Letting Go, Giving In, Giving Up
Anything written in italics is for your information and need not be read aloud.
Letting go is hard and moving on to something that is unfamiliar may seem like giving in but, giving up is the only thing God really asks of us when we surrender our lives to Him.


Needed: Bible
Key Scripture: Genesis 8:8-12

Letting Go, Giving In, Giving Up
LEADER Introduce the session: Tonight’s lesson is “Letting Go, Giving In, Giving Up”

• What do you think the title of this lesson means?
(Get only a few answers.)

SAY: A man was hiking alone in the mountains when he stumbled over a cliff, he fell about 20 feet before managing to catch himself on a tree growing precariously from the rocks. He pulled himself together and began to check out the situation. He had lost his equipment. He had sprained an ankle and cracked a couple of ribs. He was hovering 50 feet above the ground with no way to climb up or down. The man cried out for hours, “Is there anybody there? Help! I’m hurt!” But no one heard.

As night began to fall the wind became cold. He felt himself going into shock. The man prayed for God to help him. Nothing happened. As the last rays of sun faded away he cried out one more time in desperation, “Is there anybody up there?”

He was startled to hear a voice from out of the darkness right on the edge of the cliff above answer, “I’m here.”

“Thank you,” the man yelled. “I’m injured, do you have a rope?”

“No,” came the reply. “But that’s OK; I don’t need one. You see, I’m God.”

After a few seconds of stunned silence the man stammered, “How do I know you’re God?”

“You prayed silently for my help. And I came.”

The man’s mind raced with thoughts and questions. After a while he was convinced that God had really come to help. “I knew You were up there. I knew You would come. Thank You, God! How are You going to save me?”

“Do you have faith that I am the Great Creator and capable of anything?”

“Yes, I believe,” replied the man.

“Do you have faith that I want to do what’s best for you?”
“I believe!” shouted the man with great anticipation.

“Good,” God said. “Then just let go!”

A long silence followed. Finally the man yelled out, “Is there anybody else up there?”

SAY: Living faith is more than just believing God exists. Living faith is trusting that God loves us so much that He will do what’s best for us-even when we don’t understand-even when we suffer-even when we don’t know how He’ll answer a prayer, we still trust Him to do what’s best for us. Sometimes the greatest test of faith is when God’s answer is no. Just like the man hanging over the edge of the cliff, our faith may not be real until letting go, giving up and giving in is our only choice.

• Do you think God has ever said “no” to your dreams or plans?

Letting Go
Leaving the Ark
SAY: The season of Lent begins in a few days. Christians are called to imitate the forty days of prayer and fasting of Jesus. The number forty is significant in the Bible. For example, Moses led the Hebrew people out of bondage in Egypt, but they wandered forty years in the desert before reaching the Promised Land. Elijah fasted and sought God’s will on Mount Horeb for forty days. Jonah prophesied the destruction of Nineveh in forty days. When God punished the sinfulness of mankind by the Flood, the rain lasted forty days and forty nights.

Have a youth get a Bible and READ aloud: Genesis 8:8-12, 8 He also released a dove to see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground. 9 But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside. 10 After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again. 11 This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone. 12 He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back.

SAY: This passage has always made me sad. The dove doesn’t come back in the end! I always imagine that after the time spent with them in the ark, that Noah felt pretty attached to the animals. If it had been me, I would have seen the animals all as my pets. I probably would have talked to them, named them, and would have generally grown pretty comfortable with our not ideal living arrangements. I might have missed the way things had been before, but I probably would have grown accustomed to the new way of life and dealt with it the best way I could. So, why does it make me sad? The best thing I can come up with is this: I cherish things that are comfortable and familiar, even if they aren’t the best things for me, while I run from change….even if it would be a blessing to embrace it.

• What things are you comfortable with?
(School routine, your home, your friends, your cloths, your bedroom filth, etc.)

Giving in
The Right Kind of Kids
SAY: A few days ago I was presented with a “memo” detailing some things that we should change and maybe consider giving up for Lent, the memo ;

TO: Youth Director
FROM: Administrative Board
Re: The right kind of kids

I’m sure you’ll agree that attracting the right kind of kid to the program will then attract the right kind of parent. Remember we’re all about families here. The more family-giving units we can bring on board, the quicker we can pay off the family life center.

It’s recently come to our attention that your youth program may not be attracting the right sort of kids to our church. Mildred Fleener, who has been at this church since 1809, graciously volunteered to create a sub-committee on youth activities and came up with the following list of suggestions on which kinds of kids may NOT be entirely appropriate for our church.

Kids who wear too much black. (This includes hair dye and lipstick.)
Kids who smoke. (Smell them when they come in.)
Kids who drink. (Pay attention to kids who pop a lot of Tic-Tacs. See Also: Smoking)
Kids who have their own cars. (Kids who drive themselves to church make parents uncomfortable.)
Kids who have more than one piercing. (One in each ear is plenty. Girls only!)
Kids who use the word “suck.”
Kids who use their phones during church.
Kids from broken homes.
Kids who have more than one mommy.
Kids who aren’t familiar with basic Bible stories.
Kids who come to youth activities but not to real church.
Kids who come to church but don’t sing.
Kids who come to church but sing too loud.
That girl with the eye makeup and the perfume.
That boy with the eye makeup and the perfume.
“That” kid from “that” family.
Kids who wear T-shirts depicting Jesus the Son of God as a “homeboy.”
Kids who wear T-shirts that might show their midriff (See also: Piercing)
Kids who wear shorts with words on their backsides that may cause others to actually look there.

(NOTE: Shelly Smith frequently wears shorts and midriff-bearing shirts that say, “Our God Is an Awesome God.” This clothing is still unacceptable despite her attempts to call it evangelism.)

As we could have new visitors every Sunday, it’s important that they see a happy, close-knit group of well-adjusted, happy teenagers who enjoy church and enjoy sitting with their families.

Yours in Christ,
The Administrative Board
Sub-Committee on Youth Activities

SAY: Okay, so if you haven’t already figured it out this memo is not really real. But we do have some questions for you.

• What behavior could you try to change for Lent?
• Do your behaviors fall in line with your values and beliefs? Explain?
• When you think that something is wrong or disrespectful, but you go ahead and do it anyway, how do you feel?
• Why did you choose to do it?
• Do you feel guilty later? Should you?

Give It Up!
Honey If You Love Me
SAY: What if God was asking you, “Honey if you love Me”? Would you take Him seriously? Think back to the story at the beginning of this session, remember the guy who fell off the cliff??? What if God is saying “Honey if you love me” Let go, give in, give up – live your life as a Christian. Stop taking the easy way out. Have faith and live in such a way that everyone can tell you are a Christian just by the way you treat others.

We’re going to take a few minutes now and play “Honey if you love me”. Here’s the catch. We are doing this Lent style. We’re all going to give up talking, but still play the game. Use any facial expressions you want, dance, and mess up your hair. Touching is okay – no tickling – but remember to be respectful of others and yourself. Laughter is okay, but remember – NO TALKING.

Play for the rest of the allotted time.

Hang In There
SAY: Lent is walking with Jesus toward his sacrificial death in Jerusalem. Therefore, let us show that we, as Christians, are not just hanging out at church. Let us be bold to join Him, over a cliff, out on a limb, fasting in the wilderness for forty days during Lent; let us be bold to pray with Him in the garden on Maundy Thursday, and let us fearlessly stand at the foot of His cross on Good Friday, so that we may witness the birth of Easter.

Amongst all the change in the world, God has given us a great and comforting gift. … and it’s easy to forget what God has done for us. By giving something up we have a chance to experience life without it and hopefully realize where true comfort comes from. Let go of the bad, give in to the good and give up your life for Christ.

Decide if you want to read the prayer of have a youth do it.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, We know that when our hands are formed into tight fists, we cannot open them to receive anything. Help us to let go when we are feeling overwhelmed, so that we may receive your peace. Help us to let go when we feel fear, so that in fear’s place we may receive love and courage. We let go of problems and challenges in order to receive your guidance and clarity. We let go and trust that we will not fall. We gladly receive this gift of letting go, giving in and giving up as we let You lead and guide us.
If you still have time here’s a little bit “more”
“Rags and Brags”. Each youth should take turns sharing a good thing that happened in the last few days and a bad thing in the same time frame.