‘Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil’
Video Clip: Open todays session with a clip from ‘The Simpsons’. Episode ‘Marge Not Proud’ which can be found on ‘Bart Wars’ or ‘Simpsons Season 7’. Use the clip that shows Bart shoplifting.
Ask: In the clip the temptation to steal the video game for Bart was too much, obviously not all of us are shop lifters but what temptations do we have in our lives?
Explain: We are surrounded by temptations at different stages in our lives and they differ from different people, we often use the phrase ‘Can I tempt you…?’ or ‘I just couldn’t resist’ when it comes to things like eating too much…being tempted by that ‘oh just one more’ chocolate is a common temptation and in one form or another everyone is tempted…let’s look at Jesus…
Bible: Matthew 4: 1-11
Ask: What does the passage teach us about temptation? How should we respond to temptation? How do you think Jesus knew the things Satan was offering were wrong?
(Temptation is all around us but we can overcome it with the help of God…we learn what is wrong by knowing God and our bible)
Explain: The passage we’ve just read tells us that there is temptation everywhere and that sometimes we are tempted by the devil…perhaps not in such an obvious way as Jesus is but the two key things which tempt as are the devil and human desires. Paul describes (in Galations) our human desires as our ‘sinful selves’ but the passage also tells us that we can overcome temptation by being aware of it’s presence…but sometimes it just creeps up on us…
Bible: 2 Samuel: 11:2-6 (David & Bathsheba)
Explain: This story shows temptation creeping up on us…David is described as a man after God’s own heart yet we read here that possibly being unable to sleep he goes for a walk in the cool evening air on his roof, spots his ‘hot’ neighbor having a bathing and is tempted…after all she is beautiful and if in the bath presumably naked, and so he sends for her with the intention of sleeping with her…his temptation got the better of him!
The story teaches us that no matter how close we are with God we always need to be aware of temptation surrounding us because (as David & Bart prove) it’s so easy to make mistakes!
Ask: What temptations do you find the most difficult to cope with?
Skit: Put the group into three’s if you can and give each a temptation, tell them that one of them must play the part of a human, one an angel and one a ‘devil’. Explain that they need to put together a short sketch showing the human being tempted and each side (angel or devil) arguing their point of view/persuasion)
(Examples of temptation: cheat on a test, lie about homework not being done, drink excessively, go onto a dodgy website, watch a film you know your parents wouldn’t want you to see)
Skit: Get the group to show their skits to each other (leaders can do one too!)
Explain: We always have a choice of which voice we listen to, we can do what we know we shouldn’t or we can say no regardless of how hard it is to say no. Saying no to something can be bad for our social life, friendships or street cred (if you have any!) but is ultimately the better decision. When we ask God to lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil we ask him to help us to say no to things and be aware of temptations…we also agree to do our part of the bargain, God can’t say no for us…resisting temptation requires commitment on our side of things!
Hand out small pieces of paper to the group and ask them to write on their bit of paper a temptation they struggle with and then fold it up (reassure them these won’t be read!). Then pray for the group committing these struggles to God, asking Him to help the young people to be more aware of his presence in their lives and be aware that he can help them.