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Be Careful

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BE CAREFUL — IT IS A TRAP 

Scripture: Romans 12:1–2; 1 Corinthians 6:19–20; 1 John 2:15–17

Memory verse: 1 Corinthians 3:16
"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?"

Lead—In

Ask the students if they have ever been tricked into doing something. Let them tell how they felt when they discovered it was a trick. Explain that it can be irritating and embarrassing to be tricked, but people are often fooled.

Ask the students to give you a definition of the word “deceived”.

Hearing God’s Word

Ask: “Has anyone ever offered you a cigarette, a beer, or other drugs?” (Allow responses.)

Some young people your age are involved with those things because in some areas it is the “in” thing to do. If you do not smoke, drink, or take drugs, the other schoolmates may think you are not “with it.” Many young people do not want others to think they are different or weird, so they go along with what others are doing. Satan wants you to do that.

Sin’s Illusions

The happiness and acceptance that others seem to have from doing these activities is all an illusion. Bad habits are presented by TV programs and celebrities to look OK. The bad side is usually never shown. Ads and commercials about cigarettes and beer do not tell about lung cancer, deaths from drunken drivers, broken homes, or suicides. Illusions make drinking and smoking seem fun and a way to group acceptance.

Living Sacrifices

Let us see what God’s Word has to say about this life style by reading a couple of important Scripture passages. (Have the students read Romans 12:1, 2 in unison.)

Ask: “What do you think presenting our bodies as ‘living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God’ means?” (Allow responses.)

We are to offer ourselves completely to God. Nothing should be in our lives that would keep us from doing our best for Him. Our thoughts, attitudes, and actions should all be in obedience to Jesus and bring honour to Him. This is not possible if we have sinful habits in our lives.

Temples of the Holy Spirit

Two other important Bible passages speak of our bodies as “temples” of the Holy Spirit. (Direct the students to 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:19, 20. Ask two or three students to read these passages aloud. Then repeat the memory verse together.) When we accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, the Holy Spirit becomes a part of our spiritual being. We become individual dwelling places, or temples, for the Holy Spirit.

In order for the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, we must keep clear of impure thoughts, attitudes, and actions. He will help us know when we are doing wrong by causing us to feel guilty about it. If we ignore His warnings and sin, He cannot live in us. He is the Holy Spirit—He cannot live with sin. If we sin, we need to truly repent and ask God to forgive us. Our temples will then be pure again. Be very cautious on the road to eternal life. Do not be fooled by side streets or roads that promise what they cannot give. Follow the road map—the Bible—for accurate directions.

One of the main problems with using things like tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs is that they may cause you to live and act in ways that do not honour God. They can affect your mind and body and cause you to do and say things you would not ordinarily do and say. Satan takes advantage of such situations. He knows your guard is down, and he uses that to get you in deep trouble. You not only hurt your own relationship with God, you also hurt your witness to others.

A Clean Vessel

In the Old Testament times the priests who served God in the temple had to use different kinds of vessels or containers for various duties. These containers had to be kept clean inside and out in order to be useful to God. It is the same way with our lives. Jesus wants us to be clean “vessels” by keeping our hearts and minds clean.

If we practice sinful habits, listen to filthy stories, fill our minds with the violence, sex, and hatred often shown on TV, and use swear words and dirty language, we are not pure; and the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in us. We are unclean vessels. Sinful practices can only harm us personally and also our relationship with Jesus. They will never bring true happiness.

Matthew’s Situation

Satan will use all kinds of pressure to get you to do things that displease God. Satan will often use pressure from your friends or other kids at school to get you involved in bad habits and actions. You might face situations like Matthew did in the following story:

Matthew was having a good year in school. He made good grades and        was one of the best athletes in his fifth grade class. Track, basketball, football and soccer—Matthew always came through with high scores. Everybody liked Matthew. To some he was the school hero.

Matthew went to Bible Study and Church and knew the importance of setting a good example. However, sometimes he was tempted to hang out with some of the really “in” guys at school. They acted grown-up and Matthew thought they were neat and exciting. Once in a while they would do some radical stunts, but usually they stayed out of trouble. Most kids admired these guys. Matthew wanted to be part of their group and be admired as well.

One day a couple of these guys came up to Matthew in the hall. “Hey, Matthew, how about joining us for a little fun Friday night. Andrew stole a six-pack of beer from his dad’s store, and we are going to have a party. How about it?”

Matthew did not know what to say. He knew the whole thing was wrong. Yet, if he went along with them, he could fit in better with the group. Everybody needs lots of friends, right? Besides, those guys were not really bad. They just like to have a good time once in a while.

Ask: “What would you do if you were Matthew? How should Matthew answer the guys who invited him?

How would Matthew’s relationship with Jesus and his Christian witness be affected if he goes along with them?” (Allow the students to discuss these questions. Some may have faced similar circumstances. Peer pressure is strong.)

Our Christian Witness

Going along with the crowd may be fun at first; it can make us feel accepted and liked, but it creates two problems right away. (1) It involves committing a sin by doing something that is wrong, thus hurting our relationship with God. (2) It ruins our witness for Jesus. Afterward others will think of us as just another member of the crowd. Our being a Christian will no longer be meaningful to them.

Rebuilding our Christian witness can take a long time. Sometimes the damage can never be completely repaired. Remember, Satan does not have to destroy you to get his way; all he has to do is destroy your Christian example and your relationship with God.

We must be careful and watch for Satan’s traps while travelling on the road to heaven. He will try to get us off that road by attacking us in our weakest area. We must “drive with caution” and recognize Satan’s traps by staying close to Jesus through daily prayer and reading God’s Word. If we know God and how He wants us to think and act, the Holy Spirit can help us resist when we are tempted to do wrong

It is tough to say no to kids who are popular. Everyone likes to be accepted. But be assured that if you are willing to take a stand for Jesus, others will respect you, even if they do not admit it out loud. It takes more courage to be a Christian than it does to go along with the crowd. Do not let Satan make you think otherwise and turn you into a coward who does whatever your schoolmates and friends pressure you to do.

When Jesus returns and we stand before God, all that will matter is how we lived our lives. First John 2:17 tells us, “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever”.

Accepting God’s Word

Explain that we are all born as sinners and are tricked by Satan at some time. That is why God sent Jesus to die for our sins. When we accept Him as our Saviour and Lord, the Holy Spirit will help us be wise and resist Satan’s traps.

The Holy Spirit’s leading can protect us from being hurt spiritually or physically from giving in to Satan’s lies about bad habits and lifestyles. Explain the plan of salvation and pray with each who wants to receive Jesus. Tell the students to stop and pray before making a decision under pressure from peers. Remind them to pray daily for strength to make wise choices—to do what Jesus would. Encourage them to share about their decision for Jesus with someone this week.

Urban Visit

When I arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, two friends agreed to take me to the Somali area of Eastleigh. I was surprised by the solid buildings and new construction in the development. I learned that Somalis, a majority in the community, are laundering pirate money to fund these beautiful buildings.

It appeared that about 20 percent of the women wore the Muslim veil— an indication of radical Islam's influence in the area. Traditionally Somali women have worn head coverings but not veils.

We stopped at a rather nice hotel for coffee. The place was well-managed and the service was excellent. Later we walked down a street lined by small shops. The Somalis didn't appear to be hostile, but as a precaution no one in our group had brought any valuables into Eastleigh.

I stopped to purchase a plastic bucket. After bargaining with the Somali shop owner, weidentif agreed on 150 Kenya shillings. I unknowingly handed him 250 shillings and started to pick up my bucket and walk away. He stopped me, handing back the extra 100 shillings. As I walked away, I thought, "He could have kept the extra money, but instead he returned it." I was shocked; an honest Somali did not match my preconceived idea.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Somali Children 

1. All Somali children to have an opportunity to attend school,
2. Children to hear about Jesus providing salvation for every person in the world,
3. Christian teachers to take the opportunity to introduce them to Jesus.

Prayer Promise

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it" (Proverbs 22:6).

Remember: BE CAREFUL - IT IS A TRAP

Memory verse: 1 Corinthians 3:16
"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?"

1. Lord, help me to identifySatan's temptaions.
2. Give me a verse of Scripture with which to resist Satan.
3. Lead me in a wise response to each temptation to sin.

Pray for Somali children. 
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Study 14 | Come Holy Spirit/Born Again | africaatts.org/go-teach

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