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QUICK BIBLE STUDY SEED: JOHN 9
 
May I ask you, what will give you satisfaction as being successful? Will it be a fat salary or a well-respected reputation?

Perhaps it is well to note the power of the passage in John chapter 9, where Jesus takes a down-and-out blind beggar and gives him sight. This is a new man, with a whole new life ahead of him! Mark now what the people ask him and how he answers (I'll paraphrase this.)

"You look familiar, but the guy we knew who looked like you was blind," the people said.
"It's me, for sure, " answers the former blind man.
"Well, wait a minute," the people respond. "How did you get to be able to see?"
"You see, Jesus did it all..." answers the new man.

Notice that all his success starts with Jesus. He gave no opinion of himself or of anything or anyone but Jesus. Jesus was the reason for the miracle, and it's Jesus who gets the credit. THAT is success for the Christian, friends. It's Jesus first and foremost. Please remember this throughout your carer, and no matter where you go, you will find that for the Christian, this is true!

BIBLE STUDY:

GOD
God is a God of Invitation!

Take a look at Isaiah 1:18. Take a look at Isaiah 55:1. Didnt Jesus say "Come unto Me and I will give you rest?"

And I also see that God invited Noah into the ark, where He was. Isn't that a great picture of salvation?

Best of all, look at Revelation 22:17. You know the qualifications for coming to Him? You must be thirsty and you must be willing. That's it. Let's look up other references besides these, where God openly invites people to receive His blessing.

CHRISTMAS BIBLE STUDY OUTLINE:

Text: 1 Corinthians 15:1-23

The Greatest Christmas Celebration Ever: We Will Rise Again!

1. Its a verified fact that Jesus was resurrected (1-11)
a. Jesus was resurrected and seen by more than 500 people.
b. Josephus writings attest to Jesus.
2. Its an eternal hope (12-23)
a. v. 17 vain literally means "void of results."
b. v. 19 literally "people that should be pitied."
3. Its going to be an incredible party!
a. Revelation 5, the singing of the redeemed - an incredible number!
b. We will be joined (Rev. 5) by angelic beings as well - what a choir!

TONIGHT'S BIBLE STUDY: GOD THE FATHER

Texts: John 3:3-15 (We are His children)
Matthew 7:21 (We are to obey and respect Him)

Start the study by asking the teens to name a few of the father images on TV. Write them on the overhead or blackboard. You may get a variety of answers (Ward on "Leave It to Beaver".) You may get some examples that may make you cringe (Homer of the "Simpsons") but follow through and ask for good traits and bad traits. Then as the discussion gets rolling, ask for a comparison of these dads to God the Father. Does God lose His patience? Would God allow that kind of an attitude to continue? What would God do in that situation? How does God treat us, His teen?
Follow this with the teens finding as many of the fatherly traits of God as possible. Lead a prayer specifically thanking God for His benevolence as a Holy Father.

SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER

The question has come up again and again throughout the years of my youth ministry - "Can I lose my salvation? Does the Bible say I will have my salvation taken away? What does the Bible say about eternal security?"
Due to the overwhelming interest in this area to new believers, allow me to share some Scriptures with you. Transfer these verses to a study page and pass it out to your teens. Put it on 8.5 x 5.5 inch paper so it can fit neatly into their Bibles.

1. God does not let saints fall
Micah 7:8 - "when I fall I shall arise"
Psalm 37:24,25 - "Though he fall he shall not utterly be cast down...I have not seen the righteous forsaken..."

2. This is the Lord's doing, and it is not in our power to "undo" it.
Psalm 37:37,40 - "But salvation of the righteous is of the Lord..."
2 Tim. 1:12 "He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day."
Jude 24 - "...now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling..."
1 Peter 1:5 - "who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

3. God knows the believer. John 10:14 - God tells us He knows His child. Compare that with the lost He speaks to in Matthew 7:23. "...I never knew you..."

4. The believer is in Jesus' hand.
John 10:28 - "...neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."

5. The believer will not come into condemnation.
John 5:24 - "He that...believeth on Him that sent me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation..."



BIBLE STUDY: GENUINE CHRISTIANITY
VERSES ON OPENING UP AND BECOMING REAL

We see hypocritical people and deceptive practices all around us every day. From false advertising to unreal movie action, we are bombarded with sham activity and thoughts. Can we as Christians be real in a false world? Share this dicussion with your teens.

HOW TO BECOME "REAL"

* Read Acts 2:42-45 ... what one point stands out to you most about the early church? What do you like most about their attitude of sharing and caring?

* Read Psalm 22 - this is known as the Messianic Psalm, because it so closely details the crucifixion experience Christ endured...but look at verse 6. See how Christ refers to himself. He is referring to how he feels as he is being persecuted. Have you ever felt so despised and lonely because you were standing up for the Lord? Our youth group wants to be a refuge from the hardness and cruelty Christians face in an unsaved world. How can we do that?

Read Proverbs 11:2 - What does the humble Christian receive? How can we relate this to our lives?

BIBLE STUDY: THE RIGHT KIND OF EXERCISE

1. A great exercise for a Christian is practicing humility to help point others to Christ.
TEXT: John 1:7 John would not let himself be exalted, but pointed people to Christ, the true Light.

2. Prayer and studying the Scripture helps us exercise our readiness to witness.
TEXT:Acts 1:8 We should prepare not only to witness to our neighbors and classmates (Jerusalem) but also other neighborhoods and areas (Judea) and far-reaching regions (Samaria & uttermost parts of the world)

3. Memorizing Scripture is a good exercise to help guard the soul against testimony-killing sin.
TEXT: Psalm 119:11 Hiding God's Word in our heart is a defensive measure against sin.

4. Preparing to actually verbally witness opens up new opportunities.
TEXT: 1 Peter 5:13 Being ready to share our hope keeps us from getting caught 'flat-footed.'

BIBLE STUDY: INITIATIVE

2 Timothy 4:6-7
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith..."

The newspaper article in the Florida newspaper told it in grim detail. The Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported the death of a 12 year old boy who hung himself. Why? The merciless taunting of his classmates because of his weight. The boy was 5 foot 4 inches tall and weighed 174 pounds. Seems the classmates couldnt get enough of teasing him. So one evening at midnight, he crawled out of the window of his home and went to the backyard tree, got a stool, slung a rope over a branch and hung himself. His 8 and 10 year old brothers found him as they were getting ready for school. His mother collapsed as the paramedics pronounced him dead on the scene. The father immediately took an axe and cut down the tree.

You might say the boy was literally teased to death. Isnt that absolutely tragic?

One observer put it this way: Our kids learn a lot about science and math - but they dont really hang onto the instruction about compassion.
Maybe there has been a bit of taunting and teasing here in our own familys. Its painful. Stop it now. Start showing Christ living in you.

But let me ask you...surely there was at least one student in his school who was a Christian, who could have befriended him, and made him feel welcome. WHERE WERE THE CHRISTIANS?

Maybe this same situation is brewing at your school. Are there others who need your care? As a Christian, take the initiative.

Verses for study:
1 Timothy 6:12 - "Fight the good fight...:
2 Timothy 4:9 - "Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me..." Jesus wants folowers who are loyal to Him!


GOALS - a Bible Study on careers and stuff

Even more important than planning for college and a business career is the need to prepare for a life of ministry for Christ.

This Bible study helps teens think about their goals in serving the Lord as the years go by. It starts by getting the teen to write down Godly goals for this school year! Let them write some thoughts down in the flyleaf of their Bible.

* Read John 10:12-13 and discuss: what kind of a mentality does a hireling have? Have you ever had a hireling mentality when it came to serving Jesus?

* Read Acts 17:22 Paul stood in the midst of Mars Hill and he made quite a stand - what was his goal? Could that be our goal as well?

* Proverbs 16:17 What is the goal of the upright, according to this verse? How can you do that?

Then say:
"Teens, write down three Godly goals that you would want to accomplish before the end of this school year. Take that paper and pray over it. Put it in your Bible and report your progress to me in two weeks."

I'm always at the contruction site, adding new entries to this page every week! Take a look below at some new helps for you!

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Search Easton's Bible Dictionary

Alphabetical
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BE REAL DISCUSSION STARTERS
Here are some hot topic case studies to get your teens into the Bible and in a discussion mode. The Bible references and subject are in parentheses. Use this for a small Friday get-together or a teen panel discussion:

1. "You dont understand," said John, with a tinge of irritation in his voice. "The Bible talks about love - - even I know that! Solomon had a slew of wives. If it feels okay, I think I could trust my inner feelings enough to make responsible decisions as to how far I can go on a date." (DATING - Hebrews 13:4)

2. Darla laughed out loud. "The camp-meeting days are over - Im sorry. Were in a new millennium! My church says God is a God of love. Besides, He's too important to worry about my sins and actions. Dont try to scare me!" (JUSTICE - Zeph. 3:5; Deut. 32:4)

3. Tom dropped down on the sofa. "I'm pitching it in! From now on, I'm going to do what I want. I've followed the Christian way and it's gotten me nothing but ridicule and frustration. You can have your Jesus walk - it's too hard for me!" (TRIBULATION - Mark. 13:21)

Read these scenarios out loud. Ask your group:
- Can you sympathize with the speakers? Have you ever felt that way?
- Knowing the Bible is God's truth, where would you recommend the speaker look to find the answer he or she needs? You may check your concordance.
- How would you explain the verse to the speaker?

THIS DISCUSSION TIME IS A GOOD WAY TO START THE SCHOOL YEAR.

WHO'S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR?

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

HAVE YOUR TEENS BEEN CONFRONTED BY JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES? Many teens have opened the door to Jehovah's Witness followers and have not been able to understand what the visitors teach or believe.

They teach Christ was created YET our Bible says Christ was not created, He is the Creator of all things (Col. 1:16)

They teach Christ was once Michael the archangel YET Hebrews chapter 1 says time and time again that Christ is so much better than the angels; in fact, the angels worship Christ.

They teach Christ cannot be God YET our Bible says Christ is given the names of God (Isa. 9:6, Mark. 1:23) He forgave sin as only God can (Mark 2:5-7) and created the world as only God can (Col. 1:16). Christ is God in that He is omnipresent (Mark. 28:20), eternal (John 1:1, John 8:58), and omniscient (John 21:17), among other attributes.

You may want to have a handout photocopied small enough so that the teens can paste it to the inside of their Bible.

JESUS VISITS MY HOME...

As the teens come into the room at the beginning of the hour, hand out 3 x 5 cards. Ask them: If Jesus were to awaken you and stay with you for one hour tomorrow morning, and you could say one thing to Him, what would it be?

Have the teens write down their responses. Read some of the answers out loud. (You may get some flippant answers that would do no good for the discussion to follow. Disregard them.) Then launch into a good strong Bible study of how we really can do just that - have a conversation with Jesus Christ as we pray. We can simply talk to God! John 14:13-14, Matthew 21: 21-22 and John 16:23-26 would be some good starting points for your study.


ARMAGEDDON BIBLE STUDY

The recent interest in the LEFT BEHIND series (and in a shameless plug for my book, the RISKING DAYLIGHT series found on the Teen Channel "Breakaway" at Focus on the Family's website: fotf.org), teens have shown a thirst of wanting to know what will be hapening in the end times. This study can help them get involved in a serious study about God's final acions on earth.

- Have your teens each take a Bible and look up these verses. Ask them questions to provoke some thought-stirring conversation.

When we look at the ultimate triumph of Christ, the final showdown will be at a place called Armageddon. Its literal meaning is "mount of Megiddo", but in Biblical terms it stands for the war of all wars. The Antichrist and his forces will gather to do battle against Jesus Christ.

FACTS OF ARMAGEDDON

1. Look up Rev. 16:16...as you can see, it will take place at the concluding stages of the Tribulation. It will close out the Tribulation and show an obvious victory over the Antichrist.

2. Look up Joel 3:12...the nations of the world will be involved.In fact, the involvement is worldwide. Apparently there will be enough power among the unbelievers in each and every nation to create a sort of "United Nations against Jesus."

3. Look up and read Psalm 2...you'll see those nations are not in a conference to talk about Jesus. They want to do war against the Lord and His saints!

4. Now look up Rev. 19:11-21...take a look at the final declaration of the full victory by Jesus Christ. Can anyone argue the fact that Jesus will be declared King of Kings and Lord of Lords?

It is full and complete victory. In World War 2, the Japanese climbed aboard the battleship and signed a surrender treaty in the front of General Douglas MacArthur and thousands of soldiers. The battles were over. The War was over. The victors were clearly noted. The world breathed a sigh of relief. Even more so will the victors be identified - those that are with Jesus Christ. Are you on the winning side?


QUOTES FOR BIBLE STUDIES:

Here's a good quote that can get your teens starting in a discussion mode. Read the quote:

DOUBT
"Never doubt in darkness what God has shown you in the light."
- Dr. V. Raymond Edman
THEN ASK: What does Dr. Edman mean by this saying? How could it apply to a teen's life? Use this quote as a discussion starter with your group at a late-night campout or a retreat.

HERE'S A BIBLE STUDY FOR THIS SUNDAY:

GENUINE CHRISTIANITY
BIBLE STUDY VERSES ON OPENING UP AND BECOMING REAL

* Read Acts 2:42-45 ... what one point stands out to you most about the early church? What do you like most about their attitude of sharing and caring?
* Read Psalm 22 - this is known as the Messianic Psalm, because it so closely details the crucifixion experience Christ endured...but look at verse 6. See how Christ refers to himself. He is referring to how he feels as he is being persecuted. Have you ever felt so despised and lonely because you were standing up for the Lord? Our family wants to be a refuge from the hardness and cruelty Christians face in an unsaved world. How can we do that?
Read Proverbs 11:2 - What does the humble Christian receive? How can we relate this to our lives?

DO NOT FORCE TEENS TO TALK, NOR EMBARRASS THEM, BUT GENTLY PULL OUT REACTIONS TO THE READING ABOVE. ALLOW TEENS TO USE OTHER SCRIPTURES IF THEY WANT TO QUOTE A CROSS REFERENCE.

A BIBLE STUDY ON THE HOLINESS OF GOD

Often we forget that God is Holy. The Bible is filled with references to His holiness.

1. Habkk 1:12 - He is everlasting and He is holy.
2. Psalm 60:6 - God speaks in His holiness, from His holy sanctuary (KJV)
3. Job 15:15 - He is so holy, even the heavens are unclean before Him.

WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THIS?

1. We get tough toward sin like Joseph: Psalm 39:9...he realized that the worst thing was that he would sin AGAINST GOD!
2. We become tender like Ezra: Ezra 9:6...when Ezra the prophet saw his people become rebellious against the Lord, he became astonished and ashamed, and the people were moved by his grieving.

May we recognize that above all, God is holy!

PERSUASION

Start your Bible discussion by looking up these verses:
Psalm 119:18 1 Thess.4:13,14


Then tell the teens this illustration:

An Army psychology student drew kitchen detail and decided to apply some of his studies and theories to his work. He was stationed at the end of the chow line, assigned to hand out apricots. Apricots were not exactly a favorite among soldiers. He asked the first soldiers that passed by, "You dont want any apricots, do you?" He calculated that 90% responded with "No."
He then tried a different angle. The next shift of soldiers were asked "You do want apricots, don't you?" Approximately half answered, "Yes, I guess so."
Finally he tried an old selling technique. This third time he asked, "One dish of apricots or two?" In spite of the universal dislike for Army apricots, 40% took two dishes and 50% took one!

People can be easily swayed by smooth talking...even Christians. Instill on your teens the need to hear and heed the Truth...Gods Word.

Let them discuss the dangerous ways that persuasion has tried to reach them... on television, in movies, at school, in the neighborhood, or even in the family.


HERE'S A BIBLE STUDY ON PRIDE:

let the teens look up these verse and discuss the teaching about pride in each of them:
Luke 9:23-25 1 Cor. 10:24 Romans 15:2,3

Then use this true story, one of my favorite illustrations:

A backwoods country preacher wrote George Bernard Shaw in 1935, having heard the playwright was particularly adept at brewing coffee a certain way. The pastor was interested in the method and asked Shaw to explain the "recipe." Shaw sent a reply in detail, adding, "I hope this is an honest request and not a surreptitious mode of securing my autograph."
The preacher answered, enclosing Shaw's signature cut out from his letter. He wrote, "Accept my thanks for the recipe. I wrote in good faith so allow me to return what it is you infinitely prize, but which is of no value to me, your autograph."

Talk with your teens about the sin of pride and the need for confession to God.






HERE ARE TWO BIBLE STUDIES YOU CAN USE THIS WEEKEND:

FIRST, A STUDY ON ETERNITY:

ETERNITY
Opening thought: George was in love with Karen. They became engaged, and George went to the jeweler and bought a diamond ring costing over $2000. The jeweler threw in a little case for free by which the ring could be set and held for carrying...nothing much, just a nice-looking box. Then George had it gift-wrapped and played it coy, laying the box on Karen's kitchen table, expecting her to squeal with delight when she opened it and saw the ring. He sat in the living room, anticipating the event. By and by, Karen came in, smiling.
"Well? Did you find the little box?" asked George.
"Oh, yes, and thank you, George," gushed Karen. "And its such a lovely little box that I promise to keep it wrapped and in fact I hid it so it would never get damaged!"


Isn't that dumb?

But isn't is just as foolish that Christians spend all their time and thoughts on their bodies and hardly any on their souls? The Bible tells us the soul will last much longer and is much more valuable, right? It's also true that a soul properly in line with God will have a greater impact on the unsaved around us. So let's see what will feed the soul and have an impact on others ...for eternity.

1. Actively practicing humility can strengthen our soul and help point others to Christ.
John 1:7 John would not let himself be exalted, but pointed people to Christ, the true Light.

2. Planned courses of action can prepare a soul for opportunities of witnessing.
Acts 1:8 We should prepare not only to witness to our neighbors and classmates (Jerusalem) but also other neighborhoods and areas (Judea) and far-reaching regions (Samaria & uttermost parts of the world)

3. Memorizing helps prepare a soul against testimony-killing sin.
Psalm 119:11 Hiding God's Word in our heart is a defensive measure against sin.

4. Preparing a soul to actually verbally witness opens up new opportunities.
1 Peter 5:13 Being ready to share our hope keeps us from getting caught 'flat-footed.'

AND THE SECOND STUDY IS ABOUT GOD THE FATHER

GOD THE FATHER
Texts: John 3:3-15 (We are His children)
Matthew 7:21 (We are to obey and respect Him)

Start the study by asking the teens to name a few of the father images on TV. Write them on the overhead or blackboard. You may get a variety of answers (the dad on "Family Matters", Ward on "Leave It to Beaver") You may get some examples that may make you cringe ("Homer" of the Simpsons, the dad on "Roseanne") but follow through and ask for good traits and bad traits. Then as the discussion gets rolling, ask for a comparison of these dads to God the Father. Does God lose His patience? Would God allow that kind of an attitude to continue? What would God do in that situation? How does God treat us, His child?
Follow this with the teens finding as many of the fatherly traits of God as possible. Have a prayer specifically thanking God for His benevolence as a Holy Father.

HERE WAS THURSDAY'S OFFERINGS ON BIBLE DISCUSSIONS:

Let's take a look at some Bible studies designed to get your kids reading the Scriptures and talking about the truths of God's Word. Let's start with

PURITY
1. The CBS TV Network has made a bold claim that it will offer "provocative" and suggestive programs in order to entice a younger audience to watch this fall.
2. The movie "Baby-sitter's Club" initially had a "G" rating, but admitted to adding a few filthy words to get a PG. in order to lure older teens to the film. Teens are being targets for impurity. What does the Bible say?
3. Hollywood is having a serious problem, now that movie theaters are definitely beginning to check ID's an stop underage kids from seeing "R" rated movies. It's been discovered that a large portion of "R" movie profits come from kids in their early teens. Verses to study:

ROM. 13:14 TITUS 2:11,12 1 PETER 1:14-16 EPH 2:3

...and here's a powerful study on

REJECTION

Jay came into my office and said that since he told his girlfriend Stacy about his renewed commitment to Christ, she has lost interest in seeing him. Both are Christians, but jay took a powerful stance in wanting to see the Lord's will in his life. His girlfriend lost all interest, and has rejected him simply because she has no interest in making a commitment and possible sacrifice in order to follow the Lord.
Pass out index cards and make sure you tell your teens that this survey is to be anonymous. Have your young people write down a time that still hurts in their memory. The time should not be written so that others could guess what it is. Collect the cards, shuffle them good, and read some aloud. You will note a number of cards talk about rejection. This could be a good start for your Bible study on rejection. Have your teens turn to different passages on rejection, such as Luke 17:25 and Isaiah 53:3. Ask your teens how Christ faced rejection and relate it to the kinds of rejection Christians must face.



DISCIPLINE OR NOT?

Bring this up for discussion with your teens. What does the Bible say?

References for study: Prov. 13:13 1 Sam. 15:22,23 Luke 11:28

ISSUE: A.S. Neill wrote a book, Summerhill, based upon the actual English school he had developed years ago. (Remind your teens that this is for real) At the private school Summerhill, the students were on-campus during the course of the year. Discipline was virtually non-existent. Students were not required to get out of bed in the morning nor were they forced to attend classes. They did not have to complete assignments or even take baths! Neill's reasons for this incredible social experiment were based upon his lifelong beliefs:

1. Adults have no rights to insist that teen obey them. The only reason an adult forces a child to obey is because he satisfies a thirst for power. Imposing any rules on a child is inexcusable. The ideal home is where parents and teen are equals. Teen should be totally uninhibited.

2. Teen should not be required to do any kind of work until they are 18 years of age - not even small chores. "We insult them by making them do our menial tasks."

3. Teen should not be taught religion. Religion is merely existent in society because of false quilt over sexual matters. Myths are the reason behind God, sin, and afterlife. In the future, much wiser teen will totally reject religion.

4. Absolutely no punishment whatsoever. A parent who spanks his child is proving his hate for that child. (At Summerhill one student broke 17 windows without so much as a reprimand.)

5. Pornography should not be withheld. Neill even indicated he would purchase pornography for those who asked. He felt it would cure their curiosity without harming the child.

6. "Please" and "thank you" are antiquated words and have no place in a child's life.

7. It is unfair coercion to reward a child for good behavior. It is degrading and demoralizing.


(Allow comments by your teens. Is this wrong? Do you think any of these beliefs are taught, subtly taught, today in schools? Finish with God's true Words of discipline from above references as well as extra references of your own.)

GOD'S GIFTS

Open your Bible study by asking the teens about the best Christmas gift they ever received as a child. You might even prime the pump by giving your own story first. Give detail as to how you felt opening up the package, etc. Then ask the teens for their stories. Open up the Bible and bring across the point that our God is a giving God who wants to delight us with gifts. Use these verses below.

(Have different teens read the verse out loud)
1. God is a giving God - Numbers 14:8
2. God rewards the righteous - Eccles. 2:26
3. God gave His Son; shouldn't He give all things? Romans 8:32
4. God does not settle for second best; He sends good gifts - James 1:17
5. God gives spiritual gifts - Psalm 29:11; Ezek. 11:19

Close with a prayer of thanking the Lord for the gifts He freely gives us.

GOSSIP

Verses for study...

Prov. 12:18 Prov. 20:19 James 3:1-12 Exodus 20:16 Eph. 4:29


Here's a true story:
We hear of many people who say they wish they could take back words they have previously used. We have also heard of others who wanted to make others "eat their words." Well, the celebrated 17th century German political historian Philipp Andreas Oldenburger had just that pleasure. It seems that Oldenburger became a little free-spirited in his criticism of the authorities in his pamphlet writings. He was arrested, found guilty, and given a most unusual sentence: "eat your own writings." And that is exactly what he was forced to do.
He writes in his memoirs that he was forced under the threat of a flogging, to eat every last shred of paper of his pamphlets. Talk about having to eat your own words! Maybe teens whose tongues constantly commit the sin of gossip ought to be aware that words can have a devastating effect on others - and on them!

BIBLE DISCUSSION TIME:

GODLY GOALS
Here are some verse for discussion when you present your study on God-honoring goals:.

Psalm 101:6...What is God saying He desires to see as a goal for a Christian?

Proverbs 11:5...What will guide the path of the righteous Christian? What happens to the one who sets wicked goals? What would be wicked goals?

Proverbs 30:7-9...This seems to be a strange request. Why do you think the writer would ask these things? How much is too much? Where do you think poverty begins? Do you think teens today in America have too much? Do you think it blinds their walk with the Lord?

HERE IS ONE OF YOUR NEW IDEAS FOR WEDNESDAY:

CASSETTE CHATS

Gather a few of your teen leaders or some other adults and set up some scenarios that get the teens talking. Get a cassette tape player and record about four "case studies" in which you have adults act as if they were in a "man on the street" interview. For example, one man can be chatting about how it is impossible for anyone to really be a Christian since we are all so bad. Turn off the tape and ask the teens how they might respond to the man's claims. Take them to Romans 3:21-26.

Then maybe after that, the next recording would be a woman telling how she has given up all hope that there is a God. She, in fact, thinks soon that she might even take her own life.

Turn off the tape and discuss...you see how it goes? Tape, discussion, Bible answers.

Some other scenarios could include an atheist, an agnostic, or a homeless person looking for the love of God. Get your teens into the practice of thinking and responding to certain "red flags" of people who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior.

SERVICE

The Christian man received word about one of his neighbors: another man in his town had a series of economic misfortunes and was having trouble feeding his family. His house was in jeopardy of being taken from him. There was no food on the table for his three children.

Quickly the Christian sprang into anonymous action. Word was passed around, and soon boxes and bags of groceries from Christians were made available to this man's family, and he learned only that concerned Christians made the food available. He never did hear specific names; the work was anonymous in the name of Christ.

Couldn't we use a few Good Samaritans in our churches? Many times teens will be more than willing to help someone within the church with a gift, a favor or help. But what about an unbeliever? Study the parable of the Good Samaritan - you'll find it in Luke 10:25-37 - and focus a lesson on the details of this teaching. Why were Samaritans scorned? Why would the others pass the dying man? Would you lay out money to help a man you didn't know?
Open this up into a more personal challenge: Teens, would you be willing to be a Good Samaritan? Which person in the community would you like to help? Get some feedback. Get a list of possible needy people who are in the community. Does an elderly lady need her lawn mowed? Could an invalid need a porch painted? Does someone outside the church need groceries? Set a day and time to fulfill the plans laid out by your potential Samaritans. You will have an opportunity to make the Scripture active in a young person's life.

GOALS

It was when I was a youth pastor in Phoenix, Arizona. I was sitting at the home of some of my youth group members when the youngest teen boy came into the house, agitated. Darrell had been trying to witness to an atheistic teen across the stret. The unsaved neighbor was putting up quite an argument. Darrell came in and sat down, unloading the questions the neighbor had thrown at him. In the midst of this, Darrell started crying. he was so convicted for the neighbor's soul that he broke down. I realized this boy was willing to face humiliation in going back and repeating in his attempts to witness. Darrell's goal was that strong!

* Read John 10:12-13 and discuss what kind of a mentality does a hireling have? Have you ever had a hireling mentality when it came to serving Jesus?
* Read Acts 17:22 Paul stood in the midst of Mars Hill and he made quite a stand - what was his goal? Could that be our goal as well?
* Proverbs 16:17 What is the goal of the upright, according to this verse? How can you do that?
"Teens, write down three Godly goals that you would want to accomplish before the end of this summer. Take that paper and pray over it. Put it in your Bible and report your progress to me in two weeks."

GENUINE CHRISTIANITY
BIBLE STUDY VERSES ON OPENING UP AND BECOMING REAL

* Read Acts 2:42-45 ... what one point stands out to you most about the early church? What do you like most about their attitude of sharing and caring?

* Read Psalm 22 - this is known as the Messianic Psalm, because it so closely details the crucifixion experience Christ endured...but look at verse 6. See how Christ refers to himself. He is referring to how he feels as he is being persecuted. Have you ever felt so despised and lonely because you were standing up for the Lord? Our family wants to be a refuge from the hardness and cruelty Christians face in an unsaved world. How can we do that?

Read Proverbs 11:2 - What does the humble Christian receive? How can we relate this to our lives?

SIN
Teacher: You may be facing an attitude among your teens that "it's a sin - so what?" Perhaps this Bible study outline will help you establish the importance of realizing the dangers of sin..

There was a story written in the 1960s about a man who stole a piece of radioactive equipment. Police called all through the country trying to warn the man that although he thought he had a treasure, it was actually a deathtrap that he was carrying around in his car. It eventually killed him. Though the story was fiction, there was an actual case of a man who stole a car that had a box of crackers on the front seat - nice kind of dinner crackers. The problem was that the owner was taking the box home to lay the crackers around the house for the mice ...you guessed it: the crackers were heavily laced with rat poison. The police were actually trying to find the thief before he had a cracker snack with fatal results.
Both these stories bring out the truth that when we go against God to seek our little sinful "treasures" we only invite trouble into our lives. It may seem pretty and it may seem small, but it is a dangerous and powerful trouble we are dealing with. Is it "only sin...?"

REJECTION

Pass out index cards and make sure you tell your teens that this survey is to be anonymous. Have your young people write down a time that still hurts in their memory. The time should not be written so that others could guess what it is. Collect the cards, shuffle them good, and read some aloud. You will note a number of cards talk about rejection. This could be a good start for your Bible study on rejection. Have your teens turn to different passages on rejection, such as Luke 17:25 and Isaiah 53:3. Ask your teens how Christ faced rejection and relate it to the kinds of rejection Christians must face.

WALKING SERMONS

Invite three of the men of the church to come and split the devotional time into three parts. Each of the men will give a five minute talk on how, as a teen, they set certain goals for their life. Have them explain briefly how those goals were changed but how through Gods careful and loving guidance the change was for the best. Giving such real-life examples will create a powerful impact on teens who may be starting to get that "immortal" and "rule the world" mentality. Close by quoting Proverbs 30:32 and having a prayer. We have done this with great success; the teens always remember the stories whenever they see the men in church - they're "walking sermons" from that time forth!

GOALS


* Read John 10:12-13 and discuss what kind of a mentality does a hireling have? Have you ever had a hireling mentality when it came to serving Jesus?

* Read Acts 17:22 Paul stood in the midst of Mars Hill and he made quite a stand - what was his goal? Could that be our goal as well?

* Proverbs 16:17 What is the goal of the upright, according to this verse? How can you do that?

Tell the group: "Teens, write down three Godly goals that you would want to accomplish before the end of this school year. Take that paper and pray over it. Put it in your Bible and report your progress to me in two weeks."

ETERNITY

Opening thought: George was in love with Karen. They became engaged, and George went to the jeweler and bought a diamond ring costing over $2000. The jeweler threw in a little case for free by which the ring could be set and held for carrying...nothing much, just a nice-looking box. Then George had it gift-wrapped and played it coy, laying the box on Karen's kitchen table, expecting her to squeal with delight when she opened it and saw the ring. He sat in the living room, anticipating the event. By and by, Karen came in, smiling.
"Well? Did you find the little box?" asked George.
"Oh, yes, and thank you, George," gushed Karen. "And it's such a lovely little box that I promise to keep it wrapped and in fact I hid it so it would never get damaged!"

Isn't that dumb?

But isn't is just as foolish that Christians spend all their time and thoughts on their bodies and hardly any on their souls. The Bible tells us the soul will last much longer and is much more valuable, right? It's also true that a soul properly in line with God will have a greater impact on the unsaved around us. So let's see what will feed the soul and have an impact on others ...for eternity.


1. Actively practicing humility can strengthen our soul and help point others to Christ.
John 1:7 John would not let himself be exalted, but pointed people to Christ, the true Light.

2. Planned courses of action can prepare a soul for opportunities of witnessing.
Acts 1:8 We should prepare not only to witness to our neighbors and classmates (Jerusalem) but also other neighborhoods and areas (Judea) and far-reaching regions (Samaria & uttermost parts of the world)

3. Memorizing helps prepare a soul against testimony-killing sin.
Psalm 119:11 Hiding God's Word in our heart is a defensive measure against sin.

4. Preparing a soul to actually verbally witness opens up new opportunities.
1 Peter 5:13 Being ready to share our hope keeps us from getting caught 'flat-footed.'


Quick Tips on Leading a Bible Discussion Group

1. Don't force teens to read passages; some may have reading difficulty. Ask for volunteers.
2. Don't force teens to talk. Some may be taking it all in, but have nothing to add.
3. Make sure the discussion does not take away from the power of the Scriptural lesson.

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WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Go to a couple of local cemeteries and take some slides of some of the more unusual gravestones. Six or seven will do. Get them developed. After showing them during the meeting, ask:

- Was there a gravestone that made you think the deceased was a Christian? Why?
- Was there a gravestone that gave a philosophy of an afterlife other than Heaven with God?
- Have you ever been to a graveyard at night? What was your reaction?
- Why do you think people are scared of death and dying?
- What do you think a graveyard is going to look like after the Rapture occurs?

Question? Comment? Write me
bradzockoll@hotmail.com