Parents and Followers, I am super excited about taking 10 of our preteens to an event called Super Start. We are headed to Tulsa OK for this short PreTeen Conference.
Below is the lesson scope for the weekend. Please pray for the kids who are attending and the adults who are leading.
SuperStart! Tour 2011-12 Tour Teachings
“What am I made for?” It’s a question that’s on every preteen’s mind. As they sit in classrooms every day and in front of media each night, preteens are constantly bombarded with the idea of being important and successful. Couple that with their becoming more aware of themselves as individuals and it’s no wonder why “purpose” is on their minds. Even though they may never verbally ask the words “what is my purpose”, the question is seen in their actions. It’s seen in the eleven year old boy who is trying hard to be the best athlete on his team or from the ten year old girl who studies diligently to maintain straight A’s. It’s seen in the twelve year old girl who puts too high a priority on her friendships and in the eleven year old boy who moves from project to project discovering new skills. For each, the focus is on determining what they are good at, but that focus is fueled by the desire God has given them to search and discover what they were made to do.
Session 1 – God Made Me to be All About Him
“What were they made for?” For what purpose are their lives to be about? These questions cannot be answered through the athletics, academics, and talents they are searching in. It can only be answered by the one who created them. In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren explains “If I handed you an invention you had never seen before, you wouldn’t know its purpose, and the invention itself wouldn’t be able to tell you either. Only the creator or the owner’s manual could reveal its
purpose”. So the search to discover what we were made for can only be answered by God and through his word.
We read in Colossians 1:16 “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and earth, visible and invisible…all things have been created through him and for him”. In Romans 11:36 the Bible tells us that “from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever”. In both verses the apostle Paul not only reveals that God is our creator but also His purpose for our lives. God created us for Himself, to be with Him and to be, quite literally, all about Him. God himself says through Jeremiah 32:38-39 that “they will be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants”. Since God created us with the specific purpose of being about Him, it stands to reason that living for that purpose
is what is best for us. It’s what keeps our lives satisfied, content, and rewarded throughout eternity. Imagine a plasma TV trying to be a bowling ball. It wouldn’t work because a TV wasn’t made to roll down a bowling alley and knock over pins. Any attempt a TV makes to do those things will not only lead to aggravation and defeat, but it will also leave the TV in ruin. The same thing happens when we try to live for the purpose of something other than God. George Barna, the author of Transforming children into Spiritual Champions says “When you try to be something that God did not make you to be, you can count on a life of frustration, dissatisfaction, and failure”. To put it simply, living for the purpose of something other than God doesn’t work!
Session 2 – God Saved Me to be All About Him
Even though living for the purpose of something other than God doesn’t work, that is exactly what we as human beings naturally do. Jeremiah 2:13 says “My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters, and dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water”. We, the creations, naturally tend to abandon what our creator made us for (to be all about Him) and try to fulfill that purpose through other things. Things we were not made for, things that don’t work, things like – ourselves. Jeremiah calls this sin. The Bible is clear that sin in our lives leads to death and separation from God, which in turn keeps us from fulfilling our purpose – being with Him and about Him for now and eternity. So left to ourselves, we cannot fulfill our purpose. We are like lamps with severed power chords and therefore, have no way to shine.
But we have a gracious and loving God, who does not leave us to ourselves. Ephesians 1:4-7 says “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
From the very beginning God loved and designed us each to be delivered from our sin through His son Jesus. The sin (our failure to live for the purpose of God) that separated us and kept us from fulfilling our purpose is now gone because of the grace of our Father and the death and resurrection of His Son. This redemption through Christ re-opens the opportunity for us to once again fulfill our purpose and now gives us reason to do so. “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all that those who live no longer love for themselves but for him who died and was raised again.” – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Session 3 – God Gave Me What I Have to be All About Him
So what does it look like to fulfill the purpose that Jesus’ blood has made possible? What does a life with the purpose of “being all about God” look like? Does it mean we have to throw away anything and everything that isn’t God? No, because even those things were given to us by God to be used for Him.
Paul sums it up best in Colossians 3:17 when he says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Now that we understand our purpose and how Christ connected us to that purpose we live it out by doing everything in His name. We take those things that we were so focused on before and repurpose them for God. So instead of getting rid of athletics, we now use athletics for the glory of God. Instead of throwing out all relationships, we now use those relationships to help others know about Him. Everything we do, we do in the name of the Lord Jesus.