Posts Tagged ‘Evening Sessions’

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Attention Funnel: Food-Eating Contests

 Introduction:

  • Often in this life we take good things and we end up misusing them.
  • We hope to get more out of them then what they really offer.
  • Rather than accepting the good things for what they are, we take them and try to make them what gives us life, purpose, meaning, and satisfaction.
    • Rather than accepting Hot Dogs as a thing to be enjoyed, people take them and try to eat as many as they can in order to win a prize,
  • One of the ways we do this as humans is that we take pleasure and make it the end all of life.
  • Solomon is going to test this way of life out for us… he’s going to put pleasure to the test, to see if it can give him the meaning and satisfaction in life that he craves for.
  • And spoiler alert, He is going to find that it comes up empty.

Big Idea: Pleasure is a good gift from God.

 Passage: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11; 2:24-26

 Main Points:

  • Pleasure is not the problem
  • Pleasure unhinged from God is the problem.
  • Enjoy pleasure as a gift from God.

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Life 2.0

Posted: January 13, 2018 by keystoneyouth in Ecclesiastes Lessons
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Series Attention Funnel: Name That Famous Historical Figure

 Series Introduction:

  • Prepare to Die and Learn to Live… seems like a weird title for a series right.
  • We live by avoiding death at all costs. We don’t want to think about it. We push it out of our minds.
  • But Ecclesiastes is a bit of a weird book, so perhaps a weird title fits.
  • One person compares this book to a crazed man downtown. “He smells like he hasn’t bathed and looks like it too and as we pass by he won’t stop glaring at us and beckoning to us that our lives are built on illusions, and that we are all going to die. So, most of us choose to get our lunch at a different shop on a less dreary corner of town.”
  • I’ve already compared him to the friend that ruins everything.
    • “You look really beautiful today. But someday you’re going to grow old, saggy, and eventually be planted in the ground. So, have a nice day.”
  • But Ecclesiastes is not an eternal pessimist who only points out the bad in life to draw us down to his level.
  • Rather he simply wants to keep us from rooting our hope, meaning, and satisfaction in something in this world, when death will in fact take it all away from us.
  • He wants to prepare us for the day that we die… and in so doing, teach us to live well here and now.

 Lesson Attention Funnel: Name a Movie Sequel That Came Out in this Past Year

  • What do we know to be the case about sequels? They are almost always worse than the original.
  • So why do we go in flocks and droves to see sequels?
  • Because we secretly hope that they will be better. We hope that the second, third, fourth, or twentieth movie in a series is going to deliver better entertainment then the first one.
  • You thought SpiderMan 1 was good, just wait until SpiderMan 6! You liked Star Wars 7, just wait until Star Wars 8! You liked the Avengers… Well then you are definitely going to like Avengers vs. Smurphs! Can’t wait!
  • Life in this world is a little bit like this. We spend our whole lives chasing after something more, chasing after a better life.
  • I’m going to call that concept Life 2.0. We are convinced that this better, more improved, more fulfilling life is right around the corner… when I get to high school, when I get to college, when I get a job, when I get my license, when I find true love, when I have a family, when I have lots of money.
  • And yet just like the sequel to a movie, the future life we are chasing never quite delivers. We’re convinced there has to be more, but everywhere we look in this life that more eludes us.

 Passage: Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

 Big Idea: Life in this world leaves us longing for something more.

 Main Points:

  • We long for a life that is permanent.
  • We long for a life of complete satisfaction.
  • We long for a life of lasting significance.
  • Hope: Jesus broke into the world to give us life.

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Father Time

Posted: December 20, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Incomparable
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Attention Funnel: What Decade Did that Take Place??

 Introduction:

  • The final way that God is different than us that we are going to look at is that God is eternal.
  • God is not bound by time. He has no beginning and end.
  • This is obviously different then us. We are dominated by time. We have 24 hours, 7 days, 12 months, and perhaps 70-90 years. That’s it.
  • It is impossible to escape time.
    • One year, I decided I was going to try to do it. My goal was to never look at a clock for the entire year. I would just set alarms on my phone telling me when the next thing was there for me to do. I quickly realized how foolish this was, not only because I would have to look at a clock to set my alarms, but also because I would spend so much time trying not to look at what time it was that I would end up wasting a lot of my time.
  • One of the most well-known passages on time is found in Ecclesiastes chapter 3. It’s a passage quoted at funerals, in well-known songs, and by famous movie characters.
  • And it’s a passage that teaches us to learn to live not only under the rule of time, but under the rule of the one who controls all time.

 Passage: Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

 Big Idea: The timeless God orders all of our times.

 Main Points:

  • Our lives are full of good and bad times.
  • Because God is outside time, He orders all our times.
  • We can live as ones who know the ending.
  • We can know the ending because the incomparable God became one of us.

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Attention Funnel: Youth Workers Then and Now; Video of Girl Every First Year of School

 Introduction:

  • We love both change and consistency…
  • We love change.
    • We love that we are potty-trained
    • We love that we aren’t stuck in Junior High for the rest of our lives.
    • We love that we don’t have to eat the same food every single meal.
    • We love fresh starts – a new year, new relationship, new school or new job.
  • We also love consistency.
    • I love not waking up in different house every day.
    • I love that I can have coffee every morning.
    • I love that my keyboard doesn’t change every time I open my laptop.
    • I love that my paycheck is the same every two weeks.
  • One of the ways that God is different than us (and the entire world) is that he is unchanging (God is immutable).
    • Malachi 3:6; James 1:17

Big Idea: The unchanging God wants to use changing circumstances to change us.

 Main Points:

  • God alone is our rock and refuge.
  • God remains the same even as our circumstances change.
  • God wants to use our circumstances to change us.

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Independence Day

Posted: December 20, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Incomparable
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Introduction:

  • When I was in middle school, several friends and I had the best fort that any middle schooler could ask for.
    • It was a fort that could only be accessed by fourwheelers…
    • It had a recliner chair, bunk beds, a creek out back that we put our mountain dew in to cool, and a fireplace to have all our great late night discussions around.
    • We loved to go spend the night at this fort. We would make fires, cook hot dogs, drink Mountain Dew until our teeth hurt, and talk about what we would do if a murder on the run from the cops broke into our fort while we were sleeping. The answer of course was a roundhouse kick to the face and then threaten him with our swiss army pocket knives.
  • Why did we love this fort so much? Because it represented independence.  It represented that we could survive on our own apart from our parents.
  • In many ways, this is the same thing that drives people to live off the grid. They want independence. They want to be free of needing other people to help them survive. They want to be self-sufficient.
  • The past couple weeks we have been exploring ways that God is different than us…
  • Tonight we want to continue that journey by looking at the fact that God is self-sufficient. He doesn’t need anything or anyone. He is utterly perfect on his own.
  • We see this in several places throughout the Bible, starting with the Isaiah 40 passage that we have been in.
  • Isaiah 40:28-31

 Big Idea: The God who needs nothing created us to need him.

 Main Points:

  • God doesn’t need anything.
  • We don’t want to need God.
  • Weakness is the new strength. 

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Know-It-All

Posted: November 17, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Incomparable
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Introduction:

  • Part of being human is that we are learners.
  • Each day we learn something new about our world and the people we share it with.
  • Learning something new at school, at a job, at home, about our best friend… those things should excite and exhilarate us.
  • God created and designed us to be learners. We pursue truth because all truth comes from God.
  • But this is also part of the way that we are different then God. God never learns anything new. In fact, God has never learned anything.
    • Isaiah 40:13-14

Big Idea: God has unlimited knowledge.

 Main Points

  • God knows all things.
  • God never forgets.
  • We must learn to be content with a limited knowledge.

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To Infinity and Beyond

Posted: November 17, 2017 by keystoneyouth in Incomparable
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Series Introduction:

  • If you are a human, then you think thousands of thoughts throughout a day. And if you’re like me… those thoughts might be a little scattered.
    • At one moment thinking about what I need to do for my homework assignment, and the next moment wondering what Carson Wentz’s QB rating is.
  • It would probably be both fascinating and embarrassing if you could catalog all your thoughts for 24 hours and then go back through them all.
  • It would be interesting to see all the random thoughts, but also to see what I spent the most time thinking about throughout my day…
  • W. Tozer has said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
  • Over the next couple weeks, I want to spend time thinking about God and who he is by looking at some of the ways that God is different than us… what people refer to as his incommunicable attributes.
  • Tonight, we start by looking at God’s infinite nature.

 Attention Funnel: Videos/Stories of Pushing the Limits

Introduction:

  • We love to push the limits of what is possible.
  • Whether that is going to Mars, performing a quadruple backflip, trying to stay up all night with friends, or seeing how far your car can go after the gas light comes on signally that your tank is empty.
    • Story of you coasting into a gas station.
  • But ultimately, we are all limited.
    • If we make it to Mars, we will be reminded that we have not made it to Jupiter, Saturn, and the other planets in our solar system.
    • No one will ever land a decuple backflip (10).
    • If you stay up all night, the next day is miserable.
    • The day we run out of gas… we are shamefully reminded that a gas tank on “E” is not unlimited.
  • However, one of the things we learn about God when we read the Bible is that he is not limited.
    • Which is another way of saying that He is infinite.

Passage: Isaiah 40:12-31

 Big Idea: The unlimited God created us to be limited humans.

 Main Points:

  • God has no limits.
  • We try to limit God.
  • God created the entire world AND us with limits.
  • We try to throw off the limits God places on us.

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