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Renovation of the Heart / An Interactive Student Edition: Putting on the Character of Christ

(Paperback - Mar 2005)
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Overview

This study helps young people learn how to understand one of the most important lessons of life: putting on the character of Christ. Includes easy-to-understand examples, discussion questions, and explanations of key words.

Details

  • SKU: 9781576837306
  • SKU10: 1576837300
  • Title: Renovation of the Heart / An Interactive Student Edition: Putting on the Character of Christ
  • Series: Th1nk LifeChange
  • Qty Remaining Online: 47
  • Publisher: Th1nk Books
  • Date Published: Mar 2005
  • Pages: 224
  • Illustrated: Yes
  • Age Range: 12 - UP
  • Grade Level: 7th Grade thru Up
  • Weight lbs: 0.50
  • Dimensions: 8.20" L x 5.50" W x 0.70" H
  • Features: Illustrated, Bibliography
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical; Topical | Adolescence/Coming of Age;
  • Category: YOUTH
  • Subject: Christian Education - Children & Youth

Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

RENOVATING THE HEART, LESSON 1

LESSON 1: JESUS' STRATEGY IS UNIQUE

He Works from the Inside Out

revolution \[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]\ n:a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something: a change of paradigm

The American Revolution was a bloody war in our country's history that supposedly shaped many of the written values and beliefs of our nation. Yet you would probably agree with me that many Americans today don't know what these values and beliefs are, don't care, or don't really live them out in their lives. Though this revolution was influential at the time, the impact has lost steam in the years since.

Consider also the little girl who threw a temper tantrum because she was not getting her way. Her mother stepped in and demanded that she sit down and take a time-out. The little girl refused. The mother finally threatened to spank her bottom, and the girl sat down. After she sat down, she folded her arms, let out a big rush of air, and said, "I may be sitting down on the outside, but I am standing up on the inside." A revolution in this little girl's heart obviously did not occur.

Jesus is a revolutionary. He has a vision and a plan to change the world. But, unlike the two examples above, Jesus understands our nature and therefore has a different strategy for encouraging our behaviors to match our hearts. He knows we live from the heart and make every choice from the heart. Therefore, His revolution targets the renovation of our hearts' values, beliefs, and practices. In the kind of world Jesus wants to bring into being, the tragedy of 9/11 would not happen, not because outside authorities would prevent it, but because people wouldchoose to live differently - from the heart.

This is why Jesus had no intent to overthrow the Roman government of His time. He told His accusers that He was not interested in Caesar's job because His kingdom was going to be totally different. His kingdom was and is spiritual. His base of operations would not be Rome or the Oval Office but our hearts. Through our ongoing relationships with Him and with other Christ-followers, He begins to reform our hearts' beliefs, ideals, feelings, and habits of choice. This progressive internal change governs our actions, bodily tendencies, and relationships with others. With Jesus, righteous behavior flows from a heart governed by Him.

From the divinely renovated heart, social structures, such as government, will naturally be transformed so that "justice roll[s] down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream" (Amos 5:24, NRSV). Such streams cannot flow from corrupted souls. On the flip side, a renovated heart will not cooperate or participate with public streams of unrighteousness. What does that mean? In school there's a great deal of public pressure from fellow students and instructors to think or act in a way that is inappropriate. A renovated heart will not bow down to this pressure and participate in words or acts that are unrighteous, even if it means being rejected.

Those of us who have received Christ into our hearts are being instructed by Him so that we may "be blameless and harmless, children of God, faultless in the midst of a twisted and misguided generation, from within which they shine as lights in the world, lifting up a word of life" (Philippians 2:15-16, PAR). This is God's vision for you and for His church. The church is His primary agent of change to bring about His kingdom - not by imposing morality on others from the outside but through the power of renovated hearts, one person at a time.

GROUP PRAYER:Lord, change us from the inside out. Instruct us so that we can be Your righteous children and be able to change the direction of our misguided generation. We want to shine like lights in this dark world. Cause a revolution in our hearts!

(Continues.)

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