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A simple puzzle object lesson and Jeremiah 29:11-13 can teach us God has a plan for our life! We may only see a few pieces, but God can see the whole! We can trust Him!
Object Lesson Topic: God has a plan we can trust.
Title: "God Holds All the Pieces"
Bible verses: Jeremiah 29:11-13
Key Takeaway: We can trust God holds all the pieces and has a plan for our life.
Prep: Use a 24 piece puzzle to write Jeremiah 29 on the back of the pieces as in the picture above. Leave two pieces blank and remove them from the rest. Place a sheet of paper on one wall with MY WAY written and another sheet on the opposite wall with GOD'S WAY written.
Lay the pieces of the puzzle face down with the Bible verse words facing up. Ask students if they know what the picture will be when the puzzle is put together. When we buy a puzzle do we usually know what the picture will be? How? (The picture is on the box.)
God knows the whole picture of our life and He has a plan we can trust.
Have each student pick up one or two pieces of the puzzle. Hold up the verse, Jeremiah 29:11, to read together. Ask them to hold up the pieces they have when they hear them in the verse.
Read the verse out of several translations and discuss so students understand other words for welfare & calamity. Give them time to put the puzzle together using the verse.
When they realize there are a couple of pieces missing, ask them if the verse was still complete. The point is that God gives us free will; we make choices and sometimes they are the wrong choices, but that doesn't mean our life is ruined!
Have students look up Jeremiah 29:11-13 in their Bibles. Read out loud.
"For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."
God had Jeremiah write this to His people after they had wandered away from Him and began serving other gods or idols again. The consequences of their sin would be they would be taken away into captivity in Babylon for seventy years. He wanted them to have hope though and explained to them that He still had good plans for them if they would seek Him with their whole heart, He would be found.
Explain that God's plan is the very best for us, but He knew we would mess up. Therefore, He gives us hope by letting us know we can always come back to Him. When we turn away from going the wrong way (sin) and turn back to God, we call this "repentance." We make a complete turn around from going away from God and we turn to Him and seek His face with our whole heart.
Have students line up to walk towards a wall where you have written MY WAY; have them stop, turn around, and walk in the opposite direction towards a wall you have written GOD'S WAY.
Point out that even though a couple of pieces of the puzzle were missing; the complete verse was still there. God says we can always turn back to Him. He can forgive us and give our life meaning even when we may have lost a few pieces. Hope can always be found in Him!
*This gives a great opportunity to share about turning to God for salvation also.
There are many characters in the Bible that are wonderful examples for this puzzle object lesson:
Jacob - Genesis 27-32 - Jacob deceived his father Isaac, lied to him and stole His brother's blessing. That did not ruin God's plan for Jacob to become the father of the twelve tribes of Israel and the ancestor of Jesus though.
Moses - Exodus 2 tells us that Moses killed an Egyptian and had to flee Egypt; Moses turned back to God Who used Moses to lead His people out of Egypt and to the Promised Land
David - David had an affair with Bathsheba and had her husband murdered; David turned back to God and God continued His plan for David to be king and the ancestor of Jesus.
Peter - Peter denied Jesus three times, but when he repented, God used Peter to mighty ways.
These are but a few of the better known examples of God's restoration when we turn our lives back to Him. In this day and age when hope seems to be fleeting for so many they turn to suicide, our children and youth need to hear the message that God is able to forgive and restore. Don't give up!
God has a plan for our good not to harm us. He wants to give us a future and a hope.
We can't see the whole picture, but we can trust God knows and holds all the pieces in His hand.
Even when we sin and may destroy a few pieces, we can still turn back to God and He is there when we seek Him with our whole heart.
Give students a blank sheet of paper and pencil. Have them trace pieces of the puzzle and then write a prayer to God thanking Him for having a plan for their life and they can trust Him to hold all the pieces. Have them copy Jeremiah 29:11 to take with them to remember the truths of this puzzle object lesson.
© Copyright 2018 Susan Smart.
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