Shining for Jesus

Science with a twist

Stage two attempts to clean pennies with a salt and vinegar solution. (The first fails by not following instructions).

Discussion point: The Holy Spirit helps us obey God’s instructions.

You will need some dirty pennies, two small bowls, salt, vinegar, cotton swabs (the double-ended stick swabs) and a copy of these paragraphs to serve as your “instructions.”

  • Begin by telling your children that you need to clean some pennies and you have read that you can use vinegar to clean them.
  • Put some pennies in the bowl. Dip a cotton swab in vinegar and try to clean the pennies. (You might see a slight cleaning effect, but nothing significant.)
  • Pretend that you are disappointed in the results. Then say, “I guess I should have read the instructions more carefully.” Consult your instructions and then say, “Now I understand! I was supposed to mix salt into the vinegar.”
  • Now have your children help you stir 1 tsp. of salt into ¼ cup of vinegar. Have them stir until the salt is dissolved.
  • When the salt is completely dissolved, allow your children to put the pennies into the mixture. You may need to stir the solution a bit, but the results will be startlingly different – your efforts will produce some clean and shiny pennies.
  • Explain that we are like the vinegar and the salt is like the Holy Spirit. We can try to be obedient on our own, but it is hard to obey when we try to do it in our own strength. It is much easier to obey when we ask God for help from His Holy Spirit.
  • Give each of your children a shiny penny to remind them how brightly their righteousness shines when they obey God.
  • Pray with your children, asking God to give them a desire to obey.
Question for discussions
  • What did I do wrong the first time?
  • Which instruction did I not follow at first?
  • Where do we find God’s instructions?
  • Who can help you obey God’s instructions?
  • What does the Bible say about children obeying their parents?
  • What does God promise to children who do obey their parents?
  • What does God say He will do for those who choose righteousness?
Relevant Scripture

John 14:15-17 “If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth…

John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Psalm 37:5-6 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘That it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth.’ ”

Colossians 3:20 “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”