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Wrecked: The Life of Paul
One of the most influential people in Christian history was once completely against it. Saul of Tarsus' story begins as an influential Jewish man who was known for viciously hunting down and killing Christians. He is also the man who wrote most of the New Testament and helped start and lead the Early Church. What could explain such a radical change in his life? His life got wrecked. Wrecked is defined as a violent or sudden crash. That is exactly what happens when we collide with the Gospel. As we journey through the life of Paul, we will understand that our lives were wrecks before Christ and that the Gospel should wreck us. When we allow God to work in us just like in Paul's life, we can change the world.
WEEKLY CONVERSATION STARTERS
Week 1 | May 3 - The Gospel is for Everyone: The Coversion of Paul
Read: Acts 9:1-19, Philippians 3:3-11
Examine: Everyone has a story. Sometimes we can believe that our stories have no value. We believe that nothing important has happened to them and that means our stories aren’t important. Or maybe we believe that our story is full of so much junk that we will never be expected to do anything good or great. The good news you might need to hear today is that the Gospel is for everyone. As we begin to look at the story of a man named Saul, we will learn that every story is important because every person is important. Regardless of what has happened in your story we know that Jesus is better at saving than you are at sinning.
Apply: Write out your testimony using 3 questions: What did your life look like before trusting in Jesus? When did you trust in Jesus? What has your life looked like since trusting in Jesus? When you're done, share your story with your student! If they have a story to share, have them share theirs as well.
Pray: Pray together that God would use your stories to help someone else.
Week 2 | May 10 - Developed in the Quiet: The Growth of Paul
Read: Acts 1:21, Galatians 1:11-24
Examine: Superstars are iconic. Whether it is in sports, music, acting, or any of the hundreds of different fields where we see them operate, their skills and status are impressive. Many times we assume they have always been in the limelight. However, you often hear something very different in their origin stories. They were developed in obscurity and through hardship, and they persevered. As we look throughout Scripture, we often see something similar. Before someone became a superstar in the Bible, there was a period where there was no starpower. As we look at Paul's life after his conversion, we see that sometimes before God can do something through you, He has to do something in you.
Apply: It is very easy to look around you and feel like you will never be able to do something great. However, God can take the little that we offer and do so much more! Ask your student, what are some of the areas that God can grow and use them right now?
Pray: Pray together that God would begin to give you opportunities to grow and develop in the places he has you right now.
Week 3 | May 17 - The Purpose of Pain: The Suffering of Paul
Read: Romans 5:3-5; Acts 16:25-34
Examine: Pain is not something we ever wish to experience, and yet we experience it so often. Our natural instinct is to avoid pain and suffering. In fact, culture is all about avoiding the things in life that cause suffering. Drugs and alcohol numb pain, video games are often an escape from the pain of reality, and social media gives us the illusion of control. And yet, our students are struggling with depression on record levels. Almost no human knew suffering on the level of Paul. But when we look at the words of Paul, we see a very different mentality than the world today. Paul says to rejoice in your sufferings. Why? Because Paul knew that your pain becomes a part of your purpose which eventually leads to your platform.
Apply: Ask your student what is causing them pain right now in their lives. Listen to them and ask them how they think God can use their pain for His purpose in their lives. Note: Don’t dismiss their pain, but encourage them to look forward to how God wants to work in it.
Pray: Pray over your student. Pray for the pain they may be feeling and that God can allow them to see how He can use all things for His good.
Week 4 | May 24 - The Servant Leader: The Leadership of Paul
Read: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Matthew 20:26, 28
Examine: We all are taught from a young age to strive to be at the top. Whether it’s in sports, academics, or business, being the leader is highly valued. The example of Jesus was that of a servant and He challenges us to be servant leaders as well. However, even when we know that serving is good, we all want to serve until someone wants to treat us like a servant. Our pride gets in the way of our purpose. Paul gives us a clear picture of what Godly leadership looks like. Godly leadership is not seeing what others can do for you, but what you can do for others.
Apply: What is one way that you, as the parent and leader of the household, can serve your student in a vastly different way than you normally do? Talk with your student about how your family can serve someone together.
Pray: Pray that God can give you guidance on how to lead your family with the heart of a servant.
Week 5 | May 31 - Shipwrecked: Parting Words from Paul
Read: 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Examine: You probably feel like you have a calling of some kind. It may be to a certain career or creative endeavor. It may be to inspire or teach people in a certain subject. It may be to provide and protect your loved ones. However important and noble this calling may be, Paul makes something very clear to us: Sharing the Gospel is the most important job you will ever have. Paul uses some of his final recorded words to press this truth. If we would understand this, we would open ourselves and our stories up to be used in greater ways than we could possibly imagine.
Apply: Ask your student what they want to have as a career in the future. How do they think their future career fits into their job of sharing the Gospel?
Pray: Pray together and ask God to help you include the importance of the Gospel in more areas of your family’s life.