|Synopsis: What would Jesus do if he faced temptation? A look at how Jesus overcame temptation, and practical steps for youth to follow his example. Includes icebreaker and learning activities.|
Read the Conditions of Use Statement.
WWJD When Faced with Temptation?
Activate Your Audience
- A large piece of plywood or a cork board to serve as a dartboard
- Three standard darts
- Tape or tacks
- Permanent markers
- A simple reward for the winner of this game
Set up your "dartboard" in a safe place (preferably outside or in a garage). Pass out one balloon to each person. Ask everyone to blow up his/her balloon, tie it, write his/her name on it, and tack or tape it to the dartboard. Allow your group to take turns throwing darts at the board in an attempt to pop the balloons. Continue doing this until only one balloon is left. The person whose balloon is left will be declared the winner. Give him/her some type of reward.
Satan spends his days throwing fiery darts at you (Ephesians 6:16). He wants to sabotage your life. How can you win? How can you successfully avoid getting hit by his flaming arrows? You must have faith. You must navigate the minefield of life.
Build a Bridge
- 100 sheets of blank paper
- Permanent Marker
Before your group arrives, take the permanent marker and place a large "X" on anywhere from 25 to 50 of the sheets. Make sure that the "X" does not show through to the other side of the paper. Lay the sheets in the center of the room, arranging them in a 10x10 square. Randomly distribute the pages with the "X" face down in your arrangement to create a minefield. The sheets with the "X" represent mines. Your group will attempt to cross this minefield without stepping on a mine.
Ask for a volunteer. Allow him/her to attempt to cross the minefield according to the following rules:
- You may only advance one "square" at a time, either horizontally or vertically (not diagonally)
- Before you advance a square, turn over the sheet of paper to make sure it is not a mine.
- If you turn over a mine, you are "dead." You must turn the sheet back over to hide the "X" and return to your seat.
- If the sheet you turn over is not a mine, you may advance to that square and continue.
As each person tries to cross the game, encourage everyone else to shout directions about which way to go. Continue this game for as long as time allows and see who is able to cross the minefield successfully. It should become easier with each try because everyone will remember where the mines are.
In this game, you tried to guess the right way to go. Sometimes you were right, but many times you were wrong. You were able to learn which way to go based on the failures and successes of the people who went in front of you.
This minefield is like life. The mines represent bad choices, or sin. Satan will send many conflicting signals and voices, trying to get us to choose our own way. When we make wrong choices and sin, it’s like stepping on a mine. We face the consequences.
The blank sheets of paper represent good choices. In the game of life, only Jesus knows the way through the minefield. Rather than guessing with our own wisdom or listening to all those other voices out there, we follow Jesus through the minefield. We walk in his steps. He goes in front of us to show us the way, and he will never make a mistake.
1 John 2:6 says, "Anyone who claims to live in Jesus must walk as he walked."
Communicate the Word
A. You will experience temptation (Matthew 4:1; 1 Peter 5:8; Romans 7:15-21)
a. Why does God allow you to be tempted? (see 1 Peter 1:6-7)
b. What should your attitude be when you are tempted? (see James 1:2-4)
Make a plan to deal with temptation the next time it strikes. Arm your attitude and prepare to resist temptation when it comes.
B. Giving in to temptation has its price (James 1:13-15; Proverbs 15:10; 1 John 1:9-10)
a. Have you ever blamed someone else for giving in to temptation? Who?
b. What consequences have you faced as a result of your sin?
c. Can you think of any sins that you have not yet confessed to God?
The next time you face temptation, don’t look to pass the blame. If you do give in to temptation, be ready to face the consequences that come with it. Then, ask God to forgive you of that specific sin.
C. You can overcome temptation (Luke 4:1-12)
Sometimes temptation can seem so great that we feel powerless in its clutches. We think that the only way to escape the temptation is to give into it. God never allows you to be tempted beyond what you are capable of enduring. He always provides a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).
We discussed earlier that you have two natures inside you – a sinful nature and the nature of Jesus. When you face temptation, which of these two natures will win the fight for control of your will? The one you feed the most. If you spend your time feeding yourself a healthy diet of Jesus, you will be strong enough to fight temptation. If you spend your time feeding your selfish desires, you will be too weak to fight temptation. You can overcome temptation.
Do Something About It
Ask these questions to stimulate a discussion on how to handle specific forms of temptation.
- What is a temptation that youth face every day?
- How would Jesus deal with this specific temptation if he faced it?
- What Scripture would he quote?
- How would he pray?
- What good would he expect to come from resisting this temptation?
Close in prayer.
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