More objects that Talk and Teach
Fifty-three Helpful Object Lessons for Children’s Groups
LOUIS T. TALBOT, D.D.
Pastor, Church of the Open Door Los Angeles, California
OBJECTS: A mirror (preferably a large one) and your Bible.
SCRIPTURE: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee” (Isaiah 60:1).
I have brought with me today, girls and boys, the most honest thing in town. It is a mirror. When you have a dirty face the mirror will certainly tell you about it. When you have a face that is funny-looking, this mirror will tell you about that too. You cannot deceive the mirror and it always gives you an honest answer, even if it hurts you to hear it.
Here is another mirror (Bible) even though it does not look like one. This is a very special kind of mirror. It is a mirror of your heart and of your mind. I have known folks who did not like to look into glass mirrors because they had odd faces. But there are more folks who will not look into the pages of God’s Book, because it most assuredly tells them what kind of sinners they are.
A mirror has one job and that is to reflect. Whatever image is placed in front of it, that is what the mirror will shine back to you. Did you ever think that our main job in life is just to do that very thing, to reflect the love of God and to show forth Him Who is the light of the world? Sometimes small boys get a mirror and catch the sun in it and flash it in folks’ eyes. This is not very good for the eyes, but if we, as living mirrors, would adjust ourselves to catch the rays of God’s well beloved Son and then shine them into folks’ hearts, we would be doing a great work!
This Bible is like a telescope mirror. As the mirror of the telescope gathers in it the beauty of the whole heavens and focusses it on the earth, so the Bible gathers into one small Book all the love and compassion of Almighty God and shines that in our hearts.
There are many good lessons from mirrors. One is this, that if you smile at a mirror it will surely smile back at you. In this manner we all ought to be mirrors. Not only should we smile if others smile at us, but we should smile at others first and then see the answering smile from them. This is one of the tasks of true Christians.
But, of one thing we must be sure, and that is to see that the mirror is clean. How can you reflect the love of God clearly if you are not clean? The things of the world are the things that soil us. God’s Word tells us to come out from them and be separate. I do want to be a mirror that is clean, don’t you?
I played a game the other night in which we had to draw a picture looking into a mirror, and my, what a funny picture I drew that way? There is a verse over in I Corinthians 13 which tells us that life today is like that, for now we see through a glass darkly, but there is coming a day in which we shall see face to face. I am waiting and hoping for that glorious day to come. But until that day, I am going to endeavor to remember to be a bright and clean mirror so that the love of God and the glory of Christ may be reflected through me to those who do not know our Saviour.
OBJECTS: A large bunch of keys. (Borrow a ring from some Janitor.)
SCRIPTURE: “I beseech you therefore, brethren…, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1).
I used to know a small boy who just loved to carry a large bunch of keys dangling from his belt. There was something about the jingle of the keys as he walked that he liked. Do you know, I believe that all boys are like that, and girls too. Even though they do not carry around real keys, like this ring I have in my hand, still each girl’s or boy’s life is like a great castle, and there are many rooms in it, the keys to all these rooms being carried by the girl or boy.
Here is an extra large key on this ring. Surely, this must be to the door, or gate to the castle. If anyone comes into the life, he must first possess this key. This is like salvation, for we must first take the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, and that is just like giving Him this large key to our castle.
It is a strange thing, however, that some people give the Lord Jesus this large key to the door of their castle, but do not give Him the keys to the rooms that are in it. That is, there is the room where they keep their pleasures, and the room where they keep their money. Here is the key to the radio room, and here is the key to the business room. This key opens the door to the room where they keep their friends, and this one opens the door to the room of ambition. I am sure that the Lord Jesus is not at all happy, nor are we ever happy, until He possesses all the keys. Surely, He can be trusted to have all the keys to all the rooms in my life. If I do not present Him with the whole key ring, it means that I do not trust Him, or that I want to keep something back from Him. Our lives can never be fine or clean or truly successful until Jesus not only lives within the castle of our lives, but until He possesses all the keys.
I once heard of a young lady who was a Christian but who did not want to turn over the key to the room of her life’s ambition to Jesus. She was afraid that if she did, Christ would send her to China to be a missionary. So, she went to her pastor and told him about it. He was a very wise man. He told her that she could safely trust the Lord Jesus with the key to that room, and he was sure that she would never be asked to go to China unless she wanted to go there more than anything else in life. Do you know, girls and boys, for this is a true story, six months after she turned over that key to the safekeeping of the Lord Jesus she loved the Chinese people so much, and she desired so much to be a missionary, that she said she would rather die than not go to the Chinese people to tell them of Christ.
I do hope that we have not only given the Lord Jesus this large key to the door of the castle of our lives, but that we have presented Him with all the keys to all the rooms so that our lives can be truly successful in Cod’s sight.
OBJECTS: Several bright colored pencils with erasers and one pencil which is about used up. (Giant pencils are impressive.)
SCRIPTURE: “Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
I am sure that you girls and boys will immediately be thinking of school as I take these pencils out of my pocket, and I want that they should teach us some real lessons today. Look at them all with their different colored dresses and suits. They remind me of you because you all do not wear the same kind of clothes, but dress in all colors. And after all, it does not matter what color is on the outside of the pencil, does it? The important part of any pencil is the inside. So it is with girls and boys. What is really important is whether or not their hearts have been cleansed by the precious blood of Christ.
What is on the end of these pencils? Erasers, of course, and they are used to correct mistakes. When you make an error in school you just take the end of the pencil and rub it out. However, oftentimes the eraser leaves a mark which the teacher can detect. She can tell that you have made an error because of the mark on the paper. But did you know, little friends, that when God for Christ’s sake wiped out your sin, that not even the smallest mark was left? Your heart, if you have taken Christ as your personal Saviour, is just as clean as if you had never sinned at all.
Now, these pencils are all about the same size, but I have one in my pocket that is just a very small one. That is, it has just about been used up. Now as I hold one long one and one which is short, I am going to ask you a question about them. One of these pencils represents a man and one a boy. Which is the boy? Well,
I thought that you would say that the short one is the boy, but you are wrong. The long one is the boy and the short one is the man, and I will tell you why. It is because the boy has so much longer to live than the man and he has more to write. This is why the Lord Jesus is so much interested in the salvation of girls and boys, because when you save a child you also save a life.
Let me put something else before you. If this pencil represents a boy, then it is quite important who writes with this boy. I can think of some very wicked persons who might like to gain control of a boy and use him for bad purposes. Just as thieves and robbers would use a pencil to write things that were wrong and unclean, just so the devil would like to get boys and girls, too, to live lives of sin. But I am glad that there is another Person who would like to write with girls and boys, too. This great Person is none other than the Lord Jesus. He is up in the glory-land now, but He will use you and me to tell His story to those who need to hear it so badly if we will place ourselves in His hand. I want that I should be placed in Jesus’ hand so that He might tell the glad story of His gospel to others through me. And I am sure if I tell Him that I want to be in His hands He will take me up and He will keep me there all my life through. Will you each one be sure to tell that to Jesus, so we shall each one be as a pencil in His hands to tell the glorious news of His love for the world?