In the Balance

God’s goodness and strength is bigger than our weaknesses and failures.

The Object Lesson – Balance Scale

This lesson includes a simple balance scale that might be used for an elementary science class. The purpose of these scales is to compare the mass of two different objects. By placing an object on each side of the balance you can discover which item (or collection of items) has more substance.

I used some children’s building blocks as the objects to place in the balance. I used several smaller legos to place on one side, and a large duplo block to put on the other side of the balance. You could easily replicate the demonstration using rocks, weights, or any other item as long your one large object has more mass than all of the smaller items.

The point of this lesson is that no matter what excuses we might make, God’s goodness and strength is bigger than our weaknesses and failures. When you compare the obstacles in front of us with God’s ability it immediately becomes clear which one is more “massive.”

Bible Lesson – Mary’s Trust in the Impossible

In the Christmas story (Luke 1:26-38), Mary serves as a model for humble submission and obedience. Mary is given the extraordinary task of being the mother of God’s son. She could have made dozens of excuses as to why this wasn’t going to work. She was a virgin. Joseph might leave her. Her family might cast her out. There were dozens of reasons this plan should fail.

In the story, the angel doesn’t try to logically convince Mary that things will be ok; instead, he reminds Mary about the power of God Most High. This is the trump card. God’s power is bigger than any of the obstacles we might point out. Mary is obedient to God’s plan in part because she recognizes that God’s power was always going to be big enough to accomplish his plan.

We see this same appeal to God’s greatness play out throughout the Bible. Moses has a lot of excuses at the burning bush. Jeremiah is too young. Gideon feels inadequate. Each time, God proves that his power is always greater than the obstacles that might keep us from being obedient.

Other Scriptures to Study

Here are some examples of people making excuses to God, and how God overcomes their obstacles through his great power.

Moses & The Burning Bush – Exodus 3

Moses has a whole list of reasons he won’t be able to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. God reminds him that Moses won’t go alone, he will have the full power of God with him.

Gideon and the Midianites – Judges 7

God chooses an insignificant leader and a small army to defeat the invading Midianites. The entire story is designed to show how God delivers the Israelites even though the odds are stacked against them.

Zechariah and the Baby – Luke 1:5-25 & 39-45

Zechariah can’t imagine how he and elderly wife could possibly have a kid. Despite his doubts (and the obstacles of biology), God uses Zechariah and Elizabeth to produce John the Baptist.

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More Lessons

Trust in God’s Power

God must be the source of our strength. On our own, life is too hard. We get tired. We give up. We fail. But when we trust in him, are able to keep going. Our strength is renewed. What we cannot face on our own, we endure because our strength comes from him.

Magical Growing Animals

Christ wants to change us beyond just the surface level; he wants to transform us so deeply that even our patterns of thought are renewed.

God Never Changes

We can trust in God because of his unchanging faithfulness. God was perfect. He is perfect. He will always be perfect. This is why we build our life upon him and his promises.

The Law of the Pendulum

Do we really trust Jesus with everything? Do we trust in him to provide for our future? Do we trust him to protect us when we take risks on his behalf? When the rubber meets the road, do we trust him more than our fears?

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