There is a great exchange that takes place when we put our faith in Christ. Our old way of living, thinking, speaking, and acting is replaced – not all at once, but over time. When God looks at us, he sees us through the blood of Christ so our position before God changes immediately, but our thinking and our habits, change over time. As we grow more and more in purity and become more Christlike, we make room for the fruits of the spirits in our lives to develop and provode more opportunities for God to work through us to minister to others.
An Object Lesson
What you need
- a clear glass pitcher filled with distilled water
- a fish bowl that holds the same amount of water as the pitcher
- a pile of smooth, egg-sized stones.
- a permanent marker
- a pair of ice tongs
- 9 goldfish
What to do
1. Ask the youth to name some of the things we know hinder our spiritual growth and write their answers on each of the stones, with a permanent marker.
Some possible answers might be: addictions, anger, arrogance, backbiting, being unmerciful, bitterness, boasting, cheating, complaining, complacency, a critical spirit, cruel words, deceit, depression, discontent, dishonesty, disobedience, divisiveness, doubt, drunkenness, envy, fear, foolish talk, fornication, gluttony, gossip, greed, harmful habits, hatred, impatience, ingratitude, jealousy, laziness, lies, materialism, pornography, pride, profanity, quarreling, self-righteousness, selfish ambition, sexual lust, strife, theft, unholy thoughts, worry
2. Now place the stones in the fishbowl, filling it to the top. Pour as much of the water as you can into the fish bowl. It probably doesn’t take much. The old habits, the old thoughts, the old way we speak, limit God’s ability to use your life to share the living water with others.
3. One by one remove each of the stones with the ice tongs. After removing each stone, pour in a little more water. By the time every stone has been removed, much of the water can fit in the container.
4. Take out the nine goldfish and name them. The first one is “Love.” Put it in the fishbowl. The next one is “Joy.” The third one is “Peace.” See them swim happily in their new home? You know the rest of the names…Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.
5. Conclude: As you remove the dead stones, the blockages, you make room for God to bring the fruits of the spirit into your life. Where once you were filled with dead stones, you are now filled with life.
Take it to the Next Level
Make it spiritual
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 6:19-23
Make it Practical
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22-24
Our old way of living, thinking, speaking, and acting is replaced which each decision that we make. It is a process of becoming more and more like God / Christ. What are some of the characteristics, actions, thoughts, attitudes, and speech that are Christlike?
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” – Colossians 3:1-4
When God looks at us, he sees us through the blood of Christ so our position before God changes immediately, but our thinking and our habits, change over time.
Make it Personal
- What are some actions, thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and things you say that need to be exchanged for something more Christlike?
- What can you work on this week?
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.
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