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The message for these Sunday school object lessons is to show that God wants us to be filled with light. A flashlight filled with rags illustrates our lack of power before confession of sins; getting rid of the rags and filling the flashlight with batteries is synonymous to us having the strength of the Spirit.
Matthew 5:14, 1 John 1:9
Flashlight, batteries not inserted. Small, dirty rags or paper towels, two dirty cotton balls, a piece of old sponge.
Insert rags, cotton, sponge piece into the flashlight and tighten it before lesson starts, and don’t let students see you. Keep the batteries to the side.
Jesus says in Matthew 5:14 that we Christians are “the light of the world.” What does he mean by that?
That we should be well behaved and a good example for others. They should give examples of good behavior.
But we’re not always able to be on our best behavior. We mess things up often and easily, don’t we?
Here’s what we are like. Hold up the flashlight. God wants us to be the light of the world. He wants us to light up with good behavior, just like this flashlight.
Try to turn the flashlight on. Because the rags are inserted, it won’t.
Uh-oh. What’s wrong here? The flashlight won’t light. I wonder why not. Anybody else want to try?
Pass it around and let the children try to light it. One ought to be assertive enough to unscrew the light and see if the batteries are in correctly. If not, do so yourself. If students pull everything out, put everything back in to continue the lesson.
There’s a good reason the flashlight won’t light! The batteries aren’t in it. What’s in it instead?
Dirty rags or paper towels. Take one and hold it up.
This dirty rag is sort of like our sins. When they fill us, we aren’t able to shed any light.
When we confess our sins, that’s the first part of being a light of the world. Shut your eyes and confess to God something you did wrong recently. Ask Him to forgive you. Crumple up the rag and drop it to the ground.
There. I’ve confessed what I did wrong before God and asked Him to make things right for me. That’s sort of like crumpling up the dirty part of myself and tossing it aside.
Go back in the flashlight and pull out another rag. Sometimes, I’ve been doing a really lot of things wrong. Confess yet another thing you’ve been doing wrong. Ask for forgiveness. Crumple up the next thing that comes out of the flashlight.
But God is big enough to forgive all the things we do wrong. He wants us to confess, why?
Take everything out of the flashlight, crumpling and discarding. The kids should say that God wants all sin out of your life.
When we confess things we do wrong, God is faithful and just to forgive us, according to 1 John 1:9.
He wants us to be clean. Like this.
Turn the flashlight and let them see the inside of the barrel that is empty.
When we’re clean of our sins, we ought to be able to shine and be the lights of the world, right?
Screw the flashlight back together and try to turn it on. It still won’t.
Wait. It still doesn’t work. Something is missing. What is it?
Kids will say it’s the batteries. Talk as you screw the batteries inside. Make sure you have them going in the proper direction!
Once God has “emptied” us our sins by forgiving us, we are like empty vessels. Then we can be filled with His spirit, which is like these batteries. Asking for forgiveness after we mess up is great. But to be God’s light, we have to be asked be filled with His light once our sins are gone away.
Turn on the flashlight. It will shine brightly.
It’s easy, between schools and neighborhoods and friends and sisters and brothers, to get caught up in wrong things and do them. Before long, we can’t shine at all because we’re all filled up with wrong things. We only need to confess and feel sorry. When God takes our sins, then he can fill us with his spirit, which is like the batteries.
Filled with God’s spirit, we can shine brightly before all!
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