Main Point of Discussion: In desperate times, people are willing to put their belief in just about anything. But as followers of God, our belief must ALWAYS be in Him.
Introducing the Clip:
The clip we are going to watch comes from the movie Rango. In this scene, we discover that the town sheriff has been hoarding the water during a draught so he can use it as a way to exercise control over the townspeople. As we watch it, think of how you might respond if you were asked what you believe in.
Even though the Sheriff has a manipulative motive, he is definitely aware of a universal truth. It is a universal truth that people need to believe in something, especially when they are living in desperate times. The critical question is whether or not the object of our belief can get us through our difficulties.
Divide into Small Groups: Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we dive in, everybody take a second to share your name and complete this sentence. I believe in _________________.
- ASK A FEW: How would your friends and family fill in the blank?
- ASK A FEW: Do you agree with the sheriff’s statement that everyone has to believe in something? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW? What is it about desperate times that drive people to their core beliefs?
- ASK A FEW: What has helped you in difficult circumstances?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever put your faith in something that ended up failing you in your trials?
Read the following passage from the Bible:
When the people realized that Moses was taking forever in coming down off the mountain, they rallied around Aaron and said, “Do something. Make gods for us who will lead us. That Moses, the man who got us out of Egypt—who knows what’s happened to him?”
So Aaron told them, “Take off the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters and bring them to me.” They all did it; they removed the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from their hands and cast it in the form of a calf, shaping it with an engraving tool.
The people responded with enthusiasm: “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from Egypt!”
Aaron, taking in the situation, built an altar before the calf.
Aaron then announced, “Tomorrow is a feast day to GOD!”
Early the next morning, the people got up and offered Whole-Burnt-Offerings and brought Peace-Offerings. The people sat down to eat and drink and then began to party. It turned into a wild party!
GOD spoke to Moses, “Go! Get down there! Your people whom you brought up from the land of Egypt have fallen to pieces. In no time at all they’ve turned away from the way I commanded them: They made a molten calf and worshiped it. They’ve sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are the gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt!'”
When you think about it, everyone has faith in something, and everyone turns to a belief in something when times get rough. Unfortunately we oftentimes turn to manmade ideas or solutions that are really just idols that can’t help us at all.
We need to take a warning from the Israelites: even when we know God is working in our lives, it can be easy to put our beliefs in the quick and visible idols in our world.
Give students a pencil and paper, and then ask them to fill in the blanks from the list below with responses based on their experiences with God.
When I am happy, I believe _____________________
When I’m lonely, I believe _______________________
When life is as dry as a desert, I believe _____________
When I’m scared, I believe __________________
When life is unfair, I believe ____________________
When it seems like there is no purpose _______________
When I die, I believe _________________________
If you look at your list and realize that you don’t put your trust and faith and belief in God at all times, especially the tough times, then you probably have your faith in the wrong place. You need to put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. You can do that right here tonight, and have your life and eternity completely changed. Don’t leave here without doing that tonight.
Close in Prayer
Written by Lane Palmer
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.