⚠️ ATTENTION: YOUTH GROUP CANCELLED ⚠️
Due to an unexpected death in Pastor Asa’s family, he and Suz will be travelling to the states for the funeral this weekend. Since youth leaders will be on shift for work, NorthLife Youth is cancelled for this Friday, November 17th. We will resume the following week. Thank you for understanding, and please be in prayer for Asa and Suz. Enjoy some extra time with your family and we’ll see everyone on November 24th!
On Friday, December 1, from 6:30-9:30pm, we’re having guests! The youth groups from McMurray Gospel Assembly, Family Christian Centre, and All Saints Anglican Church will be joining us for an evening of worship and bible teaching. As always, there will be snacks, drinks, and a time to hangout together. Is there someone you could invite from school? This is a great opportunity to introduce them to a Christian community, especially since there will be a larger group gathered to celebrate together.
This week we watched the second video in the Bible Project video series on Luke. The video focuses on chapters 3-9. For our group discussion, we zoomed in to chapters 3-4.
You can watch the video for Luke Part 2 here!
Overview of Luke 3-4
Once we have placed our faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sin, the bible teaches us to be placed underneath the water and brought back up to symbolize the death and resurrection of Christ, and our identity with that: the death of our old sin nature and the new life we have in Jesus. In Luke 3, John is urging the people of Israel to repent for the forgiveness of their sins, and to be baptized. His whole life mission was to prepare people’s hearts for the coming of Jesus, the promised savior of Israel, and the world. He challenges believers to live a life that reflects their decision to follow God. No more pride, greed, selfishness, oppression, violence, deception, anger, impurity…the list goes on and on. It’s time to depend wholly on God and strive to be like him in everything we do and say. It’s time for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
When the people begin to wonder if John might be the Christ they were expecting, he quickly assures them that he is just a servant of Christ. John says that he is not even worthy to untie Jesus’ sandals because of how great and holy he is. This Jesus will come at any moment now, and the people must be ready.
One of the people that John baptizes next is Jesus himself. The story tells us that while Jesus was being baptized, the Spirit of God descended upon him in the form of a dove, and the voice of God was heard from heaven affirming that this was his beloved Son, who was pleasing to God(Luke 3:21-22).
Jumping forward to Luke 4, Jesus has just spent 40 days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan. This was meant to be a contrast to the Israelites’ 40 years in the desert. Rather than choosing to rebel against God, Jesus submits to and trusts God. He then goes to the synagogue in Nazareth and opens the scroll of the prophet Isaiah (61:1-2) and reads:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
This is the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He is no longer a child. He will begin to perform miracles and teach people everywhere he goes about the will of his Father. He will eventually be put to death for his life and teaching because there are many who do not believe him. There are many who want to kill him so that they can continue to live in a way that does not honor God. The fact that Jesus is willing to die shows us that he is full of grace and humility. This is what he came to do. Everyone can be forgiven of their sins. The poor and sick and needy can have true life.
- Just like people in ancient times would prepare the roads for the arrival of a king, John the Baptist urged people to prepare their hearts for the arrival of Jesus. What does it mean to prepare your heart for Jesus?
- John the Baptist urged people to “bear fruits in keeping with repentance.” That’s kind of a strange sounding phrase. Our society doesn’t usually use words like “bear fruit” or “repentance.” When it comes to your relationship with God, how should your daily life be evidence that you have been saved?
- Is there a specific area of your life where you tend to fail to demonstrate that God has changed you? What steps can you take to grow in this area, and how can you involve others?
- Being born into a Jewish family, or a Christian family, doesn’t mean that everything is automatically okay between you and God. We are all personally decide to follow Jesus or ignore him. In contrast to the rebellion of many of their ancestors, John urged people to renew their commitment to love and obey God. Have you made a personal decision to follow Jesus, or do you settle for church attendance and good behavior?
- Once we’ve decided to follow Jesus, one of the first things he asks us to do is be baptized. Do you understand the importance of baptism and what it symbolizes? Have you been baptized? If not, why?
- Take some time to talk with your family and pray about these things: repenting of your sins and asking God for forgiveness, making or renewing your commitment to follow Jesus, and obeying him by being baptized.