Posts Tagged ‘Lesson’

High Hopes

Posted: April 16, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Stand Firm Lessons
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Attention Funnel: In Early May 2017, four men attempted to do something that seems almost impossible (Show Video). They set their hopes on running 26.2 miles in 2 Hours or less… which means running 26.2 miles in 4:34 pace. They went through hours of training, testing, and preparation all because they hoped they would break the 2-hour marathon barrier.

 Big Idea: What you hope for shapes how you live.

  • Tonight, as we look back into 1 Peter 1, we are going to see that what we hope for, or what we place our hope in has a big impact on whether or not we live courageously in this world.
  • Everyone hopes for something in this world. In reality we all probably hope for many things, some small and some big.
  • I hope that I get to sleep in tomorrow. I hope that I get to enjoy my vacation to Florida in a couple weeks. I hope I don’t screw up my brother-in-law’s wedding next week and actually end up marrying Micah to the bride. I hope GQ one day recognizes my modeling potential. I hope I one day have a daughter. I hope Oliver likes to read and run and I hope I get to see him married with kids of his own one day (To Matt and Kim’s daughter of course). I hope Bri and I live to be 90 years old together. I hope I’m a youth pastor until I’m 90 years oldJ
    • There are lots of things that we hope for, both consciously and unconsciously. And everyone hopes for something in this life.
  • So, the question I set out to answer this week as I was looking at 1 Peter 1 – a chapter that so clearly talks about hope – is what sets Christian hope apart from all other hope? Or in other words, what is unique about Christian hope?

 Main Points:

  • Christian hope is otherworldly.
  • Christian hope causes us to have joy… even as our hopes in this world get crushed.
  • Christian hope gives us courage to live differently.

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Look Up

Posted: April 16, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Stand Firm Lessons
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Attention Funnel: Things that take courage – Guy getting hit by a truck, Body suit flying, Free solo rock climbing

Introduction:

  • We live in a time where it is becoming increasingly difficult and unpopular to be a Christian.
    • If you believe the Bible and specifically what it says about Jesus, Hell, Salvation, Sexuality, and Sin, you are more and more likely to be seen as ignorant or backwards at best and as hateful and a bigot at worst.
    • Christians and what they believe are being pushed more and more towards the margins of society.
  • Now, before we start sounding alarms, running around screaming, or complaining about how bad things are… let me say several things.
    • First of all, we don’t have it that bad… Western Christians, especially Lancaster Christians, are still very privileged.
    • Secondly, we don’t need to look at the past like the good ole days… they weren’t.
    • Thirdly, this is nothing new. The Bible (Specifically the NT) is full of letters written to people who were living in situations where it was difficult to be a Christian. They were written to people who desperately needed courage in order to stand firm in what they believed and live out those beliefs well.
  • One Such letter is First Peter.
    • He wrote to some churches in Modern Day Turkey to encourage them in their faith and remind them to stand firm, even as they were pushed to the margins, made fun of, misunderstood, and even hated.
    • He wrote to them because he knew that holding to Christian beliefs and living as a Christian was going to take more and more courage in the years ahead.
  • Not the type of courage that looks within, but the type of courage that looks up.

 Big Idea: Courage is found in looking up to God.

 Passage: 1 Peter 1:1-2

 Main Points:

  • Christians are outsiders.
  • Christians are chosen.
  • Christians have an anchor.

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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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Look at the Mess We’ve Made

Posted: March 19, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Drama Lessons
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Attention Funnel: Best Fight Scenes – Batman vs. Bane, Napoleon Dynamite, The Other Guys

Big Idea for the Series: Conflict is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be bad.

Introduction:

  • Conflict is inevitable.Term it what you want… disagreements, fights, quarrels, or as it so often gets labeled in High School: Drama.
    • We get annoyed, upset, and angry with each other. We say things we shouldn’t say. We get offended at someone else’s words. A conflict arises and far too often things get worse before they get better.
  • But conflict doesn’t have to be bad.
    • We all have tendencies with conflict… Some of us treat it like day-old cheap Chinese food – Avoid at all costs.
    • Others of us treat conflict like the gym – We love the opportunity to flex our muscles and show off our biceps. We run into conflict to show how powerful we are by fighting until we get what we want.
  • But conflict is a great opportunity. God has purposes in all of our conflict that he wants to accomplish in us.
    • This is why running from conflict can be so horrible.
      • We cut off friendships at the first sign of trouble… with nice phrases that cover over the real reason was because we got into a fight and refused to deal with it.
    • In fact, the best relationships are the ones where conflict happens (perhaps often) and is handled well.
    • We shouldn’t want a relationship that is conflict free… anymore than we would want a car that has been crash tested.
    • A car becomes safer because it has been crash-tested so many times.
    • A relationship becomes sweeter because conflict is faced and handled well.
  • “We often think that if God really cared for us, he would make our relationships easier. In reality, a difficult relationship is a mark of his love and care. We would prefer that God would just change the relationship, but he won’t be content until the relationship changes us too. This how God created relationships to function. While we would like to avoid the mess and enjoy deep and intimate community. God says that it is in the very process of working through the mess that intimacy is found. Which relationships are most meaningful to you? Most likely they are the ones that involved working through difficulty and hardship.” (Lane and Tripp)

Over the next three weeks we are going to treat this issue of drama and conflict by asking and hopefully answering three questions:

  1. What causes conflict?
  2. What does God want to do in our conflicts?
  3. How should we respond to conflict?

Passage: James 4:1-6

 Big Idea: We fight because people get in the way of what we want.

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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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Gluttony

Posted: February 22, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Death Row Lessons
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Attention Funnel: Good Things Becoming Bad Things – Trampoline, Skateboard, Snow, Diving

 Introduction:

  • Good things can quickly turn bad.
  • This is something we know from experience… (Story from your own life).
  • This can also be a way for us to understand sin. Sin is often taking something good and using it for the wrong purposes.
  • It’s often not just “doing bad things,” but it is good desires that run wild. And go off the tracks.
  • We could say this with what we have covered the past two weeks: comfort, and money.
  • This week we will say the same thing about food (and many other categories of things we enjoy in this world)

 Big Idea: Enjoy God’s gifts, but don’t worship them.

Main Points

  • Food is a gift from God.
  • We can turn food into a god.
  • Idolatry is absurd and offensive to God.
  • Fight back with fasting and feasting.

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