Monday, May 20, 2019

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 (NLT)

One of the most asked questions by students is "How can I know God's voice?"

My steady answer has been, "His voice sounds like His WORD (Bible) and looks like Jesus (life)."

Most of the time, when students ask this question, they are looking for direction from God concerning areas of work, dating, college, and the like. While God clearly has a plan for where you should work and go to college, He is more concerned that you are seeking a deepening relationship with Him and looking to live in love toward the people in your home and the people you encounter on a daily basis. This is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Jesus expects His disciples to know His voice and to follow H...

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT)

All of us are on the "other side" of something, and if that is true, you have made it to the "other side" of many trials. Many of you have endured life-threatening sickness, abuse, bullying, the backstabbing of a trusted friend, the death of a dearly loved one, a major car accident, or the divorce of your parents. If you are reading this, you are on the other side of something I mentioned above. Or you may be in t...

Monday, April 1, 2019

"Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23 NIV

Crucifixion was a terrible and most inhumane tool of torture and death. It was the death penalty of Jesus' day, and there was no one in the Roman empire, young and old alike, who would not have a seen a convicted man carrying his cross through one of the empire's streets on his way to death.

Jesus was providing for his hearers a clear and unmistakable picture of what it meant to be His disciple. He was communicating that the first step to following Him is to pick up your cross (die to yourself - your way of living). Then, only after they deciding to give up on and lay down their way of living, could they pick up their cross (Jesus' way of living) and follow Him.

We always think that following Jesus means trying harder...

Friday, March 29, 2019

“O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! You show unfailing love to thousands, but you also bring the consequences of one generation’s sin upon the next. You are the great and powerful God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Jeremiah 32:17-18

Life is hard, and people are cruel, and by the way, we are "people." If you look at the world without a faithful and loving God who stands by your side, things can appear downright scary. If there is no God, then all you have to depend on is you and all your limitations and weaknesses. And if you look to others, they too have limitations and weaknesses. 

Who can you really depend on? Is there anyone one you know who can overcome all the trouble and challenges this world can throw at a them? Of course not, but there is ONE - "O Sovereign Lord! Y...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
Psalms‬ ‭63:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

You may not know this, but we live in a world where there is no water. You may reply, "But our world is covered in water." Yes, that is true, but not the water that brings life - eternal life. We are souls with a body and our souls thirst and hunger for our spiritual Father.

We often mistake specific hungers and thirsts (desires) as physical when they are spiritual. The desire for approval, companionship, love, and purpose are all spiritual desires. When we try and satisfy those desires with things like wrong relationships, temporary accomplishments, physical intimacy outside of marriage and a party lifestyle, we become spiritually dehydrated.

There are countless stories of people who h...

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

Let's just say it, the list above rolls off the tongue easily, but easy can't be said about any of the descriptions mentioned about today's verse. A better word would be "hard." Patience does not come easily to us. Celebrating those who have what we want does not come easy. Seeking the desires and best for others above ourselves is not easy.

The truth is, doing the opposite of love comes easily. Impatience is easy. Keeping a grudge is easy. Being cynical instead of hopeful is easy. Quitting is easy.

Our fallen fles...

Monday, February 25, 2019

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:25-26; 33 (NIV)

As a high school student, there is a lot of pressure to figure out your life pathway. It seems like counselors, parents, and other peers are asking us often, probing, "Do you know what career you want to pursue?" This is a lot of pressure for a teenager all the while trying to navigate the challenges of friends, feelings, and family.

The fact is, even as teenagers, we should be thinking about ou...

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

"The Lord gave me this message: 'I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born, I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.'” Jeremiah 1:4-5  (NLT)

Before we knew, we were known. Before we thought about a career, a career was already established. Each one of us has been created by God and called to walk in His purpose for our lives. Being young, you may say to yourself, "I really don't know who I am, how can I know my purpose." You may not know yourself very well, but God does. He knows you perfectly. He knows what you are capable of and what you aren't capable of. He created you and knows everything about you.

God has a specific calling on your life, and He has created you in such a way that you can only accomplish this calling with Him. Without God, you will fail miserably.

We can only get to know our true...

Monday, February 18, 2019

"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 (NIV)

When God created us, He had in mind the notion of giving. We were created out of love and love gives. Love doesn't seek to preserve self or store up for one's self. Love seeks to give away. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave..." Love proceeds giving and giving is inspired by love.

When we live a consumeristic life of always taking, we lessen our true selves. We distort the image of God within us. We were made to give, and only a lifestyle of giving reveals the giving God within us. Jesus said about his mission, "...Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28...

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

"Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." Matthew 6:21(NLT)

Here are some questions for you:
1. What is your heart hungry for?
2. What god are you making to meet your need?
3. How have you been serving the god of your creation?

What were your answers to the above questions? Whatever or whoever you have been devoting yourself to is your god. It or they are what you are trusting in and counting on to bring you meaning and happiness. The truth is false idols don't bring us closer to experiencing meaning and joy, they actually take us farther away. This is because we can only experience our real purpose in this life through a relationship with the One True God.

Jesus calls us to repent of this false idol and to destroy it. Jesus desires us to turn away from our pursuit of it and pursue Him instead.

What can you do to destroy t...

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We believe the only life worth living is the “uncommon” life that results from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We encourage our youth to experience this life through a daily time with Jesus,  worship, ministry, and prayer.

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