Date: May 21, 2023
Session Title: The Strength to Stand Against Temptation
The Point: God equips us to stand our ground against temptation.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
One person was killed, five were injured, and approximately $100 million of damage was done, when on April 18, 2023, a four-story parking garage in Lower Manhattan collapsed.
As engineers have examined why the structure fell, they have yielded many potential answers. The garage itself was 98 years old (built in 1925) and had unresolved building code violations stretching back to 2003. The weight of road surfacing materials, and valets who cram as many vehicles as possible into surfaces built to support less vehicles, may have contributed to the problem. Additionally, some engineers have pointed to the significantly higher weight of electric vehicles (EVs), as EVs can be 25-35% heavier than gas-powered vehicles.
In the two weeks following the collapse, a proactive assessment of similar structures was performed. Sixty-one parking garages were identified to have significant problems that need to be immediately addressed, and four other garages in or near New York City were shut down.
Say: Though the structure may have been fully equipped to support vehicles when it was built in 1925, the parking garage, clearly, was not still up to the task. By studying this structure’s failure, engineers can build better parking garages that are fully equipped for the task of supporting modern vehicles.
As you think about tasks you’ve taken on in your life, ask question #1: When have you felt fully equipped for a task?
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Get Into the Study [Option from the Adult Leader Guide, p. 133]
At the beginning of the session, play a video clip showing someone fully equipped for a task. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible
Use the following information to introduce Question #4.
In April, a Fresno, California police officer’s life was saved because of body armor. When a man with more than 20 arrests and six active warrants out for his arrest was tracked down by police, he exited his vehicle and began shooting. One officer’s ballistic vest stopped a bullet that would have killed him; instead, he returned safely home to his family.
In February, a Colorado nonprofit made a donation of rifle plate armor to protect their sheriffs. By adding these inserts to the soft vests they already had that protect against handguns, Adams County Sheriffs now have an elevated protection against rifle threats.
Ancient warriors had leather-clad wooden or bronze shields, and medieval warriors had chain-mail garments, to keep them safe from potential danger. As weaponry improves, and threats escalate, modern tactical gear must adapt and improve as well. Being equipped with adequate body armor is an ongoing challenge for law enforcement. Because officers must actively guard themselves from real threats, they put on body armor daily, before heading out to do their jobs.
Say: Because God knew that Christians of every age are in a deadly battle with a real and powerful enemy, He similarly commanded us to take up the armor of God.
Proceed to Question #4.
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 Young Adult Leader Guide]
Use this activity alongside Ephesians 6:10-13 to remind the group that no matter the struggle or temptation, strength can be found in the armor of God.
This option illustrates struggles we all face at some point and serves as a reminder that our struggles are very real, but putting on the armor of God can help us stand strong and fight.
Study the Bible [Option from the Adult Leader Guide, p. 138]
Play a song that allows group members an opportunity to thank God for giving us victory in spiritual battles. Then close in prayer.
- What is the closest you’ve ever come to being on a battleground?
- If you were to go into battle, who would you want by your side?
- When have you felt fully equipped for a task?
- When have you need to wear protective gear?
- Why is it important to know who our enemy is in life’s battles?
- What are some means by which Satan seeks to destroy the church?
- When have you experienced the Christian life as a battle?
- How do the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of darkness present themselves in our current society?
- Why are truth and righteousness so vital in standing against Satan’s temptations?
- What spiritual practices equip us for battle?
- Who has been an example in your life of using spiritual armor effectively?
- When have you put on the armor of God to protect your life?
- How is the way we are commanded to pray perhaps different from how we often do pray?
- Why is the truth of God’s Word an effective strategy against Satan’s schemes?
- How can our group better pray for each other in the battle?
- What steps can we take as a group to stand our ground against evil forces?
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:
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- Mature Living – One Bad Apple
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.