Showing posts with label Youth Sunday School. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Youth Sunday School. Show all posts

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Genesis 16 Youth Sunday School Lesson

Please refer to my Most Effective Way to Teach a Youth Bible Study

Discussion Points:

- Whose Fault? - Whose fault is it when bad things happen to you? Who can you point the finger at pin the blame on?

Sarai was unfortunate enough not to have ever had children even though she desperately wanted them. In this conversation with her husband, she blames God for her misfortune, saying that God has kept her from having children.

The Bible doesn't say that God had anything to do with Sarai's inability to conceive. It may have just been a bad thing that happened to her. But instead of accepting her situation for the natural condition it was, she pointed the finger at God.

When she decided - note that God didn't give her this idea - to have Abram sleep with Hagar, she was jealous of the resulting pregnancy and blamed Abram, saying he was responsible for the situation.

When she mistreated Hagar, she was responsible for Hagar running away.

In all of these instances, Sarai tried to blame someone for her problems instead of simply accepting them and dealing with them maturely.

We all have problems. Bad things happen to us. But at no time is God the source of those bad things happening. God loves us and only wishes to bless us. In fact, if Sarai would have been patient, she would have found God blessing her with her own child soon enough.

God does not cause bad things to happen to us. But if we will be patient and conduct ourselves maturely instead of blaming Him and others for our misfortunes, He will eventually help us.

What situations can you recall God helping you with? Can you have faith enough to know that He's going to do it again?

- The God Who Sees Me - Hagar found herself in a desperate situation. She was taken advantage of, then mistreated, and finally forced to flee. She had taken more than she could handle.

And then God finds her. God comes to her and speaks to her and blesses her. Afterward, she acknowledges that God is the one who sees her.

Do you know that God sees you too? No matter what you're going through, God sees it, and He sees you. Even now, He is coming to you, speaking to you, telling you that He cares for you and wants to bless you. Can you hear it? Listen to His voice speaking into your heart. Listen for His Spirit speaking to your spirit. Let His words take shape in your mind.

He sees you. He knows you. He loves you. He cares about you and He will bless you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Genesis 15 Youth Sunday School

Please refer to my Most Effective Way to Teach a Youth Bible Study

Discussion Points:

- Do Not Be Afraid - What causes us fear? The threat of danger, certainly, and failure. We fear for our safety and we fear that our efforts, what we've been working toward, will ultimately end up being wasted.

God tells Abram not to be afraid. Why should Abram not to be afraid? Because God is his "shield" and his "very great reward." God is his protection and all he needs for his effort.

In the same way, God is our shield, protecting us in every way He sees fit, and the only thing we ever need. With God protecting us and blessing us with the reward of Himself both now an forever, what danger can threaten us? What failure will mean anything in the light of our spending eternity with God?

Do not be afraid, for God is your shield and your very great reward.

- Belief as Righteousness - How do you know if you believe something or not? If you believe something, you act on it. It shapes how you live. If I believe that 3 + 2 = 5, when I add those numbers together, I'm going to give the same answer every time. It's been ingrained in me and it shapes how I live.

If I say I believe 3 + 2 = 5 but then sometimes give the answer as 4 or 6, I don't believe it to the point of it shaping my life.

In Abram's case, he believed God and God credited Abram's belief as righteousness? What does this mean? How did Abram's belief translate to righteousness?

Abram believed God to the point that Abram acted on what God said. It affected his life. He didn't name his servant as his heir.

If we believe God, if we take what He said, and apply it to our lives in such a way that what we say we believe affects the way we live, then God will credit our belief as righteousness as well, because we will be living righteously based on our beliefs.

- The Smoking Pot and the Carcasses - How do you know you can believe God when He says something? Isn't possible for God to go back on His word just like people do?

In this story, God has Abram lay out animal carcasses on either side of a pathway and then God passes through the middle of those carcasses. In ancient times, this would have been a way of sealing a very solemn contract. The one who passed through the carcasses would have been saying, "If I fail to hold up my end of the bargain, may I become like these carcasses, mutilated and torn in two."

But what do we know about God? Can God die? Can God become like those carcasses? No. Even when God the Son died on the cross, death couldn't hold Him. God is Life.

So God is giving Abram a double assurance. "If I fail to keep My word, I'll die. But since I can't die, I can't fail to keep My word."

In the same way, we can trust that God will keep His word to us because God can't deny who He is. He can't break His own character. If God is Truth, God must be true. If God is Love, God must act out of love. If God is righteous, He must act righteously.

We can trust God because we know who He is and what His character is like.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Genesis 14 Youth Sunday School Lesson

Please refer to my Most Effective Way to Teach a Youth Bible Study

Discussion Points:

- Caught Up - Nine kings were having a war and Lot, and by extension Abram, was caught up in the middle of it. With God's help, Abram was able to defeat the attacking kings and recover what had been lost.

In the same way, through no fault of our own, we sometimes get caught up in the events of life. Things happen that we have no control over. Circumstances take a down turn for us.

But with God's help, we can come out of those victorious. With God's help, we can regain what was lost.

Has life ever caught you up? How did God make you victorious in that situation?

- The Tenth - When Abram is victorious over the attacking kings, he gives a tenth of the recovered possessions to the priest, Melchizedek. Why did he give this priest a tenth of what he had received? The priest didn't fight the battle. The priest didn't recover the possessions. The priest didn't have anything stolen from him in the first place.

But Abram gave him a tenth in order to show his gratitude to God. He was thankful that God had given him such an amazing victory. And since he couldn't give the tenth to God directly, he gave it to God's representative, the priest.

We do the same thing. When we want to acknowledge the good things God has done for us by giving us certain skills and the opportunity to work at our jobs and make an income, we thank God by giving a tenth of what we have received to Him. But we give it to Him by entrusting it to His chosen representatives, the officials of the church.

Tithing, or giving God a tenth of what we have received, is our way of showing our gratitude to Him.

- Refusing to Take Dirty Money - When the king of Sodom offers the remaining possessions to Abram, he refuses to accept. He knows that the king of Sodom is corrupt and does not want to owe anything to him. Abram trusts only God's blessings and does not want to deal with people who don't share his values.

We can take some lessons from Abram here. Where does your money come from? Who do you do business with? Don't dirty yourself or your finances by taking money from someone you know to be of low moral value. Do business with integrity, work for a company of integrity, buy from people of integrity, and God will bless you for it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Genesis 13 Youth Sunday School Lesson

Discussion Points:

- Generosity Rewarded - Abram is the patriarch of his family. He's the guy in charge. Yet when a problem arises, he is the one to offer Lot - his nephew, his junior - first choice of the land. And when he does humble himself and offer such generosity to Lot, God rewards Abram with more land and descendants than Abram ever thought possible.

Do you have such a humble and generous attitude? Who can you be more humble and generous toward? To whom can you show preference, even though you may be above them in some way? Can you remember a time when God rewarded your generosity?

If you are humble and generous toward others in your daily life, God will be generous toward you in some truly amazing, God-sized ways, just as He was to Abram.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Genesis 12 Youth Sunday School Lesson

Discussion Points:

- Second Chances - Has God ever asked you to do something, and then when you didn't do it, gave you a second chance a little while later? He does that for Abram here. In Genesis 11:31, it says that Abram's father was taking him to Canaan, but they stopped short. Now God is calling Abram to continue the journey.

Sometimes our life is like that. God calls us to do something and we get started, but don't quite go all the way. Sometimes we stop to rest. Thank God that He continues to call us onward and that sometimes a call is simply a renewal to the call.

What has God called you to in the past? Is He still calling you to it? If you're not sure, ask Him. He will answer.

- The Cost of Deceit - Abram went to Egypt because there was a famine in Canaan. While he was in Egypt, he lied needlessly to the man who could help him the most. When his lie was found out, Pharaoh refused to help him any more and sent him away.

Have you deceived someone needlessly? Have you ever used someone without being completely honest? God blesses honesty, and when we're honest with people, they will usually help us more than if we deceive them. If they find out our deception, we will have ruined our chance to receive any help from them at all.

Be open and honest with people - be a person of integrity - and watch how God blesses your life through them.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Genesis 11 Youth Sunday School Lesson

Refer to my Most Effective Way to Teach a Youth Bible Study

Discussion Points:

- "So that we may make a name for ourselves" - What are you living for? What is your dream? Does it involve you becoming well-known or famous for some skill that you have? Do you want to be respected for your accomplishments?

The people living in the plain of Shinar wanted to be famous and respected. They built a city with a tall tower in order to make a name for themselves. They were prideful and were working to gain the admiration of others.

But God didn't see that as a worthy life goal. He had something different in mind for these people living in the plain of Shinar, so to make them forget their dream of fame and respect, He confused their language. They couldn't cooperate with each other anymore and had to abandon their project.

What does God have planned for you? Is it fame and respect, or is something more meaningful He wants you to work toward?

Just like the people living in the plain of Shinar, if you are not in God's will, He will not bless you in your work and may even work against you to bring you back to a true sense of purpose.

But if you are living in God's will and working toward something truly worthy, He will bless you, work with you, and help you to accomplish what you've set out to do.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Genesis 10 Youth Sunday School Lesson

Discussion Points:

- Nimrod, Mighty before the Lord - Nimrod was a mighty hunter who accomplished the building of an empire. He was called "mighty before the Lord" for his skill and accomplishments.

For what do you want to be known as being "mighty before the Lord"? What skills has He given you? What situation has He placed you in? What can you accomplish in life to be known as "mighty before the Lord"?

If you use the talents God has given you to the best of your ability, God might see you as being a "mighty mother before the Lord", a "mighty winner of souls" before the Lord, "a mighty home remodeler before the Lord".

Notice that Nimrod's mightiness wasn't accredited to anything spiritual He did. Our mightiness before the Lord doesn't have to be spiritual. If we're using what God has given to us to the best of our abilities, He will take pleasure in you using what He's given you, and He will call "mighty before the Lord" for whatever you're doing.

So, do your best to the glory of God, and know that He calls you "mighty before the Lord".

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Genesis 9 Youth Sunday School Lesson

Discussion Points:

- The Rainbow of Hope - God says that it's going to rain again, but He won't make it rain so much that all life is swept away again. God gives the rainbow as a sign to show humanity that we need not fear the rain again. We can apply the same truth in our own lives. Bad things may happen to us - the rain and the storms may come - but we will not be overwhelmed if we stand strong in Him. He is our source of hope, our rainbow to life's storms. Even when we die, we have not been overwhelmed because He will welcome us into eternal life and raise us back to life. The hope that we have in Him is a rainbow that will always shine afterward, no matter how big the storm that preceded it.

- What did Ham do wrong? Two things: 1. He saw Noah's mistake and spread the word about it. 2. He didn't help Noah when he saw him in need. Rather than showing grace to his father, he left him as he was and then exposed his mistake needlessly to his brothers. Let us not be like Ham. When we see someone who has made a mistake, let's not further shame them by telling others about it. Instead, let us quietly help them correct the mistake as Shem and Japheth did for their father. We are called to be full of grace, helping one another, not taking joy in another's downfall or spreading gossip about it.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Genesis 8 Youth Sunday School Lesson

Refer to my Most Effective Way to Teach a Youth Bible Study

Discussion Points:

- Hope in Patience - God remembered Noah and brought an end to the Flood. God will remember you in the midst of your troubles too. When the flood waters of life seem to be tossing you around and threatening you every moment, God will remember you and send a fresh breeze to calm your troubles, just as He did with the Flood. But you may have to wait a while for that happen. Noah couldn't step right out of the ark. He had to send out the raven and then the dove and the dove again. God will send that wind of change in our lives, but we have to be patient. We also have to pay attention to the signs He's giving us. Stay in tune with God so that you can feel the breeze of change blowing, and try to see what He's doing in your life. Can you see the dove returning with the olive leaf in it's mouth? If you can't see it yet - if you can't see your life changing yet - keep looking and have hope that God will remember you in your troubles.

  • God will remember you
  • God will bring change to your life
  • Wait for it in patience
  • Stay in tune with God
  • Watch for the signs

Friday, February 28, 2014

Genesis 7 Youth Sunday School Lesson

Discussion Points:

- The Cycle of Submission and Reward - God saved Noah from the Flood because of he was living righteously. He had submitted his life to God's Lordship over his life and was rewarded for it. In the same way, if we live under the Lordship of Christ and submit our lives to Him, we will be saved. God will find us righteous in our generation, just as He did Noah in his. But after Noah is saved, God continues to give him instructions, and Noah continues to submit. When God tells him to take the animals with him, the Scripture says that Noah did all that the Lord commanded him to do. So it is in the Christian life. God will give us instructions, reward us, and then give us more instructions. We are never finished submitting our life to God, and God is never finished rewarding us for our faithful service. Have you submitted your life to Christ's Lordship? How has He rewarded you in the past? How is He continuing to bless your life now? What new instructions is He giving you today?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Genesis 2 Youth Sunday School

Refer to my Most Effective Way to Teach a Youth Bible Study

Discussion Points:

- The 7th Day or the 7th and 1st Day? - Did you know that the ancient Jewish people only had a one-day weekend instead of two? How would you like that - going to work or going to school six days a week?

That's what the Jewish people did. The Hebrew Sabbath, or weekend, was only one day, Saturday. It wasn't until Christ rose on the first day of the week, Sunday, that Christians began observing a two-day Sabbath, or weekend.

In Genesis 2, God blessed us with a one-day weekend to give us a rest for our physical, mental, and emotional health. We need to take a break from the rest of what we were doing that week and refresh ourselves.

With Christ's resurrection, it then became appropriate for us to celebrate the Lord's resurrection on Sunday, the day of the week that He rose from the dead. Taking a break on Saturday is for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Sunday is for our spiritual health.

And Sunday should be a celebration. Every week, we're celebrating what Christ did for us when He defeated death on our behalf. Don't skip that.

And don't miss out on the benefits of the weekend in general. If you're like me, you tend to want to keep busy and keep accomplishing things whether it be for work or school or just things you need to get done around the house. But know that God has given us the weekend, and commanded us to observe the weekend, because He cares for us. He cares for us as whole persons - our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual heath - and has given us set times to renew and refresh each of those aspects of our being. That's what the weekend is for. God has ordered us to keep it holy for our own good.

- The Breath of Life - In the first chapter of Genesis, we see God forming the earth itself, the land and sea, the plants and animals, and then briefly the first human beings. Then, in Genesis 2, we focus a little more intently and get a more detailed picture of how God created Adam and Eve.

God didn't just speak Adam into existence like He did with the rest of the plants and animals. Instead, God personally formed Adam. He shaped the soil of the ground perfectly to form just what He wanted and then He took that form of a man and breathed His own breath into it.

God didn't do that with any of the things He made during creation. This shows how special mankind is to God - that He would personally form Adam and breathe God's breath into Adam's lungs.

It reminds us of Jesus breathing on the disciples and telling them to "receive the Holy Spirit" in John 20:22. Talk about God personally forming someone. God spent a moment forming Adam, but Jesus spent three years personally forming these disciples into what He wanted them to be. And then He did the same thing God with Adam. He breathed His own breath onto them and gave them gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Hebrew and Greek words for breath also mean spirit. When God breathed on Adam, He was giving Adam His own breath, His own Spirit. It's the same thing Jesus is doing with His disciples. He's literally breathing the Holy Spirit into them and giving them new life, just as God gave Adam life.

I wonder how long God has been personally forming you. How long has He been working with you and shaping you into that perfect creation that He wants you to be? Do you know that you can't have true life without Him breathing the Holy Spirit into you? Ask Him to breathe His life-giving Spirit into you anew today and give Him permission to shape you any way He wants to.

- "It is Not Good for the Man to Be Alone" - In Genesis 2, after God made Adam and got him started on his work, God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone?" What does that mean - "not good to be alone"? And was Adam alone? He had God. He had the animals. Adam wasn't alone!

Except in the sense that he had no equal. God was above him, the animals were below him; he had no one beside him.

Until God put Adam to sleep and made "a suitable helper" for Adam out of a rib in his side. Now, it's important to note that Eve was made out of a part of Adam's side because that shows that she was Adam's equal. She wasn't made from a part of Adam's head, which would symbolize that she was above Adam in status like God was above Adam. She wasn't made from a part of Adam's foot, which would symbolize she was lower in status than Adam like the animals were lower than Adam. She was made from a part of Adam's side, symbolizing that she could stand side by side with Adam as his suitable helper.

Now, even though Eve was taken from a part of the man, she wasn't a man. She was a woman. She was like the man, but different. And I think it is this different but equal status that she held with the man that made Eve an even more suitable companion than if she would have been just another man.

Men and women are very different. Maybe you've noticed that. We have a lot of similarities; we're far from being polar opposites as some people seem to think, but we also have a lot of differences.

In general, a man has different personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses than a woman's general personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. This difference is what helps us to complement each other and work so well together. We can balance each others' perspective; we can cover for each others' weaknesses with our complementary strengths.

It wasn't good for Adam to be alone because he needed an equal but different companion to be a suitable helper for him.

How has God blessed you with an equal but different companion? How can you work better with that person to more fully complement each others' differences? If you haven't found that person yet, what are some qualities that would be different but complementary to your own qualities in another person? What type of person do you feel would balance and complement your personal strengths the best?

- Adam Names the Animals - One of the most interesting things in Scripture is who named the animals. God thought them up, God spoke them into existence and created them, but it is Adam who names them. Just imagine that for a second. God created all of these wonderful, various creatures, and then it sounds like He lines them up in front of Adam and asks Adam what he would like to call each one.

I get the image in my head of God almost in a childlike state of excitement presenting His creations to Adam as a gift and waiting to see what Adam will think of each one.

It's such an amazing thought to think of the gift that God has given us with the creation of this world. We talk about how the world is going downhill and about how much better it will be in Heaven or when Christ returns. and I agree. But it wasn't like that in the beginning. In the beginning, the world was very good. It was God's masterpiece, and He gave it to us. That shows us how much God thinks of us - that He would give us such an amazing gift.

Sometimes you hear about men promising their girl the moon. No one can give someone else the moon, but God did give us the world. 

Of, course, the gift came with responsibility. Earlier in the chapter, God sets Adam in the Garden of Eden "to work it and take care of it." Here, he presents the animals to Adam and Adam names them. Now, when you name something, you're showing that it has some sort of significance to you. When you give someone a nickname, you're doing so to show that that person is special to you in some way. Even if you're teasing someone and you give them a not very nice nickname, that still shows that the person is significant to you. They're special enough to you - in some way - for you to want to take the time to name them.

When Adam names the animals, they become significant to him. He cares for them and has some responsibility to take care of them.

As you go through your day today, I encourage you to thank God for this amazing gift of the world that He's given to you, and think about the responsibility you personally have to take care of it.

- One Flesh - In Genesis 2, it says that when a man and woman get married, they become one flesh. In 1st Corinthians 6:16, it says that when a man has sex with a prostitute, he becomes one with her in flesh. Well, what does that mean? What does it mean to become one flesh with someone?

First, let's think about this very literally. What does a man do with his wife that he can also do with a prostitute? Have sex, right? When a man and a woman have sex, whether they're legally married or not, a part of the man's body enters the woman's body. They're joined. He is inside her. They are one flesh for as long as penetration lasts.

When Paul tells us not to become one flesh with prostitutes, he's telling us not to defile our bodies because our bodies, being inhabited by God's Holy Spirit, being members of Christ's Body as part of the body of believers, are holy themselves.

So we need to exercise discretion. We only want our bodies to be one in flesh with someone who is also a member of Christ's body, who is also holy themselves. That's part of why Paul tells us not to be unequally yoked as well. As holy beings, even in body - not just in spirit - we need to be joining ourselves to, or becoming one flesh, only with a partner who is also holy. God has created us as whole beings - spirit, mind, and body - and He cares about whole being, not just our spirits. God is very concerned with how we treat, and what we do with, our bodies.

It's important to remember that Adam and Eve felt no shame being naked with each other because they were both holy. When we should feel shame is when are naked with someone who is not holy. And part of this being holy/not being holy is not just the idea of uniting yourself to other Christians in sex, but uniting yourself in the way that God has commanded us to. That means following the example of Adam and Eve in this first part of Genesis - one man and one woman being solely committed to each other.

That is the model that God has given us for marriage and for sex, and it's what Paul and the rest of Scripture warns us to maintain.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Who’s in Control? - Proverbs Youth Sunday School Lesson

Brief: God gives us free will, but He controls what will happen.

(Printable Student Sheet)

Scripture: Proverbs 16:1, 9, 33; 19:21; 20:24; James 4:13-16

Intro Activity
Have one student walk out of the room.  While they are gone, have everyone else move seats. When the student reenters the room, wait until they take their cue from everyone.  They will probably sit in a new seat.

Ask the first student why they sat in a new seat. They will probably answer by saying 1) that’s what they thought they should do, or 2) someone had taken their seat.

Ask the students who changed seats why they chose the new seats that they did.  They will probably answer with 1) they wanted to go to the new seat, or  2) the teacher told them to move seats.

Point out that there were two reasons for each, one being what the student thought or did, and the other what the teacher told them to do or made them think.  Then, make the statement that this is how everything that we say or do works.  We might think something or do something, but God is always the one influencing us.  God is working behind the scenes and ultimately deciding what will happen.


Who are the two people acting in this verse?  What are they doing? 

A person plans out what they are going to say. God determines what the person actually says. So, here we have two reasons for what is said: 1) the person planning it out and 2) God deciding what they will say.


What is the person doing?  What is God doing? 

The person makes plans, but God directs their steps.  Again, two reasons for what a person does: 1) the person planning it out and 2) God deciding what will happen.


What is the person doing?  What is God doing? 

The person is rolling the dice, but God is determining what comes up.  Again, two reasons for what happens: 1) the person throwing the dice and 2) God deciding what it will be.


What is the person doing?  What is God doing? 

The person is making plans, but God decides what will actually happen.  Again, two reasons for what a person does: 1) the person planning it out and 2) God deciding what will happen.

If the people in these verses are planning what they’re going to do and what they’re going to say, and they’re the ones throwing the dice, but it’s always God that decides what’s going to happen, does that mean that we don’t have free will?


What was the person doing in these verses? 

Planning what they’re going to do.

Who would ultimately decide if what they’re planning happens?

God. It’s the same thing in the Proverbs verses. We can plan to do something or say something, but if that’s not what God’s will is for us, it isn’t going to happen. His will is what will prevail, not ours.

Imagine I put you in a room with a door and a window. After a while, you decide you want to leave the room. You have two choices on how to leave, right? You can leave through the door or through the window. You decide to leave through the door. So, you walk to the door and turn and pull on the handle. But the door’s locked. I locked it from the outside. So, now what do you have to do if you want to leave the room? Go through the window.

Did I take away your free will by locking the door? No. You still had free will. You decided to leave through the door. It’s just that your free will decision didn’t work out. My plan for how you would leave the room worked out.

God gives us free will. We can plan all we want. It just might not happen that way. God’s will is what will ultimately happen.


Describe a time when you’ve wondered how you got to where you were in life. What do you think God’s plan was for bringing you to that point?

Will Power! The Power to Fight Temptation! - Proverbs Youth Sunday School Lesson

Brief: It’s wise to exercise self-control.

(Printable Student Sheet)

Scripture: Proverbs 23:29-35; 20:1; 23:1-5; 25:16, 28; 16:32


According to this passage, what happens when people drink too much alcohol? 

It makes people lose their perception of reality. You can get addicted.  It also says that people get bruises when they’re drunk and that people are hitting them. Let’s find out why.


According to this verse, what else can happen when we drink? 

Sometimes, alcohol makes people angry or irritable and can cause them to get into fights more easily.


What two things are these verses warning us against? 

Wanting good food and lots of money, gluttony and greed.

Why does God want us to avoid these two things? 

God knows that our wanting to get rich or wanting to dine expensively is distracting to what life is really all about. God has designed life to be all about having a relationship with Him and loving each other. Making too much out of money or how good our food is makes an idol out of those things.


What are some good things that we can have too much of?

Too much of one kind of food will make our body will suffer. Focusing too much on one aspect of our lives will make the other aspects suffer. We need balance.

So, instead of drinking too much or eating too much or trying to get more and more money or spending too much time on one thing, what should we do?


Being a warrior and being able to conquer a city is pretty tough.  But who does this verse say is even stronger than that? 

The person who can control himself is even stronger than someone who is incredibly strong physically. It’s about self-control.


What are a city’s walls used for?  

The walls of a city are for protection and defense. 

What happens when the walls are broken down?  

If the walls are broken down, then the enemy can come in and conquer the inhabitants or kill them.

How is this like us when do not exercise self-control?

If we don’t keep our defenses up, our self-control and will-power, then it will be easy for us to give in to those temptations of drinking too much or eating too much or wanting too much money or getting obsessed over something or giving in to anger. We need to have self-control to fight off those temptations.