Object Lesson

Fire on a black backgroundOne of my fond memories of my days as a student pastor was teaching Children’s Church. I would often use object lessons to make the main point I was teaching about on a particular Sunday. I remember one I was teaching on the subject of God’s forgiveness and I was using “Flash Paper” that is often used in magic tricks. The cool thing about flash paper is that is appears to be tissue paper, but when you light it with a match it complete disintegrates without leaving any trace of ash or anything. I was showing the children how important repentance is to forgiveness and I was writing things down on the paper that they did that were wrong in God’s eyes. As I was coming to the conclusion of the talk, I folded up the paper and lit the match. It was all going so well at this point, however I didn’t realize that the “ball of fire” caused by the flash paper was in direct proportion to the size of paper used. When you light it, you must get rid of it. I remember the look on this one kids face as the ball of fire came right at him!  It came within about 3 feet of him before this huge ball of fire disappeared. I expected a call from the senior pastor, but I made it through. The point of forgiveness was made after everyone settled down from the “shock and awe” effect!

The Lord uses object lessons to teach us all the time. He uses things in creation, but in Hosea’s case He goes a different direction. Check this out….

2 When the Lord began speaking through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, and marry an unfaithful woman and have unfaithful children, because the people in this country have been completely unfaithful to the Lord.” 3 So Hosea married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Hosea’s son. (Hosea 1:2-3 NCV)

The Lord is communicating to His people through the prophet Hosea exactly how they behave toward Him. He is preparing to teach them something about themselves. It’s hard to see the error of our own ways sometimes without being called out. The Lord was about to call the people of Israel out for their disobedience. I want to be attentive to the Lord on a regular basis so He will direct my path or He will rebuke my misbehavior or affirm the direction of my life. I want to be open and teachable every day!

Pressing On!

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