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Luke 6:45; Matthew 12:34-35; Proverbs 23:19
- Blindfold or bandana that you can tie around your eyes
- Ear plugs, or shooting muffs
Do any of you have a heart? Of course you do! We wouldn’t be alive if we didn’t have a heart. A lot of times when we talk about our heart though, we aren’t just talking about the organ in our body that pumps blood. We are talking about our emotions and the things that drive us. That is what we are referring to when we tell someone who we love them with all of our heart.
In Proverbs 4:23 it tells us that you need to guard your heart. That means we need to protect it. How can we protect our heart?
(Take out the blindfold and put it over your eyes.)
We can protect our heart by controlling the things that we see. Maybe you have watched a movie that you shouldn’t have? Maybe you saw a picture that wasn’t good. Or maybe you read something that you know didn’t please God. We need to protect our heart by controlling the things that we see. If something comes on the TV that isn’t pleasing to God, we need to put a blindfold on! OK, maybe that wouldn’t work well, but we can change the channel or walk out of the room.
(Show the ear plugs and put them in.)
Do you know what these are? (Wait for a response.) I can’t hear you, you will have to speak up. (Make everyone yell. Then take out the earplugs.) Maybe I should take these out? I can hear you so much better now. We can also protect our heart by controlling the things that we hear. Maybe you hear someone telling a joke or story that is not good, you can just walk away. Or maybe all of your friends like to listen to a certain band of type of music that you know doesn’t please God. Well, you need to control those things and not listen to them!
Why is it so important that we guard our heart? The Bible says that it controls every thing that we do. If we are always watching and hearing things that are bad then it is filling our heart with bad things. If our heart is full with these bad things, that is what will be coming out in our actions and the way we speak, and that does not please God.
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Isaiah 1:18; John 1:29; 1 John 1:7; Matthew 23:26
- Sheet of Paper
You will be making a paper snowflake so you may want to practice if you have never made one before. If you are teaching a class of kids you could also hand out pieces of paper and have them make the snowflakes as well.
(Take out the piece of paper and being to fold it and cut it into the shape of a snowflake. You can do this while you talk.)
Have you ever made a paper snowflake before? They are a lot of fun to make, and they are a great way to decorate your house for winter. There is nothing so beautiful as freshly fallen snow. It is so white and pure. Whenever I see snow, or when I make a paper snowflake I think about Psalm 51:7 where is says “Wash me and I will be whiter than snow!”
Snow is very white isn’t it? Can you imaging anything more white than snow? God says that when he forgives our sins we are even whiter than snow!
Snow may look very white, but did you know that each snowflake has a dirty secret? When snowflakes form it actually forms around a very tiny piece of dust. The ice crystals grow on this piece of dust and it becomes a beautiful snowflake. But even though the snowflake it beautiful and white on the outside it is dirty inside. Many people are like that. They look nice and clean and happy on the outside, but inside they are sad and full of sin.
Jesus wants to clean us of that sin. He wants to save us and forgive us. He does not just want to clean us and make us look nice and white like a snowflake though. He wants to clean us on the inside. He wants to take that dirty heart and make it clean.
Jesus wants to make us not AS white as snow, but He wants to make us even WHITER than snow!
Incoming search terms:
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Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10; 1 Samuel 16:7
(Come out wearing a mask.)
Have you ever worn a mask before? It can be fun to put on a mask and act like someone else. (Try on a few different masks.) Why do people wear masks? (Wait for responses.) To look like someone or something else. A mask hides what you really look like. Sometimes when people rob a bank or commit a crime they will wear a mask so no one can see what they look like.
Do you ever wear a mask? I don’t mean a real mask over your face though. Sometimes people will act a certain way so that people will think that they are better than they really are. They will come to church and say the right things, and sing loud, and act like a follower of Jesus, but it is really just a mask that they are wearing.
Jesus was upset at the Pharisees one day because they would dress fancy and act like they loved God but really they were mean and unkind to people. Jesus said in Matthew 23:25-26 that they were like a tomb or a casket that was painted to look really nice, but inside was only a skeleton! He said that they were like a cup that was nice and clean on the outside, but was really dirty on the inside.
Do you ever try to make yourself look better than you really are? Do you try to impress people? We all do this at times. But God wants us to be humble. Instead of saying that we love God and other people He wants us to actually love them! We show that we love Him by our actions. By how we live.
God is not fooled by a mask. In 1 Samuel 16:7 it says that people look at the outside but God looks at our heart. Let us make sure that our actions are pleasing and honorable to God.
Incoming search terms:
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Matthew 15:19-20; James 4:8; Matthew 12:33; Luke 6:45; Jeremiah 4:14
- Nice looking cup or glass (something not clear works best)
- Plain or Styrofoam cup
Put some mud inside the “nice” cup. Smear some mud on the outside of the plain-looking cup.
(Hold up both cups and show everyone.)
I have two cups here. One of them is really nice (maybe you can tell them where you got it if it has any significance to you) and the other one is not so nice looking. Which cup would you rather drink out of? This really nice looking cup that looks clean? Or this plain-looking cup that looks like it has something on it? (Wait for a response). Most of us would want to drink out of the nice cup.
(Pour the mud out of the nice cup.)
Would you still like to drink out of this one?
(Show the clean inside of the plan looking cup.)
Now which one looks better to you? Although this nice one looks better on the outside the other one is better on the inside. If we had to drink water from one of these cups we would choose the one that is clean inside.
When Jesus walked the earth there were many people who tried to look good on the outside by doing good things, going to church, dressing nice and following all the right rules. But Jesus knew that their hearts were not clean at all. They were filled with envy and greed. Jesus also saw people who didn’t look as good on the outside, but their hearts were pure before God.
What do you think God prefers? Someone who looks good on the outside, but is dirty on the inside? Or someone who maybe doesn’t look the best or even say all the right things, but is clean inside? Jesus wants us to be clean inside! He says in Matthew 23:25-26 that we should make sure that we clean the inside of the cup and not worry as much about the outside.
It is important for us to make sure that we have a clean heart before God and not worry so much about what we look like on the outside.
Incoming search terms:
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Ephesians 4:29; Matthew 15:18-19; Ephesians 4:29
- Cup of hot water
- Tea bag (a variety of tea bags would be better)
(Hold up the cup of hot water.)
Does anyone know what this is? (Wait for a response.) That’s right, it is a cup of water, but not just any water, this is hot water.
(Hold up the tea bag.)
Do you know what this is? (Wait for a response.) Correct, it is a tea bag. Can anyone tell me what color of tea this tea bag will make? (Wait for responses.) Those are good guesses, but there is no way for you to know until I brew it in this hot water.
(Place the tea bag in the hot water.)
When we look around at each other on Sunday at church we kind of look like this tea bag. We all dress similar. We talk the same. We act the same. But is that who we really are? No, not necessarily. Some of us might really love God and are following Him as best we can and some of us might now even care at all.
(Hold up the cup of tea.)
What am I holding now? (Allow a response.) That’s right, it is not longer hot water. Now it is tea, and we can see what color it is! What color is it?
Just like we can’t tell what color a tea will become before putting it in hot water, we cannot tell what’s in your heart until you are in hot water. In Luke 6:45 it says that a good person produces good things and a bad person produces bad things. What kind of hot water? Maybe you get in trouble. Maybe when you get hurt. Maybe when someone teases you. When we are in hot water the real “you” comes out!
We need to make sure that when we face the “hot water” of life that good things come out and not bad things.
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