Devotions -tonight’s topic

TIME……..we don’t have enough. How are you spending it? Do you look up from your distractions? What are you going to do with yours? A few ideas presented in a poem – a video

How much time do you spend studying for school/day? 30-40 minutes was the average (kids shared)

Your education benefits you by providing you a way to earn a living. A lifetime averages about 73-74 years. If it’s worth it to us to study for school this much time for a benefit that lasts approximately 70 years…….how much time should I spend preparing for an eternity?

2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God…”

Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him while he is near.”

We’re not guaranteed tonight, tomorrow, the next day. Make sure you’re giving God his time. Jason shared God’s time’s got to come first (first thing in the morning). If not, Satan uses everything to distract him. Ware him down. When doesn’t matter to God so long as it’s a time you’re engaged.

Joshua 1:7-9 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey……9 Be not afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever we go.”

School is important. Your generation has been taught, “Stay young forever.” Scripture teaches that if you’re not growing, you’re dieing. 

Psalm 119:11 “Your word I have written in my heart that I might not sin against you.” If I don’t hide scripture in my heart, I won’t have it when I need it!

If we’re not in the word, it’s the same as being in a conversation with someone who talks over you all the time!
Daily devotion……5 minutes may be your jumping in place. If you 5 do 10. If you aren’t doing anything now. Start with 3 days/week. Let’s make eternity where we place our emphasis. We place so much emphasis on this life. What we’re going to be. How much we’re going to make. Where we’re going to live. Do we have our life with Christ planned like this?

Next week your youth leaders are going to head up break-out groups on methods of devotion that they’re passionate about. Before closing prayer Jason challenged the kids, “In the next few moments of silence, think about where you are in your relationship with Christ. Where you know you should be. Pray about it.”

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Your Path

Jason started with some great personal hiking stories.

Our faith journey is ‘like a hike.’ There are many folks on the same trail. If we follow the wrong person we don’t wind up where we should/thought we would.

Our hike, pursuit/relationship with Christ, must be our own. So that we don’t follow another person and take ‘wrong’ turns.
We watched a short film. “Never Back Down” buffered but intended to make the point, never give up on your journey! Don’t allow others to deter you!
Matthew 7:13-14 – Two paths – Two choices

One leads to Christ -It won’t be easy. The path is narrow. 

The second leads to destruction. It’s path is wide…….think about that. It’s easier, the one most folks choose, the one that allows us to walk it with others.

Phillipians 3:12-14 – Don’t look back

Jason chose two girls (Eppie & Kaitlin L)and two guys (Will & Jeremiah W). Had to walk backwards using a compact mirror only. Boys Won round one. 

Round two- (Sarah & Grace/Chase and Brayden) – boys won the round again!

Jason asked, “Was it easy?” Satan wants us to look behind us. So that we cannot focus on what’s ahead……Jesus. To distract our attention from him.

Rene put a picture up (on the screen) of the girls from the “Parent Trap.” We then read Hebrews 12:1-2

“Who remembers the scene?” Saige answered……….”As the sisters are hiking they’re packing their dad’s girlfriend’s pack with rocks.” Jason added, “It’s getting heavier and heavier.” So it is with our sins. We all carry sin around. We keep filling our ‘sin pack’ as opposed to allowing God to empty it. To accept his forgiveness.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – Run to win – Jason explained a competition he and his co-workers competed in. They beat all other teams by 12 minutes! How did they do it? They prepared themselves by training. They were ready. 

You train as a believer.

“If you’re jogging and you see out of the corner of your eye running towards you, a dog. It jumps and clears the fence. Are you going to keep the same pace?” Jason’s Great Dane story……true story. It caught him, knocked him down and……….licked him! Jason ‘thought’ he was a goner when he was running from it. “Guys, that’s how we should be running our race for Christ.” Satan’s pursuing us like that dog. Satan’s not going to lick us.

Your training is going to allow you to help others. There may be those who need you. To carry a portion of their load for a time. Our youth group is a team. Always build one another up. Never tear one another down.

Closing prayer 

God (Our genie in the lamp?)

Used a video clip from the Disney movie Aladdin. (Tried to-new technology)

The ‘prosperity gospel’ – A popular ministry currently. This is not the way it really is. The way it really is, “Life is tough.”

Life with God is still tough BUT we have this promise. We’ll never go through it alone. He never leaves or foresakes us.

Most churches are so afraid of going down or being perceived as going down that path (the prosperity gospel) that they don’t tap into God’s power.

God doesn’t exist to say yes to all my wishes. That idea is built on self.

James 4:1-10  The reason we perceive so many prayers aren’t answered the way we prayed them. Our heart, our motives, aren’t correct. Rather what we ought to consider……what have I gone through? Struggle(d) with? Am I/have I shared it? Did I recognize God’s purpose for it?

1 John 3:18-24 Obedience – is that my motivation? 

John:15:7 “abide in me………and my word abide in you” – study scripture. It changes what we ‘want.’ We want what He wants when we spend time with Him. (prayer and study)

Matthew 7:7-11 keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking – You’ve got a perfect Heavenly Father. He wants what’s best for you. He wants to give you good things. 

Matthew 21:18-22 if you have faith……..YOU can do this! YOU can do even greater.

There is power in prayer. At your age there is power in your prayers. Are we praying in God’s will? Are we looking for the things of this world?
Kids asked several questions beginning with “Is it wrong to pray…….?” Great conversation around this.

Walking with Jesus on Wednesdays

We played the “telephone game” to see how our story would go through the group. The end story wasn’t anything like it started.  This is an interesting example of how our society has a hard time listening to someone talking right in front of us.  Makes us wonder how can we expect to hear from the Holy Spirit when he speaks to us if we can’t listen to someone in front of us?

John 4:46-54 So many times we want God to do things our way. This man had faith that if Jesus said it, it was done.  That’s a huge problem for our society – we say, we know you can do this God and this is how you can do it…rather than trusting God to do what is best for us, in his timing.

Exactly when Jesus said he was healed, he was healed.  Mind blown!  The father shared what had happened to him, with his family and his family believed in Jesus.  It is our responsibility to tell others our story – what God has done in our lives.

Mark 1:23-28 – man with an evil spirit.   Jesus casts the spirit out of him. We had a discussion about why Jesus would tell the evil spirits to be quiet.

Jason encourages us to dig deeper than just the surface knowledge – “oh Jesus healed those two people”  – ask yourself why they needed to be healed, what else was going on in the story, what happened after the healing?   How can I apply this to my life?

Church is our chance to refuel, to fellowship, to inspire other believers to get excited about the Word of God.  We need to be active participant – get excited about Word of God and share with others!

Get into the Gospels – study the life of Christ.   Look at the stories we’ve already talked about in the past few weeks and ask yourself some questions!

Challenge:  get in the Word of God- find something that sparks your interest or that you don’t understand – write it down and text, call me or come talk to me or one of your leaders about it.