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Week 2

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Jesus had one purpose, one purpose only, when he entered this world. There are many things he accomplished over his short 33 years of life. He personally impacted so many lives. He loved the unlovable and touched the untouchable. He healed, taught, and provided for so many people. He broke down centuries of confining traditions that went against the heart of God and launched the church. Even though the list of amazing good deeds are to numerous to list, there is one thing that trumps everything that he did. There is only one thing that Jesus -------------------------really came to do. There is one thing that Jesus focused his entire life on. He knew he had one purpose. That purpose . . . To die. Jesus came to this earth to die on the cross, to take on all the sin of the world, so that you and I might --------------have a chance of eternal life with him. Encounter this week where God’s love ---------------------------is decoded for you. It is just that crazy. It is just that amazing.

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JESUS IS GOD. ---------------- JESUS WAS FULLY HUMAN.

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Jesus ‘Gets’ You

DAY 8

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8

WEEK 2

(Let that thought sink in a minute . . .what a way to start Day 8.)

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Jesus was a real-life, breathing – eating – person just like you and me. He put his sandals on one ournal foot at a time and his stomach growled when he was hungry. He hung out with his friends and played Xbox. (Okay, so no Xbox then, but He probably would have!) He got hiccups, sneezed and had nasty gas when he ate the wrong things. When he slammed his big toe into the corner of a table he screamed OUCH! He laughed. He cried. He got frustrated and hurt when friends turned their back on Him. IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND, THOUGH, EVEN IN HIS LIFE AS A MAN, JESUS WAS NO ORDINARY DUDE.

Jesus lived on earth for 33 years. We know very little about his upbringing, but there is a lot recorded about the last three years of his life. Jesus experienced life – with all of its ups and downs just like you and I. He experienced raw emotions that brought him joy, frustration, and grief. He had good days and bad days; days he wished would never end and days when he wanted to click his heals and go home. Here are some of his ups and downs as recorded in the Bible.

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• LAZARUS (JOHN 11:3,36) • JOHN (JOHN 13:23)

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LOVING FRIENDSHIPS

• DEATH OF LAZARUS (JOHN 11:33)

GRIEF ANGER FRUSTRATIONS

• CALLING PETER SATAN (MARK 8:33) • TEMPLE (MATTHEW 21:12-13) • PHARISEES DEMANDING SIGNS (MARK 8:11-13) • DISCIPLES DENYING ACCESS TO CHILDREN (MARK 10:13-16)

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• FUTURE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM (LUKE 19:41)


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BETRAYAL OF A FRIEND

• MATTHEW’S CALLING (LUKE 5:27-29) • ZACCHAEUS (LUKE 19:7) • LAZARUS (JOHN 12:2)

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HANGING WITH FRIENDS

• (MARK 14:18-21)

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•JESUS IN THE GARDEN (MATTHEW 26:36-46, JOHN 12:27-28)

FEAR

COMPASSION AND A DESIRE TO HELP

FATIGUE

• HEALING THE SICK (MATTHEW 14:13-14) • FEEDING 5000 (MATTHEW 14:15-20) • HEALING THE BLIND (MATTHEW 20:29-34) • TIRED AT THE WELL (JOHN 4:6) • ASLEEP ON THE BOAT (MARK 4:38)

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For all the human situations Jesus faced, his entry into this world was unlike any other. Years before his birth, people made predictions about Jesus. The biblical term for these predictions is ‘prophecy,’ a fancy word for a prediction given to man from God. More than 300 predictions (or prophesies) were made about Jesus hundreds of years before he was born. Amazingly, every one of them was fulfilled in his life. Many of those predictions related to his birth. For example, Micah 5:2 predicted that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. Matthew 2:1 tells us that Jesus was in fact born in Bethlehem. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin.11 You probably took a class in the 5th grade about making babies. Virgins don’t have babies. But Mary did.

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11 Isaiah 7:14

INCARNATION: THE ACT OF GOD BECOMING MAN. GOD INCARNATE MEANS GOD “IN THE FLESH.” THIS IS WHAT THE CHRISTMAS STORY IS ALL ABOUT. IT BEGINS THE INCARNATION WITH JESUS’ MIRACULOUS CONCEPTION AND BIRTH.


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“DON’T BELIEVE ME UNLESS I CARRY OUT MY FATHER’S WORK. BUT IF I DO HIS WORK, BELIEVE IN THE EVIDENCE OF THE MIRACULOUS WORKS I HAVE DONE, EVEN IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME. THEN YOU WILL KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THAT THE FATHER IS IN ME, AND I AM IN THE FATHER.”12 MIRACLE CHECKLIST

FEED 5,000 PEOPLE WITH A LITTLE FISH AND BREAD… (MATTHEW 14:13-21)

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WALK ON WATER… (MARK 6:45-52)

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GIVE SIGHT TO A BLIND MAN … (MARK 8:22-25)

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BRING A FRIEND BACK TO LIFE… (JOHN 11:38-44)

12 John 10:37-38

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TURN WATER INTO WINE… (JOHN 2:1-9)

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In 1980, the US Hockey Team defeated the Russians in the Winter Olympics. This monumental ----------------upset became known as “The Miracle on Ice.” It was truly an amazing event in U.S. Olympic history. But if winning a hockey game is considered a “miracle,” how would you describe what ----------------Jesus did? That hockey game was nothing compared to healing the sick, raising the dead and commanding the wind and the rain! Jesus performed true miracles out of his compassion for hurting people and to give evidence that he is, in fact, the Son of God, Check out what he says in John 10.


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----------------Jesus ‘gets’ you! He walked this earth and faced the same struggles, frustrations and temptations as you. You can approach God knowing that he understands you, because Jesus lived in skin like you. And here’s the amazing part, this God, this universe creator and lover of your soul, desires nothing more than a personal relationship with you! -----------------

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C.H\E -.C_K. O--U/.T HEBREWS 4:14-16 JOHN 1:1-5, 14

Write down some things that you’re dealing with right now. List your doubts, hurts, drama, or whatever is distracting or annoying you. Then pray, beginning with these words, “Jesus, I know you understand me…” Ask God for guidance in these specific areas, and for peace, knowing that he hears you. --------

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----------------So if you could have any career or profession, what would you want to do? Think about that. If you had no limitations, no boundaries and no one discouraging you – what would you do?

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On Purpose

DAY 9

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9

WEEK 2

(ANSWER)

I would love to play NBA basketball. Other than being 5’ 9 1/2” (on my best days) with a vertical leap of 2 inches, it would be a dream job. I’d get paid to play a sport I love. The injury factor is a lot less than football or hockey. I’d wear shorts to work, have six months off and the money is stellar. Base pay for rookies this season is $457,88813. That’s the minimum! I would take that to sit on the bench for a season. Jesus came into this world with one purpose – one mission. He didn’t get to choose what he wanted to do when he grew up. I wonder if, as a teenage boy, he thought about his life’s purpose. Did he have other interests and desires? Did he daydream about being a critically acclaimed actor, a renowned carpenter or an elite soldier? Did he feel a sense of emptiness listening to his friends discuss their dreams and aspirations, all the while knowing that he had one path, one choice, and one outcome in life?

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I’m not sure what Jesus’ teenage years were like. But I do know that he entered adult life with a laser focus on his purpose. Jesus was not confused about his purpose like the rest of us seem to be. In the Gospel of Luke he says,

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Jesus was born into this world and clothed with human flesh to live and model life for us, but also to die on a cross and be the perfect sinless sacrifice for humanity. He came for the messed up, the down-and-out and the vast array of earth’s discarded, unwanted and unwelcome people. (BTW: that means all of us.) He did not come to make friends or teach good morals but to reverse humanity’s epic FAIL. 13 http://www.nba.com/news/cba_minimumsalary_050804.html // 14 Luke 19:10 // 15 2 Timothy 1:9 // 16 Piper, John. (2004). The Passion of Jesus Christ. Wheaton, Il, Crossway Books.

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“FOR THE SON OF MAN CAME TO SEEK AND SAVE THOSE WHO ARE LOST.” 14


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Was Jesus a good moral teacher? Yes. Check out the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5-7. Did Jesus meet the physical needs of others? Of course. Look at the stories in Luke 7. Yesterday we discussed the incredible miracles Jesus performed. But his greatest miracle was his own resurrection. That was part of his mission. God the Father’s purpose for Jesus was to come and save the lost. The Bible says God saved us “not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.15” Did you catch that “from the beginning of time” line? Jesus didn’t just show up on accident or to see what would happen. It wasn’t plan B or C. It was God’s first, original, and only plan. The life and death of Jesus Christ were planned before people were ever created. I guess God knew we’d need a Savior all along.

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Author John Piper writes, “Christ did not intrude on God’s plan to punish sinners. God planned for him to be there… Christ’s suffering is a beautiful act of submission and obedience to the will of the Father.”16 Jesus came to earth as a man on a mission. And while that mission had many elements that all played an important role - make no mistake in interpreting the purpose of His life. He came to save the world. Take his word for it.

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Tomorrow we’ll spend more time discussing the purpose of Christ, his death and his resurrection. But for now, reflect on the idea that Jesus lived with a purpose. What ----------------would your life look like if you lived each day with purpose like Jesus?

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When you go to school, are you just showing up or are you focused on a greater cause? Look up the following verses about your purpose on earth, according to God. Then spend a few moments asking him to show you how you can live with a purpose. In the space provided, write what you will do this week to live according to God’s purpose for your life. MATTHEW 22:34-40 // MATTHEW 28:18-20 // ROMANS 12:1-2

MY WEEK // MY PURPOSE

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1. LISTEN TO GOD 2. WRITE DOWN THE THINGS THAT COME INTO YOUR HEAD. 3. NARROW YOUR LIST TO 1.

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Jesus’ death and resurrection are two of the most discussed events ----------------in the course of history. Many who acknowledge his life and death TORTURE IN FASHION? deny his resurrection. But if he didn’t rise from the dead, his death is no more significant than any other. The events of Jesus’ death are covered thoroughly in each of the four Gospels. In fact, the ISN’T IT INTERESTING Gospels devote nearly one-third of their material to the last week THAT WE GLORIFY of Jesus’ life. Why? His death is that important. THE CROSS IN CULTURE? IT’S COOL Through a Thursday night and a Friday morning Jesus endured AND HIP TO HAVE three Jewish trials or hearings and three Romans trials. Why was A CROSS TATTOO, he on trial? Good question. First, the Jewish authorities charged JEWELRY OR EVEN him with blasphemy (making false statements about God) and a CLOTHING WITH temple violation. Then he was charged with the crimes of claiming to be king, causing disturbances and refusing to pay taxes. Jesus CROSS DESIGNS. got a bad rap. In truth, the Jewish leaders were out to get him. And WE DON’T WEAR after six trials and a brutal flogging, he received a death sentence ELECTRIC CHAIRS ON by immediate crucifixion. THE END OF GOLD CHAINS. NOT MANY Despite the ridiculously false and unfair accusations, Jesus never PEOPLE TATTOO A objected. He willingly submitted to the pain, humiliation and GAS CHAMBER ON ultimately, his own death. Crucifixion is a nasty way to die. It is THEIR SHOULDER. one of the most torturous and painful methods of execution known to mankind. Death by gas chamber or by the electric chair is tame BUT JESUS’ DEATH compared to the cross. CHANGED THE UNDERSTANDING One intentional characteristic of crucifixion is to prolong the pain OF THE CROSS and torture of dying. It is the polar opposite of quick and painless. AND TURNED A Driving nails through flesh and tendons is bloody, gruesome and GRUESOME FORM OF grotesque. But that’s not what kills the victim. Crucifixion kills by LEGALIZED TORTURE asphyxiation. Hanging on the cross requires a person to push up INTO THE DEFINING with their legs in order to catch their breath. This is painful and difficult to do with your wrists and feet nailed to wood. After hours SYMBOL OF FREEDOM of suffering and gasping for breath, the victim eventually dies IN HIM - CHRISTIANITY. from lack of air.

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dies…and lives to tell about it

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Jesus

DAY 10

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10

WEEK 2

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If Jesus simply died on the cross, what would be special about his life? People die every day. ----------------You could say, “Yes, but Jesus suffered for his cause.” Sure. So did the terrorists that flew into the World Trade Center buildings on 9/11. Neither Jesus’ death nor the nature of it makes him ----------------unique. It is the resurrection. Jesus rising from the grave sets him apart from every person in history and validates the Christian faith. Josh McDowell is an agnostic turned Christian author who converted to Christianity after researching its historic validity. When asked why he could not refute Christianity after more than 700 hours of research, he responded, “For a very simple reason. I was unable to explain away the fact that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a real event in history.” 17

Today, just think about the cross, not as a commercially charged token, but for what it represents. The cross symbolizes that Jesus died an insane death so that you would receive his gift of grace. He took on the sin of the world and left an empty tomb. Jesus the man, died. Jesus, the Son of God, overcame the grave.

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That is precisely how much he loves . . .you.

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“WE KNOW WHAT REAL LOVE IS BECAUSE JESUS GAVE UP HIS LIFE FOR US.” 1 JOHN 3:16

17 McDowell, Josh. (1977). More Than a Carpenter. Wheaton, Il, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.


Missing

the

DAY 11

Mark -----------------

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WEEK 2

Below is a list of people. Rate each person on a scale of 1-10 based on how good or bad you deem ----------------him or her to be.

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• HITLER • CHARLES MANSON • THE POPE • GHANDI • TIGER WOODS • ABRAHAM LINCOLN • LADY GAGA • BONO • YOUR BEST FRIEND • YOU

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How hard on yourself were you? I don’t think I want to share my own rating. Growing up I did a lot of things that were not so nice. Some I got away with and some I didn’t.

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LANCE ARMSTRONG

• FED THE DOG DISGUSTING COOKED VEGETABLES UNDER THE TABLE • GOT CAUGHT WITH A STOLEN RADAR DETECTOR • SNUCK INTO AN R-RATED MOVIE. • MANIPULATED THE SITUATION SO THAT MY SISTER WOULD GET IN TROUBLE INSTEAD OF ME • SNUCK INTO THE HOUSE AFTER CURFEW • LIED TO MY PARENTS, MY FRIENDS OR MY COACH

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• CHEATED ON HOMEWORK • HAD IMPURE OR DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHTS

I must have been on Santa’s naughty list.

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• SET BAND-AIDS AND Q-TIPS ON FIRE IN THE BATHROOM. (DON’T ASK WHY.)

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The Bible teaches that God is holy. He is perfect, set apart from all his creation and completely without sin. You and I are not perfect. We all do bad stuff and make mistakes. Just as clear as the Bible is about God’s holiness, it is equally as clear on our sinfulness. Beginning with the first sin of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, all mankind is sinful. Broken. Disobedient to God. ----------------That’s a problem. God is perfect, which means he is also just. His justice demands that he punish sin, my sin and your sin. He has to. If he just let sin slide, he wouldn’t be perfect and holy. He wouldn’t be God.

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GOD IS PERFECT

Sin can be defined as “missing the mark.” If you ever tried archery, you know how difficult it is to hit the bullseye with the arrow. The flavor of this word, sin, is not only do you miss the bullseye, you miss the whole target and kill the cow in the field behind it! Sin separates you from God, devastating your ability to reach out to him and receive his favor on your own. “BUT NO, ALL HAVE TURNED AWAY; ALL HAVE BECOME CORRUPT. NO ONE DOES GOOD, NOT A SINGLE ONE!” PSALM 14:3

You have to grasp this. GOD HATES SIN. There is nothing he detests more. He is just and must punish sin. So to sum things up, think of it like a math problem: GOD’S HOLINESS + MY SIN = BIG PROBLEM

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Listen to this chilling verse: “They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power.18” Did you catch the magnitude of this big problem? What is the full consequence of sin? Being separated from the Lord -- FOREVER! Sin separates people from God, it incurs God’s wrath and it leaves us in bondage to our desires. Sin warrants eternal punishment -- that’s hell folks. Your sin prevents you from reaching out and knowing a perfect and loving God. But there’s good news!

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C.H\E -.C_K. O--U/.T GALATIANS 5:22-23

18 2 Thessalonians 1:9


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You will be SAVED! It’s important to understand what salvation means. It can be defined as “to be rescued from injury or harm.” So if your science teacher postpones a test that you forgot to study for, you experience salvation from flunking the test and from your parents’ wrath. Not that you would ever forget to study for a test. Ya right. Salvation takes on a specific meaning in the Bible. ----------------So this guy is asking to be saved, and Paul says he’ll receive salvation if he believes in the Lord Jesus. He was looking for spiritual and eternal salvation. Paul points him to where we all find it -- Jesus Christ. Remember, Jesus came on a mission. “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”19 Jesus came to offer salvation to the lost, made possible by his death and resurrection.

PUSH PAUSE.

Let’s pause for today. Please – whatever you do – don’t skip tomorrow. Day 12 is a must read. It is the second part and directly connected to today.

Your sin has separated you from a Holy God. The scale of bad to worse doesn’t matter. God doesn’t have a sliding scale for sin. All sin is the same for God. All sin does the same thing – it separates you and I from a deepening relationship with God.

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Today, it’s about you – your sin – and your relationship with God. Too often, it seems easier to ignore your own sin rather than face it. Today, confront it. Deal with the sin that is keeping you from God.

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Write down the sin that has control of your life. Then pray to God and ask his forgiveness. Understand that God is a God of grace – a God of love – and a God of forgiveness.

19 Luke 19:10

THE LORD IS COMPASSIONATE AND MERCIFUL, SLOW TO GET ANGRY AND FILLED WITH UNFAILING LOVE. HE WILL NOT CONSTANTLY ACCUSE US, NOR REMAIN ANGRY FOREVER. HE DOES NOT PUNISH US FOR ALL OUR SINS; HE DOES NOT DEAL HARSHLY WITH US, AS WE DESERVE. FOR HIS UNFAILING LOVE TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM IS AS GREAT AS THE HEIGHT OF THE HEAVENS ABOVE THE EARTH. HE HAS REMOVED OUR SINS AS FAR FROM US AS THE EAST IS FROM THE WEST. PSALM 103:8-12

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MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY:


DAY 12

One Way

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Have you had to justify a bad decision? Your book ----------------report is due today and all you have is an arsenal of lame excuses, inadequate explanations and poor attempts to plea bargain. The bottom line is – you ----------------didn’t do it.

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WEEK 2

“IT’S NOT MY FAULT. THE COMPUTER CRASHED.” “I THOUGHT IT WAS DUE NEXT FRIDAY.”

“MY BIOLOGY TEACHER HAS A PROJECT DUE THE SAME DAY.” “IF I CAN JUST TURN IT IN AFTER THE WEEKEND, I’LL INCLUDE AN EXTRA PAGE.” “I DID SO WELL ON THE LAST ASSIGNMENT,

If your teacher is like most of mine I DESERVE AN EXTENSION FOR THIS ONE.” were, excuses don’t fly. Nor do they with God. He’s not interested in your reasons and justifications. Jesus alone solves your sin problem. You screwed up, but Jesus’ death provides the only justification and the salvation you desperately need. Unfortunately, too often we talk to God like he’s one of our teachers at school. Don’t you think he knows the truth?

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“GOD, I’M NOT AS BAD AS MY BEST FRIEND. YOU KNOW WHAT SHE DOES?”

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“GOD, I GO TO CHURCH TWO TIMES A WEEK” “GOD, I DON’T CUSS NEARLY AS MUCH AS MY FRIENDS.”

“WHY DO I NEED JESUS? I’M A GOOD PERSON. I FEED THE HOMELESS.”

There is absolutely nothing you can do to get to heaven. No good deed, no clever explanation, no perfect church attendance record can justify your behavior before God. He isn’t looking to bargain with you. Placing your faith in the work of Jesus Christ is the only thing that makes you right us in his eyes.

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“GOD, I KNOW JESUS LOVES ME, BUT I DON’T WANT TO FOLLOW HIM.”


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“GOD SAVED YOU BY HIS GRACE WHEN YOU BELIEVED. AND YOU CAN’T TAKE CREDIT FOR THIS; IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD. SALVATION IS NOT A REWARD FOR THE GOOD THINGS WE HAVE DONE, SO NONE OF US CAN----------------BOAST ABOUT IT.” EPHESIANS 2:8-9

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----------------You cannot earn your salvation. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. Doing all your chores on time? Donating old clothes to charity? Being ridiculously good-looking? That’s all good. But none of those things make you right with God. Only faith in Jesus does that. And he didn’t leave us in the dark about this. Jesus very clearly said, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.20” Jesus, and only Jesus, is your

GRACE = A FREE GIFT WE DON’T DESERVE

So how is your relationship with God right now? Have you accepted him as Lord and Savior, leader, forgiver and friend? Take ten minutes to go through this next part. Engage your entire self. If you need to, come back to it when you have time. Nothing is more important in this 31-day experience than this!

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CHECK OUT THE NEXT PAGE FOR TODAYS INTERACTIVE COMPONENT

20 John 14:6


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#2: SIN = DEATH #3: JESUS CHRIST • Check out: Romans 6:23a • Check out John 3:16-17 • Sin leads to one place -- death. • The amazing gift is that Jesus died Death is another word for hell. Yep, for “ALL” people. He died on the not a great thought. Yet, it is what cross. His death has covered ALL ----------------“ALL” of us deserve. your sin and paid the price for the sins • Don’t stop here. There is great of ALL people, for all time. You need ----------------news! The rest of Romans 6:23 says, only to accept and receive this gift. “. . .but the gift of God is eternal life • Do that, and you will walk in in Christ Jesus our Lord.” eternity with God. What an incredible • Circle the word “GIFT.” A gift is thought! being offered and God is just waiting for you to take it. What is it? Go to #3. #3

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#1: YOU • Draw a picture of you. Go for it. Be creative. Then write your name. • This is you. Your life. God is on the other side of the chasm and he desperately desires a relationship with you – for all of eternity. • Check out: Romans 3:23 • Circle the word “ALL.” That’s right, everyone who ever lived has sinned (except for Jesus of course).

YOU

GOD

BUT THE FREE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD. ROMANS 6:23B

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FOR ALL HAVE SINNED; ALL FALL SHORT OF GOD’S GLORIOUS STANDARD.

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON, SO THAT EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.

ROMANS 3:23

JOHN 3:16

DEATH FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH ROMANS 6:23A

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#2


IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE READY TO RECEIVE THIS GIFT – TO ACCEPT -----------------

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DEAR JESUS, THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME A GIFT THAT I DON’T ----------------DESERVE. THANK YOU FOR LOVING ME SO MUCH THAT YOU DIED ON THE CROSS FOR MY SINS. I NAME YOU AS MY LORD AND SAVIOR, LEADER, FORGIVER AND FRIEND. I GIVE YOU MY ENTIRE LIFE. I KNOW THAT I WILL FALL AND MESS UP, BUT I AM THANKFUL FOR YOUR GRACE. I WILL STRIVE TO BECOME WHO YOU DESIRE ME TO BE. I WILL CONTINUE TO GROW IN MY RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU AND SEEK TO LIVE A LIFE THAT IS

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NOW, TAKE THESE IMPORTANT STEPS.

1.Draw yourself next to God. Seriously! You are now in a growing relationship with him. That’s an awesome thing! 2. Tell people! Call your best friend. Tell your parents. Talk to your ministry leader. 3. Get connected into a small group. You will need a great group of people surrounding you, loving you, supporting you and helping you grow in your relationship with Christ. You can’t and aren’t meant do this on your own!

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IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE ALREADY A CHRIST-FOLLOWER THIS IS FOR

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1. Never forget what Christ has done for you. He died for you because he loves you and desires to have a thriving relationship with you. 2. You have friends and family members who do not have a relationship with Christ. Start praying for them. Ask God to provide an opportunity to share this illustration with them. You can draw it on a napkin, a placemat or on the back of your hand. God wants to you use to share his gift with others. Whether you’ve made your decision for Christ or don’t quite feel ready, God’s forgiveness is the greatest gift you can ever receive. Think about it.

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JESUS CHRIST AS LORD AND SAVIOR – LEADER, FORGIVER AND FRIEND, SAY THIS PRAYER.


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In 2006, the movie Nacho Libre was introduced to the world. It quickly became one of the most quoted movies of all time (as least from my mouth)! I seriously spent an entire summer quoting that movie, and still find myself saying “get that corn outta my face!” and “we never win because you are fat” and “I wanna WIN!” all the time. I loved that movie.

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Baptism - Nacho Style

DAY 13

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WEEK 2

One of the funniest scenes was when Nacho, played by Jack Black, and his wrestling partner Esqueleto are getting ready for a wresting match against “Satan’s Cavemen.” Nacho strolls out of a toilet stall and says, “I am a little concerned right now. About your salvation and stuff. How come you have not been baptized?” To which Esqueleto responds,“BECAUSE I NEVER GOT AROUND TO IT OKAY?” 21 So Nacho fills a bowl with water and surprise baptizes Esqueleto in the bathroom before their match. I was literally on the floor when Jack Black snuck-baptized this guy! It was hilarious! Nacho brings up a great question. Baptism is a huge, important piece in becoming a sold-out follower of Jesus! Have you ever wondered why it’s such a big deal? Let’s explore that.

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Q& A

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WHY GET BAPTIZED?

DOES BAPTISM SAVE ME?

No. (How’s that for a short answer?) Baptism saves you no more saying than a prayer, going to church or reading your Bible. These are all good indications of your faith and salvation, but none of them have the power to save. 21 Nacho Libre. Dir. Jared Hess. Paramount Pictures, 2006

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The quick answer is, because Jesus got baptized. Check out Matthew 3:13-17. As Christ followers, we strive to do and live as he did. Jesus, the Son of God was baptized, so why not you? Jesus even commanded us to do so in Matthew 28:19.


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HOW AM I SAVED?

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Only Jesus saves! Salvation is not a result of your efforts, deeds or how good you are. It is ----------------by grace through faith. Grace is underserved kindness. You and I deserve hell for our sin, but in Christ we will never get what we deserve. Instead we receive the gift of salvation. That kind of grace from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ.

C.H\E -.C_K. O--U/.T EPHESIANS 2:8-9

SO, DO I HAVE TO GET BAPTIZED?

Yes. In his final command before leaving this earth, Jesus told us to make disciples and baptize them. (Matthew 28:18-20) The early church took this seriously, baptizing new believers shortly after they committed their lives to Christ. (Acts 2:38-41) Baptism speaks to the reality and victory of Jesus in our lives. WHAT DOES BAPTISM SYMBOLIZE?

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The Bible gives a great visual of what baptism symbolizes, “For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.22” When you become a follower of Christ, you enter into a relationship with him. Baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. You go into the water as if buried and are raised up from the water just as he rose from the dead.

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I STILL HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS, SHOULD I GET BAPTIZED?

In the book of Acts there was a moment where 3000 people were baptized (Acts 2:38). Do you think all 3000 people had every question answered? Do you think that every person clearly understood everything about following Christ? No, but they took the step. You don’t have to hold off on baptism until your life is all worked out. You get baptized as a part of working your life out and leaning into the power of God.

22 Romans 6:4, New Living Translation


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I love being a part of Central Christian Church because we are all about “New Beginnings”! People are welcomed just as they are and then challenged----------------through the power of Christ to take steps of faith towards God. Baptism is one of those steps, a result of the experience of “being saved.” It is an outward expression of the change within once ----------------you accepted Christ. Jud talks about some other major effects of salvation and your new life in Christ.

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I WAS BAPTIZED AS A BABY, SHOULD I GET BAPTIZED AGAIN?

1. YOU BECOME A CHILD OF GOD

Judgment is gone and is replaced by a new, nurturing father/child relationship. 2. YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY CHANGES

Your slavery to sin is broken and the resulting death is gone. Heaven is your new eternal destiny! 3. THE HOLY SPIRIT LIVES IN YOU

Your body becomes a temple for the Holy Spirit. Also known as “the helper,” the Holy Spirit convicts, comforts, guides, counsels and helps you live your new life. 4. YOU JOIN A NEW FAMILY

The church is a community of brothers and sisters in Christ, people who love God. No one is perfect, but your Christian family will encourage and support you in your new life. 5. YOU SHOULDER A NEW MISSION

Jesus gave you a mission. Salvation doesn’t end with you. Pass it on!

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Ultimately, you still have your salvation even if you “never get around to” getting baptized. But it is important, it is commanded, and there is no greater symbolic step that demonstrates your faith, your new life and your dedication to Christ.

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STEP 2: INVITE ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO JOIN YOU FOR YOUR SPECIAL DAY. YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DID AND THERE IS NO GREATER WAY TO SHARE YOUR NEWFOUND FAITH TO PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT BELIEVE. STEP 3: IF YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN BAPTIZED (OR AFTER YOU ARE) LIVE OUT THE REALITY OF YOUR SALVATION! AND PASS IT ON! INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO CHURCH TO EXPERIENCE WHAT YOU HAVE FOUND.

61

STEP 1: IF YOU ARE A CHRIST-FOLLOWER AND HAVE NOT YET BEEN BAPTIZED—DO IT! TALK TO YOUR PARENTS AND YOUR MINISTRY PASTOR AND SET A DATE.


63

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Journal

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14

----------------WEEK 2

DAY 14

Decode Week 2  

Decode Week 2

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