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Sunday Mornings

10:00-11:30am

Come join our Middle School Church on Sunday mornings.  Kids learn how to study the Bible, pray together, and apply the things they learn to their lives.  Our teachers are committed to helping students learn about God in a way that applies to them.

Online Learning

Being stuck at home because of quarantine doesn't mean you can't learn more about Jesus.  Do the lesson below and let us know if you have questions, or what you think about what you have learned.

Middle School Lesson

Overcoming Temptation – Lesson 4
Writer: Rob Quinn; Project Supervisor: Nick Diliberto; Artwork: Designs by Mattslid; Editor: Jennifer Hooks; Created by PreteenMinistry.net
Week 4: God Forgives Us When We Mess Up
Bible Verses: Matthew 26:41; Romans 3:23; Romans 3:24-26; Luke 10:19
Bottom Line: God knows we are going to mess up and loves us anyway!
What’s That to Me?  Preteens face long odds when it comes to beating temptation. We all do. But when they learn that God already knows we’ll mess up—and He loves us anyway—they’ll feel a life-changing Power shift.
LESSON OVERVIEW
For preteens—and for all of us—temptation is a tricky thing. They may work very hard to navigate certain temptations and avoid risky situations, only to fall short in another area and give in to a temptation that didn’t seem like a big deal. In this lesson, preteens will discover the truth that we all must cling to: No matter how hard we try to do the right thing, a time will come when we mess up and make a wrong choice, giving in to temptation. But in every situation, God is there, and He forgives our mess-ups. He knows we’re not perfect and He forgives us.
 
Before we begin, I would like you to watch this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBEFOEnwRk8.)
 
That video makes it seem pretty easy. Grab a deck of cards and try it out!
This may have seemed like a teamwork challenge or game, but there is a deeper meaning here. How many of you messed up at least once during the game? Twice? More times than you can count? But despite messing up, you kept trying and never gave up.
We have been talking about temptation for the past three weeks. Over those weeks, the one thing I hope you’ve come to understand is that we are all going to mess up and give in to some of our temptations. I expected you all to mess up trying to build your towers at some point. Some of you tried to follow the video, some tried to do your own thing, and some—well, I am not sure exactly what you were doing.  
 
So, if I expected you to mess up in this simple game, do you think God expects you to sometimes mess up in life? Absolutely, He does. God totally expects that we are imperfect and that there will be times we mess up. There will be times we give in to our temptations and to sin, even when we do our best to resist. But the reality is, no matter what we do or how badly we mess up, God already knows it will happen. Personally, I know that doesn’t make me feel great. I mean, if we are going to mess up, then why try, right?
 Here’s why, and here’s what our final week of this series is all about. We are all going to mess up and sin. God expects it. And when you do—no matter how badly we mess up—God forgives.

GOD LOVES US ANYWAY
·         Have you ever been tempted by something?
·         Do any of you want to sin?
·         Do you think any of us is perfect enough to never sin?
 
These questions aren’t usually the kinds of things we want to talk about or admit to. But nothing surprises God. Let’s see what He says about it. 
Open your Bibles to Matthew 26:41.
“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.
For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
 
Let’s focus on the second half of this verse first. See, we all say we don’t want to sin and that we don’t want to mess up. But God tells us right here that we are weak. What happens over time to something that is weak? It breaks.
  
No matter how hard we try, eventually in life we are going to mess up and give in to temptation. And when we do, everything can seem like it comes crashing down and we don’t know what do. It’s not something that makes any of us happy, but it’s the reality we have to understand.
Look up Romans 3:23 in your Bibles.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
 No one is exempt from this: Not you, Mom or Dad, friends, or anyone in this room, church, city, and world. It says everyone—not some of us—everyone.
·         What does this verse mean to you?

God knows we are going to mess up. We are going to fall short of His standard. Like in our game earlier, I knew you all were going to mess up. God knows every detail of our lives, and He expects that we will make mistakes before we make them. He knows exactly how we’ll mess up. He knows how we’ve already messed up. And He knows how we’ll mess up in the future. And still He loves us, and still He forgives us when we ask.
That’s the difference between God and us. He knows what is going to happen and it doesn’t surprise Him. Best of all, He give us a way to fix our mistakes.
 Let’s read Romans 3:24-26.
“Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood.
This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus.”

God tells us he has given us a way to make our mess-ups better. Not just the mess-ups of the past, but of the future also. He sent us Jesus who died to fix our mess-ups. 
God knows we are going to mess up, and He has given us a way to fix our mistakes. Why do you think He did this? The last part of this passage helps us understand why.
Romans 3:26:
“…for he was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus.”
 
God loves us and wants us to know He loves us no matter what we do. All we need to do is believe in Jesus, and God makes us right. And this brings us to our final Bottom Line. Everything we have learned in the past four weeks all leads to this final Bottom Line.

 Week One Bottom Line was:
“Temptation is real and everywhere, BUT it is possible to resist it.”
Week Two Bottom Line was:
“The battle with temptation is overwhelming and only with God can we win the battle.” 
Week Three Bottom Line was:
“Because Jesus was tempted and resisted; he shows the way to resist temptation.”
 
For Week Four, our final Bottom Line is:
The Bottom Line: God knows we are going to mess up, and loves us anyway!
 
God knows we face temptation. He knows we can’t fight it alone. He understands temptation because Jesus was tempted. He knows we are eventually going to give in to some kind of temptation, and He loves us anyway.
 
Now we know God gives a way to fix our mess-ups and that He’s willing to give us a clean slate from now until—well, forever. But we have to remember that while this is great news, it also means the evil one will try to tempt us even more.
 God gives us some help with this problem, too.
  
There are things Satan may use to hurt you with, to make you fearful, and to take your focus off of God. But God give us something very specific when we believe in Him.



Read Luke 10:19:
“Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”
 
God knows that Satan is going to come at us, and because of that He has given us power. The power to walk over Satan, crush him, and not get hurt doing so.

 I want you to write down your personal answers to these questions on one side of paper.
·         What scares you?
·         Why does it scare you?
·         Have you ever stood up to your fears?
·         What happens when we do stand up to our fears?
·         How does knowing God has given you power over Satan make you feel?
 
Since God has given us this power over Satan, what do we do with it? And how do we access this power? On the back of your cards, answer these following questions.
·         Are you ready to stand up to Satan and crush him?
·         What is one thing this week you can do crush Satan’s power in your life?
 Keep these cards with you—in your Bibles, backpacks, wallets, somewhere it will remind you of the battle you have going on. And keep it as a reminder that God loves you and has given you the power to win over temptation, over mess-ups, and over Satan.
 

Young Life

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