Identity - Week 5

Hey there, youth group family!

We are finishing up our Identity (Psalm 139) series this week! I'm hopeful that we can end on an encouraging and thoughtful note with our students as we invite them to consider how they're growing (or have grown) as part of being transformed by God in us.

This week's lesson is based on verses 23-24 of Psalm 139, focusing on the truth that our identity in Christ means that God knows the inner workings of our hearts and is leading us, transforming us more and more into the image of Jesus. We can trust God to know the "grievous ways" of our sinful desires, to bring those to light in His kindness and chip away at our hardened hearts. I'll be using a video (you've likely seen it) from the Skit Guys called "Chisel" during my lesson. I'll also be inviting students to continue their "self-portraits" in taking notes about how they've been changed or what change they are longing for in God's power through them. Ask your students at home about this process - how they see themselves (from last week's group time), how they believe God sees them (as His creation), and how they have seen or wish to see transformation from God in their lives.

Here are some ideas/questions that were given to Youth Coaches for use in small group time:
1)  Can you recall a time in your life when you sought out change, "self-help" in a certain area? Was it successful in long-lasting change? Why or why not?

2)  Read vs 23-24 of Psalms 139 together - what words or ideas stand out to you? What does this tell you about the character of God or about mankind's relationship with Him?

3)  Did anything specific come to mind as you asked God to point out "any grievous way within me?" 

4) What were some thoughts/reactions to the video clips ("Chisel") used during tonight's lesson?

5)  Why is it sometimes difficult for us to see our own hearts rightly (be aware of our own sinful or selfish desires)? How has God helped you in this kind of process in the past (through Bible study, friends, parents, worship)?

6) As you look back in your life - especially if you have put your faith in Christ - where can you see evidence of growth, maturity, or transformation? In what ways have you changed - has that been self-made change or something you feel was done in/through you by God (or others)?

7)  As you consider who you are - your identity now - what are specific ways you desire for God to change you? What would that change look like in your life? Do you trust/believe that God could do that for you -- or do you feel it is up to your own strength to make that change happen?

8)  God does call us to be obedient and to "work out our salvation" in our faith...but we believe salvation is not earned but given to those who trust in Christ. Encourage open dialogue on this mystery with your students - what does that look like to them?

--- Supplemental passages to discuss: Jeremiah 17:9; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 1:6