Tonight was Wildlife at our place. Wildlife is our very messy and very loud middle school only worship gathering. It happens once a month and since it is on Thursday we get a collection of students from a variety of churches.
Tonight I pulled out one of my favorite messy games and object lessons to teach one of my points. At wildlife we normally play about 4 or 5 games that are boys against the girls and then go into our worship/teaching time. Tonight the last game was actually the object lesson for later in the teaching time. I asked the students if they knew what the word lavished meant. None of them did. So I brought out two hotdogs and put a little mustard on them.
“This is some mustard,” I said. Then I poured the mustard on there pretty thick. “This is a lot of mustard.” I said as the two students who were about to eat the hotdogs just stared at me. “This is lavished” I said and emptied a bottle of mustard on each hotdog. Then I let them eat the dogs (no hands of course) and the first one to finish won.
Thirty minutes later we are in our teaching time. Now understand that the teaching time at Wildlife is a chore at best. There are 15-20 middle school students who are hyped up on sugar, caffeine, the games, and the music, and then I try to teach them something. So things have been a little hectic, but we hit the last point that plays off of 1 John 3:1 where the NIV says “How great is the Father’s love that he has lavished on us” and I ask the students, “So what is lavished?”
“More than you need,” says the guy who ate the hotdog.
The girl who ate the other dog pops in almost as fast. “Covered up,” she says. And not only did the two of them remember, but all of the students seem to understand what I was saying when I said that God loved us not just enough, but over and abundantly.
You just gotta love it when an object lesson really hits home. Of course the lavish love of God is even more amazing than that.