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A Tempting Situation


To help us realize how temptation and our sinful nature combine to lead us into sin and understand how to resist.

Scripture Basis:

Matt 4:1-11, Rom 8:5, Heb 2:18. James 1:13-15, Isa 14:13-15

Activity :

Have 2 cups of water and a number of straws. Group the kids into two teams and have them pick team names. Have each teams have a water fight using only the straws. Emphasize water to be sprayed ONLY with the straws. Kids will ultimately choose to throw the cup. This will end the game. when they succumb to the temptations.

Have 2 teams and give each 5 balloons of the same color. .. Place tape on the floor 8 -10 feet apart. Separate the teams and make two lines facing each other standing on the 2 lines. Place the balloons on the floor in front of them. The goal of the game is for them to get as many of the other teams balloons as possible into their goal (behind them) using only their feet. After the game moves for a few minutes, have 1 player on one team use a pin to pop all his teams balloons. (have this pre-setup with only player.

(The goal of these exercises is to show how people will give in to temptation and break the rules when their desires to win overcome their sense of fair play.)

The BackDoor:

In the activity at least one of you could not resist breaking the rules. Ask students why and discuss.
Help them to see that their desire to win tempted them to break the rules. In the end their desires to win overcome their sense of fair play. This is their sin nature a work.

Students teach Students:

Have Kids read Matt 4:1-11 .. The Temptation of Jesus .. Have them try to decide who was the one tempting and what was his goal.

Key Message: One of Satan's goals was to get Jesus to act alone (on his own) without reliance on the Holy Spirit despite extreme circumstances. Another was to get Jesus to have his desires (to rule over all creation) immediately Satan's way rather than do it God's way. This is the same for us today. Satan wants us to think we have no alternative, we have to do something our way immediately in order to get what we want.

Read Romans 8:5 .. compare the 1st have of the verse with the 2nd half.

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Rom 8:5 (NIV)

Now is handling temptation easy? Did Jesus succumb to it? Was it easy for Jesus to resist ? Discuss...... Then look at Heb 2:18.

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Heb 2:18 (NIV)

Key Message: No, resisting temptation is difficult. Even Jesus suffered when he was tempted. Most of us would be tempted to steal food if we went 40 days without eating .. we seldom suffer this much. But for us today most temptation is much more subtle. Lets learn about wolf traps.

Story: How to Kill a Wolf - (Eskimo Style)

Up in the arctic circle there is tribe of Eskimo's who have learned to set a very simple yet effective trap for wolves. First they sharpen a knife razor sharp. Then they dip it in the blood of a seal they have killed. (you see seals are fairly easy to trap but wolves are very dangerous). After dipping the knife in blood they set it outside in the cold so the blood freezes on the knife. After if freezes (a matter of minutes) they dip it again into the seal blood and again take it out an let the blood freeze. Layer after layer they make a blood popsicle. When they are done, the knife's blade is hidden inside just like a popsicle stick. Now they take the knife out into the wilderness where they think a wolf might be. There the bury the handle of the knife in the snow leaving the blood popsicle standing up and they leave.
Now after a while a wolf will come along guided by his sense of smell and find the "bloodsicle". He will being licking it, enjoying every taste. Over and over he licks the knife and soon his tongue is so cold he cannot feel it any longer. It's numb. But his taste for blood is growing and he is not getting as much as he wants - you see, popsicles are slow eating. Finally his licking exposes the razor sharp edge of the knife. It cuts into his tongue again and again but he does not even notice for his tongue can no longer feel anything. The wolfs own blood now flows from his cut tongue. The wolf is thrilled, blood is now more plentiful and he continues to lick more and more.
Soon he notices something is wrong, he is getting weaker not stronger. Since he knows blood as food he increases his efforts to feed on the ever increasing flow of blood. His last thoughts are of how good the now warm blood tastes. Within minutes he licks his last and collapse next to the now fully exposed knife. Here the Eskimo knows he will find the wolfs body the next morning.

Now Satan's is capable of much more elegant schemes to trap us and injure us with sin than the Eskimo and we are often less wise than the Wolf. So Peter and Paul have both written to encourage us. They write -

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Pet 5:8 (NIV)
The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. ......, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. 2 Cor 2:9 &11 (NIV)

Key Message: The Bible teaches us that temptation itself is not sin. (see Heb 4:15). It begins with our natural desires and Satan. Satan knows about our sin nature just as the Eskimo knows of the wolves desire for blood. He then sets a trap for us and lies to us to convince us we must act outside of God will in some area of our life. Lets look a the SIN FORMULA found in James 1:13-15 (read it) and then write the SIN formula below on the board.

(Our Natural Desires + Temptation ) x Cultivation of thoughts = SIN

( Sin Nature) ( Satan's Lies) (fed by feelings) (Action)

Now a sin nature you already have and temptations will come, so there is only one place in the formula where you can stop sin . You resist temptation with the help of the Holy Spirit by stopping the cultivation of evil thoughts. You do this by following these steps.

  1. Listen to the little voice that reminds you what Jesus thinks about what you are considering. The little voice is the Holy Spirit if what is says agrees with Gods Word. (John 16:8)
  2. Learn what is sin and what is not.(Gal 5:19-26) Learn about the traps and then Agree with God on what's right and wrong (1 Thess 5:19)
  3. Ask Jesus for Help - pray ! (James 5:1 & Luke 22:40)
  4. Flee! Get physically away from the situation tempting you - don't stay near it! (2 Tim 2:22)
  5. Resist Satan's way and decide to follow Gods way ( James 4:7) Submit your will to Christ. (Luke 22:42)


Remember, in the final analysis, sin is always the result of saying "I WILL DO IT MY WAY". Interesting that these words are not only found in Sinatra's hit song of the 50's but also in Satan's very first sinful act.

You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." Isa 14:13-14 (NIV)