Huddles: September 11th, 2019
Rescued for a Kingdom: No Place for Lust
Below is the plan for you to follow as you lead out this study. At the end of this post, we have attached the full curriculum that includes some very helpful Bible background and commentary to help you as you prepare to lead. Our prayer for you is that the Lord will bring this Scripture to life in your own life and that your leading will be an overflow from that! Let us know if you have any questions.
The Main Idea
This is the second lesson in a unit looking at Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount is a concise statement of Jesus teaching us what it means to live as those who have been rescued by God’s grace. Though it’s not exhaustive, it’s a great framework for living as children of God and members of God’s Kingdom. In this lesson, you’ll look at Jesus’ words against lustful thoughts. This lesson will facilitate meaningful discussion focused on an issue that seriously impacts our world today.
The Lead In
- Goal: To help students begin to think about the effect of lust in poisoning relationships.
- Set-Up: Bring some sort of dessert like a cookie, piece of cake, etc. with you to Huddles.
FIRST, begin today’s lesson by showing your students the dessert that you brought to today’s study. Tell them what kind it is. Ask something like:
- Would any of you want to eat this?
- Answers will vary.
- What would you want? What’s your favorite kind of dessert?
- Answers will vary.
THEN, after the students have answered, tell them that you made the dessert yesterday, but something happened that they need to be aware of. Tell them that when you were mixing the ingredients, a plant from your windowsill fell over and the dirt spilled into the mix you were using for the dessert. Let them know that you don’t think it will hurt anyone. Ask something like:
- Does this change whether or not you want to try this dessert? Why or why not?
- Answers will vary.
- Do you think you’ll be able to taste the dirt?
- Answers will vary.
NEXT, explain to them that just like a little bit of dirt can ruin a batch of cookies or a cake, there is a temptation and sin that so many teenagers and adults can easily fall into that ruins their relationships. This sin is something that Jesus addresses in our second lesson from His famous Sermon on the Mount. It is the sin of lust.
FINALLY, explain that lust is a sin that is frequently celebrated by our culture and by even our peers, yet as Jesus followers, this is one area where we can really stand out as we seek to live the values of Jesus’ kingdom. Our goal in today’s lesson is to explore what living for Jesus’ kingdom in this area would look like.
BEGIN by having your students turn in their Bibles to Matthew 5:27-30. Read or have a student read Matthew 5:27. Then, have your students hold their place in Matthew 5 and turn to Exodus 20. Explain that this commandment is found in the 10 commandments, just like the passage we looked at last week. Read or have a student read Exodus 20:14 and read or have another student read Exodus 20:17. Explain that from these passages in Exodus, we see that God commands his people not to commit adultery and not to covet, or want, someone else’s spouse. Ask something like:
- What is the difference between verses 14 and 17? What is different about the two commandments?
- Answer: Verse 14 is basic commandment that sets a standard of conduct. It prohibits a particular action committing adultery. Verse 17 addresses the heart. It doesn’t stop at just prohibiting a particular act.
- Why was it important to include verse 17?
- Answer: God knew that it was important to set a basic level of conduct for Israel to follow. But He also knew the importance of the heart when it came to following these instructions. So, He forbade the people of Israel from coveting, or wanting, things that weren’t theirs.
NEXT, have your students turn back to Matthew 5. Ask something like:
- Do you remember what we said last week about what Jesus meant when he said, “You have heard that it was said…But I say to you…”?
- Answer: Jesus isn’t correcting the Old Testament. Sometimes He’s going deeper into the meaning behind a commandment, and sometimes He’s correcting a misinterpretation of the Old Testament teaching.
Explain that just like we saw in last week’s lesson, Jesus is going to take the Old Testament command from the 10 Commandments and expand it. The way of Jesus’ kingdom is even more radical than the Old Testament laws because the way of the kingdom is only truly done as Jesus works in and through you to live the new life of the kingdom.
THEN, read or have another student read Matthew 5:28. Ask the following questions:
- How is Jesus taking the commandment not to commit adultery to a new level?
- Answer: Adultery is no longer just avoiding a particular physical action. He’s taking it all the way back to where it begins, the heart.
- Why do you think Jesus focuses so much on the heart rather than outward actions?
- Answer: Actions are symptoms of a deeper issue. Our sin is an overflow of what we truly desire in our hearts. Our good actions are an overflow of God’s goodness and grace in our lives. So, Jesus is striking at our hearts because He knows that is where sin takes root and leads to outward actions.
- How do you think our culture views lust? Why do you think people see it that way?
- Answers will vary. We do live in a sex-crazed culture. We see it in media all the time. Media is simply meeting the demand that people have for pictures, images, acting, etc. to meet their desires. The root of the problem is that we live in a “me-first,” individualistic culture, so our wants and desires reign supreme.
- What are some ways that lust can affect our relationships with others?
- Answer: We can begin to see people as objects of our lusts rather than brothers and sisters made in the image of God. People are image bearers of God, not objects to be used for our fleshly desires. Lust perverts the way we view people.
- In what ways is lust a “false reality”?
- Answer: When we give into lustful thoughts and desires, we are generally creating a false reality in our minds. Real life doesn’t function like movies or pornography. So the fantasy distorts what we want to find in a boyfriend, girlfriend, or future spouse. Then, we project an unattainable reality on a person we (supposedly) care about. It builds up expectations that can’t be met.
NEXT, explain that these are hard teachings that call us to live in a way that is totally contrary to our culture, yet Jesus goes on to call His followers to embrace drastic measures to cut lustful thoughts and actions from their lives. Read or have a student read Matthew 5:29-30. Ask something like the following questions:
- If we were to literally follow these verses, there is not a person in the room that would still have both eyes and both hands so what do you think Jesus is saying here?
- Answer: Jesus is saying that lust is so poisonous to our lives and relationships as followers of Jesus, that we should do whatever necessary, including taking drastic measures, to rid our lives of lust.
- Why do you think Jesus references hell as a result of not living these kingdom values in both of these verses?
- Answer: It reminds us that eternity and eternal values are much more important and valuable than choosing to surrender to the temporary gratification of lust.
FINALLY, explain to the students that Jesus calls us to embrace extreme measures to rid our lives of lust because lust is something that does not have any place in the life of a Christ-follower. Let’s apply this to our own lives a little bit further.
Last Word & Application
SET UP: You will need a notecard for each student. You will need the graphic with questions, along with the necessary adaptor and technology to display it.
FIRST, pass a notecard and pen out to each student.
THEN, explain that lust may be seen as a personal struggle, but it cannot be fought alone. You need to have people around you (mentors, accountability partners, friends, youth pastors, small group leaders, etc.) to help you in this fight. Offer some resources within the church, like your BF leaders or ministerial staff, for students to reach out to as they wrestle with their own personal struggle with lust.
NEXT, explain that you are going to put some questions on the screen to answer on their cards. This card is only for them but may be something that they would like to share with a person who may join them in their fight. Explain that they may want to use codes/abbreviations on their cards so that only they will understand if they want privacy.
THEN put the questions on the screen. There are explanations under each question that may be helpful for further understanding for your students.
- What are your areas of struggle with lust?
- This is one area where you may want to abbreviate.
- Where/When are you tempted?
- Think about location, moment, time of day, etc.
- What are you feeling when you are tempted to give in to lust?
- Are you hungry, angry, lonely, tired, bored, etc.?
- Who is someone who you can share your struggles with who could help you run to Jesus instead of lust?
- Friend, accountability partner, mentor, youth pastor, small group leader, etc.
NEXT, explain that we began the lesson by discussing how lust ruins relationships. The ultimate relationship that lust ruins is our fellowship with God. For many of us, lust becomes the thing that we run to in our times of need instead of God. Therefore, lust becomes our place of safety, release, peace, and value. We run to lust to do for us the things that only God can truly do. That is why we need to surround ourselves with people who will call us out and help us understand our times, temptations, and moments of struggle and point us to Jesus – the only One that truly satisfies the desires and longings of our hearts. Ask something like:
- The accountability measures we’ve just discussed are important. If they’re all we have in our fight against lust, however, we will fail. Accountability measures must be undergirded by trusting Jesus. Why is trusting Jesus necessary in our fight against lust? What must we trust Him for?
- Answer: We must trust that He has something better for us. When we’re tempted to think about things or look at things that are contrary to His ways, we have to trust that He has something better for us. We have to trust that our lust now is impacting something far better He has for us down the road. If we don’t trust Him, this just becomes a long, lonely fight that we’re attempting on our own. And it’s inevitable that we’ll fail on our own strength.
FINALLY, close the lesson in prayer that Jesus would give students grace and wisdom to run from lust to Jesus who alone satisfies. Also, pray that God would provide each student with a person to walk alongside them as they struggle with lust.
Make sure there are no closing thoughts and then close in prayer.