Teaching Goal: As we build our lives, Christ is our foundation and scripture is our “plumb line.”
Amos 7:7-9 Thus He showed me, and behold, the
Lord was standing by a vertical wall, with a plumb line in His hand. And the Lord said to me, “What do you see Amos?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “Behold I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of My people Israel. I will spare them no longer.”
Isaiah 28:16-17 Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, a costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. And I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the level.”
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.
Heavy washer or weight to tie on string
Paper & Marker
Optical illusion graphic included with this activity
Large piece of paper (flip chart or butcher block paper works well)
Sticky notes or small square papers with tape on the back
Small building blocks (the Jenga game works well if you stack them on the sides or square baby blocks or legos stacked on the sides, not connected)
In Advance: The goal is to create visual lines on a wall that make it challenging to hang things straight. First, draw several slightly angled lines on a large piece of butcher-block paper. Tape the piece of paper on the wall also at a slight angle. Draw several “X’s” on the paper away from the edges. (see image). You may want to tilt a chair near the piece of paper to provide a more confusing visual image.
Play theme song
Review last lesson
Lesson and discussion
Words written in bold are when the leader is speaking. Feel free to use your own words.
A. We are going to learn about two important tools used in building. The first tool is a level. A level tells us if something is flat or tilted. Give everyone a turn to use the level but not on the piece of paper. The second tool is a plumb line. The plumb line measures straight up and down. Give everyone a turn using the plumb line.
There is a book in the Bible about a man named Amos. Amos was a shepherd. Can you think of other shepherds in the Bible? David. The shepherds who came to see the baby Jesus. God gave Amos visions, which are like dreams about things that were going to happen. One of the visions was about a plumb line:
Invite a volunteer to read Amos 7:7-9. The Israelites were not following God’s commandments. They were worshipping other idols. God’s commandments are the plumb line, and when He measured the Israelite’s actions against His commandments, they didn’t line up. This did not please God.
B. ACTIVITY #1: Ask each child to hang a sticky note, level, on each of the “X’s.”
The large piece of paper represents being human. All of us have sinned; we’ve all done things that are wrong, which is why the paper is hung at an angle and not straight.
The slanted lines represent the culture in which we live. There are things that are legal, but are not right for Christians to do. That is why the lines are not straight on the paper. For example, there are lots of movies we can watch, but God does not want us to watch all the fighting, immodest behavior and bad language in movies.
The sticky notes represent our actions. Even when we want to do what is right—like trying to hang the notes straight—it can be difficult because of the influences of our sinful natures and culture. Use an example from your child’s life: language; friends; obedience; TV shows or movies.
Have each child use the plumb line to see if their sticky note is level. Adjust the notes so that they are level. The plumb line represents God’s word, the Bible. If we follow God’s directions, then our actions will line up with God’s directions. Show them the optical illusion drawing. Use the level and plumb line to see if the long lines are straight or angled
C. ACTIVITY #2: God gave us Jesus to be the cornerstone of our life. A cornerstone is the most important stone in a building’s foundation. It is very strong and solid. When building a structure, if the cornerstone is weak or placed wrong, the whole structure will be weak and unstable. Jesus is the cornerstone for our lives. If we build our lives on Him, then we will be strong in the faith and stable. If He is not our cornerstone, then our lives will be weak and unstable.
Use the level to see if the blocks are flat. Have the children see if they can stack all the blocks into a stable tower. With a solid, level foundation we can build a tall tower. With Jesus as our foundation in life, our activities will be good and right.
Now take five (or ten) pieces of typing paper and put the bottom block half on and half off of the stack of paper. Talk with the children about how when the foundation is not level, even a little bit, you cannot build a straight high tower. These pieces of paper represent doing things in our lives that are not pleasing to Jesus. Anger. Disrespect. Selfishness. Greed. When Jesus is not our foundation, then what we do in life will crash.
- If we use God’s rules of thumb, Then our lives will line up plumb.
- 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.
VI. Close in Prayer
VII. Pass it on: make an extra copy of this lesson and pass it on to another family.