Hello #teamawakening family!
Yesterday was the first part of our new series— “i-am-n”.
The idea for this series came from the “Exile Night” event that did on August 19th.
In northern Iraq, radical Muslims (ISIS) spray-painted the Arabic letter ن, or “N,” on the homes and businesses of Christians. The property owners were publicly identified as Christ-followers and given a choice to convert to Islam, leave or die. The courageous believers refused to deny their faith, and more than 100,000 fled with little more than the clothes on their backs.
Students will be challenged at the end of the series to be an “n” Christian, and standing firm on their faith at school, work, sports, etc.
The night started off with a new game called “Circle Dodgeball”. This is a game where everyone stands foot to foot with the person beside of them while their own feet are about three feet apart. The object of the game is to get the ball to go between someone’s legs. Once this happens, that person has to play the game backwards until they end up getting out… It’s pretty wild and fun!
Week One’s message was, “Who Is God?”
This is a loaded question with many different possible answers, but we went with three last night.
1. God is the Real-Deal
1 Corinthians 8:6NLT says,
But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.
God is the one true God. How do we know this when many people say that there are many different gods you can serve that will help you get to heaven? What sets God apart as the real-deal? Other religions require you to give something or meet a big list of requirements before you can be a part of the religion, or earn the god’s favor. Christianity is the only religion where our God gave everything, his very life, to create a way for us to have a relationship with him! We live the way we do, not to earn his love, but we live the way we do because he already gave us his love. There is a BIG difference.
2. God is Near
Psalm 145:18NIV says,
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
We don’t serve a God simply stays far off on his throne in heaven. We serve a God that desires to be near to us and directly involved in our lives. God desires to have a unique, personal relationship with each of us!
Hebrews 12:2NLT says,
…Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is risen and seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
The “joy” in this verse is us. We were the joy awaiting Jesus, the human form of God. God loved us and wanted to be near to us. The problem— our sin separated us from God and kept us from truly being near to him. God, being the real-deal, paid the price for our sin by giving his life on the Cross. He came near to us and endured the shame and pain of the cross all because he desires to have a relationship with us! God didn’t just come near as a one-time event. Through a relationship with him, we can be sure that he is always near.
3. God is a Good, Good Father
Mark 10:18NIV says,
“…Only God is truly good…”
God is good and perfect in every way. The Bible refers to God as our heavenly father 265 times. This can be encouraging for some and discouraging for others depending on the type of relationship you have with your earthly father. The truth is this— God is perfect in every way, and he will never let us down. There are times when Satan does his best to deceive us into thinking that God doesn’t love, he has turned his back on us, or he isn’t there like he says he is. That’s when we have to remember and believe in our heart that God is the Real-Deal, God is Near, and God is A Good, Good Father!
Whether you’ve never decided to begin a relationship with Christ, you don’t understand what that means, you need God to show you who he really is, or you simply want more of him in your life, we’d love to be able to pray with you! You can email Pastor Dustin at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or prayer requests.
Have a Great Week!