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Proverbs 16:25; John 14:6; John 10:9
- Photo of trail blazes
What are some important things to take with you on a hike? (allow for answers).
Yes, those are all important things! But I think the most important thing to take is a map. Why is a map important (allow for answers)?
A map helps you to know where you are going and more importantly how you will get back to your bus or car, right? Have you ever been in the woods and then suddenly it seems like the trail disappears? Maybe the woods get really thick and the grass and bushes are really tall and the path in front of you isn’t as clean anymore. What then?
Well, there is another thing that is very useful to help you stay on the trail. Does anyone know what it is? (allow answers).
It’s called a trail blaze and it looks like this (show photo).
Trail blazes are painted marks on trees or rocks that lead you down the correct trail. If you follow the blazes you will always be on the trail and not in the middle of the woods somewhere. The blazes will often show you if the trail turns right or left. And if you were lost in the woods, you could follow the blazes until you came to a road and could get help.
The Bible tells us about a very important path that we should stay on. It’s the path that leads to Heaven. Let’s read Matthew 7:13-14 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway (or path) to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road (path) is difficult, and only a few ever find it. This verse tells us that we should choose the path that leads to Heaven.
That means following Jesus at all times. It also says that the path to Hell is a wide path because there are a lot of people going down that path. They are choosing not to follow Jesus. They might be choosing to follow other gods or maybe they’ve just decided not to believe. But they are going the wrong way.
When you think about all of the people around you, are they mostly following Jesus or not following Jesus? (allow for answers).
Following Jesus is not always the easy way and that’s why this verse says the narrow road is “difficult.” Sometimes it’s hard to follow Jesus when all of our friends don’t want to. But by loving them and telling them about Jesus we can lead them down the right path too.
Psalm 119:15; Luke 10:28-32; Philippians 4:8
- 2×4 Board
(Come out carrying the 2×4 and lay it on the floor.)
Have any of you ever walked on a balance beam before? Do any of you think that you would be able to walk along this board without falling off? (Pick a volunteer to come up and help you out.)
All you have to do is walk across this board, but don’t fall off! I will stand at the far end and you just walk across the board towards me. (Let the person walk across the board towards you, it should be pretty easy.)
Was that very hard? (Wait for their response.) No, not at all. Because you were paying close attention on me and focusing on what you were trying to do. In Hebrews 12:2 it says that we should keep our eyes on Jesus. When we keep our eyes on Jesus we can walk our path in life, just like our volunteer walked along this balance beam pretty easily.
However, some people don’t want to look at Christ. They look at other things in the world. They look at jobs, school, relationships, money, and all kinds of other things. It isn’t that these things are necessarily bad but they are not the things that we should be focusing on.
We are now going to have our volunteer try to walk across the balance beam again. The big difference is that this time they will not be allowed to look at me they will have to look at everyone else. (Encourage everyone else to cheer or make noise, and tell your volunteer that they can only look out at the audience.)
(Have them walk across the board, this time they should fall off pretty quickly.)
That wasn’t as easy was it? Why not? (Wait for a response.) Because our volunteer was distracted and was focusing on other things other than what he should be focusing on. He didn’t do very well with all the distractions.
When we go through life we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and not get distracted by looking at the things around us. When we keep our eyes on Him He will help us to walk the path that He wants us to.
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Isaiah 30:21; Psalm 25:4-5; Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 3:5-6
(Hold up the compass.)
Does anyone know what this is? (Wait for a response.) That’s right it is a compass. Do any of you know how to use it? Many people know that a compass helps you to find the right direction, but most people don’t really know how to use one very well.
The compass has a pointer that has been magnetized and it always points in a certain direction. Do you know what direction that is? North! If you are ever lost in the woods or if you are ever lost when you are on a trip and if you know how to use a compass it will help you because it will always point to the north and you can find every other direction based off of that.
In life many people feel like they are lost. They don’t know which way to go. They feel like they don’t have a purpose or meaning. Many of them wish that they had a compass to help guide them.
(Hold up the Bible.)
This is also a compass. It is the compass for our life. When we read the Scriptures God will give us direction through the Holy Spirit and He will guide us in the best path to take.
In Psalm 119:105 is says that God’s Word is like a lamp to our feet and a light for our path. Do you know what that means? That means that God will help to direct us and guide us. He will help us to know which direction to take. He will help us to avoid the obstacles that come at us in our life. If we ever feel like we are lost in our life the Bible will help us find the right way to go.
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Psalm 37:23; Isaiah 14:27; Hebrew 2:8; Proverbs 19:21; Romans 12:2
- Radio control toy (car, boat, helicopter, whatever)
(Take out the radio controlled car and show it to everyone.)
Have you ever seen one of these before? What is it? (Wait for a response.) Do you have anything that is radio controlled? (Allow them to respond.) Radio controlled cars, trucks, boats and airplanes are so much because because you actually get to control it. You might have other toy cars that you can look at or push around, but when it has a radio control you can do all kinds of cool things with it!
(Put the car on the floor and stare at it.)
Does anyone know what this car is doing? (Wait for a response.) Absolutely nothing!! This car is in control of itself right now and it isn’t going anywhere! Watch what happens when I take control of it! (Drive the car around.)
We are just like this car. When we try to control ourselves we don’t really go anywhere. Instead we should let God have the control and he can lead us, guide us, and direct us where He wants us to go.
In James 4:7 the Bible says that we should submit to God, that means that we let Him control us. (Hold out the radio control and hand it to someone.) That’s like taking this control and giving it to someone and saying, “I want YOU to control the car.” What we are doing when we give God the control is we are saying that we want HIM to control our lives.
When God is controlling our lives through his Holy Spirit then we can know that He will lead us in the best path for our life. Let us give the control of our life over to God today.
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2 Corinthians 5:9
Romans 14:19, Romans 15:20
- Bow and arrows
Have any of you ever shot a bow and arrow before? How did you do? Did you know that if you close your eyes you wouldn’t do a very good job! First you would take an arrow and put it on the string and then you would draw it all the way back. Then do you just shoot it? No! What do you have to do first?
You have to aim it!
Often times people just live their lives anyway they choose but they often wonder why they keep missing the mark. They aren’t fulfilled. They aren’t successful. They don’t have joy. It is because they are aiming at the wrong thing! What are some things that we can aim at, that are not the right thing? (Allow kids to answer.)
Money. Friends. Job. Grades. All kinds of things. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:9 that we need to aim at pleasing God. When we aim to please Him then we will be successful in all that we do.
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