STUDENTS@FIRST

As we navigate the coming weeks being the church without the opportunity to meet for official services, we invite you to use the resources provided below to engage in spiritual conversations with

your student(s) and to be the church in your own homes and families.

Thoughts, Discussion points, and Questions:

WEEK 7 | Matters of the Heart | 2 Chronicles 19-20

  • Have you ever wondered why there is so much war? In our history, in the old testament? From the Garden of Eden to now we have seen poor choices lead to us using our freedom at the expense of our neighbor. War is a natural consequence of our freedom. In our fallen world, war is a reality we have to live with.

  • The Israelites often used ox goads, farm implements, and bows and arrows to go into battle. 

  • The most important weapon they had was prayer!

  • 2 Corinthians 10

    • The battles we face today don't require spears, swords, or slings because we don't wage war the world does. Our most powerful weapon is not fashioned in an armory, it's fashioned in the heart.

    • Sometimes that heart is filled with fear, hardened over time from disappointment or from disobedience.

    • How would you describe the condition of your heart right now?

  • We all have access to the same weapon King Jehoshaphat used, when facing a battle he certainly couldn't win he turned to prayer. 

4 principals to help shape our prayer life

  1. Remember who God is. Start by declaring who he is!

    • He is the Sovereign Ruler over all things

    • Omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent

    • Nothing happens outside of His knowledge or control

    • When we remember who God is, it reminds us who is in charge

      • How would you describe God in one word?

  2. Remember God's promises

    • God keeps His promises, so you can trust Him​

    • The enemy is going to lie to you

      • What lies is the enemy trying to get you to believe? Is he tearing you down, or trying to build up your pride right now?

    • How has God been faithful to you? To our family? To our church?

    • When we remember the promises of God, it "re-sets" our minds

      • ​What do you need to be reminded of today?

  3. Ask for what you need

    • Clarity in prayer combats the paranoia of panic

    • V.13 – all the people were there, including children!

  4. Praise the Lord always

    • Jehoshaphat believed what the Lord said and responded with praise before the battle even happened

    • Praise is always God-focused rather than self-focused

    • Don’t forget to say thank you!

 

What battle are you facing today? What weapons are you relying on?

 

"When the battle belongs to the Lord, your heart will be at peace"

WEEK 6 | Matters of the Heart | 2 Chronicles 14:1-6, 15:1-7, 16:1-10

 

Lindsey Jacob-Ellis is a lot like King Asa

  • They both started well, but didn’t finish well

  • Picture filters try to hide the negative parts, failures, and blemishes in your life.

    • The Bible and life don’t hide the negative parts, failures, or blemishes in your life.

 

Question to ponder:

  • How will you finish the race called LIFE?

 

Test 1: “10 years of peace for Asa.”

  • How will you deal with a season of peace?

    • It is easy to get lazy in your down-time.

    • Don’t be passive; take action and be active during this time of peace.

    • What are you doing during this time to prepare yourself for the future?

  • “There is a huge difference between active waiting and passive waiting.”

    • Active waiting is about preparation.

    • Passive waiting is about laziness.

  • Lesson to be learned: “Recognize the One who gives you peace and prepare for the next season of life.”

 

Test 2: “Asa is in an uneven battle.”

  • Who will you turn to when you’re under attack?

    • “Be honest with the reality that you don’t have the answer.”

    • You can always rely on God to fight your battle for you.

  • Don’t give up even life gets hard and you find yourself in a battle.

 

Test 3: “Asa receives a warning.”

  • How will you respond to warnings?

    • Warnings are a GIFT to accept or reject.

    • How do you respond to warning signs or the spiritual advice of those trying to help you?

  • The way you respond to warnings or spiritual advice either shows humility or pride/arrogance.

    • “When you allow God to teach you, you will experience God’s presence in your life.”

 

Test 4: “Asa finds himself in another battle.”

  • Who will you turn to when you’re under attack... again?

    • King Asa and Lindsey Jacob-Ellis both got lazy and overconfident, which led to their failure and downfall.

  • When you remove God from your decision-making and your life, you will spiral out of control.

    • When life is good, it’s easy to be overconfident and leave God as a second option only to be sought after if you “need” Him.

 

How will you seek God? How will you finish the race called LIFE?

WEEK 5 | Matters of the Heart | 2 Chronicles 10:1-19

​Psychologists suggest that we make upward of 35,000 decisions every day, from what to eat to what to believe. Each of these decisions result in consequences, both positive and negative.

Rehoboam teaches us several things:

 

Bad counsel leads to bad decisions

  • The foundations for rejecting good council

    • An inflated view of himself (pride)​

    • Listening to untested voices

    • A bent toward compliance (path of least resistance)

    • Developing a calloused heart toward people

Questions

  • Who do you go to advice for?

  • Do those people have experience and a "portfolio of wisdom"?

  • How can you tell if peoples advice is given to benefit you, themselves or others?

Results of listening to bad counsel

  • Vocational misery

  • Relational rebellion

  • Economic decline

Questions

  • How have you been affected by listening to bad counsel?

  • How have your friends been affected by listening to bad counsel?

  • Have you every tried to base decisions off making everyone around you happy? How did that work out?

Good counsel leads to good decisions

  • Follow the words of the Lord "So they obeyed the words of the Lord"

  • "Freedom is not the absence of obedience"

  • Obeying and following and aligning ourselves to Gods word allows us to enjoy life

  • Always walk in humility before God

"Bad counsel results in bad choice, good counsel results in good choices - you make the choice"

Questions

  • Are you setting yourself up to obey the word of the Lord or conditioning yourself to reject it by listening to poor advice of others?

  • Are you willing to obey what the word tells you?

  • Can you identify pride anywhere in your life?

WEEK 4 | Unexpected Road to Hope | John 11:1-6, 17-44

  • Detours are not what you expect.

  • Detours take longer than the original route.

  • When life throws a “detour” your way what emotions come to the surface?

  • How do “detours” make you feel?

  • “Detours will always get you where you’re going, but the journey looks a lot different.”

  • When have you experienced a “detour” in your life that God used in a way that you didn’t expect or see coming?

 

  • Expect the unexpected

  • Jesus always did the unexpected, so when we say, “what would Jesus do,” we need to think of the unexpected rather than what would seem normal.

  • “God’s love is not meant to make you comfortable; it’s meant to make you perfect.”

    • How are you uncomfortable during this time?

    • What do you think God is trying to teach you through your discomfort?

 

  • Time is relative

  • “When God asks you to wait, it is because He is up to something and it will be even better when He is done.”

  • God doesn’t always show up when we want Him too, but He is always right on time.

  • Tension (discomfort) is a good thing.

    • Make a list of all the good things tension and discomfort bring during this time.

  • Emotions are a good thing.

    • Read Ecclesiastes 3

      • It’s good to grieve.

      • It’s good to be frustrated.

      • It’s good to sad.

      • It’s good to be scared.

      • It’s good to dance.

  • But... how you handle and deal with those emotions is important.

    • Bring your feelings/emotions to Jesus when you’re experiencing something hard/challenging.

  • Jesus wants to redirect your focus from your current situation to Himself.

    • What are you fixated on during this time?

    • Where are your priorities during this time?

    • Are you turning to Jesus or something else (social media, fears, frustrations, laziness, boredom, etc) during this time?

WEEK 3 | Tough Love | 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

  • If you were stranded on an island...

    • Who would you want to be with?

    • Top three things you’d want to have?

    • How long could you last before you lost your mind and said, “Send Help?”

  • During this “DETOUR” we need to learn to love each other well. “With love, you will never need anything else. Without love, nothing you have has any value.”

  • Love bears all things...

    • Love bears the storms

    • Love bears the attack

    • Love bears fear and doubt

    • Love bears anger and frustration

    • What storms, burdens, fears, attacks, are people around you experiencing right now? How can you show them love?

  • “Love leans into the chaos when everyone else is running away.”

    • Who do you know who loves like this?

    • How can you love like this? (Start small and then grow from there.)

  • Love protects others

    • Who protects you from what could harm you? (physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual harm)

    • “The absent are safe here.”

    • Can people trust you to not talk about them when they aren’t around?

    • Will you be a person who protects those who can’t protect themselves?

  • Love protects by playing to their strengths and defending their weaknesses.

    • What strengths can you identify in your family members and how they are being used?

    • What are your weaknesses that your family needs to protect?

  • Love trusts others

    • When is it hard to trust others (including your family)?

    • Hope is knowing God has everything under control even when it’s difficult to trust He does.

    • What walls have you put up to keep others from getting too close?

  • Love will never give up!

    • When is it easy to give up?

    • God didn’t give up on you; will you choose to not give up on Him and each other during this “detour?”

WEEK 2 | Relax | Psalm 46​

  • Read Psalm 46 again (specifically vs. 10) - God says, “relax.”

    • ​Is God insensitive to say, “relax” in a time like this?

    • “The key to relaxing is all about who is telling you to relax.”

  • What are some of your typical responses when life get's hard?

    • Do these responses focus more on the "What" or the "Who"?​

  • Relaxing is not an emotional response; relaxing is all about WHO you trust. It begins by knowing and trusting God.

    • How can you practice relaxing with God during this time in life?

  • Know God is a refuge.

  • Trusting God as your refuge is the ability to have strength at the end of the day because you know God knows the end of the day.

  • God fights on your behalf.

    • How is God wanting to fight for your relationship with Him during this time?

  • What will you do this week to strengthen your relationship with God and prepare for the end of this virus?

WEEK 1 | The Upside of Fragility | 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

  • Pastor Mark compared the things in our life to a fragile clay pot. At any time, our lives can break and be shattered with very little effort.

    • Life is fragile (similar to a clay pot); we can easily lose things in our life.

    • How would you respond if you lost something valuable and fragile in your life?

    • How do you respond when you lose something valuable and fragile in your life?

    • What does it look like for you to acknowledge fragility in your life?

  • What are your personal feelings on the impact of the coronavirus?

    • How is it impacting you personally?

    • What are your thoughts, emotions, feelings, etc.?

    • Are these feelings the same between students and adults? What are the similarities and differences?

  • Pastor Mark mentioned in his sermon that some people “just like to be mad/angry” and other people are “losing their minds” over everything that is happening?

    • How can you respond to frustration or fear (whether your own or those around you) with an attitude that reflects Christ?

      • Are your thoughts, feelings, emotions, words, and actions reflecting Christ during this time?

  • Pastor Mark said the church’s best days could be ahead, even during this virus.

    • How can you use these days of chaos to shout the message of Christ louder than the chaos and noise of the world?

    • What does God want to do in and through you/us during this time?

      • What role can you and your family play?

Salem First Baptist Church
395 Marion St NE
Salem, OR 97301
503.364.2285
fbc@fbcsalem.org
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6PM Saturday Night Service

9AM & 11AM Sunday Morning