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Can Jesus help us when we start at a new school? Theme six: Bringing it all together - TOOL KIT

When you are learning how to do things, its always helpful to have some sort of guide, or tool kit to dip in to. This can remind us of things and give us confidence that we are on the right track or to re direct us if we are not. This session is at pulling together some of the ideas we have mentioned in the earlier sessions or themes.

God's word: The Bible is key to us learning how to be strong. Regular reading gives us strength

Prayer is central to keeping up our relationship or friendship with Jesus. Keep talking to him.

When you don't understand, when its just tough - God understand's, Jesus brings comfort and The Holy Spirit gives us strength. Just pray!

Prayer is for all of us at all times.

Prayers can be said anywhere - they are also not one way. We need to be sure to listen as well when we pray.

REMEMBER:

The Christian faith is not a passive faith. We can learn to be proactive and we can build up an armour to keep us safe, to help us with our friends, for strength and comfort in tough times, for strength when we are tempted, to know what justice is and to be the best we can.

The Armour of God! Did you know that God gives us armour? Not quite the armour of the Knights of old or the Romans, but equally powerful and effective in protecting you in the years to come.

Looks great doesn't it but... what does it mean? As Christians, we also believe in the Devil - not a cute cuddly one, but the real one, whose sole aim is to keep us from getting close to God. He uses all sorts of 'tricks' to keep us away from God and Jesus: distractions, temptations, business, wanting to be please others (although that can be a good thing as well!), these are just a few things. BUT if we wear the full armour and choose, each day to put it on - that is put Jesus in our daily lives, we will be strong.

A Fight to the Finish - Taken from Ephesians 6 v 10-18 in The Message Bible

And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Below is a more traditional reading of the 'Armour of God'. Click on it to hear it.

Belt of Truth: This just means what we were talking about under Justice - hold on to the truth, keep away from people who try to pull you away from doing the right thing. Be truthful and honest in your dealings with others and remember WWJD?

Breastplate of Righteousness: This is to protect your heart and to keep you away from doing wrong or as the Bible calls it, sin. Its about being incredibly thankful to Jesus for going to the cross for you (and me) and holding on to the fact that his act alone has saved you. No questions, it is done. Remember this when your mind tells you that you are not good enough. You ARE.

Sandals of Peace: This is about being ready to share Jesus with people and bring peace to troubled waters. Be a peacemaker, Jesus was. His message is good news and is a message of peace.

Shield of Faith: This is to protect you from 'attack'. Your shield will be using God's word to remind you of who you are and of how much Jesus loves you and has done for you. This means that you will find it helpful to read the Bible regularly. There are some great Bible reading plans on line (scroll down to the resources to see one example). It also means that you should work on your relationship with God - that is through prayer, which is just talking to God (and listening!). Again, scroll down to the resources for some ideas on that.

Helmet of Salvation: Your mind is key to your self-control, if you can keep your mind focused then you will be able to make good decisions. Protect your mind by thinking about Jesus.

Sword of the Spirit: This is the word of God - the Bible. This is more than just a defensive weapon - its an attack weapon! You may know that Jesus went out in to the desert and was tempted for 40 days and nights by the Devil. He used the word of God - he used the Bible to keep his thoughts straight and to fight his battle with the Devil, and he overcame. You can too.

Pray!: We are told that we should pray at all times... that seems a tall order! BUT it's really saying that we should be constantly talking to God; we should bring our worries, our hopes, our fears, our loves, our friends, our family, our community (including school!) to him... Just tell Him what is going on in your life. He's good for quick arrow prayers (help! - I've lost my house keys, or I don't know what to say etc.) and He likes to hear your chatter - day to day stuff and he likes to hear you ask Him for guidance and direction in all things. Lots more besides. IF you keep praying God promises to hear and He IS faithful. See at the end of resources for a way that you can organise your prayers.

Resources:

Bible reading plans: https://www.bible.com/en-GB/reading-plans-collection/1433

Books: https://www.eden.co.uk/shop/youth_teen_bible_study_4551/index.html

Prayers - for specific issues try these: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/prayers-for-teenagers.html

THE PRAYER HAND

Another simple way to remember to pray for others is by using your hand as a memory prompt or template for prayer.

1st finger: This is your index finger or ‘pointing’ finger. Pray for the people who help you grow as a Christian, who point the way to be more like Jesus i.e. a Christian Youth group leader, your pastor or vicar, or another Christian adult who prays for you and is known by your parents. (Col 4: 2-4)

2nd finger: This is your strongest finger. Pray for all those people with power and responsibility i.e. government and civic leaders. (1 Tim 2: 2)

3rd finger: This is commonly known as the ring finger. Pray for those you love and who are close to you. Pray for your parents and friends.

4th finger: This is your little finger. Pray for those who are weak or helpless, or who are old and infirm. Pray for those who you know who are sick. (James 5:13-15)

Thumb: Pray for those who are furthest away from you. Pray for the church around the world, for missionaries and for Christians who are persecuted for their faith. (Ephesians 6:18)

Whole hand: Finally, pray for yourself. Admit the things you know you have done wrong (1 John 1:9) and receive God’s peace and forgiveness. Offer your hands to serve God through your life, at home, school or work.

My prayer for you as you read this is that you will enjoy your new school, learn lots of great things to help you as you grow in to being an adult, that you will make lots of new friends and that you will be happy. I also pray that you will grow to love having Jesus with you all day long and every day. He will bring you such strength, hope, peace and love through the years. Hang on in there when the going gets tough - and it probably will at some stage. Just remember that you are not alone - Jesus is with you.

GOD BLESS

Created By
Sally P
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