Bible Story: David

Pink-Ballet-Shoes-pink-color-34590495-1050-750PROPS: Dancing shoes (tap, ballet, etc.)
KEY SCRIPTURE: 2 Samuel 6

Do any of you have a pair of shoes like this? What are these shoes used for?

There are all kinds of shoes for dancing. Ballet dancers have special slippers that give them
flexibility and help them move more gracefully. On the other extreme, there are tap shoes
and clogs. These shoes are made to make noise when you move.

Whatever your style of dance, there’s a perfect shoe, isn’t there?

There aren’t too many passages in the Bible about dancing, but there is one involving one
of the most famous men in the Bible, David. David had just become king of Israel after
many years of running and hiding from the former king, Saul. He was a long way from the
boy who killed Goliath. He was a grown man, a married man, the most powerful man
in Israel.

So why was David dancing? Because he was praising God!

David had decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant, the most sacred treasure in all of
Israel, to the capital city of Jerusalem. This was an occasion for worship and celebration,
and David was front and center leading the worship. The Bible tells us he was half-naked,
dancing and singing and praising the Lord.

Can you imagine the president, the mayor of our town, or even our pastor leading a parade
and dancing? It seems a little undignified, doesn’t it? These are people who are supposed
to look professional, mature, and serious. People in power don’t dance half-naked down the
street, do they?

That’s exactly what David’s wife Michal said when he went home that day. She yelled at him
for dancing and praising God! She told him straight out: You made a fool of yourself today.
But you know what David told her? He told her he didn’t care! He danced for one person
and one person only, and that was the Lord. In fact, he told his wife, “I will become even
more undignified than this!”

David loved God more than anyone. He cared what God thought more than what his wife or
anyone else thought. That’s a challenge for all of us, isn’t it?

Whose opinion matters most to you: your parents’, your friends’, or Jesus’?

To download this story, click here:  David-Dancing-Shoes

Bible Story: Elijah

PROP:  A toilet
KEY SCRIPTURE: 1 Kings 18

Did you know that there is potty humor in the Bible? Your Sunday school teachers
probably forgot to tell you that. Or maybe they didn’t know. But there’s a really great
potty joke in the Bible, and most people never, ever notice it.

It happened during a confrontation between the prophet Elijah and the prophets of
Baal. Baal was the popular god in Israel during the reign of King Ahab and Queen
Jezebel. God had had enough of people worshipping Baal, so he sent Elijah to
challenge Baal and his followers.

The challenge was simple: Each side would build an altar and make a sacrifice.
They would then call on their god to send fire from heaven to burn up the sacrifice.
Elijah was nice enough to let the prophets of Baal go first. They started early in
the morning, worshipping and crying out to Baal for fire. For hours and hours, they
danced and called on their god. But Baal never answered.

Elijah sat back and watched as the prophets danced and called on their god. Then
Elijah did something you might expect to see at a sporting event today: He started to
trash talk the prophets of Baal! “Shout louder!” he said. “Maybe Baal is asleep and he
can’t hear you!”

Then Elijah said something else. The literal translation of Elijah’s words is “Maybe
he has gone aside.” Most Bible translations change these words to “Maybe Baal has
gone on a trip.” But in the original language, “gone aside” is a slang phrase, and it
does not mean “gone on a trip.”

Elijah was saying, “Maybe Baal is on the toilet!”

Now those are fighting words, right?

Of course Baal wasn’t on the toilet, and he wasn’t asleep. He wasn’t there at all—
exactly the point Elijah was trying to make. When Elijah’s turn came, he built his altar,
made a sacrifice, and had buckets and buckets of water poured over both. He said
one prayer, and foom! Fire fell from the sky and devoured the sacrifice.

It’s a great reminder that our God is a real God. He listens, and he answers our
prayers. And God will not take a backseat to false gods that we make up on our own.
So next time you take a seat on your “throne,” take a moment to thank God for the
reminder that he is still on his throne. (No, I don’t mean the toilet!)

To download this story, click here:  Elijah-Toilet

Bible Story: Gideon

pink-fleece-blanket2PROP: A fleece blanket
KEY SCRIPTURE Judges 6

Does anyone have a blanket like this at home? This blanket is made of fleece, and even back
in Old Testament times, it was not uncommon for people to have fleece in their homes.
Fleece is a very soft, very warm fabric, and it just so happens that a fleece blanket plays a
key role in the story of Gideon.

Gideon lived during the time of the judges—a period that follows the Israelites’ arrival in
Canaan but comes before the establishment of the Kingdom of Israel. God had allowed the
Israelites to fall captive to their enemies as punishment for their sins. When the Israelites
cried out to God, God called on Gideon.

Now Gideon wasn’t exactly the kind of guy you’d figure for a world leader. He was not from
a powerful or important family, but God doesn’t always call on the “important” people. God
knew Gideon was the perfect man for the job. The problem was that Gideon didn’t believe
he was the man for any job!

When God called Gideon to save Israel, Gideon put him to the test. He set a fleece outside
and prayed to God. He told God, “If you want me to save Israel, then in the morning, there
will be dew in the blanket but none on the ground.” The next morning, Gideon saw that the
blanket was wet but the ground was dry!

Would one test have been enough for you to believe God? Believe it or not, it wasn’t
enough for Gideon. The next night, he asked God to make the ground wet but leave the
blanket dry! God passed the test once more.

Some people today would look at Gideon and say, “Well, he just didn’t have enough faith!”
But there’s a valuable lesson in Gideon’s testing God. Too many people today run out
and try to do God’s will without ever asking God what he wants! They say, “I will start a
Christian band!” or “I will start a Christian TV show!” or “I will start my own ministry.” Are
their motives right? If they want to serve God, then yes. But just because you want to do
something doesn’t mean that it’s God’s will!

God has a plan for all of us, but finding that plan can sometimes feel like a series of tests.
Oftentimes when we try and fail, we want to blame God. But maybe those are the times
when God is simply saying, “No, this isn’t my plan. My plan is over here.”

Gideon didn’t dare do anything until he knew for sure it was God’s plan. And while we
shouldn’t get into the habit of testing God, we need to take every thought and every idea
captive, praying to God and asking, “Is this your will or mine?” If it’s yours, then let it go. It
it’s the Lord’s, then go, and get ready to see God move.

 

To download this story, click here:  Gideon-Blanket

Bible Story: Joseph

corn_on_the_cobPROPS: An ear of corn
KEY SCRIPTURE: Genesis 41
Corn is one of the most amazing crops we have. Corn can be used to make all sorts of useful
products: ethanol fuel, shaving cream, paper products, rugs, paint, glue, aspirin, toothpaste,
cleaning products, and of course…all kinds of food.

Corn served another purpose back in the book of Genesis: It saved an entire nation!

You see, the ruler of Egypt, Pharaoh, had a dream. Two dreams, in fact. In one dream, he saw
seven skinny cows devour seven fat cows. He then saw seven shrunken, shriveled ears of corn
devour seven fat, delicious ears of corn. These dreams troubled Pharaoh, and he did not know
what they meant!

When Pharaoh’s butler heard about the dream, he told him about a prisoner he had met when
Pharaoh had thrown the butler in jail. The prisoner’s name was Joseph, and he was from the land
of Canaan. Joseph had interpreted a dream for the butler, and the butler believed he could also
interpret the Pharaoh’s dream.

Joseph was brought before Pharaoh, and sure enough, Joseph interpreted the dream. There
would be seven years of good harvests, followed by seven years of severe famine. Pharaoh was
so impressed with Joseph that he made him his second-in-command and put Joseph in charge of
storing food for the famine. By the time the famine struck, Joseph had stored enough food to get
the entire nation of Egypt through the famine!

But Egypt is not the nation I was talking about at the beginning of the story! You see, Joseph
was the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, whom God had promised to make a
mighty nation. Joseph was one of 11 sons of Jacob, and in case you’re wondering how he came to
be in jail in Egypt, I’ll tell you: His brothers had sold him into slavery!

Joseph was the favorite son. His father loved him more than all the rest and made no secret of his
favoritism. Not only that, but Joseph also had several dreams that one day his brothers would bow
down before him. You can almost understand why his brothers hated him so much, can’t you?
But then, one day, Joseph’s brothers did bow down before Joseph. The famine hurt them too,
and their father sent them to beg for food. Joseph could have refused. He could have put them in
prison or worse without even giving them a trial. He was, after all, the second most powerful man
in Egypt! But Joseph knew that God had allowed everything to happen so that Joseph could save
his family—a family that would become the nation of Israel.

It’s not always easy to love your siblings, especially when they do you wrong. But God put them in
your life for a reason, the same way he put Joseph in his brothers’ lives. Be thankful for the siblings
you have. Love them, and always be willing to forgive them. A lot of friends and people will come
and go in your life, but your brothers and sisters will always be your brothers and sisters. And you
never know—you just may need them one day!

To download this story, click here:Joseph-Corn

Bible Story: Job

broken-potteryPROPS: Pieces of broken pottery
KEY SCRIPTURE: Job 1-2

Can anyone tell me what today’s object is—or should I say, was? This used to be something
very useful; it was part of a pot that held a flower or some other plant. But now—now it’s
nothing but a broken shard, good for nothing but to be thrown away.

There’s a story in the Bible, however, in which a man found a different use for broken
pottery. His name was Job, and he was one of the richest men in the world. Job owned
hundreds of animals. He had a big house, lots of land, and a huge family. More importantly,
Job was a man who loved God. He loved God so much that the devil went to see the Lord
about Job. He told God the only reason Job loved God was because God had blessed him
so much. So God allowed Job to be tested.

In one day, everything Job had was taken away. Everything he had was stolen, and all of his
children died! Job remained faithful to God, so the devil asked God to test him further. Job
got sick and had sores all over his body. The Bible says the pain of the sores was so bad
that the only way he could get relief was by scratching his sores with broken pottery.

Can you imagine being in that much pain over your whole body? Job was miserable. His
wife told him he should curse God and die. His friends told him that he probably had done
something to offend God. But Job knew he had done nothing wrong!

But even through all that suffering, Job did not sin. He did not curse God. He knew that the
one thing that could never be taken from him was his faith in God. Only he could give that
up, and Job refused to let go. He didn’t know that God would restore everything he had and
then some. (And God did when Job’s test was over.) He just knew that God was still there,
and he refused to let go.

You know, when this pottery was intact, it would have made a nice pot for some flowers. In
the New Testament, Jesus talks about the flowers. They have no way of making clothing for
themselves, and yet God clothes them in the most beautiful of colors.

Like the flowers, Job did not worry about losing his possessions or even his life. Even when
all he had to relieve his pain was broken pottery, he trusted the Lord.

Let’s pray that God will give us the faith to trust him, no matter what our circumstances,
and to always remain faithful!

To download this story, click here:   Job-BrokenPottery

Bible Story–Hezekiah

TABLOID-brosisPROP: A tabloid magazine—the craziest one you can find (and still show students)
KEY SCRIPTURE: 2 Kings 18-19

How many of you like to read the headlines on these silly magazines in the grocery store?

These are called tabloids, and believe it or not, these magazines make a lot of money—in spite
of the fact that very few of them tell the truth! These magazines sell copies with stories about
Bigfoot, UFOs, and the infamous Bat Boy. They scare people with prophecies about the end of
the world. They spread all sorts of stories about famous people and celebrities. And like I said,
most of what they say is wrong! Some of them exaggerate. Some of them simply reprint gossip
without bothering to check if what they’re printing is true. And some just make stuff up. If any
of you have any aspirations of being a famous singer of actor, you need to be prepared for
someone to print some ugly, untrue things about you one day.

King Hezekiah was one such person. When Hezekiah was king of Judah, the king of Assyria
decided to conquer Judah and its capital city of Jerusalem. But the king of Assyria didn’t just
roll in with his soldiers and chariots. He first attacked Judah with gossip and rumors.

Do you know what the big rumor was? He tried to make the people of Israel believe that God
was not going to save them! He told the people that Hezekiah was lying when he said the Lord
would save them. He bragged about how many soldiers and horses he had. He bragged that
the forces of Israel were no match for him.

Why would he do this? Because he wanted Hezekiah to surrender. The king of Assyria didn’t
want to go to war. He wanted Hezekiah to give up without a fight. What better way to do that
than to convince the people of Judah that their king was powerless to stop them?

But Hezekiah did not listen to gossip and rumors. Hezekiah was a good king, a godly king, and
he knew better than to give in to fear and gossip. Hezekiah went to the Lord in prayer. God
listened to Hezekiah, and through the prophet Isaiah, he told Hezekiah the truth: Assyria would
not conquer Judah. God would save Judah, and the king of Assyria, not Hezekiah, would fall.

Gossip is a powerful and destructive force. If you haven’t experienced it in your life up until
now, you will. But there’s one thing more powerful than gossip—and that’s the truth. When
rumors and gossip try to make you give up, when they fill you with fear, follow Hezekiah’s
example and take that fear to the Lord. Ask God to reveal his truth to you, and don’t give in
to gossip.

Above all else, let gossip end with you. When there’s no one left to spread gossip, there’s no
more gossip.

 

To download this story, click here:  Hezekiah-Magazine

Bible Story: Joshua and Caleb

waterPROP: A half full glass of water
KEY SCRIPTURE: Numbers 13-14

I want all of you to take a close look at this glass of water. Look closely at how much water is in here.

(Give the students a minute to look.)

By show of hands, who thinks the glass is half empty? Who thinks it is half full?

The truth is that you’re both right. If the glass is half full, then it is also half empty. But some people
like to use this sort of question as a test of your personality. An optimist looks at the positive: The
glass is half full. The pessimist looks at the negative: The glass is half empty.

There’s a story in the Bible about optimists and pessimists that changed the future for an entire
nation. The children of Israel had traveled out of slavery in Egypt toward the Promised Land, the
land of Canaan that God promised to their forefather Abraham. When they arrived at the border of
Canaan, their leader Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land.

When the spies came back, two of the men—Joshua and Caleb—reported that the Promised Land was
everything God had said it was. It was a land filled with milk and honey. It was ripe for the taking. God
was faithful, and God was going to fulfill his every promise.

But 10 of the spies brought back a different story. Canaan was dangerous, a land filled with giants and
terrifying warriors! Their cities were well-fortified, and the people were skilled warriors!
So which of the two groups were right, the 10 who saw giants or Joshua and Caleb?

They were both right. Canaan was the Promised Land, a land of milk and honey. But it was also a
country of giants. God had promised to give this land to the Israelites, but after all the miracles God
had performed to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, to whom do you think they listened? They
listened to the 10 men who talked about the giants. They were so afraid of the giants, some of them
said they were better off being slaves in Egypt!

Because the Israelites ignored Joshua and Caleb, God punished the entire nation. They were forced to
wander in the wilderness for 40 years until every one of them had died. God would let their children,
led by Joshua, enter the Promised Land instead.

One day, you will be faced with your own giants—challenges that seen impossible to overcome. When
that day comes, there may be people telling you to give up. But if God has made a promise to you, be
careful that you listen to him and not to the pessimists. Believing in the Lord is not mere optimism. It’s
called faithfulness, and when you are faithful to the Lord, the Lord will be faithful and bless you with
all that he’s promised!

 

To download this story, click here:  Joshua-Caleb-Glass

Bible Story–Lydia

$(KGrHqV,!nsFBZBUNPmTBQmhlQfM2w~~60_35PROPS: Some purple cloth, material, or linens
KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 16:13-15, 40

How many of you like the color purple? Purple was a very special color back in biblical
times. Do you know who wore the color purple? Purple was usually reserved for
royalty and people who were very wealthy.

The book of Acts tells us a story about a woman whose job was selling purple cloth.
Her name was Lydia, and because we know she sold purple cloth, we know that she
was a wealthy woman. We also know she was also a believer in God because when we
meet her, she is at a prayer meeting with Paul and Silas.

Lydia heard a message that day in which Paul told these believers in God that
they needed to also believe in God’s Son, Jesus. Paul told them that Jesus was a
descendant of David and that God had raised him from the grave in order to offer
forgiveness of sins.

Lydia believed in Jesus that day, and she and her whole house were saved. But Lydia’s
story doesn’t end with her accepting Christ. Lydia invited the believers to come and
meet at her house! In fact, Scripture says she begged Paul and Silas to stay with her
so she could take care of their needs.

Later on in this same chapter, we read that Paul and Silas were put in prison. As soon
as they were released, guess where they went? They went back to Lydia’s house,
where they were cared for once more.

A lot of people think that becoming a Christian is all about what we call their personal
walk—their relationship with Jesus. They think it’s about Bible study, small groups,
Sunday school, quiet times, and prayer. It is about those things, but that’s not all!
Being a Christian means putting our faith into action the way Jesus, his disciples, the
apostle Paul, and Lydia did.

Lydia didn’t wait two or three years to start serving God. She didn’t say, “As soon as I
get my walk with God straight, I will serve the Lord.” She accepted the Lord, and she
immediately offered to God what she had: her home.

Having a personal walk with Jesus is very important, but if we never open our eyes
to see others’ needs—if we never step out and take action to meet those needs—are
we really acting like followers of Christ? Lydia reminds us that you don’t need a lot of
years of walking with God to serve him. You just need to be willing to take action!

 

To download this story, click here:  Lydia-PurpleCloth

Bible Story–Moses

69050_Coffee_Maker.37173901_stdPROP: A coffeemaker
KEY SCRIPTURE Exodus 3

How many of you guys have one of these in the house? How many of you have a mom
or dad who can’t make it in the mornings without at least one cup of coffee?

For a lot of adults and even teenagers, coffee is an essential part of the day. People
can’t begin their day without a cup of coffee. But there’s a funny irony in people’s
dependence on coffee to get through the day: Coffee takes a little time to make. You
can’t just open the fridge, take the cap off the jug of coffee, and pour yourself a tall
glass of coffee. You have to wash out the pot, dump out yesterday’s coffee grounds
and filter, put a new filter in, scoop in some new coffee grounds, pour in the hot water,
and then wait for the coffee to slowly drip down and fill the pot.

Imagine how frustrating it can be for some people who desperately “need” that cup
of coffee, having to wait as long as five whole minutes to get their coffee so they can
begin their work.

Now imagine waiting 40 years before you can get started on your work!
That’s the story of Moses. Many of you may know Moses as the man who led the
Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. But did you know that Moses had to wait 40 years
before he was ready to do the job God had given him?

Moses was raised in the palace by Pharaoh’s daughter, but he was an Israelite who was
well aware of his heritage thanks to his birth mother. Moses saw the way the Egyptians
were treating the Israelites, and he wanted to help them. In fact, one day he killed an
Egyptian for mistreating a Hebrew slave.

But violence was not part of God’s plan for Moses, and these actions led to him living in
exile as a shepherd. He lived in the wilderness, far from the splendor of Egypt, tending
sheep for his father-in-law. Then one day, 40 years after leaving Egypt, God spoke to
Moses through a burning bush and told him to return to Egypt.

God has a plan for all of our lives. For some people, those plans are difficult to see. For
others, they could not be clearer. But whether God gives you a clear calling or keeps
you guessing, remember the story of Moses. Wait on the Lord, and let him tell you
when it is time to act. You may think you have it all figured out, but God sees many
things we cannot see. Wait on the Lord, and you will be amazed at his perfect timing.

 

To download this story, click here:  Moses-Coffeemaker

Bible Story–Nehemiah

rattvik-white-wine-glass__26356_PE095991_S4PROP: A wineglass
KEY SCRIPTURE: Nehemiah 1-2

Today, I want to tell you about a man whose job was to serve glasses like this. Actually, his job
was a little more complicated than just serving drinks. His official title was “cupbearer.” That
means he served drinks to the king and his court. But that’s not the end of it either. Sometimes,
before serving the king, the cupbearer tasted the king’s drink. Do you know why he did that?
Because the king was afraid of being poisoned! If the cupbearer drank and didn’t become ill, the
drink was safe. If the cupbearer got sick or died—well, the king didn’t drink the wine. How would
you like that job?

Because of the nature of this job, cupbearers were highly paid. They were also among the most
trusted people in the palace because the king literally put his life in the cupbearers’ hands. So
when I tell you that Nehemiah was a powerful man who had great wealth and the king’s ear in
ancient Persia, you get an idea of just what I mean.

But Nehemiah was not a Persian. He was an Israelite, and as a young boy, he was taken from his
homeland as a prisoner when Babylon conquered Israel. It says a lot about Nehemiah that a slave
boy would grow up to be one of the king’s most trusted servants.

Nehemiah loved the king, and he had a very comfortable life in Persia. But when Nehemiah
learned about how things were in his homeland, he became greatly troubled. The city of
Jerusalem was in ruins. The walls were still broken down, and the city’s most beautiful places lay
in ruins. Nehemiah wanted to do something, so he began to pray.

Nehemiah felt the Lord leading him to go back to Israel. He went to the king and told him about
this, and the king allowed his servant to return home. There, Nehemiah became one of the new
leaders of Israel. Nehemiah spent the next several years of his life living among ruins and working
hard to rebuild a conquered city that was constantly under threat of attack.

Can you imagine giving up a position of power like Nehemiah? Imagine leaving a big, fancy house
and an important job to go live in a war zone. Yet that’s what Nehemiah did. He didn’t consider
how much harder life would be. He didn’t even think about how dangerous it might be. Someone
had to start rebuilding the nation of Israel, and when God called, Nehemiah didn’t hesitate to go.
Someday, God may call on you to leave your nice home, your safe city, or maybe even your
country. He may call you to go someplace dangerous. He may send you into a war zone.

Someday, God might call you to do something even more terrifying—like becoming friends with
a kid at school nobody likes or standing up for the truth when no one else will. When that time
comes, remember the man who held the king’s cup. He didn’t stop to think about all that it would
cost him to obey God. He simply obeyed.

 

To download this story, click here:  Nehemiah-Wineglass