Movie Clip Illustration - SAGU


Advanced Youth Ministries

Spring 2003

Tyler Staton

The Dream of Coca Cola


Use the following illustration as an object lesson to communicate an extreme dream

Prepare ahead:

➢ Prepare a message for your youth about how we need to have an extreme dream like Nehemiah did (rebuilding the wall- it seemed like it couldn’t be done, but when the dream is from God you can do anything)

➢ Purchase Coca Cola Cans (enough for each youth to keep)

➢ Purchase printer labels (enough to stick on each can with the points of your sermon)

➢ They will be able to keep these cans as a reminder of the dream that God gave them the night of your message.

At the meeting:

Give your message about Nehemiah and the extreme dream that God gave him to rebuild the wall. Your points might be something like this 1) See the world through God’s eyes 2) Pray for a dream 3) Pursue the dream. After talking about the then and there, bring it to the here and now by talking about the dream Coca Cola had.


In 1886 Coca-Cola started out from a dream that a man had. After the first year of Coca-Cola being out only $50 had been made and a little over $70 was spent to advertise the product. So after the first year was over the owner of Coca-Cola was in the hole.

However Robert Woodruff had a vision and that vision was that Coca-Cola be placed within “arm’s reach of desire,”

Now in 2002 Coca-Cola is the world’s most recognized trademark! It is recognized by 94% of the world’s population.

There are consumers in more than 195 countries

It is served more than 705 million times every day

Coca-Cola’s new vision is for Coca-Cola to be more accessible than water.

Perhaps no person had more impact on The Coca-Cola Company than Robert Woodruff (the company president). Woodruff would spend nearly 60 years as Company leader introducing the beverage to the world.

Coca-Cola is an amazing company and had an amazing dream, but the truth is God has an even bigger dream for your life.

“If you can dream it, you can do it” –Walt Disney-

Where to take it from here…

1:11 “I was cupbearer to the king.” (He was nothing special, God can use anyone)

2:17 “Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace” (He saw what the people needed)

6:15 “So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul (October 2nd), in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.” (He pursued the dream with God’s help and saw it to completion in record time, it should have taken him a couple of years to finish this work)

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t

make a difference? Have you ever

thought about leaving God’s

message up to everyone else? Who

will go? Will you?

Action/ Drama

Rated PG-13

This movie is a reenactment of the event that jolted America into World War II. The movie follows two heroic pilots who battled at Pearl Harbor then went on a Top Secret mission to bomb Japan.

➢ Start / Chapter 36 / “Think they just picked us cause were young…?”

➢ Stop / Chapter 36 / “There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer”

In this scene the colonel is talking to his friend Jack about how they may have lost the battle at Pearl Harbor, but they will win this war. He recognizes the heart of a volunteer and that it is what wins wars. Though he is referring to a physical war this also goes for our spiritual war against the devil (evil).

Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said “Here am I. Send me!”

➢ Do you ever feel inadequate because of your past sin. Isaiah did and the angel cleansed him of this as seen in the previous verses.

➢ People want us to think that we are dumb and stupid for what we are doing, but really God sees us as the tip of the sword.

➢ God is not looking for someone who is perfect but rather someone who is willing.

➢ Isaiah was commissioned to preach God’s message faithfully and fearlessly, even though his ministry would result in rejection and apparent failure.

➢ God is asking us to step forward, to volunteer. Not necessarily to be a pastor, but to live a life that preaches the word of God through our lives.

➢ Semper Fi = Once a Marine always a Marine (This should be our motto once we become a Christian) Will you volunteer? Will you go?

Cael Sanderson is name that everyone knows in the state of Iowa. He left Iowa State with a

unbelievable record of 159-0. He was a well accomplished man who has had his picture taken with President Bush twice, been on the front of a Wheaties box, and even sang take me out to the ball game at a Chicago Cubs game.

So can anyone beat this man? That was the question of everyone in the stands on Valentines Day of 2003 as they watched him go against a man from Cuba at the Titan Events. Cael was ahead but then in overtime for the first time got beat by Romero. It seems that even the best do fall. (Article source shown at bottom of page)[1]

Where to take it from here…

Even the best fall! Falling is ok, it is what you do after you fall, do you stay down or do you get back up. Cael learned from his fall (loss) and got back up. I like Cael’s response at the end of this article, “This was a good match for me. I need to learn from this and wrestle him smarter next time. This is just the beginning of our rivalry.” The great thing about Cael is he didn’t stay down a dwell on his failure he learned from it and got back up. We as Christians wrestle with sin and too many times are defeated by it and stay down. We need to learn from it and get back up. Proverbs 24:16 says it best, “For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…”

1 Article found in Sports Illustrated February 24, 2003 pg 52-53 by Kelli Anderson

Michael Wilburn

Movie Clip Illustration

Movie: Minority Report

Rating: PG-13

Start Time/ 2:13:01

End Time/ 2:14:36

About the Movie: The year is 2054 and the latest invention is a system which could detect murder before it happened. A world without murder had been created, however, Lamar Burgess must murder someone in order to keep his system working properly so that it could go world-wide. When John Anderton, one of top cops finds out about this he is framed for murder by Burgess but because he has already seen his future he is able to choose to change it. When Burgess finds out that his frame of Anderton did not work and that his whole system is now in danger of destruction, he knows that his only option is to kill Anderton—thus he knows his future, but he also can choose to change it.

Overview of the Clip: In this clip, Lamar Burgess is destined to kill John Anderton. However he is faced with the question, “What are you going to do now?” He has the dilemma of not killing Anderton—thus making his system wrong and ending it. Or if he does kill him, he will be taken away but it will prove that his system works. Anderton tells Burgess: “You will rot in hell with a halo but people will still believe in pre-crime. All you have to do is kill me like they said you would. Except, you know your own future which means you can change it if you want to. You still have a choice, Lamar. Like I did”.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:11-20

Application: Here in the movie, Lamar Burgess has a choice to make. He is in control of his future. And in the same way, we are in control of our future. We have a choice to make just like the Israelites did, a choice of living for Christ (life) or living for the world (death). We control our own future, because it is our choice.

Type of Learner: Visual

Object Lesson

Prepare Ahead:

• Things that will be needed is a large bowl (like a punch bowl), a pitcher of water, and a clear glass.

Luke 11:3-“Give us each day our daily bread”

Exodus 16:4-“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day”


God’s desire for the Israelites was for them to go out each day and get what was needed for them for that day.

I. God did not want them to go out at the beginning of the week and get enough to last them for the rest of the week. He wanted to depend on him each day to provide them with the bread that they would need for that day.

II. It is the same way with us. God does not want us to come to him only on Sunday trying to get enough Spiritual strength to make it through the rest of the week until the next Sunday. He wants us to come to Him every day to receive what we need to make it through that day.

III. What we don’t realize is that just coming to God on Sundays is not enough because though we get filled up on Sunday (illustrate by pouring water to fill the glass) by the end of that day we will lose a little of the strength that we received (illustrate by pouring some of the water out of the glass) and on Monday and Tuesday and throughout the week we will lose more and more (continually pour more and more out until empty) until eventually we will become empty. God’s plan is to give us each day what we will need.

Type of Learner: Visual

Story Illustration

Scripture: Philippians 3:7-14

Verses 12-14: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Illustration Source: “Sports Illustrated”: February 17, 2003. Page 34.

About the Illustration: This article talks about Michael Jordan turning 40 and still continuing to play basket ball. The main part of the story to focus on is the part that says:

When the Wizards played at Chicago’s United Center on January 24, someone close to Jordan secretly wished that he would light up the Bulls for, say, 50 and then call it quits, right there in the city where he won six titles and made his legend, in the arena where his 17-foot-high statue stands sentinel. Jordan, who was greeted by a three-minute standing ovation, had a bad game—11 points in a 104-97 loss—but the wished-for scenario was far-fetched anyway, for His Airness never walks away in the middle of anything. He always finishes what he starts (even baseball). So on those nights when the jumper isn’t working and the muscles are weary, Jordan still goes at it hard, because that’s how he made his legend.

Application: Compare to a race (Hebrews 12, I Cor. 9) or war (II Cor. 10) as mentioned in the BibleWe must choose to finish what we started. The day that we became a Christian, we all started in something whether we realize it or not. We engaged in a war against the enemy and he will do everything he can to try and defeat us and keep us from our goal—which is to be reunited with Christ. Therefore, we must fight hard even when we are tired and finish what we started.

Type of Learner: Audible

Alvin Thomas

A Story

The Great Depression hit when my grandpa was a teen. Prior to the Great Depression his family was a well off and a major family in their small farming community. His father and his uncle owned and ran a sawmill company. In addition to that his dad owned a trashing machine (what the farmers use get the wheat and barley seeds off of the stalks, otherwise it was done by using hand tools like in the Bible), in fact it was the only trashing machine in the area so everyone paid his father for to use it. So between the sawmill and the trashing machine my great grandpa had built a pretty good life for his family, but it was to soon change.

When the Great Depression hit nobody had any money to buy wood or pay for their wheat to be trashed. My great grandpa was so depressed that the only way he knew how to provide for his family was to commit suicide so that his family could collect his life insurance policy, so he took his gun and made it look like a hunting accident and killed himself

My grandpa was only 14 when this all happened. Right then and there my grandpa had to make a choice and this choice would be one that would forever affect his future and the rest of his family. My grandpa had to decide, “Am I going to get all down on myself, drowned my pain in alcohol and let this hard time wreck my future or am I going to pull myself up by my bootstraps, be the man I was raised to and make something of myself.” At the age of 14 my grandpa took over the family farm and became the man of the house. He kept the trashing machine and when it came time to trash again he went back to trashing. He kept his family and church. When he graduated high school he kept the farm going and got a job as mail carrier. He purchased more and more farms thereby increasing the size of his farm. And all of this came from a decision a teenager made.

The decision my grandpa made as a teenager still has an impact on his life today as 84-year-old man. He is an owner of a prosperous farm, he is a Christian man and he has a great wife. But not only did that decision affect him, but it also had and still has an effect on those around him. Because of his decision he had enough money to send my dad and my aunt to college, both of which have excelled as professionals in their fields. And because of that my dad has a good enough job to have the money to send me to college. Also because of that decision my grandpa made it has instilled an incredible work ethic in our family. All because of one decision he made 70 years ago when he was 14.

Gen 3:1-17 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, `You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, `You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, `You must not eat of it,'”

“Where to take it from here.”

Adam and Eve’s decision had an immediate effect on them, but it had also affects us today as fallen man. The decisions you make today will affect you the rest of your life. But not only do your decisions have effects on you but those that are around you.

An object lesson

1. Materials a person would need to carry out the lesson

- A bucket full of rocks

- A small wall of Bricks

- A power point presentation of my pictures of stonewalls and buildings in Ireland.

2. Illustration

Read 1 Peter 2:4-5. The passage says that we are living stones, not living bricks. (Point to the brick wall). Bricks in a wall are all the same. No identity, no special purpose, no diversity and no difference. But stones are totally opposite of that. (Grab a hand full of stones). Not one stone is the same. They all have their own different shape, size and purpose. A man that builds stone house and walls is a master of an art, because he has to look at a pile of stones and see the purpose of each one. (Show power point of the Irish stonewalls) He has a plan for where that stone fits into the wall. It is a purpose that no other stone can fulfill. You are a stone in God’s wall. Only you can use your unique qualities to fill the gap in the wall of the church of Jesus Christ. (Then get them to come to the front) Grab a rock from the bucket. Compare your rock with others. None of you have the same rock!

3. Scripture

1 Peter 2:4-5 “As you come to him, the living Stone-rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

A movie clip.

1. The Title of the movie: Rocky V

2. The Rating: PG

3. A brief synopsis of the clip:

(1st clip) In this clip Rocky gets some bad news that he can’t box anymore because of brain trauma. He gets really upset and tells everyone that there is no way to know if anyone is right and that doctors can get things wrong. And the clip ends when Rocky makes the statement “Only God ain’t wrong”. At the end of the sermon show the end of the fight with Tommy Gun (2nd clip) when Rocky proves that he can still fight even when the Doctor’s said he would die if he fought again.

4. Illustration

(1st clip) This illustration is to show that God is the only person that is always right. The doctors told Rocky that he would die if he fought again. But Rocky new that the doctors are just human and have the possibility of being wrong. Rocky had a grasp on this one great truth that “Only God ain’t wrong”. (2nd clip) In the end we see that the doctors were wrong and that Rocky could fight when Rocky beats the fool out of Tommy Gun.

5. The Scripture to which the illustration applies.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Ryan Rose

Materials: For this lesson you’ll need two small tables, various pieces of fresh fruit and several pieces of rotten fruit that just looks similar to the fresh ones.

Illustration: What’s your favorite kind of fruit? How many people like grapes? How many prefer strawberries? What about a fresh watermelon melting in your mouth? Mmmm. (Ask for a volunteer to come taste test some of your fresh fruit.) Then ask, “Does anybody prefer rotten fruit?” (Wait for the guy that says he does to say something. Have him come up and taste-test a piece of rotten fruit of his choosing; make sure to have some with maggots on it. If he actually eats it, have him finish it. If he finishes it, have him eat some more, until he refuses, then ask him what’s wrong with it. Eventually he’ll admit that it’s gross, nasty, or has flies on it.) You know, it’s not real hard to tell apart the good fruit from the bad fruit is it? In fact, even if you couldn’t tell from looking at it you’d definitely be able to tell by the smell or at least after you swallowed the first couple flies! Suppose you were at the store buying some fruit and you saw two bins, one had a huge sign that says “FRESH FRUIT” and the other said “ROTTEN FRUIT,” but they were both the same price, which one would you buy? Obviously you’d pick the fresh ones. Jesus once said, (Matt. 7:17-20) “…every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bad fruit and a good tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus by their fruit you will recognize them.” Some people’s lives are like fresh fruit that are full of good deeds, love for others, and real joy. Others’ lives are corrupt with sinful acts and bad attitudes. Jesus said that we could tell what kind of person someone really is by the fruit [behaviors] we consistently see in his/her life. If you want to know the quality of someone’s fruit [character], just look real closely at their relationships with others. The fruit is the product of the root! (This would connect best with Jr. Highers)

An Unwanted Gift

Movie Clip: (Wayne’s World, rated PG-13): Wayne and his friends are at their favorite hangout when Wayne’s X-girlfriend spots them. She comes over to them and presents him with an anniversary present, which he objects to but reluctantly opens. It’s a gun rack, an object, which he humorously point out he has absolutely no use for since he doesn’t even own a gun.

Illustration: Did you ever get a Christmas present that you opened up and were like, oh gee thanks Grandma, a new pack of underwear. Did you ever have a time when you were expecting a special gift so bad that you just couldn’t wait until it got there, but then after you got it out of the box you realized it wasn’t all you thought it would be. You know sin is kind of like that anticipated Christmas present you thought was going to be so great that turned out to be nothing but disappointment. James 1:14-18 says, “…each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all he created.” You know we are so easily allured away from God by the things of this world expecting them to fulfill our lives, only to find out that they let us down and leave us empty. But when we live by the truth of God’s Word, we set ourselves up to receive the best that God has for our lives, that which is good and perfect for us, with which the things of the world cannot compare. (This would be suitable for High School students)

Distracted Disaster

True Story: A few years ago I was driving to one of my friend’s house, and I had borrowed my mother’s car, which was fairly new at the time. Anyway, I’m driving down one of our main roads and there’s not a whole lot of traffic out but there were a few cars ahead of me, and I’m listening to one of my cd’s that I put in my portable cd player.

The problem was that this car was demon possessed. Seriously, I’m just on my way to a Bible Study trying to listen to some Christian tunes, maybe praise God in my car—but it wasn’t happening. The tape player keeps spitting out my tape adapter to my cd player and I’m starting to get a bit frustrated with this thing.

So I’m still driving, kinda messing with this thing trying to force the tape back in there, hitting it, yelling at it, just trying to get this thing to play. And I look up and see this van just ahead of me turning off onto the next street. I got enough room, and I’m in a hurry so I’m not real worried about slowing down too much, anyway I’m trying to worship God!!

I take my eyes off that ugly bus for no more than 7 –8 seconds still messing with my tape deck before I realize that this bus is stopped on the road trying to turn onto this narrow street and I’m still driving about 50 miles an hour so I slam on my breaks as hard as I can….and slide right into the back of this van.

It wasn’t that I was intentionally being driving recklessly, in fact I thought I was driving pretty safe, but because I let something so insignificant as a cd draw my attention off of the road where it should have been, just long enough to cost me a couple thousand dollars worth of damage to my mom’s car.

Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore since we have such a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us, and run with endurance the race that has been set before us, fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.”

Application: You know its easy to think that just because we’re not engaging in huge noticeable sins and as long as we’re going to church and doing the “right things” that because our lives have met the status quo of Christian faith that our lives are truly as focused as we think they are. It’s too easy to let our guard down and get distracted from living a Christ-centered life even when we think we’re “OK.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 says, “Let him who thinks he stands, take heed so that he doesn’t fall.” It’s our responsibility as Christians to be sure we stay alert and not let sin and temptation catch us off guard. However if we will get rid of every sin that distracts us and anything that might hold us back from truly seeking the Lord with all our hearts and keep our lives focused upon Him, we will build up the endurance we need to reach our destiny.

This would be suitable for Jr. High and above

Chris Trombley

Movie Clip Illustration

Movie Title: Ocean’s Eleven

Rating: PG-13

Synopsis: 5 minutes/ In this scene Mr. Benedict is questioning Daniel Ocean’s knowledge of the robbery that has just taken place in Mr. Benedict’s casino. Daniel Ocean asks Mr. Benedict would give up his girlfriend Tess for the information. He says he would, and the entire conversation is caught on the security cameras. Tess is in her hotel room were the T.V. has been wired to the security camera, and leaves Mr. Benedict reminding him that in his hotel someone is always watching.

Illustration: When Mr. Benedict told Daniel Ocean that he would give up Tess for the chance to get his money back he forgot one major point. Nothing goes unnoticed in his hotel. In that moment he betrayed his love for Tess and was caught. What was a comment that he thought he could get away with, just one tiny, little comment, did not go unnoticed. In the same way, there is always someone watching us. Hebrews tells us that nothing goes unnoticed by the Father, and everything thing we do will be held accountable before God. We must never think, “Oh, I can get away we that. No one will know.” The truth is God will always know, and God is the one that one day we will have to stand before and give an account for all our actions.

Scripture: Hebrews 4:13- Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Type of Learner: Visual Learner

Historical Story Illustration

Story: From D-Day June 6,1944:The Climactic Battle of World War II

By Stephen Ambrose (Paraphrased)

On June 6, 1944 during the Normandy Invasion known as D-day, the British solders on Sword Beach beheld a remarkable sight. Amid all the carnage, exploding shell, smoke, and noise an absolutely stunningly beautiful eighteen-year-old French girl who was wearing a Red Cross armband was seen ridding her bicycle down to the beaches to help the wounded. This girl name was Jacqueline. Jacqueline had planned to go down to the beach to pick up her swimsuit that see had left there the night before. When she got to the beach she saw all the wounded and her heart went out. Despite the danger she stayed down there and helped the wounded. Jacqueline ended up spending the next two nights helping with the wounded before she went back home.

Scripture: Luke 10:33-34

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.

Illustration Application:

In Luke Jesus teaches us about being a good neighbor with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jacqueline is a good example of someone who saw people in need and went out of her way to help. She did not have to help anyone. Once she saw the battle going on, she could have turned around and gone back to the safety of her home. Instead, she grabbed a hold of the chance to be a good neighbor to those British troops. Now what Jacqueline did is an extreme example, not everyone will stumble across a battlefield filled with wounded, but we will all come across times when we will need to be a Good Samaritan. On such a smaller scale, can we make the same decision as Jacqueline?

Type of Learner: Auditory

Jason Tillery

Movie Clip

Title: Spiderman

Rating: PG-13

Synopsis: Peter Parker (Spiderman) is dropped off at the library by his uncle, yet is fooling his uncle by participating in a wrestling match instead. Before Peter’s uncle lets him out of the car, he starts to “lecture” him briefly about responsibility, maturity, and a coming of age, including the fight Peter got into at school. His uncle ends the point by stating, “Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.”

Delivery: The quotation was referring to the worldly responsibility that comes with teenage years, such as chores to take care of around the house and behaving at school. Peter’s uncle did not exactly know the powers that his nephew actually possessed, for the powers that Peter had were supernatural, which were unique to him. We, as Christians, possess supernatural abilities and “powers” so to speak that are unique to us. We are given responsibilities and powers from God that help us to tackle everyday circumstances. Yet, God expects something in return for these abilities that he gives us. Spiderman used the supernatural powers that he possessed to help others, and we should follow the same example by serving others with the abilities that we have been given.

Scripture: Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given. Luke 12:48b (New Living Translation)

Type of Learner: Auditory/Visual

An Object Lesson

Materials needed: A jigsaw puzzle with a few puzzle pieces missing. The missing puzzle pieces must be in the illustrator’s possession, but out of sight.

Delivery: Finishing a puzzle piece takes perseverance and time. Without finishing the task, the puzzle is incomplete (point toward the puzzle). It looks like the person who was putting this puzzle together did not finish the task put before them. Therefore, the puzzle is lacking the missing pieces, and it is not complete. However, when perseverance comes into play (bring out the missing puzzle pieces and put them where they fit) the puzzle is then complete, not lacking anything. If we are not complete, then perseverance must finish the work in our lives to make us complete. Once we are complete, we will not lack anything in our lives. In a sense, we will be made whole.

Scripture: Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4 (NIV)

Type of Learner: Visual

A story

Personal Story: I was two years old, riding in the back seat of my dad’s car with my family, sitting next to my sister, who was four at the time. I was having a grand old time being entertained by my sister, when suddenly something frightening happened. While turning a corner, the car door next to me flung open, and I began to fall out of the car. The result would not have been pretty. Reluctantly, my sister reached out her hand and grabbed me by my pants and pulled me back into the car. In my mind today, my sister was my savior that day, and I will remember her saving me the rest of my life.

Scripture: For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death. Psalm 116:8a (NIV)

Application: As my sister saved my body from death at an early age, the Lord can save your soul from death. We are falling into the trap of sin and death everyday, but the Lord can reach out His hand and save us. We must remember that the Lord has delivered us from death.

Type of Learner: Auditory

Wes Foster

Has Anyone Seen Opal Jennings?

A True Story

1. Story: The following is a picture of what Opal Jo Jennings looked like when she was abducted March 28, 1999 – she was 6 years old. Ricky Lee Franks was convicted of kidnapping Opal in September 2000. He’s currently serving a life sentence, but if he knows where the girl’s body is, he hasn’t told police. There’s fresh information in the case of Opal Jo Jennings – A private search organization says they’ve received a tip about Opal’s remains, and intend to search an unspecified area tonight Friday, February 28. The four year anniversary of her disappearance has stirred up the family and renewed their hopes of finding their long lost daughter. Dozen’s of volunteers have gathered together, braving the winter cold, to walk arm and arm through an ice covered field located near where her abductor lived. The search is being led by Dana Ames and her group, Texas EquuSearch, a free non profit organization out of Houston, who say they have a tip from an informant who claims he knows where to find Opal’s remains. “We go to great lengths to check out our informants,” explained Ames, “and if we think that what they’re telling is the truth, and is compelling, then we do searches.” The family still hopes that their little girl is still alive. They have even had a photograph aged to show what Opal may look like now at age 10. Opal’s grandmother said, “We are not giving up hope. We worry about her every night, ‘Is she hungry? Is she cold? Is she okay?’ We just want our little girl home again.”

2. Scripture: Over and over again in the Scriptures we see this same picture of Jesus as one who seeks out those who are lost. In fact, Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” This is one of the mission statements of Jesus – One who seeks and saves those who are lost. Earlier in Luke 15:4 we find Jesus saying this, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?” UNTIL HE FINDS IT!

Aged photo

3. Application: How many of us have had loved ones fall away from the Lord? How many of us have moms or dads that are not living the way that they should? How many friends do we know that at one time made a commitment to follow after Christ but now they have turned their back and now they are lost. How many people have we taken off our prayer lists because we perceive them to be lost beyond hope? Little Opal has been missing for 4 years yet her mom, grandma, and a whole host of volunteers are still searching through muddy, icy fields walking arm in arm in the bitter cold just to pick up the slightest clue that might lead them to that little girl. They do not even ponder the thought of their little girl being forever forsaken. What a power lesson we could learn. What if we were to have the same passion and hurt for the lost? You have been handed a card. On that card I want you to list the names of five friends that you know are lost. And we will covenant with you to do everything we know possible to follow the model of Jesus and “to seek and save that which was lost.”

4. Type of Learner: Visual – have these photographs displayed up on the wall via Power Point.

Milk Revival

An Object Lesson

1. Materials Needed:

Ovalteen Chocolate Malt Powder

Chocolate Syrup

Two Large (Clear) Glasses


Long Spoon

(Pointer: Prepare one glass of Chocolaty Ovalteen 2 days prior for optimum effect. Ovalteen separates better in milk than chocolate syrup does. Bring this glass out and hide it behind the pulpit or stage well before service.)

2. Illustration: How many of you have ever gone to church camp or youth convention and got fired up with the Holy Ghost!? At camp or youth convention you get infused with God like never before and you come home and your like, “I’m never going to loose this! I’m going to stay this pumped up all the time! I’m going to see everyone in my High School saved – for the glory of God!” Then less than a week later, maybe two weeks you find yourself depressed, in sin, and questioning your own salvation. What happened? What happened to the fire, the enthusiasm, the fusion, that closeness you had with God - where did it go? The Bible talks about this phenomenon in 2 Timothy 1:6, “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you…”

Let me explain, picture the gifts of God that were in fused in you like chocolate milk. You’re the milk God’s the chocolate. See, I always knew that chocolate was of God!

(Pointer: Now fill one of the glasses with milk, hold the syrup higher than normal above the milk when adding it, approximately 12 inches or so.)

When you pour the syrup into the milk – does it instantaneously become chocolate milk? No. The Syrup settles to the bottom, in order for you to have completely chocolate milk you must stir the two together.

(Pointer: Hold the glass up before you stir it and show the students that you can still see white milk in the glass even thought the syrup has been added. Then start to slowly stir as you mention the activities below.)

This is what happens to us when we go to youth camp or youth convention – God enters our life like never before and we become stirred by His presence through all the different services, speakers, human videos, dramas, worship times, spontaneous pillow fights, devotionals, our own pressing in, our friends praying for us, etc… But what will happen to this chocolate milk if I stop stirring it? Will it stay chocolaty like it is now? Yes, for a short time. But amazingly within just a few short days look at the condition of the chocolate milk.

(Pointer: Now pull out your prepared glass of Ovalteen that has not been stirred in two days. There will be a thick chocolate ring at the bottom and a thin chocolate ring at the top.)

Here is a glass of chocolate milk that I made just two days ago and you can clearly see (from the side view) that the chocolate and the milk have separated. Can you see the chocolate settled at the bottom and the thin ring of chocolate at the top? If this were a plastic cup where I couldn’t see through the middle of the glass and I was to look down from the top I could not tell that the chocolate had settled, it would look like a freshly stirred glass of chocolate milk. And that is exactly how some of you are. From the outside you look like you have everything going on and you are what you are supposed to be but inside you have separated from what God wants you to be. But the good news is that you can stir up the things of God within you. 2 Timothy 1:6 says, “…to stir up the gift of God which is in you…”

(Pointer: Now stir up the glass of settled Ovalteen as you quote the Scripture.)

God knows that there are going to be times in your life when you may not feel as close to Him as you did at other times but you can always go back to Him and have Him stir up old dreams that may have died, or a passion for His presence that you have not experienced in a while. There may be some of you that have been pretending to have it all together and from the outside no one could tell but inside you have had sins separate you from God. Tonight God wants to stir things up with you again.

3. Scripture: II Timothy 1:6 “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

4. Type of Learner: Visual

The Making of a Champion

A Movie Clip

1. Movie: Cool Runnings with John Candy

2. Rating: Pg

3. Synopsis of the Clip: The Olympic Jamaican bob sled team, that are sore underdogs to the better coached and better equipped German and Korean teams, crash their sled due to a malfunctioning part just 100 yards before the finish line; up to this point they were setting a track record and beating the rival teams. It looks like all the guys are injured, lying motionless upside down in the sled, the rescue units are running down the track when the lead sled driver is awakened by his buddy in the back and says, "I must finish the race." The entire team is then seen carrying their mangled sled on their shoulders across the finish line to a rousing ovation from the crowd.

4. Illustration: When I was in elementary school I was a fat kid – now, I know what some of you are thinking, you…fat? I know it is hard to believe but more often than not I was that last one to be picked for the team. I remember one incident in first grade recess when it was time to play kick ball. There was this one kid that was just phenomenal; he played like a third grader, no lie! His name was Rene. I wanted to be like him more than anyone I knew. He was always the team captain – I was never picked to be on his team. His team always won.

Every time Rene would come up to kick, he would always kick it over second base and by the time we could get the ball from the outfield he had already circled all the bases and scored an inside the park home run. How many of you have ever felt like you did not measure up? That you did not have the talent or the athleticism to compete with everybody else? Can I tell you something, God does not measure you according to the standards of others. He looks at you and your ability, at what you are uniquely gifted to do. God does not pit you in race against each other and who can get the most people saved or lead the best worship service, or make the most money. God cares about you running the race that is set before you to run and finishing YOUR RACE not somebody else’s!

Show Video Clip

When you perform to your ability according to how God has gifted you and you set out to run the race that is set before you to run then you will receive a standing ovation by a crowd of witnesses that are in heaven cheering us on. If you have felt like you don’t measure up, let me encourage you to stop comparing yourselves to others, God has uniquely gifted you in abilities and talents that He wants to use for His glory through you. Don’t give up – finish strong! Run hard after Him! Become the Champion that He has made you to be!

5. Scripture: Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

6. Type of Learner: Visual

One Kind of Love

Near Mobile, Alabama there was a railroad bridge that spanned a big bayou. The date was September 22, 1993. It was a foggy morning just before 3:00 a.m. when a tugboat accidentally pushed a barge into the bayou. The drifting barge slammed into the bridge.

In the darkness no one could see the extent of the damage, but someone on the tugboat radioed the Coast Guard to inform them. Moments later an Amtrak train, the Sunset Limited, reached the bridge. The train was traveling from Los Angeles to Miami.

Unaware of the damage, the train crossed the bridge at 70 mph. There were 210 passengers on board. As the weight of the train crossed the damaged support, the bridge gave away. Three locomotive units and the first four of the train’s 8 passenger cars fell into the alligator infested bayou. The darkness and fog was thickened by fire and smoke.

The tugboat operator immediately called in a frantic message to the Coast Guard. It was so far back in the swamp, emergency vehicles were only able to get within 6 miles of the site on land. Helicopters were called in to help rescue the survivors. Many people made it, but 47 people drowned or died in the flames and went out into eternity.

There were many heroes that morning. One was Michael Dopheide. He was a young man who had just finished college, and was heading to Florida after a visit with his sister in California. Jolted awake, he heard the screaming and cries all around him. He ran down the aisle to an emergency exit, and as the water was rising he removed the glass, and jumped into the swampy waters that were 25 ft deep. Treading water, he coaxed people to jump the six feet down into the bayou. Those who couldn’t swim he helped to a metal girder 10’ ft away. The thirty people he helped save included one two year old, an elderly lady, and a 11 year old girl with cerebral palsy named Andrea. Her parents, Geray and Mary Jane Chancey, were traveling home with their little girl. As they were waiting to get out, the car shifted and filled with water. They desperately pushed little Andrea out through the window to the hands of waiting rescuers.

This was their last act of love for their daughter. Instead of getting out themselves, they chose to give their lives to save their child.

(Adapted from the book "Choices" by Dr. Ronnie Floyd)


“ No one takes it [His life] from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and to take it up again. This command I received from my father.“ John 10:18

Where to take it from here………

This is the same kind of love Jesus had when He chose to die on the cross for us!

Jesus said in John 10:18, “No one takes it [His life] from me, but I lay it down on my own accord…” He chose to die for our sins, and now He offers to us Eternal Life! He had the option, just like Andrea’s parents to save himself but he CHOSE to die for you and me. He died so we could live.

The Pen

What’s Needed

* Ballpoint pen (clicking type)

* Note Pad

Object Lesson (Before service, remove the "spring",from the pen. Keep the spring handy, where you can find it easily.)

Here I have a pen! What is the most important part of a pen like this? (You will most likely get the answer “ink”.) Who here has the longest name? (The person with the most number of letters in their name could be a way to choose someone to come up.) Here, take this pen and write your name on the pad. What’s wrong? (Most likely they will assume something is broken or even guess the problem. Have some one else come up. When they can’t do it either, take the pen back.) Oh, I know the problem! It is missing the spring. (Pull the spring out of your pocket or wherever you kept it.) The pen must have the spring to function properly. Before this pen can make a difference it must be complete and work with all its other parts. Some parts may seem more important than others but we need them all before it can be used. Everyone has a purpose within the church of God. Some may seem more important than others, but without everyone working together we can’t be used properly and function completely. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 says, "The body is a unit, though it is made up of may parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink" .


“The body is a unit, though it is made up of may parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink"

1 Corinthians 12:12-13

Type Of Learner

- Kinesthetic/Visual

Phil Sadaka

The Karate Kid

Rated: PG

Synopsis: The Karate Kid is an action pact movie with a karate student named Daniel Larosso and his sensei, Mr. Miagi. Daniel moved from New Jersey to California. When arriving to California Daniel found himself on the bad side of a gang of black belt karate students who bothered him day in and day out. After Mr. Miagi noticed what was going on he came to the rescue of Daniel and then trained him to defend himself. Daniel and his sensei approached the gang and their sensei for peace, but that would not happen unless Daniel entered a karate tournament. So they both agreed. After an intense amount of training by Mr. Miagi, Daniel was ready for the Beverly Hills Karate Tournament. The training paid off when Daniel won the tournament defeating all his foes.

➢ Show the Clip of Daniel’s intense training - sand the floor, wax the car, paint the fence, and paint the house. Cut it off after Daniel is shown why he did all that worthless training at the time. (One cuss word at the end needs to be bleeped.)

Manuscript: Let’s think about what we have just seen. Daniel did all of this worthless hard work. You know that Daniel was probably thinking that he should be getting paid or at least get something for all the hard work that he did. We observed that Daniel was fed up with it when having to paint the fence. Does anyone remember what Mr. Miagi said to Daniel before the training started? (Don’t ask any questions) When Daniel couldn’t take it no more he blew up on Mr. Miagi and said that he was tired of being his slave. Then Mr. Magi showed him why he was trained that way. In the same way as this story we don’t understand sometimes why we have to read our bible all the time, spend time and prayer including fasting sometimes, show integrity, and be a servant, but in the same way as Daniel learned God is trying to show you something. Yea, something you don’t want to do all this hard work but it is worth it. You will be ready when the unexpected time comes when we have to face our enemy like Daniel. Jesus wants to be our sensei and help us through our hard times. Jesus still requires, like Mr. Miagi, the training of having daily devotions. Then we can be the champs and winners receiving our prize a crown that last forever.

Scriptures Applied: 1 Corinthians 9:25, 2 Timothy 3:16, Matthew 4:3-11

1st Corinthians 9:25 – “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”


The Cleansing of Sin

Material needed:

- A Large Clear punch bowl filled with clear water

- Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow food coloring

- Vinegar

- 5 volunteer helpers (students)

Manuscript: Have you ever realized what sin does to you? I want to show what actually happens when you commit sin in your life. Let’s say that you are on you way to school and you see some girl or some guy that is wearing something that just looks hideous to you, so you go around and start gossiping. Let’s see what this sin does. (Have your first student put just a drop or two of the yellow food coloring in the bowl. This will turn all the clear water yellow) That is just one sin. But then later that day your teacher makes you extremely upset with a bad grade so you hold a grudge towards her. Let see what that sin does. (Have your next student put a drop or two of the red food coloring in the bowl. This will turn all the yellow water orange) Then you get back from school and your mom and dad ask you to clean your room and you refuse and don’t do it. And again let’s see what happens (Have your third student place a drop of blue coloring in the bowl. Then the water will turn brown.) Now the day is not over yet. Later that evening you see old friend that you can’t stand anymore and he or she starts saying a bunch of bad things about you so you accidentally cuss at her. I bet you know by now what that sin does. (Have your fourth student put a drop of green food coloring in the bowl. By now the water will be a dark and dirty brown color.) This is just a few sins that may happen in just one day. There is only one thing that separates us from God and that is Sin. But since all of us do sin we need to ask God for forgiveness. When we ask him to he covers our sins with his blood and forgives us. Let’s see what God does when we ask for forgiveness. (Have you final student add vinegar into the bowl until it clears the water.)

Scripture: 1 John 1:8-9 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

TYPE OF LEARNER: Kinesthetic

Don’t Forget All Your Equipment

There was once a small town country boy from Kentucky named Corban. Corban was a hero in Westwood High School. He was the heart and soul of his football team. He led his team on defense with a team high in sacks, tackles, and also tipped balls. He was also named High School Player of the Week 4 different times in the state of Kentucky. The opposing team faced an averaged of only 9 points a game thanks to the contribution of Corban, the future All-State. Corban led his team to a 10-0 season heading into the playoffs.

During the first round of the High School playoffs Westwood High School was pumped up and excited. They were the number 1 seed and expected to easily win the state tournament. Corban and his teammates rolled over their first opponents, 35-0. Everything was perfect in that Game. Corban had 17 tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 tipped balls during this game. The crazy thing was that Corban was double teamed the whole game. Corban was looking like the MVP of the Kentucky 4-A state football tournament.

Then the next round began. The team was gearing up for their next heavy under dogged opponent. As they were suiting up for the game Corban could not find one of his thigh pads. He had everything else on it was just about time to run through their tunnel of student fans so he went without it. He figured that he would do just fine against this okay team since it was just a small piece of equipment.

Corban’s smallest fear became his biggest tragedy. Corban started this game better than the last getting 2 sacks alone on the first drive of their opponents. Then on the first snap on the next series the future MVP feel to the ground and never got back up. The trainer and all the coaches rushed the field to find out what happened. When they got there Corban’s left femur, his thigh bone, was broke. The coaches couldn’t figure out how his femur broke until they noticed a missing thigh pads. Without the star of Westwood in the game they lost 24-21 in the second round of the playoffs.

Corban’s smallest fear became the largest tragedy and regret of his entire life.

Applied Scripture: Ephesians 6:11, 13-17

vs. 11 – “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Where to take it from here

Corban was a true star on his football team, but when he was needed the most he let his team down. It was all because of one stupid mistake. He did not find and put on his thigh pad. This was his smallest fear.

In the same way Christians are needed the most right now. We are facing all kinds of opponents at school and not just other students. A lot of the times Christians forget to prepare themselves dressing up in their FULL equipment that God ask of us to put on. (List them out from Ephesians 6:13-17) The smallest fear of forgetting to equip yourself with just on piece could turn out being your biggest tragedy and regret of your entire life.


Marcus Lucas

Movie Title: “Ice Age”

Movie Rating: G

Synopsis: The scene that will be shown for the purpose of this illustration comes toward the end of the movie. Sid, the sloth, and Manford, the wooly mammoth, have been tricked by Diego, the saber-toothed tiger. They have been on a journey to return a baby human to its parents. Diego tells Sid and Manford that he knows the way, but instead of leading them to the parents of the child, he leads them to his pack who plans on killing and eating Manford. Over the course of their journey, Manford saves Diego’s life and Diego begins to see Manford in a different light. Unfortunately, his change of heart comes to late. In this scene, Manford is about to be eaten and killed by Diego’s pack. However, Diego goes against the original plan and defends Manford from his own friends.

Manuscript: Let’s think about what we have just seen. (Give the background of Diego as stated in the synopsis above for those who may not have seen the movie.) Now, Diego is a saber-toothed tiger, which means that naturally he is a carnivore. He was raised to be mean and feared by other animals. It’s the way only way of life that he knew, until he was shown a different way- a better way- a life of honesty, true friendship, and love. Then he decided to turn away from those things, bad morals, and so called “friends” that he had grown up with in pursuit of a better way of living. And, so it is with us.

Many times we get hung up in our upbringing. Maybe you were taught to make others feel lower than you, or maybe you brought up always being the under dog? Perhaps, you were taught that drugs and premarital sex were o.k.- or to be materialistic? I don’t know how you were raised, but Jesus offers a different way- a better way- the right way. And if you want to live right, there are things in your life….even people and activities in your life that you are going to have to give up to follow Christ.

Scripture: “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Phillipians 3:8).

Materials Needed: A haircut is required for the sake of this illustration.

1. Yourself and another volunteer

2. You must both be willing to get a hair cut.

3. Tell your barber/beautician that you want a haircut and what style you would like.

4. Tell them that you are going to pay them full price, but for the sake of this illustration that you only want for them to cut your hair halfway. The volunteer should get theirs cut all the way.

5. If you are a guy, or a girl, that has planned on shaving your head anyway, this can be very fun because it does not matter how messed up they make you- it’s coming off anyway.

Manuscript: (both you and the volunteer are standing in the front of the room) Many of you have been looking at me weird tonight. _________ and I went to the barber/beauty shop today. We both asked for haircuts, but my barber/beautician decided that he/she was ready to go home and left me looking like this. _________ barber/beautician finished his/her haircut. Look at how even a trimmed it is and take a good look at mine. (pointing to the volunteer) This is how God treats us. God is not a halfway God or a three fourths of the way God or even a 99.9% God for that matter. He is a 100% God. He created you with a purpose and a plan and has been developing you through out your entire life. He has a full plan for your life and desires to one day see you made complete, whole, and perfect. You will not be made completely perfect until Jesus returns and you are in Heaven. The way my head looks is how we look when we allow Satan to develop us- not complete and nappy! The way ____________ is the way we look when we allow God to complete us. It does not happen over night, but everyday- bit by bit, day by day, God desires to complete the good work that He started in you form the time He created you. Will you let Him?

Scripture: “being confident of this that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phillipians 1:6).

Story: A few Christmases ago, I was watching the news and they had a special report about a heroic dog. “How odd,” I thought. There was a family who had two dogs and a few days before Christmas they could not find one of them. They let the dogs run loose through the countryside, but only one of them returned. Although they missed their dog, they celebrated Christmas as normal. Now, anyone who has ever had a dog before knows that dogs love table food- especially meat. So, as a Christmas present they gave the dog that was still with them a whole turkey leg. The dog took the turkey leg and went away. Figuring that the dog was just going off as normal, they did not pay him much attention. Later on, the dog convinced one of his owners to follow him. The dog led the owner to a barbwire fence where the lost dog was tangled. Below the tangled dog was the turkey leg- eaten. The dog who was at home realized that the other dog was hungry, and considering the other dog’s needs more than his own, he gave up his prized gift to help someone else in need.

Scripture: “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phillipians 2:4).

Application: It is amazing how even an animal, who has no soul, knows to the significance in thinking of others. So, many times we become set in our own interests and desires rather than in the interests of others. However, in this verse, Paul is challenging everyone to not only look after themselves, but to also look beyond themselves and meet the needs of others. I am sure that the dog that came back home was not starving. He realized that he had eaten, but he was able to think of his friend and how he was extremely hungry. We can do the same thing as well. Most of you do not look like you have missed to many meals. You may not necessarily always like the food that you eat, but at least you have food to eat. Why not share your lunch or even give up your lunch to someone who either forgot theirs or cannot afford it? Why not lend or give your clothes- or even buy brand new clothes for someone who has little to no clothes? Please, and do not feel limited to doing this on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Make this a lifestyle. How about befriending a lonely person or listening to someone? Perhaps, if you have some time and you know someone that is busy, you could offer to help? You could tutor someone. The point is, we must not only look after us, but after others as well.

Tom Reusch



• Prepare a message that deals with how we live our lives as Christians; either consistently or only when we feel like it.

• Purchase or gather 3 or 4 small jars (baby food jars work well). Make sure the jars are clean and take off any labels or covering that they may have on them so that the contents of the jar can be seen.

• Make time during the week before the illustration is to be used to travel to a few surrounding towns for the purpose of filling each baby jar up with a good amount of each different towns soil/dirt. (One towns soil in one jar and so forth). Make sure you know which soil came from where as you will be labeling them later. However many jars you decide to fill up with soil, save two and keep them empty.

• Place labels one each jar with the name of the town on it from where the soil in it was taken and on the empty jars place a labels that says [pic] and on the other place Sin (keep those two jars hidden on your person or nearby you).


Speak on holiness, and our commitment to living our lives as Christians in a consistent manner. To illustrate your point, bring out the jars that have the soil in them. Show how they have soil from different cities and explain that they actually contain genuine soil from those towns. Put one of the jars in your pocket and open the other one talking about how great that town is, maybe sticking your finger in the jar and saying that you are now ‘in’ that town physically since it is soil from that town. Then decide that you don’t want to be in that town anymore for any number of reasons (i.e. you are tired of it, the other town is more fun, or you are with someone from the town that is represented in your pocket) and switch it with the jar you had placed in your pocket. Be sure to hint at the ridiculousness of what you are doing, since it is absurd to think that you can just take out a jar and stick your finger in it and be in another town altogether. And even worse, that you would be able to pull out multiple jars and switch between towns at any time you would like.

When they understand and agree, bring out the two empty jars which are labeled [pic]and Sin. Once everyone sees the jars in your hands and knows how they are labeled, place the Sin jar in your pocket and with the [pic]jar in your hand, act Christian-like and holy. And just as you had grown weary of the one town’s jar earlier, grow weary of the ‘Christianity’ jar, and swap it out for the ‘Sin’ jar.

[pic] Jesus tells us that No one can serve two masters. ‘Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.’ (Matthew 6:24) We cannot choose when and which days we want to act like Christians and be obedient and then sin when we fell like it. There is no grey area; we can only keep one jar.


Stevey loved science class in school. He loved learning new things in class and then performing ‘experiments’ in his backyard. The city he lived in had a wide variety of wildlife and plants and trees so he had lots of volunteers to help him with his ‘experiments’. One of Stevey’s favorite ‘experiments’ was discovering whether or not salt really does destroy slugs. He had done it a million times, but for some reason, he just had to be sure that it would happen. So every time he saw a slug, into the house he would run and grab mom’s salt shaker and the slug never knew what hit’em.

Elmer was a slug. His mom never let him leave the house without his jacket. She wasn’t scared that he would get soaked from some unexpected rain storm, but that he would get spotted by Stevey and become his next volunteer. In fact, all the slug mothers made their children bring jackets with them when they left the house. The difference between Elmer and the other slugs was that Elmer’s mom had told him wear his jacket all the time.

Many times, Elmer and his slug buddies had made there way to the slug disco without coming across Stevey the mad scientist, but today was going to be different. Squirming along at a reasonably fast pace, because a favorite band of theirs was playing at the disco hall, Elmer and his friends stumbled across Stevey’s path. Stevey, after looking over his volunteers quickly ran into the house and got the salt. All the while, the slugs were trying to get there jackets on. Ironically, at the time they needed to be the fastest, they were just as slow as ever; taking forever to even get their jackets out of their backpacks. Stevey, however, was a swift little fella and was soon out of the house and going to work on all the slugs, shaking out more salt than ever on account of the large number of volunteers that he had to work with on this particular day. Sadly, all the slugs melted away. All except Elmer. Elmer, having been told by his mother to wear his jacket all the time, was fully prepared for the assault (no pun intended). The salt bounced off his jacket and he was able to escape and avoid being yet another slimy puddle for Stevey’s pleasure.

Ephesians 6:13 says, ‘Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.’ Paul was not telling the Ephesians that they should have protective gear laying around so that they can put it on at the same time as trouble arises, he is telling them to put on the full armor then and there, so that when trouble arises, they will be ready and prepared.


Paul is emphasizing the need for the Ephesians to be prepared/ready for evil when it comes, already having on their armor. Elmer, the slug in the story, was prepared for the attack because he had his armor on while the others did not. Christians like to live their lives how they want to live them and when trouble arises, they fall to their knees for the first time in a long time and pray ever so earnestly for Gods help. Paul says that we should practice truth, and righteousness, and faith, and that we should fit our feet with readiness. If we are devoted to God, we should spend time with him. We should pray, study his word, and practice what he teaches. That way, when the trials come, we will be ready and know what to do.


I think that this illustration wouldn’t be very effective with hands-on learners. Lecture style learners might connect well with this.


[pic] What the world says?

[pic] comedy/drama/crime, PG-13

A rag-tag group of con artists and ex-cons team up for the heist to end all heists. Ocean's Eleven opens with its titular hero Danny Ocean (George Clooney)getting out of prison and eager for a new challenge. Ocean conspires with his old pal Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) to rob 150 million dollars from an underground vault that serves three of Las Vegas' biggest casinos. Between the two of them, they recruit nine other men, each with his own criminal specialty, to assist in the mission: moneyman Reuben Tishkoff (Elliot Gould), card dealer Frank (Bernie Mac), pickpocket Linus (Matt Damon), aging con artist Saul (Carl Reiner), British explosives pro Basher (Don Cheadle), Techie Dell (Eddie Jemison), rude-boy brothers Virgil (Casey Affleck) and Turk (Scott Caan), and professional acrobat Yen (Shaobo Qin). What Ocean doesn't tell the group is that there's another reason he's coordinating the heist: the three casinos they're robbing are all owned by ruthless gambling mogul Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), who just happens to be married to Ocean's former love Tess (Julia Roberts).

[pic] [just over 4 minutes]

• Start / Chapter 33 (DVD) 104:58 / Elevator door closing.

• Stop / Chapter 33 (DVD) 109:00 / Sully walking away from fountain.

In this scene, Ocean’s Eleven have just pulled off the biggest robbery of all time and gotten away with it. The team pulls the truck that holds the bags of money up into a warehouse where it will sit until later. As they exit the warehouse, they are all smiling and there is beautifully soothing music playing, helping the moviegoer to feel how relieved they are to be done with the job and having gotten away with it. Then Tess, the main characters ex-wife makes her way to Daniel Ocean who is about to be taken to prison again for braking his probation rules. As he is being put into the squad car, Tess is sure to express to him how pleased she is with how everything worked out. Finally, we see the members of the heist team leaning against a railing watching a beautiful fountain while a victorious ballad plays in the back ground, adding to the glory of what they had just accomplished.


Proverbs 10:23

‘A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom.”

Isaiah 5:20

‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.’


• How does the movie industry portray what these men just did? How does the movie industry contradict God’s view of what the men did?

• Are there other areas of life that the world opposes God’s views?

• Read Proverbs 10:23 Discuss how it is foolish of the world to take joy in sinfulness and evil conduct.

• Read Isaiah 5:20 Discuss how God lead Isaiah to prophecy against those who tried to confuse right and wrong, and smudge the line between good and evil. Express the importance of the term ‘Woe’.

• Why does the world try to mix up what is right and wrong?

• How can we live so that we do not misrepresent what is right and wrong to those who see us?

Gretchen Linsenbigler

Youth Sermon Illustration

A. Movie clip

1. The Title of the movie: Count of Monte Cristo

2. Rating: PG-13

3. A brief synopsis of the clip: Edmond Dontes pulls his friend from a pile of lethal ruble while in prison during an attempt to escape. Once a believer in God, Dontes’ faith was weakened because of his imprisonment. At the verge of death, Dontes and the priest exchange final words. The “priest” encourages Dontes to follow God and that vengeance is God’s. Dontes replies that he doesn’t believe in God, to which the priest replies “It doesn’t matter God believes in you.”

4. How many of you know someone who does not believe in God? Fifty years ago, a majority of Americans at least believed in God even if they did not follow Him. But today, we all know of many people who do not even believe that God exists. I mean, we all have had questions like, “If there is a god, then why do bad things happen to good people?” or “If God is real, how can there be so much abuse and hate?”

And though not everyone believes in God, he believes in us. In fact, he not only believes in us, he loves us. God loves us so much that before we said yes, he promised to love us. Regardless of whether or not we choose to return that love, God has and always will love us. And whether your friends and family believe it or not does not negate the fact that not only is God real, but his love is unconditional.

5. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

b. An object lesson

1. The following materials will be needed: one large, clear jar, half filled with water; one bottle or container of cooking oil.

2. You know, some things just don’t mix well. Some things are not meant to be together. Like pickles and cottage cheese. Or turkey and dirt. It just doesn’t blend. Have you ever noticed when you are making a cake that one of the primary ingredients is oil? But usually you add eggs and milk and a bunch of other cake stuff. And one ingredient you won’t see in the directions is water. Why? Because it just doesn’t mix well together. Oil and water were not meant to mix and blend. They are made of two completely different chemical bonds and so they oppose each other. That’s why (have a volunteer student pour oil into water jar) oil and water don’t mix.

3. Galatians 5:16-26 says that if we are led by the Spirit, then we should not try to mix values and traits that are un characteristic of Christ. Sin and following Christ do not mix. Like oil and water, we are to be separated from things of an evil nature and focus on being Christ- like in our attitudes and hearts. Are we to be perfect? No. God knows we cannot be perfect, but we can try our best and do all we can to make sure that our lives remain purely Christ-like.

c. A story: The history of Saint Valentine.

The history of Valentine's Day -- and its patron saint -- is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.

So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Application: When Valentine was in prison, his last words were ones of love. He was sentenced to death and yet his last words were an expression of love. That had to have been a deep, and sincere love. Even in the face of death, he was able to still focus on the love of his life. And be forever remembered by his declaration of love in the face of death.

And Jesus, even in the face of death some of his last words were ones of love. Luke 23:34-46 shows us that Jesus spoke words of love at the cross, instead of hate. Why? Because he loved us so much, he was willing to endure the cross to make a way for us to truly know the one behind the words “Father, forgive them. “ His life was a love letter to us, even in his death, Christ displayed love.

Phillip Harris

Sermon Illustrations

Movie Illustration

Title: The Prince of Egypt

Rating: G

Synopsis of the Movie: Pharaoh had just been told that the Israelites had escaped out of Egypt. So Pharaoh called for his army to go after the Israelites. The Israelites were stopped by the Red Sea and with Pharaoh’s not to far behind. The Lord allowed for the waters of the Red Sea to be parted so the Israelites could escape Pharaoh’s army.

Manuscript Illustration

I’m going to read a situation where you might feel trapped with no way out of a tough situation. I’ll give you two options and you choose what you would do by standing on the side of the room representing that action. Here’s your situation: You took a test at school and the teacher accidentally gave you more points than she should have. Would you A take the higher grade or B you correct your teacher and take the lower grade, even though your parents are going to be upset with that grade. The Bible tells about a time Moses and the Israelites were trapped. They’d escaped slavery in Egypt and were trying to get to the safe place God had for them. But before they could get there, the ruler of Egypt changed his mind and sent his army after the Israelites. As the army was closing in behind them, the Israelites came to the Red Sea. They were trapped. Let’s watch this video clip to see what happened. How do you think the Israelites felt with the army on one side and the water on the other? Even though they felt trapped, they had to trust God. How do you think they felt as they walked the path God made through the Red Sea?

I’m going to read Exodus 15:1-2: Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: I will sing to the Lord for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

This is the beginning of the song of celebration that Moses and the Israelites sang to the Lord after they did what was right. Think of a time God helped you make the right choice in a situation where you felt trapped.

Lets Pray: Lord, just liked you helped the Israelites in that difficult situation Lord I pray that you would help us in your difficult situations. Give us wisdom in how to handle then. In Jesus name Amen.

Identify the Type of Learner: Someone who is a visual and audible learner because of the movie.

Object Lesson Illustration

Materials: Crackers

Manuscript Illustration

Once upon a time, there was a land called No-Elbows. You know about Texas and you’re heard of Oklahoma. But have you heard of the state of No-Elbows? Probably not. What do you suppose the people of No-Elbows are like? See if I were you keep my arm out like this forever that’s would it would feel like without having an elbow. The people in No-Elbows were divided into two groups. The No-Elbows-Lights were thin, weak, and sickly. They had a lot of trouble eating. How would you eat if you had no elbows? I’m going to give each of you a cracker and let’s see how you do in feeding yourselves. Now, don’t bend your elbows. The other group, the No-Elbows-Kin were strong and healthy. How do you suppose they ate? Believe it or not the No-Elbows-Kin fed each other, they were giving to someone else and thinking about the needs of others over their own. That’s what the Bible means when it says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” God tells us in his word that he wants us to love each other, and show that love by helping each other. We can share with those who live close to us, as well as with those who live far away. When we think about the needs of others, and give of ourselves to them, we are loving them the way God has taught us to in his Word.

In Galatians 5:13,14 its says: Serve each other with love. The whole law is made complete in this one command: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

As Christians we need to find ways to share with each other in love. Lets pray God, may our love for others be shown in our helping each other. In Jesus name Amen.

Identify the Type of Learner: visual

Story Illustration

In Oroville, California a high school valedictorian, who claims public school district officials violated his rights when they barred him from giving a graduation speech, recently lost his Supreme Court appeal. Chris Niemeyer was co-valedictorian of his California high school and submitted his graduation speech to the school principal for approval. After reviewing the speech, the high school’s principal asked Chris to revise the speech by toning down the religious references. In his speech, Chris planned to ask the audience to pattern our lives after Jesus example and to accept God’s love and grace. The speech also said, God seek a personal relationship with each one of us. Jesus wants to be our best friend. Chris refused to make any changes to his speech so school officials didn’t allow him to deliver the speech at graduation. As a result, Chris sued the school district, alleging that the school’s actions violated his rights to free speech and free exercise of religion. School district lawyers stated that the speech was a religious testimonial and allowing it would violate church-state separation. The courts agreed with the school district. Chris’ lawyers claim the ruling is in conflict with the Supreme Court’s historic protection of preaching and religious invitations as fully protected free speech activities.

Manuscript Illustration

In Matthew 16:15 it says: He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

In this short scripture Jesus was wanting is disciples to go and preach the good news throughout the world. The same applies to us today every chance the Lord gives us we should share the good news with others who may not know Christ like you do. Do you believe Chris was trying to do by giving his speech?

In Matthew 5:10 it says: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

In Romans 12:14 it says: Bless those who persecute you bless and do not curse.

According to these Scriptures, what are Christians supposed to do when they’re treated unfairly? Does this Scripture mean Christians aren’t supposed to stand up for what they believe is right? Why or why not? Did Chris do the right thing by not changing his speech?

I believe that Chris did the right thing by not changing his speech. He was standing up for what he believed in as a Christian. With so many things going on in our world right now we need to stand up for the cause of Christ. What an awesome time to share the Gospel with a friend or just anyone the Lord my put on your heart who needs to know Him in a personal way.

Lets pray Lord, like Chris in the story we read today, give us the boldness to stand up for you when others do not. I pray that as we begin to step out in boldness and begin to tell others about you people will come to know you for the first time. Thank you for using us for your glory. Amen.

Identify the Type of Learner: audible

Rebecca Lilley

Movie Illustration

Title: The Sixth Sense

Rating: PG-13

Summary of Clip: The selected scene where the 8-yr old Cole Sear comes face to face with a ghost (a frequent occurrence in his life), His first reaction is to run and hide, but he remembers what that his counselor tells him to find out why they are haunting him. He gets the courage up to reenter the room and find out what is wrong with the ghost. And to bring resolution to her death, He ends up going to her house directly after her funeral and hands her father a videotape that the ghost had given him. The tape contained evidence that her mother had been poisoning her food for a while resulting in her death. Cole’s action resulted in saving the life of the little sister as well, because the mother had begun to do the same thing with her.

Illustration: It took a lot of courage for Cole to overcome his fear and face that ghost. He first had to make a conscious choice to stop running and hiding and to go against his very nature to confront the fear head on. And it didn’t stop there, it wasn’t easy to leave his comfort zone and go the extra mile to get to her house and bring resolution to the cause of all that fear. In the end, he saved the little sister’s life all because he overcame the initial fear. Sometimes we need to do the same thing. For some of you God’s call on your life, will be something that intimidates you the way the ghosts did to Cole. But God wants us to overcome those fear – even if it means facing them head on – in order to be obedient. Just look at Joshua in the Bible. Moses had just died and now God was asking him to step up to the plate and accomplish the task that Moses couldn’t. It would be like God asking you to replace George Bush to become president. I think we can all agree that would be scary. But God just wanted Joshua to be obedient, and God would come through, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Scripture: Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”

Type of Learner: Visual

Story Illustration

The Story: Back in a time when Crusades were being fought and much admiration and respect were given to knights, we find ourselves in the midst of a land in desperate need for a king of their own. But this land was a special one; for not just anyone could become king…they had to pass a certain test in order to earn the throne. The challenge came in the form of a sword lodged in a stone. Anyone who was skilled and strong enough to win the jousts of that day was awarded the chance to pull the sword and be crowned King, though none had been able to do it. Our story begins with a scrappy little boy named Arthur. He wasn’t much for appearance or ability though he possessed a pure heart. Well, the day of the jousts arrived and all were preparing to enter, which just happened to include Arthur’s brother. As they arrived on the field, panic struck Arthur, as he realized that he had forgotten to do the one task he was responsible for…to bring his brother’s sword. In a frantic rush he searched all over for a sword when he conveniently came across one. He rushed back to his brother’s side and the joust was just about to begin when his brother realized that the sword he held in his hand was the very one he was competing to pull out of the stone. The scrappy little Arthur had done what many strong, able men couldn’t do before. He had pulled the sword from the stone!! That little boy grew up to become the legendary King Arthur of Camelot whose story is told of to this day. God’s call is similar to the sword in the stone. He chooses those that the world passes over to accomplish great and mighty things for God.

Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:7 “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at, Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Application: How many times have we limited ourselves because we don’t stack up to everyone else. We don’t have the looks, we don’t have the personality, or we weren’t blessed with amazing musical talents or athletic ability. Do you find yourself weighing yourself against those measures? People may look at you and see mere teenagers. You may even look at yourselves and only see your faults, but God wants to look closer. If someone had told Arthur that he would become a king that made legend he would have not believed them. Would you feel the same? But God sees more inside of you than you could have ever dreamed or imagined. We just need to keep pure hearts and be obedient before him. Allow the Lord to do his equipping work within you and you will be able to pull the sword of your dreams out of a stone of insecurities.

Type of Learner: Audible

The fight of a lifetime…not available on Paperview

Object Lesson:

1. Prepare a message for the youth group on the constant war between faith and works and how it’s easy to swing from one extreme of the pendulum to the other. By feeling that you are saved by grace and never have to do anything to work out your salvation and then there’s the other view that you must do things for God in order to ensure your relationship with him. Many people believe that they are not worthy or pleasing to the Lord unless they are doing things for him.

2. Choose two of your sponsors to help demonstrate the concept of faith and works working together as a team in balance when you are ready to give your message

At The Meeting:

Ask everyone to participate in a little game. In order to do this game they must find a partner and sit back to back on the floor with arms interlinked. Then ask them on the count of three to stand up, while maintaining their back-to-back and linked arms position. They will quickly see that it is more difficult than it appears. There will also be some that are able to do it.

Have them sit down and then have your two sponsor volunteers come up to demonstrate the common mistakes. Label one volunteer Faith and the other Works. Then demonstrate that many people believe that works is how they are saved and so they are never able to rise up in freedom in their salvation. (Point out the struggles of the two sponsors without balance) then, have them work together equally. (Point we can only have an accurate understanding of our salvation when we allow them to work together equally as the sponsors are able to stand)

Scripture: Titus 3:5 “he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,”/ James 2:17-18 “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accomplished by action is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”

Type of Learner: Kinesthetic

Allen Keys

Title: “Remember the Titans”

Rating: PG

Genre: Drama, sports, period

The Clip: (One Minute, twenty-four seconds)

Start: 00:32:00 “Anyone know what this place is?” Finish: 00:33:24 “Just like they were.”

In this scene the team has made their early morning run and have stopped at the Gettysburg Graveyard. During this dramatic moment the coach talks to the team about their disunity. He points out the fact that unless they come together and work as a team they too will be destroyed as those who fought in the Civil War.

The Illustration:

According to 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, we should all be of the same mind and have no divisions among us. We are to be joined together as the body of Christ and work as one toward the goal of unity. Just as the Titan football team would not be able to become a championship team, if we are divided we will not be able to complete the work that Christ has laid before us. However, if we unify and not allow our pride and prejudices hinder us we will grow the kingdom of God. Later on in this movie we see the Titans become a triumphant team that goes on to win their state championship. In the same way we can also become a body of believers with a champion spirit.

Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

Learner Target: Visual

Materials Needed: One bucket filled with water; Three different sizes of cups; Three empty pickle jars; one large tarp if you have carpeted area..

Lesson: You can either plan this object lesson out with three volunteers or randomly pick three volunteers out of the audience at time of the illustration. Each of these three volunteers will be given one of the three different sized cups. Place the tarp on the floor. You will then place the bucket of water on top of the tarp on the floor right in front of the stage (or the back of the stage). Place the three pickle jars evenly apart about 5-10 feet in front of the bucket of water (or closer or further away depending on the size of space you have. The volunteers should then be instructed to pick separate pickle jars (these are their “unsaved friends”). The volunteers will have 15-20 seconds to move the water from the bucket to their respective pickle jars by using their cups. Once their time is up you will then show the audience how each pickle jar is only partially filled up. You will then take two of the pickle jars away and leave the third one (empty) in the same place. Your volunteers will now have 15-20 seconds to transfer the water from the bucket to the pickle jar by way of their cups. The object is for them to completely fill the pickle jar up with water. Once this is done pick up the pickle jar and show it to the audience being sure to point out the fact that the jar is completely full unlike the three mostly empty jars from earlier.

Scripture: (1 Corinthians 3:7-8) (You may also use verses 1-6 and 9-15)

7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

Application: Each one of us plays a special part in the kingdom of God. Just as in the first half of the demonstration each person was doing their own thing which resulted in 3 partially filled pickled jars, when we work on completely independent levels reaching the lost the result is partially filled sinners. We can not let our pride stand in the way of doing what the Lord has called us to do. You may do a third of the work, but when done with a pure heart and with other believers it reaps a “complete” benefit. We must each use our talents and do our part in the Kingdom of God.

Learner Target: Kinesthetic/Visual

Title: “The Pearl Necklace”

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?"

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace. Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere: Sunday school, kindergarten, and even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green. Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story.

One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"

"Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."

"Then give me your pearls."

"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess - the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail, Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."

"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss. About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"

"Daddy, you know I love you."

"Then give me your pearls."

"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."

"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"

Jenny didn't say anything, but lifted her little hand up to her daddy and when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case

with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.

Scripture: Luke 18:29-30

29 So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Application: Where to take it from Here?

In our lives there are many things that seem very important to us. It may be our friends, video games, music, etc. However, these things are small in comparison to the gifts that Christ has for us. There may be times when God asks us to give up something that may not necessarily bad. The pearls were not bad in themselves, but what her dad had in return was so much greater.

1. What are things in our lives that seem very important to us that we can give up for the sake of Jesus Christ?

2. What rewards has Christ given you in return for what you have given up?

3. How do these compare to what you have given up?

Learner Target: Audible


[1] Article found in Sports Illustrated February 24, 2003 pg 52-53 by Kelli Anderson


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