Identity - Week 4

Welcome back to Wednesday nights (after our week off for Ash Wednesday)!

Our Identity series continues as we jump back into Psalm 139 with verses 13-16, emphasizing the reality that we were created by God in His image. As His creations we have incalculable value to God; we were made very good in His sight, and we were fearfully and wonderfully made. Even in the midst of the fall and the brokenness that we are born into - we are God's creation, and we should not be ashamed of who we are in that light. Certainly, we are broken and make mistakes, and we are in-progress (we'll talk more on that next week), but the reality is - and the Bible speaks to this - that even in our lowly state in comparison to Him, God is mindful of us! He loves us not just as His Creation, but we because we reflect Him to the world. We are image-bearers, crowned with a unique glory because of whose we are. 

Students will have opportunities tonight to consider how they view themselves, which can certainly be a mixed bag (at any age!). I encouraged the youth coaches to take some time in small groups to lift up and encourage the students in who God created them to be in their personalities, their gifts, their uniqueness - that God has a specific plan for each individual. Even if students take this opportunity to put themselves down, there is a big difference between repenting of sin and simply devaluing one's self. We can (and should!) mourn our sinfulness, the mistakes we make in not living perfectly -- but we can also invite these students to see the love God has for us in His forgiveness, abounding mercy, and our adopted status into His family. 

Do you believe (yes, even as adults) that you are fearfully and wonderfully made? As an image-bearer of your Creator, do you find value as one of God's creations? I pray that you have great conversations at home, with each other, and hopefully with your students about how we view ourselves - and how life would be different if we all truly believed that we are made with purpose and have immense value in God's eyes.

See you Sunday/next week!

Small Group Talking Points
1)  If you had to create a self-portrait, what would it look like? What imagery or colors or maybe words would you use to describe/portray yourself?

2) Describe some incredible, marvelous sights you've seen in nature/creation?
-- What made those sights so incredible?

3) Do you believe you are "wonderfully made" by God? Why or why not?

4) Where are there situations - or certain relationships - where people are not marvelous or have much value in your life? Why is that?

5) What does it mean to you - in your own words - when Paul writes "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works?"

6) Discuss Psalm 8:5 as a group - "Yet you have made (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor."

7) Where would you like to see God continue to work in your life? What are some truths about who you are that you're grateful for? What are some things you'd like to be true (or more true) of you in the years to come?