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March series: be you
This month, we will be going back to where we started at the beginning of the year. We kicked off the year with our series, Be You, on our identity in Christ and that theme has continued throughout the school year. We'll dig deeper into the Scripture passages that we believe are the most important for a Middle Schooler to understand about their identity in Christ.
In order to understand our identity, we have to start at the beginning. When God created man and woman, it was good. Created in his image to have a relationship with him and enjoy that relationship to the fullest. It was so very good. By helping our students understand the beginning, we help them to see that they are created for a relationship with God. (This builds off of what we talked about in February). We'll go through the story of the beginning and how it was good and how we as humans made a decision to go against the good, to go against God, and that decision has led us to a broken relationship with God, but the good news is that Jesus came to repair that broken relationship with God. The three big statements that come out of this main passage in Genesis 1:26-27 are I am created in God's image; I am created to have a relationship with God; I am created exactly the way God wanted me to be, on purpose for His purpose.
We will spend our whole lives learning about who God is. We will never come to a full, complete understanding of who he is. As we disciple the teens in our lives, it's important for us to remember this and help our teens to see God for who he truly is. Our students won't fully understand it, but neither will we. We are learning and growing together; we simply have a few more years of life experience.
For the second week of Be You, we will look more closely at our identity as a new creation in Jesus, as someone who has been reconciled to God. I think for many Middle Schoolers, their theology is based on their behavior. Their view of who God is is based on how they behave towards him. For example, if they are reading their Bible (or YouVersion app), praying, going to youth group, then God is good and happy with them. If they're not doing any of those things, they think God is angry with them. This thinking leads teens to think that God's character is based on their behavior. When I am good, God is good. When I am bad, God is angry with me and he says I am bad and he is bad.
We won't complete the task of students understanding the character of God in light of their identity in him in one week, but we will help them to see that when we are reconciled to God through our relationship with Jesus, God sees us as his sons and daughters whom he loves, not the kids that he can't stand to be around, not the kids that he loves conditionally based on behavior, but the sons and daughters he loves because of who he is.