May 23, 2019
This week, the middle school crew wrapped up the series called “I’m Gifted” in which they talked about how God gives spiritual gifts to His people for the purpose of impacting other people’s lives. They discussed the importance of partnering with Jesus, and partnering with other Christ followers in order to serve one another, and to be a witness to others. This week in particular, the students focused on 1 Corinthians 12:4-28 in which Paul talks about the many members of the body of Christ. They discussed that, as a family under Christ, we are to partner with other followers of Jesus that may have different gifting’s than us. Importantly, the body of Christ is a witness to the world of who Jesus is, and therefore, we are called to work together in unity! This is so that the world will see not a bunch of individuals, but a whole body that has one head – Jesus Christ! Here are some questions to help you follow up with your student this week:
- Describe a time you used a spiritual gift to help others – or saw someone else do that. How did that honor Jesus?
- How has your faith in Jesus gotten stronger by seeing people use their spiritual gifts to serve others?
- How can you partner with other people this week to help serve others?
The high school crew finished up their 5 month journey through the book of 1 Peter. That’s right… we took 5 months to finish five chapters! Last night we read and studied all of chapter 5, which breaks into two distinct sections. First, Peter shifts his attention to exhorting the elders of the churches he is writing to. He want to encourage them to shepherd the flock of God rightly, not under compulsion, for selfish gain, or to domineer over people. He also encourages the church to submit themselves to the elders of the congregation. We talked about the importance of church leadership, and the importance of being a part of the flock of God. This plays itself out in church membership! We have and hold to membership so that the shepherds know who the flock is that they’re called to shepherd, and that the flock knows that it’s going to be shepherded and held accountable to God’s Word!
Second, Peter encourages his readers to be humble before God, casting all their anxieties onto Him because He cares for them (5:6-7). We talked about how true humility before God doesn’t hold onto fear, but it freely lets go of earthly fears in the trust that God knows and cares about us! Although, as Peter says, Satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking to devour, we are to keep our eyes on Jesus, standing firm in our faith. We talked about how it’s easy, especially in the midst of suffering, grief, or persecution to put all our focus on how we may be feeling, or how awful our situation is. But God calls us to keep our eyes on Him in the knowledge that He cares for us (5:7), and that “after we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace… will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us” (5:10). We finished by talking about the final greetings of the book, and wrapped it up by praying that the truths in 1 Peter would be true of our lives.
It was a good night with the students!