Belong Group Lesson

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Weekly Belong Group Lesson

Semester I

Title: Lead Us Not into Temptation

Series: Closet Christianity


Icebreaker: Have you ever felt like you were given an assignment or test that you weren’t prepared for? Maybe it was in school and you didn’t remember the teacher teaching some material, or on the job and your boss didn’t seem to train you for certain responsibilities… What is something you learned from that experience?


This Sunday our Bishop brought an on-time message in his sermon series, Closet Christianity. We know that tests and trials are just a part of life, but so many of us blame God and complain about things we go through, not realizing the truth behind the trials. We have been unpacking the Lord’s Prayer and each petition that we should bring to God when we pray: we pray for provision, we pray for forgiveness, and we also pray for protection. Without this key element of prayer we leave ourselves unguarded against the testing and temptations that are sure to come.


Matthew 6:5-13


I. God Does Not Tempt Us (James 1:12-14)

a. God presents a very clear image and description of his character in Scripture, he introduces himself as our Father, our Provider, our Healer, etc. God, however, never suggests that he is our tempter.

b. Temptation comes from our own sin nature, our own will and desires for things that are pleasing to our flesh. Even as born-again believers, living in the righteousness of Christ, we are still consistently tempted to turn back to our old ways. This is our enemy’s agenda: to tempt us out of destiny. In fact, Satan is the one who is identified in Scripture as the tempter.

c. But, God is known for turning things around so what was meant to tempt and ultimately destroy us can be used for our good. So, although God is never the one who tempts us, God does lead us into tests and trials that serve to prove and promote us.

d. Jesus himself was led into the wilderness by the Spirit of God, to be tempted and tried (Matthew 4:1-3). It was only after this tempting that Jesus was empowered to walk in spiritual authority and perform the miracles we see in his earthly ministry (Luke 4:14). Without the tempting, there would have been no power, and no way for Jesus to help us face our own trials (Hebrews 2:18, 4:15).

e. Not only with Jesus, but all throughout Scripture we find examples of God leading someone he’s chosen into tests, trials, and temptations. We also find that it is our response to the trials that determines our outcome (Deuteronomy 8:16, James 1:2).


Discussion:

If God leads us into trials and temptations, how is he so sure that we will come out of it victoriously instead of being destroyed by it? What tools or aids does God give us to help us endure these trials?


II. God Will Deliver Us

a. Just as a teacher does not give their students a test that they haven’t been taught and prepared for, God does not lead us into temptation without equipping us to face it (2 Timothy 4:18, 2 Peter 2:9).

b. We mentioned our sin nature before, these things within us that the enemy exploits to tempt us out of the will and protection of God. Things like pride, lust, envy, hypocrisy, etc. The enemy has a large arsenal of opportunities to tempt and test us. This is why we must be vigilant and aware of the spiritual warfare being waged over us (1 Peter 5:8).

c. We have a Savior who endured tempting without sin, who has power over sin, and who is covering us in prayer so that we may walk in his strength and power to escape the attacks of the enemy in our own lives (John 17:5, 1 Corinthians 10:13). Jesus is constantly praying for us and petitioning the Father to deliver us from evil.

d. We, however, cannot experience this protection and power of Christ if we are not seeking it in prayer. It is through prayer that we are sustained and empowered. It is through prayer that we are renewed in the Spirit to endure the tests and trials.

e. As we said before, it is our response to the trials that determine our outcome. When you are in a battle over your destiny you don’t sit back and wait for deliverance to come, you go to war in the Spirit. When we learn to stop complaining about the things we go through and learn to pray through them instead, we find purpose in the trials. We can count it all joy when we are tested when we know that prayer is the key to our victory!




REMIND:


Friday Night Prayer: Join us this Friday, May 27th at 7 PM as we gather together for a night of worship and prayer.


Become a Member: Remind your group members, family, and friends that they can now join our church family at any time by visiting citychurchnola.life/membership and completing the online membership application.

Grow Classes: Grow classes are now available online! You can join our instructors virtually to begin your next steps in Christ. Please visit citychurchnola.life/growworkshops to register.


Wednesday Morning Prayer: You can participate in corporate prayer every Wednesday morning at 7 AM on Facebook. Join us each week as we continue to pray for our church, our city, and our nation.


City Life TV: You can watch our Bishop deliver thoughtful messages throughout the week. Tune in to WHNO, channel 20, Monday-Friday at 7:30 PM.



REPORT:


Please continue to report your in-person and virtual group meetings!

By using the same email you would normally receive, you may update your group information and report your weekly meetings.

If you need help with reporting, please contact your district pastor.


Have an amazing and spirit-filled group!

College & Young Adult Lesson

There will be no college lesson this week. Please follow along with the general lesson and have a powerful, spirit-filled group!