Today we celebrate Good Friday (black Friday in my book, Satan thought he had his victory) and the discussions erupt again about Pagan holidays, the chronology of events, blah, blah. And the atheists laugh at all the drawn swords over the keystone event for Christians. At this time when we remember the most crucial time in the history of man, and God’s work, so much separation and fighting seemingly undo the work of the Cross, the sacrifice for those sins, and His subsequent victory over Death Sunday morning. Thank goodness, it can’t be undone. Continue reading
Tomorrow, here in the States, we celebrate Thanksgiving. All the contemporary attributes will be there, Macy’s parade, the Detroit and Dallas football games respectively, families across America traveling to family gatherings with all the fixin’s, turkey, stuffing sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Life is still good in America,they’ve re-elected their hope president.
Many still have their jobs and provide for their families, their mortgage payments are met, the car payments keep going, there is food on the table. Somehow, and I believe because of, these attributes were enough for America to look at what’s in front of them and ignore the future, and as such re-elect Barack Obama. The world isn’t falling apart, America is still as strong as ever if you have a need step up to the government counter top and get a handout, worship the beast and get rewarded. Latest figures show that 47% of Americans are on the government take and even more non-Americans, and the beast has long tentacles. Who’s footing this bill, and what of those fallen through the cracks? What happens when austerity measures begin in the US?
Some, tomorrow, Continue reading
In these times, when the world is falling apart around us, when sin runs rampant and overwhelming, sometimes it’s even overwhelming for those TRULY in Christ and the questions can start. Sometimes we need to pause and get refreshed and ministered to.
Remind Me Who I Am by Jason Gray
When I lose my way,
And I forget my name,
Remind me who I am.
In the mirror all I see
is who I don’t want to be,
Remind me who I am.
In the loneliest places
When I can’t remember what grace is.
Tell me once again
Who I am to you, who I am to you.
Tell me, lest I forget
Who I am to You, that I belong to You,
When my heart is like a stone
And I’m running far from home,
Remind me who I am.
When I can’t receive your love
Afraid I’ll never be enough,
Remind me who I am.
If I’m your beloved
Would you help me believe it.
I’m the one You love,
I’m the one You love,
That will be enough,
I’m the one you love.
God is calling His church back from what men have made it. He wants our complete and undivided attention. Testing, testing, hardship seem to come our way more and more now and you may feel alone and abandoned. Maybe in this testing you took a little walk to the left. God loves you. He cares for you and wants your best. He hasn’t abandoned you.
The world is in judgement and severe things are coming and have come. He is strengthening you and drawing you closer to Him, because only in Him can you survive. If you’re in a time of testing or if you’ve drifted a little, take heart, refresh yourself, know that you are loved. If you haven’t accepted Jesus the Christ as your salvation, your one true link, your only hope in the destruction coming, take this time, call to Him, make this the time that your future is secure, that no matter what comes, you will know who you are…
The following is a teaching I gave our youth November 16,2011…
Are you missing the boat?
I mean, are you ready if Jesus comes?
In June we had the adopt a highway, one person showed———-event trashed
In July we had the canoe trip, only two people showed, the rest missed the boat
- In October only a couple showed up for Youth Convention
Last weekend we had the bonfire, no one showed——-event crashed and burned
We have these events to encourage fellowship, friendship and church family so that when things fall apart you are already equipped to get together for support and help. These are important in developing your growth and knowledge, and yes, your love relationship with Jesus. Do you have more important things to do?
Jesus talks about these things too. In Matt 22 he talks about a king giving a wedding feast for his son. He invited his friends, family and acquaintances. But when the time approached they wouldn’t come. He sent his servants to get them to come but those invited found all sorts of excuses, one bought a field, another got married, another got a cow, some were out of town, some watching the football game, or going out on a date with someone you’d be ashamed to bring to youth group, others forgot the time playing a video game….So the king said “forget it” I’ll invite anyone and everyone else who will appreciate it. Those other folks missed the boat.
I don’t doubt most of your conversion’s to Christ. But what are you doing with it? Are you doing just enough to get by, maybe, hopefully? In Matt 25, Jesus talks about that too. In the parable of the ten virgins, 5 were proactive and took extra oil and 5 did just enough to get by. When the bridegroom took a bit longer to come than originally thought everyone fell asleep. Then the trumpet blew and announced that the bridegroom was here. The gals quickly got up and the five realized they didn’t have enough oil so they asked the other five for oil but they didn’t have enough to spare so they had to go out and get some. Well the procession went on without them while they were out getting equipped. When they tried to get into the wedding they were told to get lost. You see, the virgins light the way for others announcing the coming of the bridegroom and the 5 smart ladies were equipped, just like you should be ready announcing the coming of Jesus, the Bridegroom. The other 5 weren’t doing what they were supposed to be doing or gave as little effort as possible and they missed the boat.
Jesus said a lot about doing what you’re supposed to be doing because it’s important, not just some churchy thing. In Luke 12, Jesus speaks pretty clearly and loudly how important it is to be doing what you’re supposed to be doing. The reward is great and rich with blessings. Not the least being not having to walk around with all that garbage baggage from disobedience. But what about this disobedience thing. What if you’re involved in that and Jesus comes, or you lose your life? Jesus said you’d be put with the unbelievers. Wow, that’s harsh! Can you imagine a Calvinist ( once saved, always saved ) standing there, his arms crossed, looking at the “unbelievers” saying as the flames get higher, “Hey, I’m saved, but you guys are like, so cooked”. He missed the boat.
Matt 24:36, 44
So, why do we have to be on our best behavior, ALL THE TIME? Because we don’t know when Jesus is coming. In Matt 24, Jesus says not even He knows when He’s coming. He also says that if you knew when the thief was coming, you’d prepare. It’s clear in our world that the time is short as the news events show, with politics, wars and rumors of wars, storms and earthquakes on the rise, so we need to be prepared. But that doesn’t cover the reality of if you were to have something really bad happen and you die. I imagine that if the day and hour were known, then everyone would live like hell and then at the right time “repent” and live Godly. Look what happened this year with Harold Camping and his followers, and now how many have fallen away in disappointment. It’s easy to give a few hours of good effort, it’s not easy to make the long haul commitment.
That’s why we have Youth group and events. That’s why God gave us the church family for help and support. We’re brothers and sisters in Christ and hey, you may not fully like someone, but Christ said we have to love each other. The good news is that you don’t have to be a part of the bad news I was talking about. You have us here for support and encouragement when you’re having issues. Remember, what’s shared here in youth group stays here in youth group. We’re hear to build you up and help you in your day to day lives.
What do you need to do? First and foremost, get in to God’s word. Read your Bible because Faith comes from Hearing, and Hearing from the Word of God. You need to get into a daily habit of reading and taking in God’s word, because that’s where your strength will come. If you’re having a hard time getting that going, then, as Rob said, pick up a Daily Bread devotional. It’s only 15 minutes a day. 15 of the 1440 minutes available each day. That’s something that each of you can handle and guess what, it tends to grow as you do.
Invite the kids forward
I hope my ragging on you got the the main point, it’s not the missed events so much but what may be behind them. If your heart has been spoken to, if God has revealed some mess ups, or you can see that youth group is more than just a Wednesday activity, that God wants your full attention……let us pray with you or you can pray one for the other because God doesn’t want a single one of you left behind. He loves you and cares for you enough that He had Jesus pay the ultimate sacrifice for you….and he doesn’t want any of you to miss the boat…