“Most segregated time of day is Sunday Service. Now what you think that say about the God you worship.” Those lyrics from Lecrae’s song “Dirty Water” have been heavy on my heart for a while now. We have failed to open our doors for all people. We have failed to acknowledge the image of God in all humanity. Leonce Crump says “The world will not listen to you if your Christ is not big enough to form a family from all nations as the bible says. We are inauthentic at that point.” There should be no such thing as “White Church,” “Black Church,” “Asian Church,” or “Cowboy Church.” All these things seek to segregate what God calls to be integrated. The church has failed to reach out to all people. We only seek out others who are “like us.” One thing the Bible has taught me is that I have more in common with a Chinese Christian in rural China and a Christian black man living in the inner city of Los Angeles than I do with my lost white neighbor that has the same income as I do. God shows us the value of ALL mankind with His grace towards Noah. God shows us the value of ALL mankind with His grace through Jesus! Noah and his family were spared. God then reminded them that they were made in the image of God (Gen 9:6) and told them to multiply His Image and His Glory (Gen 8:17, 9:1,7). Jesus saves us from our sin making a way for us to live with Him for forever. Jesus calls us to be like Him (Luke 6:40) and multiply His Image and His Glory! Ask God to reveal any racism in your heart. Ask God to reveal any feelings of superiority over another human made in the image of God. And ask God to fix those things with in you. Ask Him to let you see people as He sees them!
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
In the beginning God called humanity to be "fruitful and multiply." But in Genesis chapter 6 we see humanity being "sinful and multiplying." God created humanity in His image for the purpose of spreading His Glory! At this point no one except for one man was living for the glory of God. The Bible calls Noah a righteous man. Was Noah perfect? No, but Noah was a man who trusted and had faith in the Lord. You do not spend years of hard labor building a HUGE boat unless you have faith in the one who told you to build it. Noah trusted in God for salvation. He trusted in the fact that God would provide salvation both from the flood and also from his own sin. Humanity failed and continues to fail at our primary responsibility to glorify God by being fruitful and multiplying. Praise be to Jesus that He came to right all of our wrongs. Praise be to Jesus that He rescued us from our sin and has made a way to righteousness. Praise be to Jesus that if you have given your life to Him you can actually live out your primary reason for existence and glorify God! Be fruitful and multiply, go make disciples. Trust in Jesus he is our rock and our salvation! If he is for me who can be against me! Noah's faithfulness brought a new temporary clean slate for humanity. Jesus's faithfulness brought an everlasting clean slate for all who repent and believe!
It's pretty awesome to think about how God created humanity in His own image! Because of that truth, every life has value, beginning at conception. Because of this truth we are reminded that Jesus calls us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8) to all people of all backgrounds and color. Let's pray for racial reconciliation in our country and that God would open the door for our church to start reaching people who are different from us and also let's pray for the unborn all made in the image of God! Hope y'all enjoyed day 1!
The most basic purpose of the church is to glorify God. Therefore the most basic purpose of the Student ministry is also to glorify God. I also believe that the primary way we do this, is by making disciples (Matthew 28:18-20, John 14, Acts 1:8, Romans 1:16-17). So to start moving our ministry in the direction of disciple making, I have begun walking a group of 5 students (our student leadership team) through the Bible using Robby and Kandi Gallaty's book "Foundations." The cool thing is that the Gallaty's have 3 different "Foundations" books one for Adults, Students and Children. If you would like to follow along with us, BUY THE BOOK, also I will be posting regularly my thoughts on that days reading!
My favorite thing about "Foundations" is that its not just about reading God's Word but studying God's Word! The Gallaty's teach a method of studying called the H.E.A.R. method. Highlight, Explain, Apply, Respond. I'm not going to explain anymore than that because I really want you to buy their book! This is a great resource for Christians who are serious about discipleship!
The holiday season is here. This is a time when families get together and celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. But for some families, the holiday season can be rough because of the loved ones who aren't there. This past week a high school senior at Edgewood took his own life, a member of our church passed away, and two of our students lost an uncle in a car accident. This life is full of pain and full of sorrows. If God is good and loving, then why do bad things happen? Why?
We just started a new series in the youth called “The Why.” This series is covering the doctrine of God’s providence. We define providence as God’s perfect power over everything for the purpose of Jesus. What we mean by this is that the gospel has always been “plan A” for God. God has an end game for your life and for the whole world. That end is for the glory of Jesus to be put on display. In John 17:1-5 we see Jesus about to go to the cross to pay for the sins of the world. In verse 3 Jesus tells us that the gospel lets us know God. Evil had to happen so that Jesus could come and show us how loving, merciful, and graceful God is! God has allowed sin so that we can see how amazing he is!
So, we can understand why God would allow sin but why do we have to suffer in this life? Why all the pain in losing loved ones? Why? Romans 8:28-30 the Bible tells us that even in times of suffering all things work for good for those who love God. A lot of the time we can't see the good but in verse 29 the Bible tells us what the good is “to be conformed into the image of the Son.” When we suffer, and are obedient to scripture we become more and more like Jesus! This is the end game for your life, that you would be conformed to the image of the Son glorifying Him!
Love you guys! Praying for You!
Last night was a third week of our Angels, Satan, and Demons series. We took time last night to look at who Satan is, and his strategy against humanity. I wanted to make it very clear to the students that we did not want to give any glory to Satan last night. Even though we were talking about Satan, our goal is to glorify God. We started our service by singing three songs that all speak to goodness and power of God (Unstoppable God by Elevation Worship, God is Able by Hillsong, and Strong God by Vertical Church Band) to remind our students that God is more powerful and has already claimed victory over Satan.
So who is Satan? We pointed to five character traits that define who Satan is.
We also looked at Satan’s strategy to take our worship off of God and give it to anything else which is sin.
1 John 2:15-17 tells us that we are not to love the world or the things of the world. This is not talking about people or even just stuff in the world. (Some people read it that way and totally cut themselves and their families off from the world which is ultimately what Satan wants. Remember this, Jesus told us to love our neighbors and also to follow his example of fellowshipping with sinners so that we can show them the love of Christ. If we cut ourselves off from the world, we cut ourselves off from obeying God’s call on our lives to minister to all people by sharing the gospel.) This passage actually tells us what the world is and the things of the world. Look at verse 16. Verse 16 tells us that the things of the world are:
The other example is Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus was preparing for his three-year ministry by fasting in the wilderness for 40 days. At the end of the 40 days Satan came to tempt Jesus. First Satan tries to get Jesus to turn stones into bread (I want to FEEL. Desire of the Flesh), but Jesus responds with the truth of God’s word. Satan then tries to tempt Jesus to jump off a building so that angels will come down and give Jesus angelic protection (I want to HAVE. Desire of the Eyes.), but again Jesus responds with truth of God’s word and says “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” Then Satan tries one more time to tempt Jesus. Satan takes Jesus to the top of a mountain to look down at all the kingdoms of the world and tells Jesus that he will give him all of the world if Jesus would just bow down and worship him (I want to BE. The Pride of Life.). Jesus again responds with the truth of God’s word and Satan leaves defeated.
Matthew 4:1-11 shows us not only Satan’s strategy to get us to fall into temptation but it also shows us Jesus’s winning strategy to defeat Satan and resist temptation. Jesus shows us that if we want to resist temptation we must read and know the Word of God. Study God’s word so that when Satan tempts you, you can defend yourself with the Truth!
Parent please be an example to your student of someone who reads and studies the Bible. Encourage your students to be people who read and study the Bible. If it is important to you, it will be important to them!
Love you guys! Praying for you!
Sorry I am just now getting back to updating you guys on what we are talking about with the Youth group! Summer was crazy and fun but now we are about 6 weeks into the new school year and things are starting to get back in normal.
We started last night on a new series about the Doctrine of Angels, Satan, and Demons. Last night we looked at the origins of Angels, Satan and the Demons to help us make sense of who they are and what they do. I told the students that if they didn’t hear anything else, they needed to know two things. The first is: “Don’t get to FASCINATED or FORGETFUL with angels, Satan, and demons. We need a healthy balance.” There are some people who spend too much time worrying about or just focusing on angels, Satan, and demons. Some people want to talk with angels and ask for their help. Some just constantly talk about Satan. Others want to blame demons for everything. We cannot get over focused on these but at the same time we cannot forget about them.
First off, I believe that Angels were created right at the beginning of all creation when God created the Heavens. We get this from Genesis 1:1-3 and Job 38:6-7. Genesis tells us that God created the Heavens but then never does it talk about filling Heaven and then in Job 38:6-7 we see that during creation the Angels were celebrating and worshipping God as He created the world and everything in it. We people are like angels in that we were created to Worship God and give him glory!
Secondly, Lucifer was a high ranking angel of God who fell and became Satan because of His pride. There are so many passages that speak to this event: Revelation 12:7-12, Genesis 3:1-6, Isaiah 14:12-15, and Ezekiel 28:12-19. As God created everything for His glory, Satan became jealous of God and in his own pride wanted creation to glorify him instead of God. This is why Satan and tempted Adam and Eve to sin against God. Like Satan, we all want to live for our own glory rather than for Jesus.
Finally, one-third of the angels fell and became evil because they followed Satan, these fallen angels are the demons (Revelation 12:1-9 and Jude 1:6). What made the demons follow Satan? I think it was when they saw Satan successfully tempt the pinnacle of God’s creation, humanity, into sin. Satan was successful in taking the image of God and making it to worship creation rather than the Creator. Like the demons, we have followed after Satan rather than Jesus.
Over the next three weeks we will dive deeper into who Angels, Satan and Demons are, and what they do.
Please pray that our students will understand the main goal of this entire series which is the second thing that I wanted the students to remember: “You are fighting a REAL war against a REAL enemy for a REAL King who has ALREADY WON the victory!”
Love you guys and Praying for you!
Summer is here and in full swing. Students are starting up summer leagues, getting summer jobs, and some are just chillin!
This week we with the start of summer comes the start of a new Youth series. We will be studying the doctrine of Humanity through a series titled “The Imago Dei: Made in His image.” I cannot think of a timelier place in the history of the world to study this doctrine. Is it Bruce or Caitlyn Jenner? Can someone who was born male actually be a female stuck in a male body?
Our current culture is heavily divided on this issue. If you look at the TV you would think everyone is on board with the “transgender” movement. If you look at polls however, you will find that there is a greater divide on the topic than what the media would like you to believe. After President Obama issued a directive to public schools concerning what bathroom a transgender student could use, a New York Times/CBS News poll was conducted to see how Americans felt about the issue. 46% said that students should use bathrooms that match their gender on their birth certificate while 41% said that students should be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they self-identify as.
This upcoming series about the doctrine of Humanity will show your students the why and how God created humanity. We also want to explore the themes of humanity being cursed with sin, humanity being saved by Jesus, humanity living out its fullest potential through Him, and what hope humanity has for the future.
We will discuss how God created us Male and Female. We will talk about gender roles and how both Male and Female are equal in Value to God but we are ultimately very different…which is a GOOD thing! In all of this the topic of Homosexuality will come up and we will discuss that marriage is a covenant between ONE Man, ONE Woman, and God Almighty!
Your student may discuss some of these topics with you so if you want to be prepared here are some links to help you guide and ministry to your student!
The Village Church Sermon series called A Beautiful design where Pastor Matt Chandler discusses God’s beautiful design for Men and Women.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. There are several blog posts on transgenderism that are very helpful.
Desiring God Blog and Podcast have several posts and podcast episodes on the issue by Pastor John Piper.
As always if you have any questions or need anything do not hesitate to email, text, call, or come by the church!
Love you guys and Praying for you!
What are you modeling for your student? There is no doubt that your student will be a miniature version of you and your spouse. They have been watching you their whole life. More than likely they say the same things you say. For you guys who have heard me speak before you can already guess that one day when I have children they will probably use the word “Awesome” a lot!
Do not be there parent that says “Do as I say, not as I do.” That is honestly one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. It does not matter if you tell them that, they are still going to do the same things you do. What is important to you, will be important to them. Wherever you spend time will be where your child spends time. Whatever you spend money on, your child will spend money on. Do you get where we are going here?
Jesus says in Luke 6:40:
“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.”
Parent, if you have given your life to Jesus you are to strive to be like Him. You should want to look like Jesus and then be able to tell your child “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” just like Paul told the Church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11:1.
In this Man on the Island series your student has learned that the ONLY way for anyone to be saved is by the correct response to hearing the Gospel (Romans 10:14, 17). Surely the desire you have for your child is to glorify God with their lives. We glorify God by making disciples and expanding His Kingdom. So let me ask you this, is evangelism important to you? If it is important to you, it will be important to your child. Go show your child what it looks like to be a Christian and share Christ. Be the generation of parents who see the necessity of sharing the Gospel and model that to your children!
As always if you have questions do not hesitate to call, text, or email me! I am here to equip you to be
the primary minister to your Student.
Love you guys and praying for you always!!!
For His glory,