leader!
Have you ever played follow the leader before? (Play a round of follow the leader with everyone following you around the room.)
Trains will always follow their engine. What do you think would happen if one of the train cars decided to not follow the leader engine anymore? (Wait for responses.) It wouldn’t go anywhere! If you were a passenger in that car you would be very upset! A train car is not very useful if it isn’t following its leader.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:21 that we have to follow a leader too. Do you know who that leader is? (Wait for response.) That leader is Jesus Christ! We need to follow him with all that we are.
Through the mountains and valleys that we go through in our lives we need to stay close to our leader, Jesus, and follow him wherever he leads. If we decide that we don’t want to follow him anymore we won’t be able to make any progress in our life and our life will not have the meaning and purpose that God has for us.
Let us always remember that Jesus is our leader and that we need to continually follow him wherever we go in our lives.
Proverbs 13:4; Colossians 3:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:10
Have you ever felt stuck in your life? Maybe you are supposed to learn something new, but you just don’t feel like studying it. Or maybe you are supposed to do a big job or a chore, but you don’t want to do it. Maybe you are working on a big project, but for some reason you just can’t figure out what to do next. You feel totally stuck.
When we feel stuck we might need something to help us to get unstuck. Like this?
(Take out the plunger.)
Do you know what this is used for? It helps get your toilet unstuck. Has yours ever been stuck before?
Sometimes in our lives we need something that will help us to get unstuck too. Not like this plunger but something else. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 6:6 that we should not be lazy.
When we feel like we are stuck we should remember that God does not want us to be lazy. We should start moving forward and do the things that we feel are holding us back.