We're Teaching This
Road trips are awesome. Whether you’re heading to the mountains with your family or to the beach with your friends, the idea of packing up, grabbing your favorite snacks, planning the perfect playlist, and hitting the road just sounds like an adventure. And it is! Maybe that’s because new places are always exciting, or maybe it’s just that, more than anywhere else, the unexpected seems to happen on the road. Flat tires. Detours. Surprisingly great lunch stops. Disappointingly awful gas stations. The unexpected is just part of the trip. Life works a lot like that, too. We start with a plan in mind, but things happen along the way that change our plans, change our minds, or even change our relationships. That’s when we have to decide to stick to the plan or change course. This was especially true for the apostle Paul. Long before GPS or interstates, Paul set out on a series of road trips, and just like us, he experienced some surprising, even life-changing moments on the road. As we take a look at some key turning points on Paul’s road trips, we discover that maybe the best thing that can happen on our journey is a change of direction.
Think About This
By Kara Powell
“I just wish my parents would realize I’m not who I was in middle school. Their picture of me never changes—even though I’ve changed.”
Without knowing it, this 17 year-old’s complaint about her parents’ inability to appreciate her growth triggered an internal alarm in me. Since our kids—now ages 16, 14, and 10—have been infants, my husband and I have seen their unique personalities emerge.
One of our kids almost never complains—even when they should exert themselves more. Another one . . . well, let’s just say that no one has ever accused her of not complaining enough.
One of our kids has been an introvert since she was a toddler. She has two good friends and that’s all she needs. Our other daughter is an off-the-chart extrovert. She loses count of her friends. Literally.
It’s good that I know my kids’ tendencies. It’s bad when I become so fixated on those tendencies that I don’t see how they are changing.
In this series, your students are going to realize change is possible. More than that, change is inevitable as we encounter Jesus. Our hero in these three lessons, the Apostle Paul, realized this firsthand. After Jesus got his attention, he changed from being one of the greatest persecutors of Christians to being one of the greatest builders of the church. Paul let Jesus change him.
As your students similarly let Jesus change them, they might start acting a little differently. All of a sudden, your son is a bit less selfish and empties the dishwasher without being asked. Or your step-daughter chooses on her own to put down her phone in the car so the two of you can talk.
We hope you know your kids and how God has uniquely molded them. But we also hope you know that God’s love and grace continues to shape them into new creations with new personalities, new victories, and new struggles.
Parenting. It’s never boring.
So how can we pay attention to—and support—the ways our kids are changing?
©2016 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Own Worst Enemy — If you sow better, you’ll reap better. Have you ever been hurt by someone you love? Maybe they said some cruel words to you. Or maybe they did something that betrayed your trust. No matter what it was, when it happened, you probably wanted to separate from them for a little while. It’s normal to want to put a little distance between yourself and someone who’s making you unhappy. But what if we told you that the person who has the potential to make you unhappier than anyone else is the one person you can never get away from? What if we told you that person is you? Think about it. When it comes to things in your life that have brought you the most pain, unhappiness, and regret—things you said, things you did, people you dated, places you went—they all have on thing in common: you. You’re making choices now that ultimately have the potential to rob you of your happiness later. But thanks to Jesus, it doesn’t have to be this way. He gives us access to a life that not only saves us from unhappiness now, but will also lead us to even greater happiness down the road. As we close our series this week, we’ll see that we have the power to choose a life that makes us happy—a life with Christ.
Share a high and a low from the past week.
When were you the happiest?
When were you unhappy?
John 10:10-11 (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Romans 6:16 (NIV)
16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
If someone didn’t know what the phrase “You are your own worst enemy” meant, how would you explain it to them?
What are some ways you have damaged your own happiness without meaning to?
In your opinion, what’s the difference between pleasure and happiness?
What happens when you prioritize pleasure over happiness?
What do you think it means to “reap what you sow”?
Why do we need the help of people around us to choose happiness over pleasure? Why is a support system so powerful?
Describe the type of life you want. This week, what’s one way you could sow better in order to reap that type of life?
Holy God, our strength and our redeemer, by your Spirit hold us forever, that through your grace we may worship you and faithfully serve you, follow you and joyfully find you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. AMEN.
Go in peace, living life to the fullest in Christ.
Thanks be to God!
Mark the Cross of Christ on each others foreheads as a remembrance of your baptism and say these words...
"(Name) you are a beloved Child of God."
What is this?
Each week we will post one or more blogs related to our ministries for High School youth and families. Check back often and leave a comment!