SPIRITUAL TOOLS FOR A SUCCESSFUL LIFE.

                  Matthew 4:18-20; 14:22-33; John 1:35-42


                    The first of these five sessions contains principles for

                     successful living drawn from Peter’s commitment to

                    Christ. Ask your teenager to share what he or she re-

                    members about Peter from Bible stories heard or studied

                    in the past. Emphasize that Andrew’s witness to his

                    brother was commendable because sharing our faith

                    with those closest to us is often more difficult than telling

                    a stranger al)out Christ. Ask your teen to name close

                     friends, relatives, or Aassmates who need Christ. Ask:

                    What are some difficulties you might encounter in shar-

                    ing with them? Conclude the time with a prayer for these

                    individuals and for the Holy Spirit to create opportunities

                    to approach them.


I Peter 1:1-12

Most teens have experienced the death of either a classmate

or a fellow student. Such tragedies always raise difficult ques-

tions, some of which seem to have no easy answers. Encour-

age your teen to share some of the questions that surfaced in

his or her mind. Ask: What did this incident teach you about

life and death? Invite your student to share his or her conver-

sion experience. Did the new birth experience include a firm

belief in the everlasting security of one’s soul in Christ? En-

courage expressions of feelings experienced about some great

disappointment or stressful time. Show how God often uses

frustrating experiences to help us learn to trust Him more.

Ask your student to share at least one thing he or she has

learned as a restilt of that troubling time. Pray that God will

give joy in your relationships with Him in spite of difficult

circumstances.


                    1 Peter 1:13—2:12


                    Peer pressure is always a major problem with

                    young people. Few teens are able to escape the

                    temptation to conform to the sometimes question-

                    able conduct of their peers. Ask your teen to create

                     a scene for an impromptu play in which the par-

                    ents are approached with a request to attend a party

                     at a friend’s home. The parents ask which young

                     people will be present, if there will be adult super-

                    vision, and what activities are planned. the answers

                     will probably be somewhat vague. To complete the

                     role play, discuss with your teen how his or her per-

                    sonal convictions as a Christian could be either com-

                    promised or expressed positively in that setting. Ask:

                    How can one’s Christian convictions remain firm

                     without assuming a holier—than—thou attitude?

                     Share examples of struggles with peer pressure from

                     your own life. Pray that God will give each family

                    member wisdom to make choices that please Him.


1 Peter 2:13—3:12; 5:5-7

Submitting to authority is a problem for both youth and

adults. Young people are usually surrounded with authority

figures: parents, school personnel, employers, and so forth.

Rules and regulations in almost every area of life seem to in-

crease every year. The independent nature of many teens—

which begins to emerge more clearly at the start of adoles-

cence—can sometimes cause serious conflicts in their lives.

Ask your teen to relate a recent situation in which submitt

-ing to authority was particularly difficult and to explain

why. Discuss how they dealt with the temptation to retaliate

or to express hostility. Share examples from Jesus’ life when

He did not fight back against those who unfairly accused or

persecuted Him. Allow your teen to suggest other biblical

characters who reacted in a similar manner when they were

mistreated. Challenge your student to think seriously about

how sincere submission to those in authority over us and a

willingness to abide by rules and regulations follows the pat-

tern Christ set for us. Pray that God will help us imitate Jesus

in our lives.



1 Peter 3:13—4:6,12-19

                     Ask your teen to recount a time when someone

                     in his or her peer group made a strong, negative

                     statement about Christianity, the Bible, or those

                     who profess to be Christians. Ask: Did anyone

                     present challenge the speaker with a statement

                     concerning his own personal faith in Christ and

                     in the Bible? Why are we often reluctant to speak

                     up when our faith is challenged? Point out that

                     someone present who hears our defense may need

                    just that word of testimony to encourage a positive

                    stand for Christ. Emphasize that we must take care

                    to share our witness with kindness and never in

                    anger or retaliation. Even if we are mocked be-

                    cause of our response, we can take courage in the

                     fact that Jesus was often confronted by hostile

                    unbelievers. Remind your teen that God gives a

                    special sense of joy and peace to those who are pre-

                    pared to answer questions about their faith. Pray

                     that God will make us sensitive to opportunities to

                     speak for Him.




 

If your church is looking for Bible study curriculum

in which parents and youth study a common Bible

study theme each week check out Family Bible Study

materials at: www.lifeway.com


                              Additional ideas for family discussions and devotions

                              are also available each week from Extra.! at:

                              www.lifeway.com





                                                                        SOURCE:

                                                                        Living with Teenagers Magazine

August 2004. (Pg. 34)

LifeWay Church Resources

                                                                        Customer Services

                                                                        One LifeWay Plaza,

                                                                        Nashville, TN 37234-0113



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