Read to see how we "do life" together
But what does "doing life" even look like? We seek to "spur one another on to love and good deeds" in a variety of interactions, from morning prayer and praise and assemblies, to after-school activities, events, and retreats. For a taste of this intentional effort, the posts below record samples of related messages, reflections, and resources.
Today in Connection assembly, high school English instructor Kathy Williams addressed secondary students on the biblical call for joy, regardless of circumstances. From her own personal experience and anecdotes, she challenged students to meditate -- to intentionally think about -- the Truth of God's Word -- rather than on their feelings and other people's words, which oftentimes are not true.
Using Philippians chapter four as a basis, Mrs. W. urged students to avoid "stinking thinking," and to instead realize that joy and positive attitudes are choices people make, based upon their gratitude for what the Lord has done for them. From a bad hotel experience to a McDonald's drive through, Mrs. Williams related how the joy overflowing from a grateful heart reflects Jesus to a world that needs Him.
Be An Example Not a Cliché
The Year Verse: 1 Timothy 4:12
12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
-The challenge of God’s word to young people is to be an example not a cliché. The youths of Christ have the ability and grace-provided strength to set examples for believers of all age; examples in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. God doesn’t call secondary students to keep their noses clean, but rather to pursue Christ in such a way that believers of all ages are challenged in their own walks with Christ.
Our Two-Fold PURPOSE: Matthew 28:20a
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
-In order to set an example as a Christian we might need to be reminded what exactly a disciple of Jesus Christ is. From the Great Commission we understand that disciples are those who are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And disciples are those who are on a journey of learning to OBSERVE all that Jesus commanded. Disciples are baptized “obeyers” of Jesus Christ
19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
-Not only are we baptized “obeyers” of Jesus but we are to make disciples as well.Jesus calls us to follow Him and that He will make us into a people who make disciples. But where do we get our help from for this two-fold purpose?
Our POWER: Hebrews 4:14-16
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
-Where does our help come from? These verses make it clear that because Jesus (Son of God), a man who can sympathize with our weaknesses and was tempted as we are only without sin. This same man “passed through the heavens”. He is like us and yet he is at the right hand of God, the Father.Why is this important? He is our high priest making sacrifice for our sin. We can have confidence to “pass through the heavens” as well to the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace for help.
His PRESENCE: Matthew 28:20b
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
-At the end of the great commission, Jesus’ call for all of his disciples to go out into the world and make more disciples, he promises the greatest promise a person could hope for. Jesus promises his presence. Do you love God and desire to be in His presence? Then go where He is. Go out and make disciples. Challenge the lost by sharing the gospel, challenge the found by exhorting them to grow in their obedience to all that Christ has commanded. Jesus promises his presence!
This morning, with parents and teachers joining students in praise and prayer, students sang the beloved hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness." There is much meaning in it, but notice two things as the spring semester begins:
"Morning, by morning, new mercies I see."
The new term brings a re-start and a freshness. It is indeed a new opporunity, a blank gradebook, and chance to invest knowledge, skills, and wisdom learned from the past into another chance.
"All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided."
Does the Lord provide? Amen and amen. Consider, however, that we also represent provision!
"Father, provide me better success in science this term."
That prayer might be answered thus: "I have provided you with a fine intellect, strong teachers, available parents, and a will to overcome obstacles. You are all set with provision, my child." Maybe not the desired answer to prayer, but it is a truthful answer, and one that will grow the person.