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Summary: Learn about what Silly Putty and Christians have in common in this creative message using one of America’s favorite toys!

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The Silly Putty Christian

The Gospel According To a Rubbery Toy

1/14/04

I. Introduction

During World War II an engineer at General Electric named James Wright was searching for a synthetic rubber substitute. In one of his experiments, he poured boric acid into a test tube filled with silicone oil, and it became a soft, malleable substance.

Imagine his surprise when he dropped a glob of the substance on the floor—and it bounced! With a little more investigation, Wright discovered that the substance could also be stretched, flattened, rolled, and sculpted into many different shapes.

Around the General Electric labs, the substance became something of a novelty. Soon many GE employees were taking some home to show their family and friends.

Unfortunately, the new substance proved to have a rather short shelf life, which made it useless for engineering purposes. It was dismissed by the GE engineers as an interesting, but worthless, discovery.

But a writer named Peter Hodgson became intrigued with the amazing substance after he saw it demonstrated at a party. Hodgson, a copywriter for a toy catalog, had a feeling that the failed rubber substitute would be extremely popular with children, even if it was not useful for engineers.

After testing the material for safety, Hodgson packaged the stuff in plastic eggs and added a name to it. Within months the weird rubber known as Silly Putty became one of the hottest-selling toys in American history.

In tonight’s message, we’ll compare this weird substance known as Silly Putty with Christianity. The Silly Putty Christian has a number of abilities that are in close relation to the abilities of Silly Putty.

II. Mold Me and Make Me

The Silly Putty Christian:

Is easily molded and shaped by the Master (allows God’s use)

Romans 9:20-21 “Who are you, a mere human being, to criticize God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who made it, "Why have you made me like this?" 21When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?”

Just like silly putty can be molded and shaped by its user, a Christian can be molded and shaped by God. The Bible declares that we are God’s masterpiece, his prized creation, but He doesn’t stop at just creating us in the womb of our mothers. He goes even further to molding us and making us into the kinds of people that He wants us to be.

III. Oh, The Pressure

Can be stretched and squeezed through pressure (Human)

John 16:33 MSG “33I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”

Jesus promised us that pressure would come, but it’s not to overtake us. And chances are we’ve all experienced pressure of some kind. Pressure to perform well in school. Pressure to play sports. Pressure to not beat up your little brother. Pressure to make tough choices at school.

And I believe that this pressure has a tendency to squeeze us, and in turn stresses us out. And the pressure can also stretch us. “I have to be at soccer practice at 3:30, I have a haircut appointment at 5:00, I have to study for three tests, I have to eat supper, I have to go to church at 7:00, and I have a ton of other things to do.” And as each thing tugs on you, you find that you’re stretched a little too thin, bringing you to the point where you break down. But don’t worry, it’s not a Humpty Dumpty Complex, because the hands of the Master can come in and put you back together again. Until the next time the pressure settles in, but you realize that instead of being stretched until you’re broken, you can bounce back.

IV. Bouncy Bouncy

Bounces back when thrown to the ground (overcomes trials)

1 John 4:4 “4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 5:4 “4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

You were made to overcome. You were made to bounce back when trials and pressure pushes you to the ground. You weren’t meant to stay there. You were built to hop back up and keep on keeping on. What is it that has knocked you down? Don’t let it keep you there, bounce back!

V. Mocking Bird

Can copy the fingerprints of the Master (imitates God)

Ephesians 5:1 “1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children”

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