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Philippians 4:8-9; Philippians 2:5; Proverbs 17:22
- Two identical balloons tied to string. One is filled with air and one if filled with helium. If you want to you can draw a smiley face on the back of the one with helium and a sad face on the other one, but that is not necessary.
(Hold the string close to the balloon to they both look the same as they are resting on your hand.)
Does anyone know what I am holding in my hand? Yes! I have a couple of balloons. These both look the same, but you will find that they are actually very different.
In Philippians 2:14 it says that we should do everything without grumbling and complaining. Do you ever complain about anything? Maybe you don’t like working hard? Maybe you don’t like a certain kind of food? Maybe you complain about the weather? God doesn’t want us to do this.
When we grumble and complain it actually drags us down. In Proverbs 17:22 it says that a merry heart is good like a medicine. When we are positive and have an uplifting attitude it build us up. This kind of attitude pleases God.
So many people always walk around with a bad attitude. Sometimes you can’t even tell, but deep inside their attitude is bad. How is your attitude? Is it good or bad?
One of these balloons has a good attitude and one of them has a bad attitude. Can you tell which is which? One of them if very uplifting and the other one is always down, down, down. Let’s see which is which!
(Let go of the balloons. You may want to make sure you hold on to the end of the string so the helium doesn’t fly away. One balloon should now float up and the other one will sink down.)
Which one do you think has the uplifting and positive attitude? That’s right! This one that is floating. Which one do you think has the bad attitude and is always down? That’s right, this sad one hanging here.
Which balloon are you like? The one with a good attitude or a bad attitude?
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1 Thessalonians 5:18; Psalm 136:1; James 1:17
- Gauze or elastic bandage
Wrap your arm up with the gauze or bandage.
(Show your arm all wrapped up.)
Leprosy was a very bad skin disease that many people had long ago in the Bible times. It was very contagious so when someone had leprosy they would send them away from the town so that no one else would get infected. Whenever someone would walk by the lepers would yell “unclean” so that everyone knew that they should stay far away.
This was a very lonely life for the lepers because they had to leave their friends and families behind and life in the wilderness. Often the lepers would make friends with each other and start to live together, but they always wanted to go back home.
One day there were ten lepers who were wandering around and saw that Jesus as He was walking towards Jerusalem. They began to shout out to Jesus saying, “Jesus have mercy on us!”
When Jesus saw them he felt bad for them. They had bandages all over their body like this one that is on my arm. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the high priests. Back in those days the priests would be the people who would decide if the person was healthy enough to be allowed to live in the village or not.
The ten men began to walk to the village to go and see the priest and as they walked back they realized that they were feeling better. (Unwrap your arm as you say the next part.) They unwrapped their bandages and realized that they had been healed! They were all so excited because they knew that meant they could go back home to their families and loved ones. They all began to run with excitement!
However, one of the men stopped running and he turned around and ran back to see Jesus. When he saw Jesus he fell down at His feet and he thanked Him. He was so grateful that Jesus had healed him. Jesus was happy that the man returned to thank Him, but He also wondered where the other men were, and why they didn’t return to say “thanks” as well.
How do you think that made Jesus feel when those nine people who He healed didn’t even bother to come back to say “thank you?” I would be pretty disappointed if I was Jesus. Do you thank Jesus for the things that He does in your life? Are you like that one that came back with a heart of gratitude or are you like the nine that were ungrateful?
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Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:1-15
- Four buckets of dirt
- Thorn branches
Fill the four buckets full of dirt. Pack the dirt down really hard in one bucket. Fill the top of one bucket with dirt. Stick thorn branches in another. The last bucket should have good soil.
(Have the four buckets lined up.)
In Matthew 13:1-23 Jesus told a story about a farmer who went out to plant his field. As he was scattering the seed some of it fell onto the path that was packed down hard. (Show the bucket with the packet dirt and sprinkle some seeds on it.) But guess what happened? The birds saw it and swooped down and gobbled it all up! (Use your hand like a bird to sweep down and peck at the seed.)
(Show everyone the bucket with the rocks in it and sprinkle some seeds on it.) Some of the seed fell onto the stony dirt. How well do you think a plant would grow here? The seeds started to grow really quickly, but the roots were not able to grow deep. The sun came out and was so hot that all the plants died.
(Show the bucket with the thorns and sprinkle some seeds.) Some of the seeds fell in the thorn bushes. Do you think the plants would grow well here? They started to grow but the thorn bushes were hogging all of the sunlight, water and nutrients and choked out the baby plants.
(Show the good soil and plant some seeds.) Some of the seed fell onto the good soil! Do you think that the plants would grow here? Of course they would! The plants grew and grew and produced a lot of food!
After Jesus told this story his disciples came to him because they were confused. They asked him to tell them what the story meant. Jesus told them that the seeds (hold up the seeds) represents the Good News about God. The path (hold up the bucket with the hard packed dirt) represents those people that hear God’s Word but don’t believe it, then the enemy comes and quickly snatches it up.
The rocky dirt (hold up the bucket with the stones) is the people that hear God’s Word and get really excited about it but their roots never go down into His Word by studying and obeying the Bible. As soon as hardship comes they fall away from God.
The soil with the thorns (show the bucket with the thorns) represents those that hear God’s Word and begin to grow but soon fall away because they are distracted by the things of this world and trying to please other people.
The good soil (show the bucket with the good dirt) is the person that hears God’s Word and understands it. They begin to do what it says that they grow and grow and their life produces many good things!
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