Category | Object Lessons

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Here’s another summer outdoor activity that serves as a Bible Study. In the Bible, the phrase “clean hands and a pure heart” not only describes someone who is pure both inside and outside, but it also speaks of what we do (hands) and what we think (hearts).

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What You Need

  • Bible
  • towels
  • mud / dirt and water
  • bucket
  • water faucet

What to Do

  1. Mix dirt and water in a bucket to make thick mud
  2. Gather the youth around the bucket of mud and have them dip their hands in the mud.
  3. Have the youth sit down while you read Psalm 51. Fairly quickly, the mud will dry and become uncomfortable.

Take it to the Next Level

DEBRIEF

  • Ask the youth what David was feeling when he wrote this Psalm?
  • Ask them to share the circumstances of the Psalm (2 Samuel 11)?
  • Ask the youth to compare what the mud feels like to how David was feeling.
  • Ask the youth to join hands and then describe what it is like to hold a muddy hand.

MAKE IT SPIRITUAL

  • Ask youth to share ways that the mud similar to sin?
  • What would happen if we never washed our hands?

MAKE IT PRACTICAL

  • How does sin affect us when we come before God?
  • How does sin affect how God sees us?
  • How does it affect relationships with God and others around us?
  • Use some of the scriptures listed below to discuss sin and cleansing.

Closing Activity

Bring the youth to a water faucet and help them to wash their hands. Let them use towels to dry each others hands.

Ask the youth to share how they feel now, and how it feels to not only hold clean hands, but also to help others get their hands clean. How does this relate to confession, God’s cleansing, and our mission as Christians? How does clean hands affect how we live life?

Explain some people think going to church, being nice, doing good things is all you have to do to remove the sin in your life. Those things are good but they are seen on the outside we have to also clean ourselves on the inside. We can wash the dirt off our bodies, but what can we do about sin which is inside our hearts? Water cannot cannot remove sin. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away our sins. And once we are clean before God, we are given the ministry to reconcile others to God, to help them to find forgiveness in him and also be cleansed from sin.

MAKE IT PERSONAL

  • Ask each youth to have some quiet moments with God of confession, and contemplating what he has done for us and how they can help others find the cleansing of Christ.

Scriptures

Matthew 23:27-28
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

Mark 7:14-15
“Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.'”

Proverbs 20:9
“Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin’?”

Romans 3:23
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Isaiah 1:18
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Hebrews 10:22-23
“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

MORE IDEAS? See “Creative Object Lessons”

200 page e-book that explains everything you need to know when planning your very own object lessons. It contains 90 fully developed object lesson ideas and another 200 object lesson starter ideas based on Biblical idioms and Names / Descriptions of God.

Learn More…

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