What Could Happen If…

Posted on April 2, 2013 by Teeny

What could happen if . . .
➤ you break your curfew?
➤ you don’t study for the big test?
➤ you wear flip flops around camp?

In our society, and at camp, there are rules and laws set up to protect us from danger, injury, or pain. We can choose to obey them or ignore them, but there will be consequences.

Read Jeremiah 38:19-23.

What were the choices Jeremiah presented to King Zedekiah?

What were the consequences of each of those choices?

How do you face similar opportunities to obey or disobey God every day? What opportunities have you had today?

Do you think that as Christians, we’re still called to proclaim a similar message when we share the gospel? Why or why not?

The Point
Like King Zedekiah, every person will face a simple choice in their lives: surrender to Christ and gain eternal life, or rebel against Him and face eternity in hell.

Take Action
Have you responded to the gospel? If you have not given Christ control of your life, you are not a Christian and do not have eternal life. Read “Do you really know God?” on page 4 for more information on how to become a Christian.

If you are a Christian, who in your life needs to know about the hope the gospel provides? What steps will you take this week to be God’s ambassador to those who need to hear God’s message of forgiveness?

Going Deeper

Explore the passages below for other models of sharing the gospel:
– Acts 17:16-34
– Colossians 4:5-6
– 1 Peter 3:15

“One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.”

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Behind the Story
Surrender is an interesting word. In Zedekiah’s case, to surrender to the Babylonians was a sign of humility. It would have been a sign of remorse and repentance. If Zedekiah surrendered it would be as if he were admitting on behalf of the entire nation that they had sinned against God and deserved the punishment.

When you surrender your life to Christ, you admit much the same thing. To surrender your life to Jesus is to admit you are a sinner, that only Jesus can save you, and to give Him absolute control of your life.


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Be Bold!

Posted on March 26, 2013 by Teeny

A superhero, police officer, and an army ranger. What do all three have in common?

The answer? All three display great courage and boldness. In the movies, superheroes courageously do what everyone else is scared to do. The Army Rangers are elite members of the U.S. Army who have displayed great courage and boldness. Police officers often face difficult situations in which they have to be daring, valiant, and brave.

As Christians, courage and boldness should also be traits in our lives. Read Jeremiah 38:14-18 to learn more. Ask yourself:

How did Jeremiah exhibit courage and boldness in this passage?

What would you have done or said if you had been Jeremiah? Why?

Jeremiah must have felt like he was in a “no-win” situation. When you’ve been in “no-win” situations that called for you to be bold about your faith, what did you do? Why? What did you learn?

Journal
It’s easy to say that you’ll be bold for Christ when you’re not in the middle of a “no-win” situation. But Jeremiah proved his trust in God was more than just talk—and when he faced a scary situation, he delivered a message that could probably lead to his execution. Take some time to process that today. In what areas of your life could you use a little more boldness or courage to stand up for Christ? As you think or pray over that, jot down your thoughts and prayers in your journal. Express your fears, concerns, and desire to boldly follow Christ.

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
—Winston Churchill

BOLD— adjective
– (of a person, action, or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous
– (of a color or design) having a strong or vivid appearance

COURAGE— noun
– the ability to do something that frightens one
strength in the face of pain or grief


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Encourager

Posted on March 19, 2013 by Teeny

Who’s the most encouraging person in your life? You know, the one who reminds you of what’s really important. The one who lifts you up, prays for you, and sticks by you when you’re suffering or life is just hard. Jot down the first few names that come to mind.

Read Jeremiah 38:7-13. Think through these questions:

In these verses, who stood up for Jeremiah?

Do you think it took courage for Ebed-Melech to stand up for Jeremiah? Why or why not? What risks might he have undertaken in order to help Jeremiah?

Think about a time when you’ve felt defeated or abandoned. Who stood up for you?

Being abandoned at the bottom of a cistern was probably a spiritual low point for Jeremiah. What has been your spiritual low point? Who encouraged you in your faith during that time? What did you learn?

The Point
As a Christian, you don’t have to handle opposition or tough times on your own. In times of trial and suffering, God will provide people, His Word, and His presence to encourage you and lift you up, just like He did for Jeremiah.

Take Action
Look at that list of encouragers you created earlier. Over the next few weeks, find a way to express your appreciation to those people. Write them a Facebook message, send a note, or call them up. Just express your thanks for how they have encouraged you in your faith.

 
Maybe you’re not the one who’s discouraged or going through a tough time. Who do you know who needs an “Ebed-Melech” in his or her life? What steps will you take to encourage that person this week?


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Unpopular

Posted on March 12, 2013 by Teeny

POPULAR — [adjective]:
liked, admired, or enjoyed by many people or by a particular person or group

intended for or suited to the taste, understanding, or means of the general public rather than specialists or intellectuals

(of a belief or attitude) held by the majority of the general public


THINK ABOUT THAT
definition as you read Jeremiah 38:4-6 in your Bible.

Jeremiah had spent years proclaiming the truth: that the people were sinners and they would be overthrown by the Babylonians. What consequences did Jeremiah face for proclaiming that truth?

Is God’s truth more or less popular with the world today than it was in Jeremiah’s day? Explain your answer.

Why do you think God’s truth irritates and offends people so much?

 

THE POINT
The gospel is offensive to the world because it exposes our own sinfulness and our need for a Savior. When you’re bold enough to speak God’s Truth, what you say won’t be popular. Are you prepared to proclaim the Truth even if it isn’t easy or popular?

 

TAKE ACTION
Take a few moments to evaluate your reaction to today’s Scripture passage. Are you scared of proclaiming the truth? Do you doubt that you could ever be that bold? Whatever you feel, be honest with God in prayer. Ask for Him to help you be bold despite your fears and doubts.

 
Have you ever truly counted the cost of following Christ? Take time this week to examine your relationship with Christ. Are you willing to let Him be your everything, even if it’s unpopular or comes at a great cost?


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Honest

Posted on March 5, 2013 by Teeny

“There is always a way to be honest without being brutal.”
—Arthur Dobrin


JOURNAL
Think about that quote as you read Jeremiah 38:1-3 in your Bible. Jeremiah had to deliver God’s word to the people and what he had to say wasn’t pleasant. Even though his job was difficult and his message was hard to deliver, Jeremiah didn’t let it stop him from speaking the truth. He knew it was more important to obey God than craft lies that would make the people happy. How is God calling you to speak or live out His truth even though it’s hard and won’t be popular? Spend some time thinking, praying, and writing about it in your journal.

 

TAKE ACTION
Is there someone in your life who God is calling you to speak His truth to? Who? What steps will you take to do so this week.

 
How you speak the truth of God matters. Read Ephesians 4:11-15. How can you “speak the truth in love” to others? Also, check out Galatians 6:1. How can you restore others “with a gentle spirit”?


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