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January 16, 2014 / BTM

What Difference Does Studying The Bible Make?

dripping sponge

We like to use object lessons to help our kids to grasp spiritual concepts.  I got the idea for this object lesson from a Children Desiring God workshop I attended.  We used this illustration to help our kids to begin to understand the difference that reading and studying the Bible will make in their lives. 

To kids, reading the Bible could be seen as a chore, or a ‘to do’ item on their list, or something to get out of the way in order to move on to more interesting things, or something to please their parents and keep them off their backs.  Obviously, it’s far more than that and we need to find ways to communicate that to them all the time.

Here’s a little object lesson to illustrate the difference between studying the Bible, and reading it just to ‘check it off a list’ or to please parents.

I set out a sponge, a sink half-full of water and a spray bottle filled with water.  I asked our kids why we read the Bible.  I got great spiritual answers in return:

To know how to live.

To obey God.

To get to know God better.

I agreed, and told them that there were two different ways to read the Bible, and that how we read the Bible affects everything.  I asked one of the boys to spray one squirt of water on the dry sponge.  This illustrated someone who read the Bible a little bit every day.  I asked the other boy to squeeze out the water from the sponge.  No water dripped out if it.  This sponge illustrates someone who only reads the Bible a bit, or who reads it but does not think about it and apply it to himself.  He will only know a little bit, and it is not likely to help him very much when he needs answers or is in a difficult situation.

We then compared this to the person who reads and studies the Bible a lot.  I had one boy hold the dry sponge under the water that filled the sink.  When that sponge was wrung out, a torrent of water rushed from it.  This sponge illustrated a person who knew his Bible and that knowledge helped him to make good decisions, make sure that his understanding of God was correct (theology), and get through difficult times.

Why does it matter how you read the Bible?  A tiny bit of Bible reading results in a tiny bit of knowledge.  A more in-depth reading of the Bible results in a lot more knowledge.   I got them to show me which sponge they would rather be (by dipping or spraying it) to help them to know:

What God wanted them to do with their life.

How to serve God.

What happened when they died.

How to treat money.

What to do when a tragedy happens.

What to do when they are tempted.

What to do when you they are scared.

What to do when they’d made bad choices or mistakes.

What is true.

I finished off by asking them: Would a knight go into battle without a sword?  Could your Bible be your sword if you only get a little spray of water from it every day?  Would your Bible be a lamp to your feet if you only got a little spray of water from it every day?

This is a great accompaniment to the posts I wrote earlier this week.  Use it to launch your kids into greater study of God’s word.  I’d love to hear what you do at your home to teach your kids to delve into the Bible!


Leave a Comment
  1. Kimberly / Jun 27 2015 10:02 pm

    Awesome way to illustrate the importance of Bible study! Thanks for sharing this! I teach a teen Sunday school class (12-18 but most right now are 12 to 16) and they love object lessons. This will work great for in the morning! 🙂

  2. Beth / Jul 17 2015 12:05 pm

    This is a simple yet effective illustration! I am excited to use it in children’s church this Sunday!

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