Summary: First lesson of about a half dozen out of Hebrews 13, the original verses deals with love so its been adopted to a small group of teens mostly youth-aged boys.
INTRO OF WHOLE SERIES ON HEBREWS 13:
"It’s a strange thing: the book has never been so accessible. According to Guinness Book of Records, L. Ron Hubbard’s writings of scientology have been translated into 65 languages; the Koran is supposed to be read in Arabic so it hasn’t been translated as much; the Book of Mormon is in about 100 languages. But 2,656 languages have all or some of the Bible. Some 65 million copies of the Bible are brought or distributed in the U.S. every year--nothing else is a close second. The average house has at least three. People cheer the Bible, buy the Bible, give the Bible, own the Bible-they just don’t actually read the Bible. According to George Gallup: One Third of those surveyed know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Fewer than half can name the first book of the Bible; 80 percent of born-again Christians believe the phrase Go helps those who help themselves is in the Bible (it’s Ben Franklin, if you’re curious). So I’m thinking a lot these days about how to help the people that God brings my way to know and love the book"
TRANSITION: INTRODUCE HEBREWS 13
Hebrews 13:1-3 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
*Leaders, this Sunday may be a little short on the info…a bunch of our girls will be attending Holli’s baby shower. So though the following information is awesome, it really is going to be randomly placed and not follow any particular order.
THE WORD: AGAPE
“The Greek word agape (love) seems to have been virtually a Christian invention -- a new word for a new thing (apart from about twenty occurrences in the Greek version of the Old Testament, it is almost non-existent before the New Testament). Agape draws its meaning directly from the revelation of God in Christ. It is not a form of natural affection, however, intense, but a supernatural fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). It is a matter of will rather than feeling (for Christians must love even those they dislike -- Matt. 5:44-48). It is the basic element in Christ-likeness.”
DIVORCE & TOYS CONNECTION
This odd fact I have held onto since I read it in 1993. Now, I know it seems mute because 20 years later divorce is sadly massively more prevalent. But the concept is interesting…
“Why do toymakers watch the divorce rate? When it rises, so do toy sales. According to the analyzers, four parents and eight grandparents tend to compete for children's affections, so buy toys. “
DATING WISDOM (Leaders, I know this week will be higher percentage of boys than girls, so here are some dating nuggets for them—it focuses a little more from the guys side then from the girls side, but it’s pretty good).
A) SUITABLE HELPER FOR MARRIAGE: I’ve spoken this a lot so stressing it may not be that important. But please mention it because all youth need to hear it.
B) DATING OR COURTSHIP: Technically, neither term appears in the Bible, but neither does the word Rapture or Trinity and the absence of the term doesn’t make either one more or less Biblical. The key ingredient according to 2 Peter 2:20 says to NOT DO what the world does. What does the world do currently? Well, they date around, date around, date around, live together, live together, then get married. So what should we take from this….well..we should NOT date around and NOT live together before marriage.
C) MUST BE BORN AGAIN: John 3:3-8 tells us that our future spouse must be “born of the spirit.” So it is mandated that we must marry a believer and only a believer. So, when you love someone….what is the obvious question that needs to be answered?
D) PUT GOD FIRST: Did you know that sometimes a relationship is idolatry? Yeah, and this may be the first time you ever thought of this. But when 2 people are passionately in love, there runs the risk of putting God second to the love one shares of their relationship. Be careful.
E) WHAT AGE? Well, when do you plan to get married? If you plan to get married at 30 years old, well then start dating at about 26 or so. If you plan to get married at age 12, then maybe you should begin handing out candy hearts at about 9. There is no Biblical specific age.
*I do want to point something out though. And that is 1 Timothy 4:12 states, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.”