Scripture: Matthew 4; Luke 4
- Students will learn that Satan tempted even Jesus.
- Students will learn that Jesus did not sin even though he was tempted to sin.
- Students will learn that we always have a choice whether or not to sin.
- Students will learn that it is important to think about how you will handle temptation before it happens.
- Students will practice an activity to help them learn how to find godly options for avoiding temptation.
Guiding Question: How can we, like Jesus, avoid sinning when we are tempted by Satan?
Materials: paper, pens
Procedure: Review the story of the temptation of Jesus. Ask the students what are some of the things Jesus did to keep from sinning even though he was tempted. Remind students that even though we may not feel like it at the time, we ALWAYS have a choice when faced with temptation whether we will follow what God tells us to do or whether we will sin. Divide the students (with their Parents) into very small groups. Tell them you will give them a scenario of something that might happen to them. (Choose scenarios that would be coming in your area for a group of children their age that you are teaching. Situations will vary from place to place, but remember to include situations where the students would be tempted to lie, cheat, steal, covet, use physical violence, hurt someone, etc.)
Once you have read the scenario to the group, they have three minutes to come up with as many strategies as possible for avoiding sin when faced with that temptation. After the three minutes are up for each scenario, choose a different group every time to share their strategies. Then have the rest of the groups share any additional strategies they had. Encourage students to take the activity seriously, but humor is one way of avoiding temptation, so allow some strategies that may seem a little silly.
Do as may practical scenarios as you have the time to cover, allowing yourself about five or ten minutes for wrapping up the activity. In those last minutes have the students think about all of the strategies they had. Did some strategies seem to work for almost any temptation? What were they? (Make sure to add any strategies they didn’t consider like changing their group of friends, etc.) These should be the first things they consider when they are tempted . Remind them they should also constantly pray for God to help them avoid temptation.
- What are the steps for making godly choices?
Supplemental Activity: Have the students research the steps for making a godly choice. Answers will vary but should include the following steps:
- When you have a choice practice the steps for making food choices.
- State the question or problem that is creating the choice.
- List all of the possible choices.
- Cross out any choices that would not make God happy.
- Cross out any ungodly choices he/she missed and explain why that choice would also make God unhappy.
- Although all of the choices that are lift may be fine with God, there still may be choice that is better than the others.
- Pray about the choices that are still on the list. Ask God to help you make the best choice.
- For each choice left on the list think of all the good things and all the bad things that could happen from making that choice.
- Make the best choice.
- Talk with a trusted adult about the choice you made.
- Continue practicing these steps until you are able to go through the steps quickly if necessary.
Have the students help fellow students practice the steps using common choices students their age may have.