Yesterday in Sunday School, we talked about what it really means to surrender to a Gospel-centered life. We read Scripture from 3 of Paul's letters to New Testament churches as we discussed Paul's teaching that there is no work we could accomplish to be saved (Ephesians 2:8), including the keeping of the Law (Galatians 2:16). We centered on Galatians 2:20, which says: "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." I challenged them at the end of the lesson to think of areas of their life where they need to hand over control to God and to think of uncertain areas in their life that they need help in trusting Jesus.
Last night, we had our last regular youth group meeting of 2018, can you believe it! We did a short lesson reading the story of Jesus' birth in both Matthew and Luke and talked about the response of the shepherds, the wise men/maji, and Herod. The shepherds were terrified when the angels appeared to tell them of Jesus' birth, but they "hurried off" (Luke 2:16) to see Him and to spread the word about what they had seen. The wise men/maji knew that the star in the sky was the sign of the birth of the promised Messiah, and they sought out Christ and brought Him gifts and worshipped Him. King Herod was "disturbed" (Matt. 2:3) and responded with great hostility. We talked about these different responses to Jesus and how today people have a wide range of responses to Jesus, and our job in all of it is to continue to bring word of Jesus to all we encounter.