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Object Lessons Provide Spiritual Insights for Children

By Carolyn Tomlin
Saving For Our Future

Object: Piggy Bank

Scripture: Romans 6:23

(Ask accompanist to play Amazing Grace as children gather.)

Shake the bank to hear the coins jingle.

How many of you know what I'm holding in my hand? Yes, I think everyone knows this is a piggy bank. How many of you put money into some type of bank at home? (Recognize raised hands.) Boys, girls, and their parents try to save money. Think back to something you really wanted. You couldn't possess it immediately -- but it would come later. Then you saved pennies, nickels, and dimes until you had enough to make the purchase. Perhaps some was given to you as a gift. Or you earned it by working. Would someone like to share what they bought with their money? Or how long you saved?

Children usually keep their money at home. But parents usually place their money in a community bank. When placed in this location, it is safer. Yes, we could say a bank is a good place to save our money.

As Christians, we must save for a future home. Another word is heaven, or our eternal home. When we ask Jesus to come into our life, we want to do good works. We want to help others.

Everything we do should be for the glory of God.

Yes, saving is important. It shows others we are concerned about our future. Jesus gives us the gift of salvation. We place our lives in His care. We please Him when we save for our eternal home. The Bible says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23, NIV). (Close by having the pianist softly play "Amazing Grace" as the children return to their seats.)

Keeping Our Lives in Place

Objects: Buttons, zippers, and strings

Scripture: Proverbs 3:3

Boys and girl, I'm holding in my hand something that manufacturers use to hold clothing together. These are buttons. Here's a zipper. And this is a string. (Show each one as you speak.) Look at your own clothing. Do buttons fasten your clothes? If so, count them. What about a zipper? Any strings or cords? (Pause for response.)

Buttons, zippers and strings have several purposes. They keep our clothes in place. On a cold, windy day, they keep our bodies warm. A zipper may secure a pocket or keep money or other possessions from becoming lost. Have you ever lost a button? Do you ever have a zipper that breaks?

Yes, we need buttons, zippers and strings to keep our clothes in place. But more important, we need Jesus to keep our lives in place. Will you share some ways Jesus helps boys and girls? (Allow time for children to respond.)

Yes, those are good ways. What about helping us make the right choice? Sharing toys with friends? Respecting our parents? Coming to church? Talking to Him? When we allow God's love to enter our life, He helps us keep our lives in the right place. Listen as I read this verse. "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart" (Proverbs 3:3, NIV).

Please bow your heads as we pray:

Dear God, please help each boy and girl present to include you in their daily life. Even little decisions are easier when we pray for your guidance. Amen.

(Ask the pianist to play "Blest Be the Tie That Binds" as children return to their seats.)

Choosing the Right Road

Object: Road map

Scripture: Psalm 25:4-5 (Print scripture on a card and give to each child.)

Boys and girls, I hold in my hand an item most travelers would not be without. Who can tell me what it is? (Unfold a road map. Display in front of the children.) Yes, this is called a road map. By knowing how to "read" a map and follow directions we end up at our destination.

Let's say we begin at point "A" (point to a city) and drive to point "B" (follow a path to another city). In order to use a map effectively, we need to know directions, such as North, South, East and West. We also should know the scale, or how many miles equals one inch.

Of course, some routes have obstacles. Detours may lead away from the main road. High mountains create barriers. Rivers require a bridge to cross. If we venture off the main road, we may take the wrong route. In fact, sometimes drivers get lost.

Following the route is important in reading a map. And following Jesus is important when we love Him. Can any of you tell me how boys and girls take the wrong road in life? (Pause) What do children do that makes God sad? (Pause for responses.)

What about being disobeying our parents? Cheating on a test? Repeating gossip? Staying away from the Lord's house? Yes, these and other things keep us from taking the right road to the Christian life.

In your hand you have a scripture that tells you the way to go. Read it with me.

(Ask the pianist to play while a soloist sings "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" as children return to their seats.)
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