Friday, February 6, 2015

Cycles- Part 4

This week at Wednesday Night Worship we wrapped up the 4-week series based on the book of Judges called cycles.  We opened with a time of worship with the song "Hosanna" (Hillsong United).  I then had Bailey read Ephesians 2:1-9 and had the students focus on the love of God for a few minutes.  We then went on to sing "One Thing Remains" (Kristian Stanfill), and "Scandal of Grace" (Hillsong United).

We began by once again reading Judges 21:25 as I summarized the purpose of this series.  We have to ask ourselves why we return to our past and repeat sin cycles like the Israelites.  As we read through Judges 2:11-19 I reviewed the past 2 reasons why we do this:  1) Lie to ourselves that we're ok; 2) We don't listen to godly leaders.  As we read verse 19 and see that the Israelites turned back to their previous life of sin, it is obvious that they did not learn from their past mistakes.  We sometimes look at Biblical examples from our past and fail to see that it could easily be our future.  If we do not properly deal with our past and learn from it then we are destined to repeat it.  I love the quote from Pete Wilson "Your past is not your past if it is still impacting your present."  However, we sometimes take comfort in our past failures, hurts, and sins.  We sometimes believe the lie that it is simply how we are and that there is no way we can change.  This is completely untrue though.  We must remember that God is far larger than our sin.  We again read Ephesians 2:1-9.  Verses 1-3 lay out a past filled with sin.  Then there is a turning point in verse 4 when it says "But God" and goes on to lay out His great love and mercy for us.  Though our sin sentenced us to death, God made a way for us to be alive through Jesus.  The truth is that God is bigger than our history and is more concerned with our destiny.  We closed with a time of prayer and examination.  I challenged the students that if they are continually returning to a life of sin that it doesn't have to be that way.  They can rest daily in the mercy that Jesus offers.  We ended by singing "How Can It Be" by Lauren Daigle.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cycles- Part 3

Last week was part 3 of the "Cycles" series.  We opened with a worship set that included:  "Relentless" (Hillsong United), "Oceans" (Hillsong United), and "Song of Hope" (Robbie Seay Band).  After a quick review we got into the message for the night.

We read Judges 2:11-19 that is an overview of the book of Judges.  We focused on verses 17 and 19 that tells us that they did not listen to the judges/leaders.  We have all been there.  We are told to do something, or not do something and we do the opposite.  We receive sound advice, but choose to follow our own desires instead.  The result is almost always one that leads to regret.  The Israelites did not listen to the judges and turned their back on God.  Verse 17 specifically says that "they played the harlot after other gods."  This is strong language but is necessary for us to see that any sin/disobedience of any type is spiritual adultery against God.

The point made to the students is this:  God has placed them under the influence of several godly leaders at our church.  Everything that is taught by Sunday School teachers and myself is under the direction from God.  It breaks our hearts to see when someone is lifting up ungodly people on a pedestal and seeking to follow them when it is obvious they are being led astray.  

We closed with a time of prayer and examination asking ourselves who are the voices that we are listening to.  If you are constantly returning to a cycle of sin then there is a good chance that it is because you have not listen to sound advice from godly people in your life.