Posts Tagged ‘grace’

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Introduction:

  • Over the past couple weeks, we have been talking about drama and conflict.
  • Two weeks ago, we asked the question: What causes conflict? – Answer People get in the way of what we want.
  • Last week we asked: What does God want to do in our conflicts? – Answer: Make us more like Jesus.
  • Tonight, we ask: How should we respond to conflict? – Answer: Ask for and offer forgiveness.

Attention Funnel: Expectation vs. Reality 

  • When I was in middle school, I wanted to be Allen Iverson. He was an incredible basketball player and a world-class rapper. Two of the things I aspired to as a 7thgrader, and continue to aspire to as a 29-year-old. Although I’ve already achieved one of those things by now. He had an incredible crossover and could make some of the most ridiculous fade away shots… So I would spent my time doing those two things… meanwhile I could barely make a left-handed layup. I was so focused on the big flashy moves that I failed in some of the most basic things.
  • Sometimes I think this is how we approach forgiveness… we only see the massive acts of forgiveness, while missing the small day-to-day aspect of forgiveness. And so if we haven’t had any really big hurts in our lives, we think forgiveness doesn’t apply to us… meanwhile we can’t manage to forgive a sibling when they take the last piece of food, or a parent when they have done something wrong to us.
  • Some of you may have already experienced some really big hurts in your lives… and tonight’s lesson absolutely applies to you. If that is you and you are wrestling with forgiving someone, I would encourage you to share your story with a youth worker.
  • But perhaps more of you are just struggling to do the day-to-day daily acts of forgiving people when they do something to offend you or make you angry.
  • Tonight, I want to look at a well-known story in Matthew that Jesus told to see what we can learn and apply about this issue of forgiveness.

Big Idea: Resolve conflict by asking for and offering forgiveness.

 Passage: Matthew 18:21-35

 Main Points:

  • Forgiveness is irrational.
  • Refusing to forgive is even more irrational.
  • Forgiveness in action.

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Taking Sides

Posted: March 19, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Drama Lessons
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Introduction:

  • When a conflict erupts, when drama happens, we tend to immediately take sides. We dig in and begin to think about all the reasons we are in the right and the other person is in the wrong. Meanwhile the other person is doing the exact same thing on the other side.
  • The Battle of Somme – This was the bloodiest battle of WWI because both sides dug deep trenches and refused to give up any ground. Sometimes this is how our conflicts look. Dig trenches, don’t give up any ground, and never give in to the other person.
  • We dig a trench, hold our ground, and occasionally fire some bullets over the wall. We won’t back down and the other person won’t back down. And so, we remain in a conflict that just gets more destructive over time.
  • We don’t just take sides against other people, but we also take a side with or against God.

Big Idea: We can work with or against God in all of our fights.

  • Every time there is a conflict, we will either choose to work with God by having him work on us, or we will choose to work against God.
  • To see this, we need to first of all see what God’s purpose is in our fights, because if we don’t understand his purpose, then we won’t know whether we are working for or against him.

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Lust

Posted: February 22, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Death Row Lessons
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Attention Funnel: Stupid and Serious Warning Signs

  • When I talk about lust, I wonder if you approach is as you approach the stupid warning signs? Brushing it off… thinking it’s no big deal, thinking the warnings that are put out are just the words of an old-fashioned book and an out-of-touch youth pastor.
  • Or when I talk about lust, do you approach it like you would approach a very serious warning sign? That how we respond to lust (and all sin) is a life or death situation that shouldn’t be written off but should be weighed very carefully. That how we respond has serious consequences.

Introduction:

  • I realize I’m probably talking to 2 or 3 different groups on a night like this.
  • Group #1 – “Lust really isn’t that big of deal… it doesn’t really matter if I look at pornography, have sex with a boyfriend or girlfriend, masturbate, or use other people in my fantasies.”
  • Group #2 – “I know lust is a big deal, and I struggle with it almost every day. But I feel like I’m trapped, I seem to make no progress in fighting it… all I ever feel is more guilt and shame.”
  • Group #3 – “I can’t believe people would struggle with that. I mean if you have sex in high school you’re a slut, if you look at pornography your gross, and I can’t believe other people might struggle with these types of thoughts.”
    • To the first group I want to give a warning with the goal that you start to take the fight against lust seriously.
    • To the second group you already take the fight against lust seriously… you just feel overwhelmed by it. You feel like you are in a street fight in which you are badly outmanned. I want to both give you a comfort and remind you that you are not badly outmanned.
    • To the third group… just because you may not struggle with a certain sin does not mean you should look down on those who do. Rather, you should realize the only thing that keeps you from this is God’s grace, and you should have the humility to realize that you struggle with other sin in your life… and so take what is said tonight and apply it to that sin.
  • Our lesson will be driven by feeling the weight of lust, the tidal force of God’s grace, and the seeing the power we have been given to fight back against lust.

Passage: Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Corinthians 6:9-15

Big Idea: Lust is sexual desire unhinged from God.

  • Sex and Sexual desire is not bad, it is a gift from God. BUT like all of our desires, sex finds its proper place in being submitted to God.
  • A roller coaster is fun if there is something holding you down and strapping you in. A roller coaster is terrifying and deadly if there is no harness keeping you in place.
  • Sex is good if it’s within the confines of God’s will – marriage. It’s deadly and destructive outside the confines of God’s will.
  • Lust is sex that falls outside of God’s will… this includes hook-ups, sex with a girlfriend or boyfriend, adultery, oral sex, making out with and feeling up another person for the sole purpose of sexual arousal, looking at pornography, watching anything on TV that causes you to be sexually aroused, masturbating, and thinking about someone in way that they become the object of a sexual fantasy.

Main Points:

  • Lust will destroy you.
  • Jesus alone saves you.
  • Who you are shapes what you do.

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Envy

Posted: January 23, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Death Row Lessons
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Refresh:

  • Big Idea: Either we kill sin or it kills us (Romans 8:13)
  • Fighting a grizzly bear. Removing the Blindfold.
  • Last week we talked about Pride – with the big idea that “We should spend our lives making much of God rather than making a name for ourselves.”
  • This week we move on to Envy.

Attention Funnel: Rivalries

  • In a rivalry, it’s not just that you hate losing, but you also hate your rival winning. You hate when they succeed.
  • “Envy is the feeling of unhappiness at the blessing and fortune of others.” –Joe Rigney
  • “Envy is the consuming desire to have everybody else as unsuccessful as you are” – Frederick Buechner

Big Idea: Envy hates when other people are a big deal.

  • To look at Envy, we are going to look at the story of Saul and David.
  • Saul is the first King of Israel. He makes some really big mistakes along in disobeying God and as a result God says he is going to make someone else king.
  • David is a young man who we find out that God plans to make king. David is perhaps most famous for killing a giant named Goliath… we pick up the story of Saul and David soon after this happened.

Main Points:

  • Envy Compares.
  • Envy Cuts Down.
  • Envy Complains
  • Grace Crushes Envy.

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Attention Funnel: Pet Peeves – Things that Make You Irrationally Angry

 Screen Shot 2018-09-15 at 7.25.11 PMIntroduction:

  • There are certain passages in the Old Testament that people may point to in order to show a problem with God.
  • They are passages where we encounter God’s anger. On the surface, it might seem like God gets irrationally angry and does horrible things.
  • I want to take a look at a couple of these encounters tonight to see if that’s true, or to see if there’s something else they might be teaching us.

Big Idea: We don’t appreciate God’s grace until we appreciate His anger.

Main Points:

  • God’s anger is aimed at sin.
  • We assume God’s grace is ordinary.
  •  Jesus gets what we deserve, and we get what we don’t deserve.

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Women Remade

Posted: April 17, 2018 by keystoneyouth in God's Greatest Invention
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Introduction:

  • Refresh: Over the past month we have been doing a series on gender – what it means to be a man or woman.
  • Two weeks ago, we started talking about women – What did we say about women? –Women encourage, nurture, and provide strength.
  • As we did with men, I want to talk about hurdles that women face.
  • Perhaps one of the biggest struggles/hurdles that women face is that they are told that they are only as good as their physical appearance.
  • Tonight, I want to look at this hurdle, show some of the issues it causes, talk about how God remakes women.

Big Idea: Find your value in what God says about you.

Passage: Mark 5:24-34; James 4:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:17

 Main Points:

  • Sin leaves women covered in shame.
  • Comparison and perfectionism become ways of dealing with shame.
  • Only Jesus deals permanently with our shame.

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Introduction:

  • If someone walked through our doors tonight who was obviously transgender, how would you respond?
    • Whisper to someone else, avoid them, go up and tell them they are living in sin, make a joke to friends about them, welcome them in, ask them their name, treat them as any other human being?
  • I wish I could sit down and have a conversation with each of you to get a feeling of where you’re at on this issue… but my guess is that I’m talking to 3 or 4 groups of people tonight when it comes to this issue.
    • 1) “It’s all good!”
    • 2) “Eww, yuck!”
    • 3) “It’s personal.”
    • 4) “I want to respond well, but I don’t know how to.”
  • In many ways, this lesson is meant more for the last 3 groups then it is for the first.
    • Because In case you haven’t picked up from the previous lessons in this series… I believe the Bible teaches that the gender we are born with is the gender we are to live according to, and so to live in opposition to that gender is to live in opposition to God’s good design and therefore live in sin.
    • Just as I believe to act self-righteously, show favoritism, gossip, and slander someone else are all to live in opposition to God’s good design and therefore sinful.
  • My goal in this lesson is to increase compassion in us for those who may struggle with their gender and to offer hope to you if you are personally struggling with your gender.
  • Before we get started, let me define a couple terms for you.
  • Gender Dysphoria – “A person who experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mis-match between their sex assigned at birth and their gender identity. This is also the clinical diagnosis for someone who doesn’t feel comfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth.”
  • Transgender – “An umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth.”
    • A transgender man is a biological woman who identifies as a man.
    • A transgender woman is a biological man who identifies as a woman.
  • Clarify the difference – I don’t believe the person who struggles with gender dysphoria but is not openly identifying and living as the opposite gender is living in sin. But I do believe the person who openly identifies as transgender and is living as the opposite gender is living in sin.
    • Here’s another example: For me to be frustrated with my wife is not necessarily a sin… for me to act on that frustration by giving her the silent treatment, yelling at her, or trying to put her down is a sin.
  • However, I would say that gender dysphoria is a result of sin tainting this world. It is a form of brokenness that people may experience as a result of sin effecting our hearts, our minds, and our bodies.

Big Idea: Christians live as broken people that are being transformed by Jesus.

 Main Points:

  • Everybody is broken.
  • Everybody believes some gospel.
  • Everybody still wrestles with sin.
  • One day, Jesus will fully restore everybody.

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