Date: May 14, 2023
Session Title: Recovering from a Fall into Temptation
The Point: Return to God for forgiveness and restoration.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
On April 20th, SpaceX launched its Starship rocket in South Texas. Thirty-three engines housed inside the Super Heavy rocket booster made it the most powerful ever built– with double the thrust of rockets of the 1960s and 70s. The morning was laden with anticipation as the Starship, about the size of a 40-story building, fired to life and was propelled upward with a massive boom. Two to three minutes into the inaugural flight, the rocket experienced multiple engine failures, began to tumble, and then came the flash of explosion. In the words of the Federal Aviation Administration, “an anomaly occurred during the ascent and prior to stage separation, resulting in a loss of the vehicle.”
History teaches us to view such occurrences as catastrophic failures. However, a closer look at what the company was expecting can change our perspective as we consider the explosion. Prior to the flight, SpaceX founder Elon Musk suggested that simply clearing the massive rocket from the launch pad would be considered a “win.” The BBC indicates that SpaceX engineers classify Thursday’s mission as “a success.” Musk has indicated that testing “early and often” will lead to future accomplishment of the company’s goals for these rockets. In an email to employees after the launch, Musk said, “I don’t want to jinx it, but I think we are highly likely to reach orbit this year and recover the booster and ship, if not this year, certainly next year. Mars, here we come!”
Say: When we first hear about an explosion, a natural reaction would be to assume that something has gone terribly wrong. But when we see it through a lens of trial and failure for the purpose of learning and improvement, it can change our perspective to embrace even undesirable short-term circumstances as necessary for a successful end-result. Sometimes we need fresh eyes to see something as it really is.”
Then ask Question #1: “When has a fresh set of eyes really changed your perspective?”
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Get Into the Study [Option from the Adult Leader Guide, p. 123]
Ask Question 1. Then display an ambiguous image, one that can be seen from two different perspectives. Take a straw poll as to which image is prominent for the group.
Study the Bible
Use the following information to introduce Question #3.
Dan Becker has made a living of adventure, but it almost took his life. On his YouTube channel, Becker explores the great outdoors, reviews gear, and gives encouragement to viewers about backpacking, hiking, and adventure travel. In early spring 2023, he planned a 45-mile Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim hike of the Grand Canyon with another experienced backpacker. Descending down into the snow-laden canyon with heavy packs, the views were stunning and the men were enjoying a rare close-up look at a well-known place in the winter. But as they hiked further into the evening, Dan’s pace slowed, and his friend Eric began to worry. Dan reassured him that everything was fine.
After setting up tents several miles before reaching their original “goal,” Eric went back to help his friend carry his gear to camp. In the middle of the night, Dan’s cries and groans signaled that something was desperately wrong, and Dan finally admitted he needed help. Eric called emergency services, and a rescue team was brought in to get Dan to a hospital.
Physicians diagnosed Dan with a rare case of rhabdomyolysis (a life-threatening injury where muscles break down into the bloodstream and rapidly harm the kidneys). Without receiving assistance when he did, the doctors told him he would not have lived. Because of Dan’s willingness to admit the truth about how he felt, his friend Eric had been able to get him the help he needed in time for life-saving treatment.
Say: “The truth about what was happening to Dan Becker’s body was the same, no matter what he said. But when he admitted the truth, the people around him could get him the help he needed. It’s similar for us when we admit the truth about our sin. The truth is the truth no matter what we admit, but confessing what’s true changes what happens inside of us and around us.”
Then, discuss question 3: “Why is confession such an important step in our journey back to God?”
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Jessica Connell wrote these Leader Extras. Jess is a homeschooling mom of 9 who has served around the world in ministry with her husband. She loves hiking, exploring, and being active in her local church in North Texas.
Study the Bible [Option from the Adult Leader Guide, p. 128]
Play a video clip of someone experiencing the joy of forgiveness. Invite group member to reflect on their own experience of being forgiven. Then close in prayer.
- When you were a kid, what did you do when you got caught doing something you weren’t supposed to do?
- When have you had to recover from an injury or illness?
- When have you been surprised by an inspection or report?
- When have you received a report that made your day?
- How can you tell if a confession is true or is just words?
- What can we learn from David about responding to God’s forgiveness?
- What are some ways we experience blessing through forgiveness?
- When have you seen joy expressed after forgiveness?
- What are some of the ways that confession produces freedom?
- What happens when we harbor unconfessed sin?
- How have you experienced God as your hiding place from temptation?
- How does God’s forgiveness deliver us from the total disaster that comes from sin’s consequences?
- What are the benefits of a restored relationship with God?
- When have you experienced God being your hiding place?
- Which words stand out to you in this passage?
- How have you experienced God’s protection?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.