Hello #teamawakening family!
This past Sunday was week three of our current GREATER THAN Series. Our worship time before the message was great! The GEN122 Youth Band had the night off, so we just had one guitar and vocalist, but the students turned into a choir as they sang and worshiped their hearts out.
The message was, “God’s Love Is Greater Than The Labels That Divide Us”. Sunday Night was also Campus Missions Night, so the message helped show what we believe God desires us to do this year on our school campuses. Students were challenged to view their schools as mission fields while also viewing themselves as missionaries to their schools.
John 3:16NIV says,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The Greek word for “love” in this verse is agape. To agapao, means to totally give ourselves over to something; to be totally consumed with it and committed to it. What we agapao is what we put first in our lives, what we give the most of our money and time to. In other words it’s a commitment or a binding of ourselves to something, so that we become ‘one’ with it.
God put us first because of his incredible love for us! God’s love is a love that we will never fully comprehend. It’s a love that is totally pure, selfless, and authentic. The Greek word for world in this verse is kosmos, and it shows us that God loves the world (everyone ever created), so much that he provided a way for us to have a relationship with him through what Jesus did on the Cross for us!
Students were challenged to read the verse this way:
God so love the ______________ (athletes, band students, theatre students, my lunch table, cheerleaders, nerds, geeks, outdoorsman, new students, quiet
students, the poor and underprivileged, my parents, my siblings, the angry and frustrated, the bullies, self-harmers, LGBTQ, the lonely, the posers, agnostics,
atheists, hypocrites, people in other religions, honor students, student leaders, teachers, vo-tech students, homeschoolers, etc.) God’s love doesn’t see labels. God’s love is greater than the labels that divide us!
Students were also challenged to join us in taking our Campus Missions efforts to #NewBeginningsNewHeights this year. We typically have students write down the names of three friends that do not have a relationship with Jesus, and those friends are their focus throughout the year. The problem is that we all know more than three people. We typically choose the people we are “comfortable” reaching out to. This year, instead of putting three friends names on the wall, we’re going to take another approach. We want to take our Campus Missions to #NewBeginningsNewHeights. This year, we want to cross the social labels and boundaries that have divided us for far too long.
Erasing lables begins here. There will be weeks when students come in, and find out that they will be sitting next to someone that they typically wouldn’t sit beside. Why? Because God’s Love Is Greater Than The Labels That Divide Us.
We closed out the night in our Tribe Huddles going over these questions:
1. How does tonight’s take and explanation John 3:16 change the way you view your school and peers?
2. How do you think it would change your school if you viewed others as “Loved by God” instead of the label they have been given?
3. How do you feel about erasing labels, getting to know about other people, sitting at their lunch table, etc? (Excited, scared, etc.) Why?
4. Talk about ways we can help each other to rise to the challenge of erasing the labels that divide us even though we are at many different schools. (FaceTime, texting, etc.)
Don’t miss the series finale this Sunday, 9/17!