Everyone Needs Grace

29 01 2012

Series Overview

In middle school and high school many students begin to become keenly aware of their desires, thoughts, and temptations, and for the first time start to understand that they’re sinful. They also begin to realize that it’s not just them. The entire human race has a problem with straying from God’s intended plan. Thankfully, that’s where grace comes in. Despite our rebellion from God, we can receive his mercy and unconditional love. We’re all undeserving sinners, but our Heavenly Father has extended to all of us his love and compassion because He knows that we all need His grace.

Session 1 (January 29, 2012)

As you may know, students never make mistakes.  Each of them caries a long list of excuses of why nothing is their fault: my computer crashed, the bus was late, I had to go to my brother’s game…..the list goes on and on. This excuse game, though, is not a new problem. Men and women have been trying to shift the blame to others since Adam and Eve fell in the garden.  Just as no one has to be taught how to sin, no one has to be taught to sidestep responsibility for those decisions. We often justify our actions with excuses like, “I couldn’t help it”, “nobody’s perfect”, “I didn’t know it was wrong”, or “I was pressured into it.” Today, we want each student to understand that God does not tempt us. We’ve been given free will and if we fall, it’s because of our own evil desires. God has given us the freedom to choose sin, but he does not tempt us. We’re taking the road that leads to death when we take our freedom and use it to make choices that are outside of God’s will. Talk to your student about the importance of taking responsibility for our own actions, and ask your student why we try to shift the blame for our sins.

Session 2 (February 5, 2012)

Sometimes it’s easy to feel that our relationship with God is based on a system of do’s and don’ts. In fact, if we were to be honest, many of us feel like the depth of our relationship has to do with how well we abide by God’s rules. We think the better we behave, the more God will love us, and the more we break the rules, the more God will hold against us. The reality is that our fear of God is driven out of our lack of knowledge of Him. The more we get to know our Heavenly Father, the better we can begin to understand that His love for us is so much more than a record of all the bad we do in life. 1 John 4:18 teaches us that God loves us unconditionally despite our fear. If we can begin to understand the way God loves us, our fear of Him will no longer be an issue, because where there is love there cannot be fear. Talk to your student about how you have felt the love of God in your own life, and ask them why understanding the love of God is important.

Session 3 (February 12, 2012)

In week one we started discussing the issue of sin in our lives. One of the greatest forces that Christians have to deal with is guilt. When we sin, it not only causes us to question our actions, but also to question who we are. Many Christians fall into temptation and begin to question whether their salvation “took.” We begin wondering, “What if it didn’t count?” “What if I prayed the prayer wrong?” “What if I didn’t believe hard enough?” or “If it was real, why do I keep making bad decisions?” We all know that dreadful feeling of self loathing that causes us to question whether or not we have really been redeemed by His grace.  In John chapter 10, Jesus makes it clear that His sheep cannot be taken away from him. If no amount of sin before you accepted Him can keep you away, why would any amount of sin after accepting keep you from him? The truth is that you will not always “feel” saved, but you are. We can approach the throne with confidence because once we are in his hands, we cannot be removed.  Ask your student why we can be confident that we are God’s.

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