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Peter demonstrates the nearly universal human aversion to pain and struggle—and seemingly even discussion of them. Jesus tells the disciples “quite openly” that he must suffer and die. Peter doesn’t want to hear it; he doesn’t want his friend to go through these harsh experiences. Who would desire that for...
O God, help me center my thoughts on what will honor Christ and enable me to live a life of love and grace, mirroring the grace you show us all. Amen.
We cannot earn God’s love. Going back to the time of Abraham, God’s blessing has been based on faith. God chose Abraham for a covenant not because Abraham was perfect but because he believed God. The psalmist reminds his audience of their ancient relationship with God and expresses the hope that it will continue through future generations. Paul reinforces the centrality of faith in Romans. Following the law was not bad, but no one should believe that following the law could earn God’s favor. In Mark 8, Jesus pushes his disciples in their understanding of faith. Trusting God means surrendering everything, including position and reputation. If we value those things more than God, then we are not displaying the faith of Abraham.
• Read Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16. No rules, just relationship. How comfortable are you in your relationship with God? Upon what does it rest?
• Read Psalm 22. Which verses are most familiar to you? In what ways does your faith journey live in the interplay of shadow and light?
• Read Romans 4:13-25. How easily do you live in God’s grace? In what areas do you find yourself “reckoning” your righteousness?
• Read Mark 8:31-38. When the world asks you who you are, what is your reply?
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"Discovery Weekend (The Upper Room spiritual formation weekend experience for middle schoolers) is a breath of fresh air for the youth ministry in local churches. I was impressed with the way it invited both spiritual maturity and committed leadership from our older youth as they served. Of course, our younger youth received so much as well." Read more about Discovery.