Supplies Needed: flat sponge, bowl of water
Ephesians 5:18 Do not be drunk with wine. That will ruin you spiritually. But be filled with the Spirit.
The Bible talks a lot about being filled with the Holy Spirit. The word used in this verse for filled means being continually filled. That means being filled, and filled, and filled again. It means to keep being filled with the Holy Spirit.
(show flat sponge) Can anyone tell me what this is? (If the children don’t know, let them know it’s a sponge that has never been wet. It’s called a flat sponge. Talk about how useless this sponge is without water just as the Christian is useless unless he’s filled with the Holy Spirit.
The sponge is hard. God doesn’t want us to have a hard heart toward Him. He wants to fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
This sponge is dry. Without the Holy Spirit filling us, our lives and passion for God can be dry. God wants to fill us with His Holy Spirit so that rivers of living water can flow out of us.
John 7:37-39 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
This sponge can’t wash or clean anything. Being filled with the Holy Spirit keeps us cleansed from sin.
John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’
Romans 8:2 Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Object Lesson Experiment:
(Dip the sponge in the bowl of water so it is a little wet. Let the children make observations on how the sponge has changed. It is wetter, bigger, softer, more useful. Dip the sponge again until it gets saturated.)
The more this sponge gets saturated with water, the more useful it is. The more we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the more useful we are to the Kingdom of God.
If I were to leave this wet sponge on the shelf, what would happen to it? It would get dried out and hard again. That’s the way we will get if we don’t continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost Sunday is June 4th this year. This is an important time for Pentecostal churches, yet many children’s ministries don’t take advantage of it to lead children into the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Here are some posts to help you while you plan for Pentecost Sunday.
John Wesley and his brother Charles were the founders of Methodism and preached during the first Great Awakening. He is also credited for later influencing the holiness movement and the Pentecostal movement. John was born in England in 1703. On May 24, 1738, on his way to preach in America, he met a Moravian missionary on the ship and experianced his evangelical conversion. Of that experiance, he said he felt, “his “heart strangely warmed”.
John Wesley had a powerful ministry to children. Here are a few of the quotes from his journals.
April 11, 1756. (Dublin) I met about a hundred children, who are catechized (instructed) publicly twice a week. Thomas Walsh began this some months ago, and the fruit of it appears already. What a pity, that all our preachers in every place, have not the zeal and wisdom to follow his example.
July 30, 1758. (Cork) I began meeting with the children in the afternoon, though with little hopes of doing them good; but I had not spoken long on our natural state before many of them were in tears, and five or six so affected, that they could not refrain from crying aloud to God. When I began praying, their cries increased, so that me voice was soon lost. I have seen no such work among children for eighteen or nineteen years.
January 17, 1772. (Hertford) I found the poor children whom Mr. A kept at school were increased to about thirty boys and girls. I went in immediately to the girls. As soon as I began to speak, some of them burst into tears, and their emotion rose higher and higher. But it was kept within bounds until I began to pray.
A cry then arose, which spread from one to another, till almost all cried aloud for mercy, and would not be comforted. But how the scene was changed when I went to the boys! They seemed as dead as stones, and scarce appeared to mind anything that was said, nay, some of them could hardly refrain from laughter.
However, I spoke on, and set before them the terrors of the Lord. Presently one was cut to the heart, soon after another, and another. In ten minutes the far greater part of them were affected as the girls had been. Except at Kingswood, I have seen not such work of God upon children for above thirty years.