widows-son

Thoughtful Christianity (Week 17)

Sermon Series Overview
In a day and age when Christians are perceived as thoughtless and fanatic, this sermon series is devoted to thoughtfully studying the Gospel of Luke and encouraging, equipping, and edifying students to think deeply, honestly, and faithfully about the love of God in Jesus Christ.

Synopsis from Luke 7:11-17
There are three characters in this story that Jesus interacts with: First, there is a widow who Jesus has compassion on because she is like the church — a widow without a husband. Jesus tells the widow not to weep because not only will she receive her son back but because He is preparing a place where she will never weep again. Second, there is a son who has died and is being carried out of the city to be buried, in accordance with Jewish law. All corpses were considered unclean at the time so the body of the dead son is most likely being carried by either graveworkers who are accustomed to ceremonially cleansing themselves or ropes tied to the bier so that no one needs to touch the corpse. Jesus, however, approaches and touches the bier, becoming lawfully unclean while, at the same time, reviving the son from the dead. And third, there is a group who, upon witnessing the compassion Jesus has on the widow and the work Jesus performs on the son, glorify God and share the news of what He has done through Jesus throughout the entire region.

Questions
(Q1) Who do you most identify with in this story? (A1) We should all identify with the son who has dead because we were dead in our trespasses, though, Jesus raised up with Him by touching us and taking upon Himself the trespasses of the world (Ephesians 2). Otherwise, if we are feeling rejected and abandoned, we may identify with the widow who Jesus has compassion on and makes eternal promises to. Likewise, for those who have witnessed Jesus’ work on returning dead sons to life and having compassion on widows, we should identify with the crowd and glorify God and share the good news of what He has done through Jesus with others.

(Q2) When we feel like the widow, what promise can we hold on to? (A2) Jesus is bringing us home to a place where this is no weeping (or any sense of the word).

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041314 Thoughtful Christianity (17)

At-the-well

From the Fishbowl to the Well

A few weeks ago, some of us had the chance to study the story of the woman at the well in John 4. It’s an interesting story because Jesus set out with full intention to meet the woman at the well — the woman doesn’t work to find Jesus; Jesus does the work to find the woman. When the two meet, the woman arrives in the heat of the day when no one else would be drawing water, indicating she has a past that she is ashamed of and has some baggage she doesn’t want others to know about.

A Broken Woman
But the woman in this story isn’t, as some have thought, a harlot or floozy — she is actually a victim of heart-breaking, soul-wrenching abuse. During this time and in this culture, divorce was a right given primarily to men and many of the men during this time (as Jesus reveals in Matthew 19) would marry a woman, take the dowry (a gift from a woman’s father to his new son-in-law), and divorce the woman on virtually any — and often ridiculous — grounds (e.g. she over-cooked the bread — not a joke).

Living Water
Jesus then offers this woman — broken from a series of careless, cowardly men — living water, a throwback to the Old Testament and a symbol for eternal satisfaction and redemption. And after some convincing, she takes it with such great joy that she immediately runs into the town she was once ashamed to be seen by and shares with them the Good News of what Jesus has done: He has found and restored the broken.

A Broken People
The truth is, we are all like this woman: as Paul says in Romans 1-2, everyone has sought to fulfill themselves with something or someone other than Jesus and, as a result, we’ve been burned, battered, and broken. But thankfully, out of His great love for us (John 3:16), Jesus has found us by His grace and saved us from our brokenness, satisfying us with living water from the True Well: Himself. In turn, our response is to not only receive this living water by faith in Jesus but to share this living water with others, without shame and without timidity (2 Timothy 1:7).

The Well
In light of this beautiful illustration, “The Fishbowl” has been renamed “The Well” in the attempt to turn our room into something more than just a place where we meet with each other — but a place where Jesus, the True Well full of Living Water, meets and rescues and restores us.

So, friends, let us Stride with Christ, meeting Him faithfully and often at the place where we can come just as we are, full of our sin and brokenness, shameless and free, rescued and restored, renewed and redeemed.

goldrush_poster

GoldRush 2014

What is GoldRush?
Goldrush is a conference for students, by students. What makes it unique? Well, It’s entirely student-led. Yeah. Students speak, lead worship, facilitate small groups, the whole deal (even pick up trash). You’ve never experienced a conference more relevant to the life of a student. Step into an encounter with truth, and encounter with the Gospel, and most importantly, an encounter with the living God.

You’ll attend engaging main sessions and in-depth seminars, serve the community on missions projects, and have a blast with your friends around Atlanta on your free day.

Click here for more info.

When and where is GoldRush?
Monday July 7 to Friday July 11 at Perimeter Church (PCA)

Why GoldRush?
One of the most dangerous patterns that many Christians develop is a tendency to focus entirely on personal growth and neglect the growth of others. As a result, sermons, styles, and strategies in the church become isolated to the individual and what he or she wants, here and now. Opportunities like GoldRush, however, encourage Christ-followers from a young age to discover what it means for Jesus to be in the “Hands” (see About page) and not just in the individual “Head” and “Heart,” encouraging and equipping students to serve the Kingdom of God by serving one another and serving the community.

Signing Up
Please take a quick second and let us know if you’re interested in attending so we can register you. This poll closes on Friday, April 25 so be sure to let your friends know to take the poll by then.

Centurion

Thoughtful Christianity (Week 16)

Sermon Series Overview
In a day and age when Christians are perceived as thoughtless and fanatic, this sermon series is devoted to thoughtfully studying the Gospel of Luke and encouraging, equipping, and edifying students to think deeply, honestly, and faithfully about the love of God in Jesus Christ.

Synopsis
Jesus says the centurion has great faith, which comes from (a) great compassion, (b) great communion, and (c) great humility. The problem is that no one has great compassion, communion, and humility; the problem is that our sinfulness restricts us from great faith. This means that the character we ought to identify with in the story isn’t the centurion but the sick, helpless slave. Likewise, it is Jesus who is reflected in the centurion — He is the truer and better centurion who has great compassion, great communion, and great humility. When we invite Him into our heads, hearts, and hands, we too can become like Him and have great faith.

Discussion Questions
Q1. What constitutes great faith? A1. Great compassion (the centurion deeply cares for the servant), great communion (the centurion, a Roman, is praised by the Jews because of his charitable communion), and great humility (though he first sent elders who respect him for his works, the centurion later sends his friends who love him as he is).

Q2. How do we have great faith? A2. We cannot on our own because of sin but because Jesus is like the centurion (just infinitely better), when we receive Him into our lives, we become more and more like Him.

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Thoughtful Christianity (Week 16)

Secret Sister’s Appreciation

Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” As our Wednesday night discipleship group and our Sunday morning middle school Bible Study group studies the significance of knowing God in our masculinity and femininity, our young men devoted a night serving our lovely sisters in Christ.

Original date of event: March 7, 2014

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