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FINDING LASTING CONTENTMENT IN THE TRUTH
Key Scriptures: Genesis 1:31; 2:15–25; 3:1–7; and Matthew 4:1–11
Eve's life began as a study in perfection. She had the dream and then some! Perfect surroundings. Perfect relationships. Perfect provision. And Eve experienced perfect communion with the living God. What more could anyone long for?
Eve's life was a series of "firsts" in the history of the world. She was the first woman, the first wife, the first mother, the first (and only) sinless woman, and the first to be tempted by Satan. Sadly, Eve was the first (along with her husband Adam) to fall into sin and see the cataclysmic consequences of disobedience to God.
Her very name meant, "mother of all who have life," but her story was a tapestry woven with joy and pain, celebration and sorrow, life and death. Eve feasted on the glory of intimacy with God beyond what any other woman would know on the earth. But she also felt her teeth put on edge by the bitter poison of sin and rebellion.
Never has another woman lived with such highs and lows. From the sinless paradise of Eden to the barrenness of exile outside of the garden, angels posted to make sure she and her husband would never return and eat from the tree of life. From perfect communion with Adam and God to the naked shame of being caught in sin. From peaceful relationships to the unspeakable pain that came as she stood over the grave of a son who had been murdered by his own brother. Eve knew the whole spectrum of human emotion.
Eve was swept into the spiritual drama that would unfold through the whole story of the human family and the Word of God. She was molded and shaped by the very hands of God and had no earthly parents. She faced the tempter and heard his sinister voice entice her to rebel against God. She heard the prophetic word that one day Satan would be crushed by her ancestor:
"I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
Eve saw the cost of sin but heard the message of hope in a coming Savior, one who would be her descendant. His name would be Jesus!
The more things change, the more they stay the same!
Just think about it. Every mother from the dawn of time has had to teach her children to say two simple words, "Thank you." If every mom had a dollar for every time they said to a son or daughter, "What do you say?" every mom would be a millionaire! Some things never change.
Every Christian woman, from the first century on, has longed to have a little more time to pray, read the Word, and sit at the feet of Jesus. But our lives get so busy and cluttered it can be difficult. Some things are just part of our lot as human beings. The more things change, the more they really do stay the same.
That is what we will learn in today's session about Eve. She was tempted and enticed by the enemy, just as we all are. Satan's tactics were calculated, strategic, and effective. When we watch Eve's drama unfold, we see that the same tactics the devil used against her were used against Jesus when he walked on this earth. With this in mind, we should expect the enemy to use similar wiles and schemes against us. Because, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
As you enter into this session, open your ears and heart. Prepare yourself to learn about the tactics of the enemy and ask God to prepare you to fight back. The same deceiving schemer that slithered up to Eve in the garden and Jesus in the desert is still looking to entice people to follow his lies and turn from the ways of Jesus. In this small group gathering you will be fortified to identify his tactics and fight back. This is extremely important and practical stuff that the devil does not want you to hear. But God has brought you to this moment because he has a message just for you.
Talk About It
Briefly respond as a group to one of the following questions.
Tell a brief story about a "first" in your life:
* First date
* First meal you cooked
* First time driving
* Any first ...
Sometimes in life we have high hopes and big expectations, but things just don't turn out the way we had imagined and dreamed. Tell about one such time in your life.
Video Teaching Notes
The temptation to focus on the one thing we don't have
Three ways Eve was tempted and consumed:
Desire for significance
How Satan tempts women today
Danger sign: when we want the things of this world more than the will of God
The temptation of Jesus
Jesus' solution: "It is written"
Back up and look up: worshiping only God
"The Lord is near!"
Small Group Study and Video Discussion
1. Read: Genesis 1:31 and 2:15–25. Lysa points out that Adam and Eve had perfect surroundings, perfect relationships, and perfect provision—all of their needs met by God's loving care. Yet they still wanted more. They gave into temptation and fed the desire for what they did not have ... or need! How do you see this in our world and culture today? How do you decide the difference between your wants and needs?
2. For Adam and Eve, the one thing they were not supposed to fixate on and desire was a specific tree in the garden. What are some things that people can be lured to focus on in our world that are not healthy or meant to be the center of our attention and lives?
3. Read: Genesis 3:1–7. What specific tactics did Satan use to lure Eve into sin and how does he use these same strategies today?
4. Read: 1 John 2:15–17. John addresses the same three temptation points that Satan used against Eve: the cravings of sinful man (physical pleasure), the lust of his eyes (materialism), and the boasting of what we have and do (significance). In the video, Lysa reminds us of the danger of holding out the cup of our heart and letting it be filled with things that do not honor God or fully satisfy our desires. Which of these three areas of temptation is the enemy's greatest lure against you and how do you seek to fight against it?
5. Read: Matthew 4:1–11. How did Jesus respond when the enemy tried to tempt him and what do you learn from Jesus' response?
6. Lysa uses a line, "Back up and look up." What is she encouraging us to do when we are faced by the sinister temptation of the enemy? How can we do this?
7. As you back up and look up in the midst of one of the areas of temptation you are struggling with at this time in life, what Bible passage(s) could fortify and strengthen you?
In what ways might you keep this passage and biblical truth in the forefront of y
Excerpted from Twelve Women of the Bible Participant's Guide by Lysa TerKeurst, Elisa Morgan, Amena Brown, Jonalyn Fincher, Jeanne Stevens, Naomi Zacharias, Sherry Harney. Copyright © 2010 by Sherry Harney. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Introduction: Let's Get Real
About the Video Teachers and Writer
SESSION 1 Eve: Finding Lasting Contentment in the Truth Lysa TerKeurst
SESSION 2 Rebekah: Breaking Free of Feminine Stereotypes Jonalyn
SESSION 3 Leah: Overcoming Rejection and Insecurity Naomi Zacharias
SESSION 4 Hannah: Surrendering in Waiting Amena Brown
SESSION 5 Abigail: Dealing with Confrontation in Relationships Elisa
SESSION 6 Gomer: Learning to Accept Unconditional Love Jeanne Stevens
SESSION 7 Mary, Mother of Jesus: Moving from Comfort to Courage Jeanne
SESSION 8 Mary Magdalene: Transforming from Outcast to Follower Jonalyn
SESSION 9 Mary of Bethany: Putting Our Faith into Action Elisa Morgan
SESSION 10 Martha: Finding Our Identity in Jesus Amena Brown
SESSION 11 The Woman at the Well: Turning Our Messes into Messages Lysa
SESSION 12 The Syrophoenician Woman: Approaching God with Persistency and
Boldness Naomi Zacharias
Small Group Leader Helps
Posted July 29, 2013