Current SUNDAY MORNING SERIES: Limitless
A SERIES ABOUT POTENTIAL
Speed limits. Data limits. Time limits. Age limits. There’s nothing fun about having limits set between us and what we want. And although some limits are good, most of the time it just feels like we’d be better off without them. Many of us feel like our lives, our stories, and our futures are limited in one way or another—like who we are and who we can become have limits. This was especially true for one of the earliest and most famous guys in the Bible, Moses. Because of who he was, where he came from, and what he did, Moses must have felt like his potential was limited. But God had other plans. And through Moses’ story we’ll discover that when we allow God to direct our story, the possibilities are limitless.
THINK ABOUT THIS
By Carey Nieuwhof
Every family has a story.
When my dad was sixteen, he left home. It sounds strange by today’s standards, but he actually wasn’t running away. Just the opposite. He was running into his future. At sixteen, he left his small town in North Holland for the big city of Amsterdam to find work and his future as a young man. Then at nineteen, he got on a plane to Canada where he saw even more opportunity.
When I talk to my dad about it now, he says it was hard on his parents. His mom and dad didn’t want him to leave, but they understood his desire to find his own way. When he stepped on the plane at nineteen in 1959, his parents had an even harder time. They honestly thought they would never see each other again. It was a distinct possibility given how expensive travel was back then. The farewell was unbelievably emotional for everyone.
As a father myself, I can only imagine how hard it would have been for my grandparents. Can you imagine letting your son or daughter go at such a young age, thinking you would never see them again? As in never?
What would you do?
My grandfather and grandmother did something amazing. They let my dad live his story, not theirs. They gave up control and protection, and let God write a story in my dad’s life that was independent of their own.
I’m kind of grateful for that. When my dad arrived in Canada as a single young man, he met my mom. Without that, my life would have been very different. Well actually, it just wouldn’t have been . . . period.
My dad is one of my heroes. He actually did build a new life, not just for himself, but for many others. He was not only a great father, but also ran a company for years, served his entire life in the local church, and left a great legacy of character for his kids and grandkids.
I’m so glad my grandparents swallowed hard and let their son pursue his vision. So, now the question: Would you?
In an era of overprotective, slightly controlling parenting, I wonder how many stories like my dad’s aren’t being written. Not because kids aren’t ready to write a story of their own choosing, but because parents are too afraid or unwilling to let them go or take risks.
Great plot lines invite things like drama, risk, mission, and calling. All the things that make parents gulp (and gasp).
And by the way, my dad did see his parents again. He eventually had enough money to go back more than a few times. I even went to Holland with my dad to meet them before they passed away.
As you think about how you might help your kids connect with their own story, here are three things to remember:
1. Prepare yourself now to release them one day.
2. Understand that God has your kids on a journey from dependence to independence.
3. Let them lead (without rescuing them) today to prepare them for tomorrow.
Stories are powerful. This month, try sharing a story about a time when you thought you couldn’t do something. Maybe you were told you weren’t smart enough, weren’t athletic enough, or weren’t _________ enough to accomplish your dream. This story could come up . . .
- In the car.
- While making dinner.
- While working on homework.
Whether you ended up actually accomplishing that dream or not, talk to your student about how it felt at the time, what you wish you knew then, and what you may have done differently knowing what you know now.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4
Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said (Exodus 2:5–6 NIV).
GOAL OF THE DAY
To help students see themselves the way God sees them.
With God, you’re not limited by labels.
Smarty pants. Goody two-shoes. Rebel. Class clown. Athlete. Band geek. Gamer. Labels: They come in all shapes and sizes. And we all have them—they’re a normal part of being human. But do they have to limit us from living life to its fullest potential? This week, we’ll begin a four-week series on potential called Limitless, based on the life of Moses. At the time of Moses’ birth, the Pharaoh of Egypt had a decree in place that commanded all Hebrew baby boys be killed. But Moses’ mother hatched a plan to save his life, and through this story we see how God didn’t allow the label of Hebrew to limit Moses’ potential as a future leader of Israel.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11
One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”
The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well (Exodus 2:11–15 NIV).
GOAL OF THE DAY
To give students an opportunity to reflect on their own decisions.
With God, you’re not limited by your decisions.
All of us make decisions every single day, both insignificant and significant. Decisions about who to hang out with. What to eat. What songs to add to our playlists and what pictures to post on social media. With all the choices we have to make, it’s inevitable that, at some point, we’ll make a bad decision. And that’s a scary reality. After all, what if our bad decisions limit us from living the best life possible? This week, we’ll look at a bad decision Moses made that shaped the course of his life—but God didn’t allow that bad decision to limit Moses’ potential.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18
When the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, he said to him, “I am the LORD! Tell Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, everything I am telling you.” But Moses argued with the LORD, saying, “I can’t do it! I’m such a clumsy speaker! Why should Pharaoh listen to me?” (Exodus 6:28–30 NLT).
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pay close attention to this. I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh, and your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet. Tell Aaron everything I command you, and Aaron must command Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country” (Exodus 7:1–2 NLT).
GOAL OF THE DAY
To help students recognize their unique strengths and weaknesses.
With God, you’re not limited by your weaknesses.
Have you ever been in a place where action was needed and, “Oh please, not me!” was your immediate thought? When presented with the situation, you thought of a million other people better suited for the job. Maybe it was speaking up in a crowd, taking on an extra project at work, or helping a stranger who was sick. When faced with challenges like these, our minds tend to go to all the reasons we’re not qualified. This week, we’ll look at a time when God called Moses to something that made him uncomfortable. But God didn’t limit Moses because of his weaknesses. God used Moses anyway, providing help in the places Moses felt weak—and He does the same for each of us.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25
CURRENT TUESDAY NIGHT YOUTH GROUP SERIES: IF/THEN Series Overview
How do you normally introduce yourself? Maybe you start with, “Hi. I’m (insert your name here).” But what comes after that? Sure, you can talk about where you go to school, or what hobbies you’re into, but that doesn’t really introduce anyone to you, just facts about you. When Jesus talked about Himself, He would make statements like, “I am the Good Shepherd” and, “I am the bread of life.” As strange as they sound, these statements give us a better picture of who Jesus is. Because if He is a shepherd, then we are His sheep. And if He is the bread of life, then we can be satisfied in Him. In this series, we’ll discover that the way Jesus described Himself, gives us a clue into who we are as well.
Tuesday, February 6
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11 NIV).
“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:29 NIV).
GOAL OF THE NIGHT
To help students identify areas in their lives in which they can trust Jesus.
If Jesus is the Good Shepherd, then you can trust Him.
No one likes being told they’re dumb or helpless, but often that’s what we think of when we hear Jesus’ statement that we’re the sheep and He’s the shepherd. But the truth is, there’s so much about life we just don’t understand. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that are uncertain and feel scary, and that’s when we look to Jesus for help. In any decision or difficulty we face, where He’ll lead us will be the best place we could ever hope to end up. After all, the role of the shepherd is to care for, protect, and guide the sheep. And if Jesus is the Good Shepherd, then we can trust Him.
Tuesday, February 20
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35 NIV).
GOAL OF THE NIGHT
To help students grasp what it looks like to be content.
If Jesus is the bread of life, then you can be satisfied.
More friends. More joy. More money. More influence. More adventure. We all have things in our lives that we want more of. You could almost say we’re hungry for them. But at the end of the day, no matter how much we gain, we’ll always have a desire for more. Hunger is universal. Everyone feels it from time to time—some of us more than others. But I think Jesus knew that we would hunger for something else as well. That’s why, this week, we’ll conclude our If/Then series with Jesus’ statement, “I am the bread of life.” When you accept Jesus as the bread of life, it changes the focus of your hunger. Because if Jesus is the bread of life, then you can be satisfied.