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Who doesn't love a brand new notebook?! This object lesson demonstrates how God can use us in amazing ways when we allow Him to give us a clean heart.
Topic: God can clean our heart and use us in amazing ways!
Title: New, Clean & Ready
Object: An Old & New Notebook
Bible Verses: Psalm 51, 1 John 1:9, Lamentations 3:22-23
Key Takeaway: When we have a clean heart, our lives can reveal the love of Jesus more clearly.
Ask how many bought new notebooks for the new school year. Is anyone using old notebooks from the past year again? Why or why not?
Show them an old notebook that has been written in and maybe torn a little.
Sometimes we feel like this old notebook. We have so much written in us or have been hurt by others that we don't feel like shining for Jesus anymore.
David felt this way when he wrote Psalm 51. Read aloud or have it printed out for each student. Have them raise their hand or underline when they hear or read any word that makes them think of the the tears or marks in the used notebook such as transgression, sin, iniquity, etc.
Focus on verse 10 where David asks -
"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me." ESV
Explain that all of us experience the same things as David. We are not only all sinners, but we live in a fallen world filled with sin. Our lives can begin to look like the scribbled and torn pages of this old notebook. If we tried to write something new we were learning, it would be hard to read because it would have all the other scribbles and tears.
There is hope though! Just like David called on God to give him a clean heart and a right spirit, we can too!
Think of some things from David's life that made him feel this way. (He was an adulterer, lier, murderer, etc.) Did God use David though? Name some ways. (He defeated Goliath, was a mighty warrior, became the best King of Israel, ancestor of Jesus, etc.)
God wants to use each of us too. His greatest desire is for us to first of all know Him through His Son, Jesus Christ and then for us to make Him known by sharing the good news of Jesus. When we go to God for cleansing, He makes us new (2 Corinthians 5:17) and our lives can more clearly declare the Gospel message when it's not among the scribbles and tears of our past mistakes and hurts.
God called David "a man after My own heart"(Acts13:22) not because David was perfect and never messed up, but because David understood his need for God, his need for God's forgiveness. No matter what we have done, no matter what marks or tears we have, we can turn back to God and He can give us clean hearts, right spirits, and use us in amazing ways when we trust Him.
John tells us in 1 John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Hold up the new, clean notebook now or give one to each student.
The Bible tells us God's mercies are new every morning just like a clean, new notebook. All we have to do is turn to Him and ask.
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV
Have a time of prayer. Have each student copy 1 John 1:9, Psalm 51:10 and/or Lamentations 3:22-23 in a new notebook or on a new sheet of paper. Have them take time writing a prayer to God asking Him to give them a clean heart and right spirit and then thank Him for doing so. Encourage them to continue using the notebook or a clean sheet of paper each day as a reminder that God makes all things new when we turn our lives over to Him. When we mess up or are hurt by others, He is always there for us to turn to.
Allow students to use permanent markers, paint pens and stickers to decorate their notebook to use as a prayer journal. This will be something they can take as a reminder of the truths of this object lesson.
Prayer journal templates can give them ideas to help them during their prayer time. This Doodle Prayer template is a fun way for them to keep their focus during prayer.
© Written by Susan Smart 2018
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