Take the Next Step!
This retreat, we talked about Moses, Esther, and the Blind Man in John's Gospel, and we learned how internal fears, external circumstances, and indifference have kept us from taking the next step of faith toward God.
However, God's power, the intercession of the Church, and the promise of God in the Bible push us forward to take the next step despite our inability.
And once we take the next step, there is a missional and communal blessing that results! Your life will push others with fearful hearts, difficult circumstances, and indifference toward renewal in God.
Freedom in the Chains of Holy Love
Leviticus 20:26 You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.
Many people complain about the laws and regulations that are listed in the book of Leviticus and its rigorous detail. This points to a deeper issue inside our heart, namely our desire for freedom and independence over God's sovereignty. We complain that God takes away our freedom by telling us what to do because in mainstream culture, freedom and independence are absolute virtues. The reason we value freedom so much is because we have never experienced (in this life) a perfect father, a loving president, or a benign king. We will not trust them with our civil rights, and we will not trust God with ultimate sovereignty over our lives. The only way we can trust Him is He gains our trust by demonstrating true justice and mercy. For Christians, we know that the cross is where justice met mercy, a loving God dying for our sins (justice) so that we would be restored unto him (love). When we encounter the cross, Christ not only earns our loyalty, but our love. Hence, the Levitical laws, and even the higher demand of living a perfect life in the Holy Spirit no longer seem burdensome, but appealing and delightful.
1) Congratulations February birthdays!
2) We will have our winter retreat February 26-28, 2016. Details will be provided via facebook!
Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take you Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of they salvation, and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me
Social Media this Valentine's Day was bombarded with posts about Deadpool, a fun but R-rated movie. We talked about the fact that an overwhelming desire to watch Deadpool (as well as any other form of entertainment that is ungodly) points to a heart that is dead in its ability to perceive and desire God's beauty. At the same time, not watching Deadpool will not please God. Fixing our actions without fixing our heart is like putting a band-aid on a sword wound. What does please God is a contrite and broken heart that causes us to confess that we need a new heart. Beloved youth group, do you long for a new heart that thirsts for God?
1) Get ready for our upcoming retreat on February 26 - 28th!
2) Please feel free to attend Gordon-Conwell's praise night on Thursday, Feb. 18th.