Remaining with Jesus

Intro

INTRODUCTION
Our lives are sometimes referred to as a race (even though we don't always know where it will end). HOW we run the race speaks a lot about who we are and what we believe.  This section discusses how faith gives us a certainty of things we hope for and provides encouragement for the trek.

Story

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution? You know, like “I’m gonna stop gossiping” or “I’m gonna exercise every day for at least 30 minutes” or “I’m not gonna yell at my little brother.” Are you any good at keeping those resolutions? Most people last about 2 weeks to a month, then the old patterns creep back in. Does it have to be that way? What if you’ve made a new commitment to someone? Are there ways to make it stick? Dig in here to discover some helpful ideas.

Bible intro

In a surprising way, this scene actually has a lot to say about our spiritual journey with Jesus. If you have made God your Daddy, that is awesome! It’s a great first step, but it’s only one in your marathon race towards God’s Kingdom. Maybe you’ve heard a coach say, “It’s not how you start the race; what counts is how well you finish.” Well, friend, this lesson is all about finishing well. And the only way to finish this race is to maintain proper vision – to see the unseen. That is what the writer of Hebrews addresses in chapter 11. For some, this may be a long section to read all at once, but let me encourage you to take 6 minutes to read it all the way through. Like Boone’s speech to his players on that early summer morning, this chapter is inspirational and moving. Check out Hebrews 11. 

Personal Questions
1. What is the biggest commitment you have ever made? How well did you do in honoring that commitment? Does the word commitment scare you? If so, why?
2. Right now, whose opinion, or more specifically, evaluation, of you matters most? How important is God’s evaluation of you? If you were to die today and meet your Daddy – that is God – what would he say about the life you lived? When this life is over, how important will other people’s opinion of you be?
3. In the passage above from Hebrews, the author draws our attention to great men and women of the faith. Just as Coach Boone looked to history to teach his players a valuable lesson on unity, this biblical author also points out saints who have fought the good fight. What affect do their lives have on you? Did you know that that they are actually cheering you on in heaven right now?
4. Do you believe faith is something valued by our society? If not, what does our society value? Or, if you have had the privilege of living in a foreign country, what values did people in your host country have? What do you have faith in?
Prayer

Lord, give me your eyes to see, your ears to hear, your heart to feel. Help me to honor you in all I do and say. And send a mentor into my life who will help show me your ways. Give me the desire and ability to run my race well. Thank you! Amen.

411

Vision and Faith – Did you know that when it comes to your journey with Jesus, vision and faith are practically the same? Faith is believing that which is unseen; vision is seeing the unseen. Both are required. 

Stories

I remember my first year of wrestling. At that point in my life, it was the hardest thing I had ever done. Anyone who has wrestled knows wrestling is mentally and physically demanding. Half way through that year, I wanted to quit…badly!  It was taking me forever to learn the moves, and I always seemed to get paired up with a kid whose body odor was worse than stale, sweaty socks. I’m telling you, the kid didn’t wash his shirt all year; it reeked

I looked for every excuse to miss practice. One time I “forgot” and went straight home after school. Another time I faked illness to hang out with a cute trainer. (I still remember her name – Medea Bard. Okay, stop laughing.) Through all my gripping and complaining, my parents would not let me quit! 
 
Looking back on that experience, I have come to realize that my parents saw the unseen. They wanted their son to learn the value of commitment. I hadn’t learned it yet, but they knew I would if I persevered. They also knew that if they caved to my wishes, their object lesson would have failed. 
 
I ended up finishing the season. And the next. And the one after that. And ever since my seventh grade year, I have had no problem honoring my commitments. Thank you, mom and dad, for making me do the honorable thing and in the process teaching me stick-to-itiveness!

Remaining With Jesus 1

Remaining With Jesus 2

Remaining With Jesus 3

Remaining With Jesus 4

Remaining With Jesus 5

Scripture

1 John 1:9 – None of us will run our races perfectly. Along the way, we’ll stumble. The apostle John tells us what we should do if we find ourselves falling back into old habits.

Philippians 3:12-14 – Paul tells us to stay focused, keeping our eyes on the glorious prize that awaits us.

John 15:1-8 – Jesus tells his disciples on the night he was betrayed exactly what they needed to do to finish the race.

Proverbs 4:25 & Proverbs 3:5-6 – Notice also what Solomon has to say about where our vision should be focused and on whom we should rely.

Colossians 3:1-2 – Paul tells us that good vision for the Christian life requires more than our eyes. Good vision also involves the heart and the mind.

Proverbs 29:18 – Notice what the wisest man who ever lived (King Solomon) had to say about vision!

Video

Take four minutes to watch the story of another great man of the faith who ran his race well.

Could you ever see yourself ever having this much faith?
 

This video set to music is about Team Hoyt. It is a father who began running because his severely crippled son wanted to ‘run’ a marathon. What you are about to see is the incredible vision and perseverance of a father and son to accomplish a very tough journey. They didn’t run a marathon, NO, what you’ll witness is a full TRIATHOLON!!!!!! What an inspiration! 

Life Questions
1. Live your epitaph. What?! Read and do the Reflect activity. Then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
2. Talk to your elementary school counselor or principal on your base. Offer to tutor or read to students on a weekly basis throughout the year. You’re only requirement is to never miss a week.
3. Talk to an adult that you perceive is spiritually mature. Ask if you can get together with this person once a week to read the Bible together. Your only requirement for the meeting is to read a portion of Scripture.
4. Volunteer with your local chapel youth program. Become a Chapel Sunday School or CCD teacher.
Reflect

Begin your life with the end in mind. In your journal or blog, write down your epitaph. Figure out now what you want people to say about you at your memorial service. Even more importantly, write out what you want Jesus to say about you when you meet him someday.