Jesus as the Center of My Life January 21, 2009 CLASS MATERIAL

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1 Jesus as the Center of My Life January 21, 2009 CLASS MATERIAL Prayer Journal pgs Handout Away from Jesus / Closer to Jesus Exodus 20:2 5 Teaching from the handout Jesus as the Center of my Life Handout A what s your priority? Jesus are you the Center of my Life? Questions. Handout B Letter to Jesus BABY STEPPING Due January 28 th Write your answers on the back. For each day write down how Jesus was a part of your life for that day. Be specific. Examples: prayer, how you treat others including family, thinking of God before making a decision, etc. See if He is showing up in some new places. HANDOUTS Today s Teaching

2 Jesus as the Center of my Life Candidates will develop a greater understanding of the importance of making Christ the center of their life. Gather: There are 6 pages 20 min. Prayer journal pg Take roll and go over last weeks baby stepping. Activity In their packet on the Handout titled, Away from Jesus/Closer To Jesus have them write down on their own paper the group answers to these two questions. 1. What things do middle school kids do that pulls them away from Jesus. 2. On the other side list the things that middle school kids participate in that draws them closer to Jesus. Share with large group. Proclaim: 10 min. Read Exodus 20:2 5 Teaching see Handout Today s Teaching pgs. 5 & 6 (scroll down) Break: 20 min. What s Your Priority? Handout A. Have each candidate rate these activities the most or least of importance according to their lives. Rate each one individually. They do not need to share their answers if they do not want to, but if they are willing to discuss their answers to handout A. Then continue on with these questions. Do this one out loud as a group. What do you think causes middle school kids to have such a difficult time making Jesus the center of their lives? For these questions have them write down their individual responses on their handout titled, Jesus are You the center of my life? after they answer the questions and write their prayer you may discuss the questions if they would like. 1. What is the most important thing to you in your life right now? 2. How is Jesus a part of your life? What type of role do you allow Jesus to have in your life? 3. What are the areas that Jesus could be more involved in your life? 4. What do you need to change or sacrifice in order to make Jesus the first priority of your daily life? 5. List the people in your life that constantly keep Jesus as their first priority. 6. What have you learned from these people? Handout B letter to Jesus

3 Things that pull me Away From Jesus Things that draw me Closer To Jesus

4 Jesus are You the center of my life? 1. What is the most important thing to you in your life right now? 2. How is Jesus a part of your life? What type of role do you allow Jesus to have in your life? 3. What are the areas that Jesus could be more involved in your life? 4. What do you need to change or sacrifice in order to make Jesus the first priority of your daily life? 5. List the people in your life that constantly keep Jesus as their first priority. 6. What have you learned from these people?

5 Jesus: You Are The Center of My Life Handout B Instructions Write a letter to Jesus telling him that you want Him to be the center of your life. Please give specific examples of how you will make Jesus a priority in your everyday life. Be hones and sincere with Jesus; let Him know the struggles you have in making Him a priority in your life. Dear Jesus, Love,

6 Today s Teaching Jesus as the Center of my Life What are the things in life that get in the way of our relationship with God? What do we choose to put before our God? In the book of Exodus God tells Moses: I, the Lord, am your God, you shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or one the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them 20:2 5 We have become a generation that desires instant gratification. We want the nicest cars, the latest cell phones, the most advanced technologies; we want to be the champions of the football team, the leaders of the soccer team, and the person with the coolest clothes. What many people have forgotten is the need for the one thing that will make us happier than the latest fashion statement, trophy, or new type of technology that is Jesus Christ! We are called to make Jesus the center of our loves and our hearts. If you want to see what is important in a person s life, spend time at the bedside of a dying person. If there are any regrets in this person s life, it is often that they did not have a deeper relationship with God, did not spend enough time with their family, or did not love in the way that Jesus called them to love. You would probably never hear a dying person say the wished they had purchased a necklace from Tiffany s they always wanted, owned the latest video game system, or spent more time in the office. See the Catholic Catechism 202 We have a responsibility and opportunity to love God. He wants nothing more than to love us and for us to be in relationship with Him. The first commandment invites us to explore what is indispensable in our life: our relationship with God. It is an invitation to truthfully examine our lives and to prayerfully assess what role God has in our life. To place God above all things is to experience true joy, peace and love in our lives. Read Exodus 20:2 5 There are a lot of things competing for attention in your life. Just think about a typical day and all the music you listen to the T.V. you watch, the different websites you are on, the distractions you have; and this can take place all before School! While at school you are pulled in many different directions. Too; teachers are lecturing and you re taking notes, you have assignments and projects to complete, books to read, homework to do, and of course, you want to spend time with your friends. Plus, don t forget about your family and the responsibilities you have at home, in addition to the after school activities and sports teams. So much to do in a day and so little time to do it; what s a middle school kid to do? If all that is not enough, there is someone else who would like to spend time with you and that person is your savior, Jesus.

7 As a Catholic middle school youth you are invited to make Jesus the center of you life. The first commandment tells us we should have no other gods before our Lord. What are some things that we can do to make Jesus the center of our lives? The first thing is that Jesus should always be on your mind and in your heart. One way to do this is to say these three words: Come Lord Jesus. When we say these words, Come Lord Jesus, you are inviting Jesus to be an integral and important part of your life. Although we have many things to do during a day and many activities to participate in, by saying these simple words you consciously are stating that you want Jesus to be a significant part of your life. You could say, Come Lord Jesus, on the way to school, in between classes, at lunch, during a practice, or in bed before you go to sleep. By making this statement you are acknowledging the need for Jesus in your life and that you want Him to be the center of your life. So what are some other ways to make Jesus an essential aspect of your life? How about spending more time in prayer? Go the youth group, to Mass, the sacraments. Receiving the Eucharist is the most precious and sacred encounter we can have with Jesus. Extracurricular activities, cool clothes and material things are fun to have, but nothing will ever be more important than Jesus our Lord. People put a lot of things before God, for example: money, boyfriends/girlfriends, school, sports, clothes and toys. When we put other things (false gods0 before Jesus, we go against the first commandment and do not allow Jesus to be the center of our lives. As Catholics, we are called to make Jesus the most important part of our life. Out of our relationship with Jesus everything else flows into its proper place. Everything in this world passes away, even people god is the one constant in our lives. We are called to pray, go to Mass, to help other s and to constancy ask God to help us to follow Him and make Him a priority in our life so we can truly live as His disciples. Do we have to give up all the things we love? No. (only things that would not be pleasing to Him) Remember your talents are gifts from Him. Jesus just needs to be a part of everything you do.

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