Supplies: Piece of wood, stain, paint brush, covering for table/floor, rag or paper towels
A carpenter or painter walks into the room with the wood and the stain to talk about a DIY (Do It Yourself) project. The painter explains that the wood may have some flaws (use sandpaper to smooth some of the rough spots if you want). They then go on to show how to apply the stain to the wood evenly and smoothly.
“You know”, the painter says, “this reminds me of what James wrote (James 1:22 NIV) – Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. You’ve been learning about the Bible, how it’s a special book, breaking it down so it’s easier to understand and you learned about some of the cool tools to help you understand it. But it isn’t any good if you just hear it thinking you’re growing in the Lord. You need to do what it says, or in other words, apply it to your life.”
“See, you’re like this piece of wood. You’re not perfect, you have some flaws. Sometimes God will ‘rough us up’ and sand out some of our rough spots. What we need to do is to apply the Word of God (the Bible) to ourselves. Just like this stain. As we apply the Bible to our lives, it becomes a part of us. When people see us, they should see Jesus, just like you see the stain on the wood. When God looks at us, He sees Jesus and not our sin, but if you look close, you will still see some flaws in the wood. People you know may look past Jesus in your life and see some of those flaws. That can be hard at times, but keep applying God’s Word and people will begin to see more of Jesus and less of your flaws.”
Note: This can also be modified to show how the blood of Jesus (His sacrifice on the cross) covers our sin. To do this, I would recommend using red paint instead of stain.