Biblical Truth, Captivating Stories, Soul-Searching Questions
We've written Legacy Devotions with three settings in mind:
- Parent with Teen
- Private Devotional (perhaps e-mail them to your youth group)
- Short Devotional Talk (peer-to-peer or adult to students)
The stories are typically two to four minutes. Discussion times vary with the interest level or personality of your teens. Here are some samples.
How Would We Have Treated Him?
- As a child he began talking later than normal.
- In school, he was regarded as a freak by his classmates because of his lack of interest in sports.
- His teachers considered him dull because he was poor at memorizing by rote.
- One teacher told him in exasperation that he wouldn't amount to anything, was wasting everyone's time, and should drop out of school immediately.
Would you have looked down on him? If so, you would have snubbed young Albert Einstein. (Source: Albert Einstein: A Life, by Denis Brian, 1996, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.)
So often we judge people by shallow, surface standards like personality quirks, skin color, or the group they hang out with. God sees right through those surface issues. When He sent His servant Samuel to choose a king for Israel, He warned him,
"Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature...for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
- How is it possible to be so smart, yet not recognized as intelligent by teachers or fellow students?
- How do you think young Einstein would have fit in at our school or neighborhood?
- Would he have found a group of friends here, or would he have been an outcast?
- How can understanding Einstein's background guard us from putting people into boxes and cutting them down?
- What fellow students and neighbors are often put down by others?
- How can I treat them differently this week, as God would have me treat them?
When You Need to Let Go
Some people considered George, at the time a senior in high school, a loser who would go nowhere in life. He studied just enough to avoid flunking. His only dream was to race cars.
But that dream died just a few days before his graduation. While driving home from the library in his little Fiat, he prepared for a left turn by glancing in his rearview mirror. But as he started the turn, he heard the sound of another car, a blowing horn, and then felt the impact of a speeding Chevy crunching into his driver side. He should have died. The little Fiat turned four or five complete flips before it wrapped around a solid oak tree. The impact was so great that it actually moved the entire tree a couple of feet over, leaving a huge hole in its former position.
Miraculously, George survived. Get this: during the Fiatís third flip, his regulation racing seat belt snapped, throwing him out of the open top and onto the ground. He was close to death, but recovered slowly through two weeks in the hospital and months of physical therapy. His Fiat didnít survive, ending up in the junkyard.
After the accident, George was a changed person. He decided there must be some reason that God allowed him to live and set his mind to get his act together and make something out of his life. He left his racing dreams behind and decided to go to college. There, he developed an interest in literature and writing. And instead of driving racecars, he began filming them. And Iím glad he did. Because had he not been willing to let go of his old life, he would have never found his niche in the film industry, and no one would have ever seen the movies that he would produce, including Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
Are you holding onto things that may be denying you a life that you never dreamed possible? Some students know they are headed nowhere, but are afraid to risk losing their old lives in order to lay hold of what God has for them. But if we want to truly live, we first must die to our old life. Jesus put it this way to His disciples,
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." (Matthew 16:24,25 NIV)
- What did George Lucas have to give up in order to find success in the film industry?
- What do others hold on to that may keep them from succeeding? (Bad friends, bad habits, etc.)
- What are you holding on to that you are afraid to place in Godís hands?
- When we hold back from God, what are we saying about Him? (We donít really believe that He has the best for us. We donít trust Him. We arenít sure that He really loves us.)
- Since Jesus loved us enough to die for us, can't we trust Him with our lives?
- Are you willing to give your old life to God and allow Him to mold you into the person He created you to be? Why not talk to Him about it now?
Facts on Lucas were gathered from Skywalking: The Life And Times Of George Lucas, by Dale Pollock, Harmony Books, 1983, pp. xiii-39. Wording by Steve Miller, copyright Dec., 2001.
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