Object Lessons, Topical Curriculum

No More Refills

Main Point: Our sinful nature is like a thirst that can never be quenched. There is only one thing that quenches that thirst… the living water that Jesus provides.

Items Needed:

  • Cup from fast food restaurant

  • Some sort of beverage to pour in the cup

I speak to many youth ministers who are concerned with the growing appetite of our students for the meals of the world. Although our students desire to do good and to be good, they are filled with a sinful nature that as Paul said, “Causes us to do what we don’t want to do.” My concern is that many of our students have developed a habit of returning to the same well; chasing after the same refill again and again. For many of our students this well is acceptance, for some it is lust, others it is anger and for some it is foolishness. Our students are falling daily to their appetites for sin!

Passage: John 4 – The woman at the well

The Bible tells a story of a woman who Jesus met who was simply going to the well to get some water. Jesus, as he does so many times, uses this moment as a chance to illustrate to her how His kingdom works. Read the story to your students…..

How many of you believe you have set records for the most drink refills ever while you are at a restaurant? You know how it works. Either you keep going up to the fast food refill station and filling your glass again and again…. or you sit down at a restaurant and the waiter just keeps bringing drinks and setting them in front of you and before you know it you have had 3 glasses, then 5, then 8? Until you feel like you are swimming and need to excuse yourself for the bathroom or inform the waiter that you have reached your drinking limit and he needs to cut you off.

Here’s the thing… no matter how many refills you get, you will always still be thirsty later. I could drink 10 Mr. Pibb’s on Monday and still be thirsty again on Tuesday.

In the Bible Paul talks to us about an appetite we have that is very similar to this. He calls it our “sinful nature.” There is a part of us that simply has an appetite for sin. No matter how often we give in and feed our sinful nature it is never satisfied and in the end just leaves us disappointed and wanting more later.

Jesus asked the woman at the well to bring to him her husband and she told him about her man troubles. Jesus was saying to her, “Look, you can keep going back to the well or the refill line and filling your life with these meaningless relationships with guys, but you will always still be thirsty. I offer you living water that will never leave you thirsty.” No where in scripture does the Lord offer to take away our appetite for sin, but He does promise to give us something more attractive, something more fulfilling—a life with Him that really satisfies.

(As you tell the story fill your cup each time you talk about thirst and drink it over and over again.)

Where to Go from Here:
Talk about the living water that Jesus provides. You can just present the Gospel, or you can go into more depth, using John 15 to talk about how his life flows through us when we stay connected to him (the vine and the branches).

Taking it Further:
We did a teaching series called Fast Food Faith where we looked at our appetite for sin and broke down the Lord’s plan for us to protect us from our sinful nature.

Written by Ben Hardman


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.


  1. Drew Beatty
    October 24, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Loved it! Very applicable.

  2. Karen
    April 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Check this lesson out

  3. Matt
    April 26, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Great way to lead into a powerful discussion. Thank you all for your efforts and labor.

  4. Pat
    September 5, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Soul searching, simple and powerful.

  5. Scott Richardson
    May 14, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Where can I find the series Fast Food Faith?

  6. P Webster
    February 25, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Really enjoyed and found this lesson helpful. /thank you.

Reply your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*