Living in Chicago today as a teenager you might feel like living an abundant Christ-filled life is just a fairy tale. Whether it’s the violence on the streets, the brokenness of many families or simply the pressure to be like everyone else at school- God’s promise of a better life can seem unrealistic.
However, when Jesus walked the earth He was not promising the American Dream to us 2,000 years later, rather He was promising that no matter how bad it gets on the outside, inside (in our hearts where life really matters) we could experience His love, joy, and peace.
So don’t give up on what Jesus said because of what you see because what see is temporal and what you don’t see is eternal! (2 Corinthians 4:18)
(Video: A short illustration of how bad it can be on the streets of Chicago.)
John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
HOW THE THIEF WORKED ON ME
- STEAL: When I was 11 years old the devil stole my relationship with God and my family. I turned to crime, smoking, and eventually drinking and drugs.
- KILL: When I was 15 years old the devil killed the purpose of my friend’s life when on drugs he walked off a cliff.
- DESTROY: When I was 18 years old the devil tried to destroy my soul in hell by making me think God would never love me because He didn’t exist.
WHAT JESUS DID FOR ME
- NEW SPIRITUAL LIFE: November 5, 1995 I was born again and made a new person on the inside.
- NEW MENTAL LIFE: After becoming a Christian I began to live free from anger, addiction, fear, and perversion.
- NEW FAMILY LIFE: I then went and lived with my parents and eventually got married and started my own family.
- NEW FRIEND LIFE: Over time I developed new friends at church because they loved God and still to this day we are close and have each other’s backs.
THINK ABOUT IT
- John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
- 1 John 3:7-9, “7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?
Do you want to live the “A-Life” (God’s abundant life) or do you want to let the devil steal, kill, and destroy your life?
Mark 8:34-38, “34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said:“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”