Using Scriptures to Reject Temptation

Scenarios
Child did something they weren’t supposed to do; child doesn’t want to read scriptures; child doesn’t understand why reading scriptures is important.

Scripture Lesson
Right after Christ was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, he retreated to the wilderness for forty days to fast. Fasting is when people go a period of time without food or water in an effort to become closer to God and understand His will. As hard as Christ is trying to follow God, Satan is working just as hard to tempt Christ to follow him instead.

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. (Luke 4: 1-2)

Questions
Why do you suppose Satan tempts Christ at the same time He is fasting?
When does Satan tempt us?

Though Christ was tempted each day, the apostles only record three temptations. Here is the first one.

And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Luke 4:3-4)

Questions
Why would Satan tempt Christ to turn rocks into food?
When are you the weakest; if Satan wanted to tempt you, when would he do it?
How did Christ reject Satan’s temptation? Why did he say “It is written”?

And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Luke 4:5-8)

Questions
Why does Satan tempt others with power and riches?
Again, Christ said “It is written”; why does he keep using scriptures to tell Satan he will not fall into temptation?
Why are scriptures so important?
The scripture that Christ mentions was one of the Ten Commandments that Moses received. Who, then, writes the scriptures? (This is kind of a trick question)

Listen to the third temptation and notice how Satan tries to tempt Christ this time.

And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Luke 4:9-12)

Questions
This time Satan tried twisting the scriptures to tempt Christ; why would Satan do that?How does Satan take good things and try to trick people with them? Can you think of an example?

Application

Christ said:

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me: (John 5:39)

And Paul, one of Christ’s apostles, said:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Questions
If the scriptures show us how to live the way God would like us to live, how often should we read scriptures?
Next time you don’t want to read scriptures, what are some things you could do?
Next time you are tempted by someone or something, what are some things you could do?

Accomplishing Great Things with Help

Scenarios
Child is trying to do something challenging and not accepting any help; child failed to accomplish something he tried doing by himself; siblings are not working together

Scripture Lesson
After Moses freed the Israelites from the Egyptians and while traveling through the wilderness, they were attacked by the Amalekites, a group of robbers led by a man named Amalek. At this time, Amalekites were kind of like pirates or bandits who wandered around the desert looking for people to rob and kill. Moses told Joshua, one of his assistants and the one who would succeed Moses as prophet, to gather an army to defend themselves. Joshua did as Moses asked and went to battle while Moses along with Aaron and Hur watched from the top of a hill.  

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: (Exodus 17:8-10)

As they fought an incredible miracle happened. While holding his staff, when Moses would raise his hands in the air Israel would start winning the battle and when he would put down his arms the Amalekites would start winning.

and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. Exodus 17:10-11)

Question
Doesn’t that sound like a super easy way to win a battle?
How long do you think a battle usually lasts?
Do you think you can hold up your hands that long?

Activity
Have your kids raise both their arms in the air and see how long they can last.

It was looking like a sure win but we all know when arms stay in the air too long they start to get tired and that’s exactly what happened to Moses. His arms became heavy.

Question
What do you think Moses should do to keep his arms up?

Well, listen to what they did.

But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. (see picture above) And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. (Exodus 17:12-13)

Question
What kind of help did Aaron and Hur give Moses?
What do you think of their solution?

Joshua and his army were able to win the battle. Moses knew that the only way he could accomplish this great miracle was with the help of Aaron, Hur, and God. The story isn’t quite done. Just a few more verses. Let’s see what God told Moses to do next.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi: For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. (Exodus 17:14-17)

Moses was told to do what he could to remember this story and share it from time to time with the Israelites so they would remember what God had done to help them.

Question
Why do you think it is important to remember the things God has done for you?

Application
Question
How does this story apply to our family?
Next time someone in our family has a problem to overcome, what should the rest of us do?

God Provides our Knowledge

Scenarios
Child has been bragging about how smart they are;

Scripture Lesson
King Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon, a once powerful empire, that captured Jerusalem in 597 BC. During his reign, one night, he had a dream that troubled him. He knew the dream was important but didn’t know how to interpret it so he asked all his wise men. 

And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. (Daniel 2:1-4)

Question
What did the wise men ask the King before they could interpret the dream?

However, King Nebuchadnezzar knew that if he told them his dream they could interpret the dream however they wanted whether it was right or wrong, so instead he asked them to tell him what his dream was and then interpret it.

The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me. But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can shew me the interpretation thereof. (Daniel 2: 8-9)

However, the wise men could not provide such a thing and the King became furious.

The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh. For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. (Daniel 2: 10-12)

Question
Why didn’t the Chaldeans or the other wise men just guess what the king’s dream was?

Let’s see what happens next.

Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation. Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter. Daniel 2: 20-23)

Questions
-It’s subtle, but what did Daniel and his friends do to learn the King’s dream?
-What was the first thing Daniel did after he was shown the King’s dream?
-Why do you think he thanked God?
-Why don’t you think he said, “Yes, I’m a genius! I figure it out!”?
-Why is it important for us to thank God when he gives us knowledge?

Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Daniel (2:27-28)

He then continued to tell the King his dream and the interpretation of it. As you can imagine, the King was quite impressed. (If the kids are interested in the dream see Daniel 2:31-45)

Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.(Daniel 2:46-49)

Questions
-Who was the King impressed with? Was it Daniel, God or both?
-What did the King do with Daniel?

Application

Questions
-Who is the provider of all our knowledge?
-Even if you are the one who reads the books and goes to classes? Is God the provider of knowledge then?
-Why is it important for us to acknowledge God is our provider of knowledge?
-Next time you get a good grade in school or on a test, what should you do?

Loving Your Neighbor

Scenarios
Child had a disagreement with a friend; child is struggling showing love towards others; child is arguing with siblings and parents often; child thinks too critically of others

Scripture Lesson
Throughout Christ’s’ ministry he was confronted by many who wanted answers to difficult questions. Some of the questions were sincere, but many were asked hoping they could trick him into saying something false. On one occasion, somebody asked Christ to tell him which was the most important commandment.

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? (Matthew 22: 35-36)

Question
Before we hear his answer, what would you say if someone asked you this question?

Let’s see how Christ responded.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)

Questions
-Why would God make these the greatest commandments?
-Who does he mean when he says “love thy neighbour”?
-What does Christ mean when he says, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets?”

Story
After a move across states we sent our daughter to her third elementary school in three years. She quickly made friends with a girl in her class named Amy. She would often come home with stories of the fun things they did together. One day, however, our daughter came home in tears because they had a falling apart and were no longer friends. She struggled the rest of the year with Amy. It was so stressful for our daughter that often times she begged us to let her stay home. So as you can imagine, it was a bit disheartening the following year when we found out Amy would be in her class again. We prayed often that our daughter would have a good school year and make lots of friends. We told her to keep a good attitude and to be nice and kind to Amy no matter what. We assured her she didn’t need to become “best friends” with her but she did need to strive to “love her neighbor.” As she performed small acts of kindness and respect, she and Amy naturally grew to become close friends again. Toward the end of the school year, I went to pick up our daughter from a birthday party. As the girls lined up to take a picture I saw her and Amy put their hands around each other’s necks. It was such a touching moment and I knew our prayers had been answered.

Application

Questions
-What are some ways we can love God?
-What are some ways we can love our neighbors?
-When you and your siblings argue or fight, what should you do?
-If there are some kids at school you don’t get along with, what can you do to love them?

Eating Healthy Foods

Scenarios
Child eats too much junk food, child doesn’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, child doesn’t have a great diet

Scripture Lesson
King Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon, a once powerful empire, that captured Jerusalem in 597 BC. As part of Jerusalem’s defeat, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered that many of the prominent Jewish citizens, such as the king of Jerusalem and his family be taken to Babylon with the purpose of teaching them the Babylonian ways.

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it… And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. (Daniel 1:1-4)

Among these “well favoured” Jews who were brought to Babylon, were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. All of them would receive new Babylonian names Belteshazzar, Shadrach,  Meshach and Abed-nego, respectively. In addition to special teaching in many subjects, all these Jews would receive a special diet that only the King himself had.

And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. (Daniel 1:5)

The trouble was that this diet was different than the diet Daniel and his friends were used to as Jews, which was a diet prescribed by God and one they knew would protect them. So they talked their master, the prince of the eunuchs, into letting them follow the Jewish diet for ten days to see if it had an impact.

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. (Daniel 1:8-13)

Questions
-Why do you think that Daniel was concerned the King’s diet would defile him? How often were they given meat and wine?
-What are some other foods that could defile our body if we eat them too much?
-Is the purpose of this story that we shouldn’t eat too much meat and drink too much wine? Or can this apply to different foods?

Let’s find out what happened after the ten days.

So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. (Daniel 1:14-16)

It turns out that after only ten days their master was able to see enough change in their countenance to be convinced the Jewish diet was better and to stop giving Daniel and his friends their daily portion of meat and wine.

Questions
-Why do you think Daniel asked for a ten day test? Do you think their master would have agreed to a diet change for three years from the very beginning?

Let’s see what else happened to these four during and after their three year training as a result of keeping the special diet.

As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. (Daniel 1:17-20)

Questions
-What were some of the blessings they received by being faithful to their diet, and consequently their God?
-Do you really think that certain foods can have an impact on our knowledge and skill?

Application

Questions
-How can we apply the 10 day challenge in our eating habits? Could we try eating ___ for ten days and see what it’s like?
-What should we do about food such as junk food that can defile our bodies if we aren’t careful?
-What kind of goals can we make about our health?

Forgiving Others

Scenarios:
A child has been offended by a sibling, friend or parent

Scripture Lesson:
Shortly after Christ taught that offending others was a serious sin, he suggested we forgive those who offend us. Peter then asked him how much patience we should have, or how many times should we forgive.

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)

Question: Why did Christ say we should forgive until seventy times seven times; do you think he really meant we should forgive someone 490 times (70×7)?

He then goes on to share a story to explain the importance of forgiving others. He tells of a servant who owed a King lots of money. After the servant plead for forgiveness, the King forgave all of his debt.

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. (Matthew 18:23-27)

Questions:
Who do the king and the servant represent in this story?
Why do you think the king forgave all of the servant’s huge debt?
If you were a king, would you forgive a huge debt? But it’s a lot of money lost?

Unfortunately, this same servant had someone who owed him a tiny bit of money (much smaller than what he owed the king) and he didn’t show this man the same amount of forgiveness the King had showed him.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. (Matthew 18:27-30)

Questions:
Who does the fellowservant in this story represent?
Why do you think the servant did not forgive his fellowservent even though it wasn’t a lot of money and especially after he was forgiven such a large debt?
What do you think should happen to the servant who wouldn’t forgive?

Some people noticed how this servant was treating his fellowservant and told the king. Let’s see what the king did.

So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (Matthew 18:30-35)

Questions:
Why do you think the master punished him?
Did he plan on punishing him forever (read it carefully)?

Story: A few years ago, the morning after we had moved into a new home was quite stressful. I had to take the moving truck back and get to work in time for a meeting while my wife had to drive our kids to their new school and get them settled in. I remembered last minute that I needed to return the moving truck with a full tank of gas. Because I was already running late, I rushed the moving truck into the gas station and ended up ramming the cement posts that protect the gas. I had damaged this very expensive vehicle and was nervous of how much it was going to cost me. To my great surprise, the moving truck store manager forgave my debt; I didn’t have to pay for any of the damage. I was extremely grateful for his kindness, patience, and forgiveness. Later that day, I called my wife to tell her the story but before I could get to it she told me in her haste to get the kids to school she had accidentally backed into another car and it was going to cost us several hundred dollars. I began to feel frustrated and upset with her even though I had made a greater mistake. In my mind, there were excuses for my behavior but not hers – I was driving a giant vehicle for the first time, because it is so high up I didn’t see the small cement posts, the gas station only has a small amount of space to work with, etc. Just as I was about to express my frustration I thought of this wonderful story that Christ had told and I began to calm down. Realizing, I’d been forgiven a much greater debt, there was no other choice but to forgive her. As I forgave her this incredible feeling of gratitude warmed my heart.

Application
Questions:
What should you do when a sibling, friend, or even a parent does something that makes us upset or feel sad?
What should we do when we have been forgiven for a wrong we’ve done?

Naming a Pet

Scenarios:
Purchasing or naming a pet, treating animals with kindness

Scripture Lesson:
In the beginning God created all living things.

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:25)

Question: Why do you think God “saw that it was good?”

In addition to animals, God created man and woman.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26-28)

Questions:

  • Why do you think God created man and woman in his own image?
  • Why do you think God gave man and woman dominion over every living thing?
  • What do you think having dominion means to God?
  • How does God expect us to treat the animals that He has created?

Afterwards God asks Adam to name the animals.

And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; (Genesis 2:19-20)

Question: Why would God ask Adam to name the animals?

Story: Our son wanted a pet for a long time. But having five kids made it difficult for us to warm up to the idea since it would mean much more work for us. But we decided that we could probably do a fish. So for Christmas we gave him a fish bowl, decorative pebbles, and a fish net. The next day we went to the pet store where he picked out a bright pink GloFish. This was his fish and no one else’s. He had complete stewardship over this fish; in a way you can say he had dominion. The most important and memorable experience he had with his fish was naming him. He called him Zippy. He felt so proud to have had such an impact on an animal. If you think about it, this animal was now going to be called Zippy till the end of his life, by everyone. It’s a really big deal. This important action of naming his fish endeared Zippy to him. He longed to protect, take care of, and love his fish from that day on. 

Application
Question: How do you think you should treat your pets or animals in general?