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Illuminate – October

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Openers

A Life Changed Through Learning

To read the article, click fmchr.ch/ALifeChanged

Summary: Kaylin Sallenback shares a piece of her story in pursuing higher education and finding God in her longing to help others grow. This powerful testimony about the impact of a Christ-centered education, challenges the reader to consider his or her own journey to God and how choosing to continue learning can transform who we are in Christ.

1. In this article, the author talks about a moment when she became aware of God moving in her life. Do you remember a moment like that in your life? What was that moment like? What impact did it have on your life?

2. Discuss the statement, “Learning about who God is and how we can find joy and peace in Him is a journey of growth…” What has this looked like in your life?

3. How can you take on a life of learning? What are some ways you can continue to grow in Christ and “pursue the peace and joy-filled life that God offers us?”

Further reading: Philippians 4:2-9, Acts 9:1-31

To read the article, click here.

Bishops

Growing Knowledge

To read the article, click fmchr.ch/growingknowledge

Summary: Bishop Matthew Thomas discusses what knowledge is and what it means to know God. He considers how continual maturity, growth, and learning contribute to our relationship with God and how spiritual practices can be applied in our lives.

1. In your own words, what is knowledge according to Bishop Thomas?

2. Why does Bishop Thomas say that it is important to continue to grow?  What are some ways that you have stunted your own growth?

3. What are the three ways to grow in this knowledge?  How might you apply them to your life?

Discipleship

This One Thing

To read the article, click fmchr.ch/this-one-thing

Summary: In this moving piece Sara W. Berry reflects on an encounter with a former student at a retreat. She describes how encouraging it was to find the student still following God and passes on the encouragement to consider how we might teach the next generation about God.

1. Did you grow up in the church? Discuss how your childhood impacted your journey to your relationship with Christ?

2. The “one thing” the author encourages her children to do is to “look to Jesus.”  In what areas of your life do you struggle to look to Jesus?  How might you being to offer those areas over to Jesus?

3. Think about the people who look up to you or who follow after you.  How can you participate in passing on a life with Jesus to the next generation?

Further reading: Isaiah 55, Dueteronomy 6: 1-9

To read the article, click here.

Discipleship

GC19 youth Summit: A Party with a Purpose

To read the article, click fmchr.ch/gc19-youth-summit-a-party-with-a-purpose fmchr.ch/gc19-youth-summit-a-party-with-a-purpose

Summary: Jeremy Lefler and Mark Ordus of FM:Infuse announce the GC19 Youth Summit taking place at General Conference 2019.  This event will allow the students to choose their own adventure and be discipled, mentored, and enjoy fellowship with youth from around the country.

1. According to the author, what is the biggest lie today’s youth hear and how does that impact their lives?

2. What is the GC19 youth Summit and how is it hoping to intercept those live and bring God’s truth to the next generation?

3. How is your church engaging with the youth in and around the community?  Begin praying for the summit and for the people in your life who would benefit from this discipleship opportunity.

Further reading: 1 Timothy 4: 8-14

To read the article, click here.

Feature

Christ-Centered Education: A Seamless Garment

To read the article, click fmchr.ch/christ-centered-education-a-seamless-garment

Summary: David L. McKenna, the president emeritus of Spring Arbor University, Seattle Pacific University, and Asbury Theological Seminary, lives in Kirkland, Washington.  In the feature article this month, he illustrates the components of a Christ-centered education.  He discusses how truth, text, teaching, purpose, testing, and hope come together to form a seamless garment which clothes the believer and joins Christ in holding all things together.

1. Why does the author suggest using “Christ-centered education” rather than “Christian education?”  What impact does this have on your perception of education with a Christian scope?

2. How do truth, Scripture and learning work together to lay the foundation of Christ-centered education?

3. David McKenna lists 6 ways that Christ-centered education is compared to a seamless garment(truth,text,teaching purpose,testing, and hope.)  Which of these is comfortable to fit in your life?  Which ones are harder for you to apply?

4. Where do you fit in the systems of Christ-centered education (student, parent, teacher, church-goer, etc.)? How might God be calling you to enter in to Christ centered education in the way the author describes?

5. Christ is the one who holds all things together.  What are some steps you can take to hold this truth in your life and step in to hope?

Further reading: 2 Corinthians 3, 2 Timothy 3:14-17

To read the article, click here..

Action

The Pursuit of a Christ-Centered Education

To read the article, click fmchr.ch/the-pursuit-of-a-christ-centered-education

Summary: In this article, Jake Redding recounts his journey to a small Christian university.  He discusses how a Christ-centered education impacted his life and invites the reader to begin their educational journey by discerning where God might be leading them.

1. If currently in school, as you consider pursuing a university education, what are the top three factors for you to consider and why are they important to you?

2. What has been your experience with higher education, whether for you personally or through family and friends?  How has that shaped your life and your walk with God?

3. What are some ways that you would like to practice your faith that you are not doing today, and how might a Christ-centered educational setting help you in those practices?

4. What kind of support would you need from your family and community of Christ-followers (e.g., personally, spiritually, encouragement, prayer, etc.) to thrive while away at a university?  What actions might you need in place to stay connected to God and his kingdom?

 

Further reading: 2 Corinthians 5: 11-21, Romans 12

To read the article, click here.

World

A Free Methodist University with an Urban Hospital and from Ashes to Opportunity

To read the article, click fmchr.ch/a-free-methodist-university-with-an-urban-hospital

Summary: This issue of Light + Life highlights two international Free Methodist universities, Hope Africa University in Burundi and Immanuel University in India.  The invitation in this study is to pray for these universities and their faculty, staff and students.

1. Hope Africa University’s founding theme is “A university African realities.”  Reflect on some of the realities listed and spend some time praying for the hospital and university.

2. Spend some time worshipping God for what He has done at Immanuel University and pray for what He is doing in the lives of the socially marginalized youth of India.

3. Consider the stories you have just read.  How might you step in to join God as he “raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,” whether in your community or in an area to which God is calling you?

Further reading: Ezekiel 47: 6-9, 1 Samuel 2: 1-10

To read the article, click here.

Pop Theology

No Future Without Prayer

To read the article, click fmchr.ch/no-future-without-prayer

Summary: David McDonald contemplates the purpose of prayer and its place in our lives.  He reveals common pitfalls in our prayer lives and casts a vision for the power of prayer, both public and private.

1. According to the author, what are some of the effects of prayer on our lives?

2. How do you feel about praying out loud with other people?  How does this public prayer impact fellowship with other believers?

3. The author mentions that we treat prayer like magic.  What does he mean and how is that way of praying contrary to what God intends?

4.  Write out a prayer, asking God to show you how he is working in your life, and how He might be asking you to renew your prayer life.

Further reading: Colossians 3: 12-17, Psalm 91

To read the article, click here.