A typical meeting for us looks something like this: 6:30 Thursday nights we get together and spend some time catching up (which is kinda funny because we all live in the same community and pretty much spent most of our time together anyways) and basically spend some time being teenagers. Then we pray, share about our week, fun things we did or exciting news that happened, etc. Then we recap our theme or topic if we're continuing from previous weeks or we discuss the new topic. We dig into the Word, each person taking a turn reading straight from Scripture and then we periodically spend some time going over the section we just read, discussing it, pointing out any cultural or historical information to give a better understanding of what we have just read. We try to stick to the scripture not adding or taking away anything from it but occasionally we need a little more information about culture and history for full understanding. We try to end around 8:00 pm but sometimes our discussion goes over, yikes (I think this is a GREAT problem because the teens are really digging in & talking about Scripture!).
Most of our time is student-led. I ask some questions and typically steer the conversation but the discussion is mainly all about them and what they are seeing, observing, thinking.
- identity is our worth
- identity is who we are
- identity is what we are known for
- identity is how others see us.
- their talents, like singing or playing instruments
- their abilities, like sports
- their looks, how pretty/handsome they are
- other people, their friends or family
- even comparing themselves to others
Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
To the choirmaster.
A Psalm of David.
139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
- I am fearfully & wonderfully made
- God thinks about me
- God knows my thoughts and what is in my heart
- God created me & knew me before I was born
We expanded on that with some of the things we discussed earlier. We looked at what would happen to us if we found our identity in things like our looks and for some reason we became disfigured. We talked about what happens if we found our identity in our abilities and we were injured and could no longer do that. We discussed what happens if we find our identity in our friends and they (or we) moved.
We decided that it would best to find our identity in something that won't change. We decided that finding our identity in our Creator and the Rock would be a better option. But what does that actually look like in our day to day lives??
Over the course of the next few months I'll be sharing what our students have been learning in terms of Identity.
What stands out to you from Psalm 139 in regards to Identity? What do you think Identity means and where do you find your identity? Leave a comment below so we can expand our discussion.
Until then, peace & blessings!