I'm a week late in posting this but we began a new series on WNW January 14 called "Cycles" based on the book of Judges. We opened the night with a worship set that included "Good To Be Alive" (Jason Gray), "Forever Reign" (Hillsong), and "The Lord Our God" (Kristian Stanfill).
I began the night asking the following question "If in 2015 you repeated your life from 2014, how would it turn out?" It was interesting to hear the moanful reaction from some of the students because they knew the answer. The truth is that no matter how good or bad 2014 was, if we repeat it then we are not growing in Christ. We looked at the final verse in the book of Judges that concludes with the fact that the Israelites were living life completely for themselves. How did they get to this sad stage in history? It certainly did not happen overnight but over a period of time. In fact the Israelites continued a cyclical lifestyle that each time took them further away from God. The seven cycles in the book of Judges went like this:
-> Unfaithfulness to God -> Divine Discipline -> Crying Out/Repentance -> Deliverance Through Judges -> Peace ->
We read the first of these 7 cycles in Judges 3:1-12. I then asked the opening question again: "If in 2015 you repeated your life from 2014, how would it turn out?" The truth is that it would turn out to be detrimental. If your life is already out of control and you are living in sin then you will obviously continue down a road that leads you further away from God. But what if you did have a pretty good year? It would still be harmful. We can never get to the point where we believe we have "arrived" in our Christian growth. We should continually seek to grow closer to God. We cannot look at the past and think that we have done good enough in our lives and stop. We cannot live today on yesterday's accomplishments. We closed with a time of prayer for students to commit this year to be a year of growth in the Lord.