S.L.A.M.
Students Living a Message

SLAM NEWSLETTER

Contents
1. Something for Your Heart
2. Surf Report
3. Forgettable Fact
4. Potent Quotables
5. Parting Shot
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1. SOMETHING FOR YOUR HEART

Banners of Identity…
Banner: God’s love culminated in Jesus’ life.

Many people believe in an aloof God, one who created the universe and then left it to its own devices. They believe that he’s still out there somewhere but that he has little interest or involvement in our everyday lives.

If that were the case–if God really were an aloof, distant deity–there would be no reason for this writing. If the Creator didn’t care about other people, there would be no reason for us to care about them, either. There would be no reason to think about anyone but ourselves.

However, we believe in God Jehovah–the One who sent his Son to die on the cross–so we have an actual model of God’s love. A living, breathing model who walked the earth 2,000 years ago.
Regarding that model, Jesus, the apostle Paul wrote, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15). If Jesus is the image of the invisible God, it makes sense to survey his actions here on earth to discover God’s will for us on this planet. And if Jesus is the image of God the Father, then we can be imitators of God by imitating Jesus. Got that?

Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:9-13).

Jesus loves those who follow him. But he didn’t limit his love to those who served in his ministry. Jesus showed genuine compassion to all people. He healed a man with leprosy (Matthew 8:2-4). He cast demons out of possessed people (Luke 9:38-43). He raised folks from the dead (Luke 7:11-17).

Jesus helped people inside his circle of friends and outside his sphere of influence. He modeled what it means to see beyond the needs of self, to look into the hearts of others. He recognized people’s needs and dealt with them in ways that made those people feel loved and cared for. Keep in mind, too, that Jesus performed miracles for sinners. He didn’t require people to be holy to receive his help.

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment in all of Scripture is, he replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).

If those are the two most important instructions in Scripture, Christians need to evaluate every decision, every action, and every thought in light of those commands. If I am supposed to love God with everything inside me, then all my actions need to be filtered through that commandment. And if I’m supposed to love my neighbor as myself, I need to figure out who my neighbor is.

2. SURF REPORT

~ Stay Teen: A National campaign to prevent teen pregnancy http://www.stayteen.org/default.htm

~ Youth Theological Initiative: The Summer Academy is a month-long residential program for juniors and seniors in high school to explore the complex questions about religion http://www.candler.emory.edu/YTI/

3. FORGETTABLE FACT

Apples are more efficient than caffeine in keeping people awake in the morning.

4. POTENT QUOTABLES

“I picked up a man from the street, and he was eaten up alive from worms. Nobody could stand him, and he was smelling so badly. I went to him to clean him, and he asked, ‘Why do you do this?’ I said, ‘Because I love you.'” – Mother Teresa

“Grace is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God to mankind.” – Matthew Henry

5. PARTING SHOT

If you eat a live frog in the morning, nothing worse will happen to either of you for the rest of the day.

copyright 2007 :: Youth Specialties

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