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John 12:46; John 9:5; Psalm 18:28; Acts 13:47; Isaiah 60:1
- Candle. Should be a candle that is sturdy
- Matches or lighter
Cut the top off of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds like you are making a jack-o-lantern. Carve a cross on one side of the pumpkin.
(Start the lesson with the pumpkin facing the audience and the cross turned towards you.)
Usually around Halloween people like to celebrate scary and spooky things like ghosts, witches and monsters. What time of day do people generally say that these spooky things come out? At night! In the darkness. We know that these things are not real, but sometimes they still scare us. When people do evil things they will often do it in the darkness so that no one will see what they are doing.
When Jesus came He called us out of the darkness. He doesn’t want us to be filled with sin. He doesn’t want us to put our attention on scary things. In John 8:12 Jesus says that He is the light of the world and if you follow Him you won’t have to walk in darkness because you have the light that leads to life.
(Take the top off the pumpkin.)
Our lives often feel kind of like this pumpkin. Empty and dark inside. But Jesus wants to fill us with His light. (Light the candle and put it inside the pumpkin.)
Now the pumpkin is filled with the light and love of Christ. It is a very exciting thing when Christ fills us. We don’t feel empty any longer.
Now that we are full of His light, God doesn’t want us to just keep it to our self. He wants us to let His light shine through us.
(Turn the pumpkin around so everyone can see the cross and the light shining out.)
He wants us to shine the light of Jesus and the sacrifice that He made on the cross. When we allow God’s love and light to shine through us we are bringing light and hope to a very dark world.
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- give an object lesson use lantern
Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10; Romans 8:32; Romans 5:10; John 3:36
- Small figure of baby Jesus, such as one from a nativity set (alternately you could use a cross)
- A gift bag and tissue paper or a gift box and wrapping paper
- Small treat or prize, such as a candy
Do you guys like to open presents? I want some of you to tell me about the best present that you ever got! (Allow for responses).
The best present I ever got was (use your own story here).
Do you guys like to give presents? Isn’t it exciting to buy your friend a present and watch them open it on their birthday? Presents seem to get everyone excited. Well, I brought a present with me today (bring out the beautifully wrapped present) and I am going to let one of you open it.
(Choose a volunteer to open the gift. Ask the volunteer to tell everyone what it is:Baby Jesus or cross).
You know, God is a very generous giver. The Bible tells us in John 3:16 that God loved the world so much that He gave his only Son so that is any of us will believe in Him we won’t perish but we will have everlasting life in Heaven!
God sent His only Son into the world as a human baby and we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. When Jesus was an adult He began to teach people about God and soon after that He died on the cross and He rose from the dead and that is what we celebrate at Easter time.
Now, imagine how hard it must have been for God to give up His only Son and allow Him to die on the cross for you and me. That must have been a hard thing to do, but God did it because He loves us so much. He says that all we have to do is believe in Jesus and we will have eternal life with Him in heaven. Believing in Jesus is the way that we receive this wonderful gift from God. You could also give someone the top wii games for kids to bring the family together at the end of along day and after you are done playing have a talk about god and pray.
(Say to your volunteer) I am going to give you a gift for helping me today (hold out the candy) and all you have to do is take it out of my hand to receive it. (Have the volunteer take the candy and sit down). All they had to do was receive it! I want to give all of your here the opportunity to receive this amazing gift, the gift of God’s Son and eternal life. (Pray with them and give them the opportunity to receive Christ).
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- Object Lesson - Gifts
1 John 1:9
Romans 3:23; Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 6:15; Acts 2:38; Matthew 6:12
- Flash Paper. You can purchase it online or at a local magic shop or it you are daring you can try to make it yourself.
- Pen or pencil
Practice this beforehand so that you understand how quickly the flash paper will burn! What you will do is hold a sheet and light the bottom corner and as it burns higher up let it go and it will completely vanish.
Have any of you ever committed a sin? Have you ever done anything wrong before? What is something that you have done that is wrong? (Let the kids answer and write their answers on the piece of flash paper).
Now this paper doesn’t look very clean does it? How many of you have ever felt like this paper, dirty all over and covered in sin? Some people try to hide the fact that they have sinned. (Crumple up the paper and hold it in your closed hand). The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard. Just ignoring the sin didn’t make it go away did it?
God wants to completely forgive you of your sins and make you a brand new person inside. Doesn’t that sound great? Jesus promises us in 1 John 1:9 that He will forgive us of every wrong thing that we have done if we will apologize and ask Jesus to forgive us. We need to accept His free gift. Then God promises that He will completely take our sins away.
(Light the paper on fire, and it will instantly burn up with no residue or ash).
Just like those sins on that paper are gone Jesus wants to make your sins disappear too if you will let Him come and forgive you.
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Romans 3:23; Hebrews 9:22; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 5:8; Luke 13:3; John 3:36
- Mirror, piece of glass or polished metal (could even be a TV or anything with a glass surface, but if you use a TV you will need to put a signal through it to make the marker visible)
- Red dry erase marker
- Black sharpie permanent marker
- Spray bottle with water in it
- Cloth or paper towel
Make sure you try this before you do it live.
(Hold up the mirror and let the kids look into it.)
What do you see? (Wait for responses.) You can see yourself in it so this mirror is going to represent you. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that, “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard.” How many of you have ever done anything wrong? The Bible tells us that all of us have sinned, so let’s say you cheated at school.
(Put a mark on the glass or even write the name of the sin in small letters with the black permanent marker).
This permanent marker is going to represent the sins in our lives. Then later on you tell your parents a lie. (Put another mark on the glass).
Perhaps your parents ask you to take out the garbage, but you are very disrespectful and you disobey. (Put another mark on the glass.)
Maybe you start picking on your sister, and calling her names and hurt her feelings. (Put another mark on the glass).
Now this glass doesn’t look very clean anymore. Maybe you feel really bad about the things that you have done, so you try to do something nice to make up for it, maybe you offer to set the table. (Spray some water on the screen and try to rub the marker off).
You still feel bad though, because there is nothing that we can do to take away the sins in our lives. (Add a few more marks).
They keep adding up the more wrong things that we do. There is a way to remove the sin in our life though. It is by receiving the free gift of forgiveness that Jesus offers to all of us. Jesus died on the cross and shed his blood so that we can be forgiven. It says in Hebrews 9:22 that without the shedding of blood there can’t be forgiveness of sin. (Start drawing with the red dry erase marker all over the black ink, make sure to cover it all completely or you the permanent marker won’t come off.)
What was once impossible for us to do, Jesus can do with His blood. (Take the rag and wipe off all the ink.)
If you feel like your life is filled with all kinds of bad things like this mirror was, you need Jesus to clean you with His blood. You need to receive His free gift of eternal life, because only Jesus can remove the sin in our life.
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2 Corinthians 5:17
Romans 12:2; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 51:10-12
- Baby doll with diaper
(Hold the doll while you talk.)
Do you guys spend very much time with babies or little toddlers? Raise your hands if you have a baby brother or sister. Raise your hand if you have a baby cousin?
Well, I really love babies. They are so cute and fun to play with and they make a lot of goo-goo-ga-ga sounds. Let me hear your best baby sounds (allow for response).
Now, as fun as babies are and as much as we love them, they do something that I do not like very much. They poop! Yup, they make a mess in their diapers. Now when baby has a dirty diaper, their mom and dad still loves them right? They still accept that baby no matter how stinky it is, but do they leave their baby with a dirty diaper? No, of course not! What do they do? They change them into a clean diaper.
That reminds me of the verse in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” You see God loves and accepts us no matter how we come to him, even if we have stinky sin in our lives. Even if we’ve lied, or cheated on a test or stole something, God still loves us and He wants us to come to him to be saved. However, through Christ, God want us to become a new person so that we are not the same anymore.
If you were lying, he wants you to stop lying. If you’ve been using bad language, he wants you to clean up your words. God is a good Father and he wants us to change for the better, so we can become more like Jesus. So the next time you are around a little baby and you start to smell something funny, I want you to remember that you are a new creation in Christ you are not the same anymore.
- fishing equipment: rod, tackle box, bait, net, etc
(Hold up the fishing gear)
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- 100-piece puzzle
- sturdy cardboard
Assemble the 100-piece puzzle, leaving just one piece missing. Glue the puzzle to the cardboard. Alternately, you could have the children assemble the puzzle as they enter for class and you could hide the last piece in the room. When the children discover that the last piece is missing, you can ask them to look for it until they find it, then teach the object lesson.
(Show the kids the puzzle) Do you like my puzzle? This is a one hundred-piece puzzle. (Allow response) Oh it has a piece missing?! Then I guess my puzzle only has 99 pieces now! Did you guys ever make a puzzle and then realize that there is one very important piece missing? It sort of ruins the whole puzzle doesn’t it? What do you usually do when you discover that a puzzle piece is missing? (Allow response) Yes!You look for it. You look under the couch, and under the cushions or you check the closet or you check all the other puzzle boxes to see if it’s in there, right?
If you’re anything like me, you cannot rest until you find that last piece because it just bothers you that the puzzle is not complete. Well, Jesus told a story that reminds me of this puzzle. He said in Matthew 18:12 “If a shepherd has one hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills to search for the lost one? 13 And if he finds it, he will surely rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! 14 In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.”
Now, Jesus told us this story to show us how much he wants each one of us to be saved. He loves us so much, that He is always searching for us and calling us to be saved. It is not God’s will that any one of us be lost, or separated from God. He rejoices, or is happy, thrilled, delighted when even one person comes to know Him and is saved. Sort of like how we feel when we search and search and search and finally find that last puzzle piece (Put in the last piece of the puzzle). God’s family is not complete without you being a part of it.
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