Youth Group Lesson on Temptation

But say your friends all want to eat inside and make fun of other customers while they’re enjoying their Blizzards and DQ burgers and fries. You know this behavior isn’t right, but a part of you notices how funny your friends are acting and how they’re laughing and joking, so you choose to join in.

Now you could have said, “Hey guys, let’s not do this; it isn’t right,” or maybe you could have excused yourself. But if you choose to sit there and make fun of people with your friends, you just gave in to the temptation.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:11 (NIV)

“Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Now although temptation is a very powerful thing, God has given us an escape plan that will help us get out of compromising situations. God’s escape plan for us is the instructions we find in His word.

The Bible says in Psalm 119:11:

Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

This simply means that as we study and learn more about the word of God, we are making a deposit into our spirits (or our hearts). It’s just like having a bank account; you can only withdraw money that has first been deposited.

Every time you are faced with making a choice to do right or wrong, God will remind you of His word that has been deposited in your heart, and if you will listen to His voice you can make the choice not to fall into sin (or withdraw).

We are totally unable to endure temptation on our own. We cannot stand against the pressure of sin without the help of God. He is the only one who gives us strength, and if we follow His blueprint, we will be able to stand. He is the Master of the Maze.

I need a volunteer.

Before you is the maze you went through earlier.

This maze represents your life.

Have the volunteer walk through the maze and hit all the temptations along the way. As the volunteer approaches each temptation, hold it up for everyone to see.

For each temptation, ask:

• What is appealing about this temptation?

• What is dangerous about this temptation?

When you’ve gone through all the temptations, have the volunteer sit down.

Say:

As you travel through the maze of life, you’ll be faced with temptations of all kinds.

You will have to make a choice whether or not to fall into the tempting moment or to say no and move forward.

It may be easy at first, but it will get more difficult as time progresses.

Has someone ever lied about you before? Do you remember how painful it was and how vulnerable it made you feel? When someone lies about you it makes you feel horrible because people will look at you differently.

And it may take a while for the truth to come out, which adds to your misery because you know in your heart that what the other person said about you was not true.

So you try to explain and justify yourself, but if you can learn to give these situations to God and ask Him to reveal the truth, He will. It may take time and may not happen when you’d hope, but God will always allow the truth to be revealed.

Lust and envy derive from wanting someone or something so bad that you’ll do anything to get what you want. Have you ever wanted someone or something so bad that it drove you crazy?

It’s Monday morning, second period, World History, and everyone is taking their seats. After roll call, Ms. China (your teacher) passes out test papers and instructs everyone to take out their pencils, be quiet and to do their best. You did not study over the weekend, and you’re seriously thinking about cheating.

Instead of taking the time to study and prepare for the exam, you went to the movies, stayed up late playing X-box or whatever you do.

You chose not to go over the material Ms. China gave you last week.

Now it’s the day of the test, and you’re not ready. So you decide to cheat because you NEED a passing grade, when in reality, all you had to do was buckle down and discipline yourself to study.

Then you could have received a passing grade without taking the risk of cheating, maybe even getting caught and ultimately failing the class.

The temptation to do things you know you shouldn’t do is something you will face the rest of your life, but as you mature, you will come across different levels of tests; that’s a guarantee.

There’s no way around it. We are all tempted, but God is so faithful. He promised to help us along the way. We are not in this alone. We do not have to fight temptations by ourselves. God’s word is jam-packed with promises of protection.

If we will take the time to read His word and develop a relationship with Him, we will find that when we feel weak, He is always strong.

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS

1. Have you been tempted to do something wrong lately?

2. How did you handle it?

3. Did you notice or recognize God’s escape plan during the temptation?

4. Do you know what it means to hide God’s word in your heart?

5. Have you seen the movie The Maze Runner, and if so, can you relate to Thomas and his friends trying desperately to escape the maze and the Grievers? (optional question)

6. Have you ever felt like you were trapped in a maze of decisions?

7. What has been the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make in your life?

8. Which of the temptations that are common to mankind have you experienced?

9. What does it mean that God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear?

10.Do you believe that having a relationship with God will help you during your moments of temptation? If so, how?

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ndiliberto@churchleaders.com'
Over twelve years ago Nick Diliberto lauched a preteen ministry with a handful of volunteers and about 25 kids. Over the years it grew to over 100 kids and has impacted hundreds of young people's lives. Nick is the driving force behind PreteenMinistry.net, Children's Director at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, workshop speaker and author of an ongoing preteen column in Children's Ministry Magazine.