This Is For Everyone

ISA 49:6 CEVDCUS06

Now the Lord says to me, “It isn’t enough for you to be merely my servant. You must do more than lead back survivors from the tribes of Israel. I have placed you here as a light for other nations; you must take my saving power to everyone on earth.”

Observation
It isn’t enough to speak to the people of God and lead them. The light is for all people. Other nations, faiths, etc. Take the salvation to all… Everyone on earth.

Application
Salvation, the message and offer of true salvation, is for everyone. This might is for everyone. Just teaching the students that come to my youth group isn’t enough. It is good and necessary, but it’s not enough. This light is life itself! I must be about the business of telling people; all people.

Prayer
Lord, help me to see the people that don’t know you and how to speak this light and truth into their lives. Don’t let me be content with what I am doing, but give me a compassion for those that don’t yet know you and don’t have the light. Let my heart beat with your heart, and my will be your will. In Jesus name, amen.

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Light the Way

ISA 49:6 CEVDCUS06

Now the Lord says to me, “It isn’t enough for you to be merely my servant. You must do more than lead back survivors from the tribes of Israel. I have placed you here as a light for other nations; you must take my saving power to everyone on earth.”

Observation
It isn’t enough to speak to the people of God and lead them. The light is for all people. Other nations, faiths, etc. Take the salvation to all… Everyone on earth.

Application
Salvation, the message and offer of true salvation, is for everyone. This might is for everyone. Just teaching the students that come to my youth group isn’t enough. It is good and necessary, but it’s not enough. This light is life itself! I must be about the business of telling people; all people.

Prayer
Lord, help me to see the people that don’t know you and how to speak this light and truth into their lives. Don’t let me be content with what I am doing, but give me a compassion for those that don’t yet know you and don’t have the light. Let my heart beat with your heart, and my will be your will. In Jesus name, amen.

Youth Pastor Leadership Tips From Dora The Explorer

Today Youthmin.org published an article I wrote on leadership tips I found being used by Dora the Explorer. Here’s the link and an excerpt:

http://www.youthmin.org/youth-pastor-leadership-tips-from-dora-the-explorer/

I often find myself critiquing the shows my kids (twin toddlers) watch: “Really? They couldn’t find the ball because it is behind them?” “Awesome, just be yourself and you will get everything you ever wanted.” And so on.

You know what I never thought I’d say while watching kids’ shows?” Dora the Explorer would make a great youth pastor!” Dora is a great leader! This show uses so many of the leadership principles I’ve learned through school, the Bible, conferences, and books. If you lead like Dora, you are doing a lot right. If you aren’t doing these things, you might need to be a little more like that bilingual cartoon heroine.

Check out the rest of the post at Youthmin.org!

Drinking is Stupid

Proverbs 23:29-35 CEVDCUS06

Who is always in trouble? Who argues and fights? Who has cuts and bruises? Whose eyes are red?  Everyone who stays up late, having just one more drink.  Don’t even look at that colorful stuff bubbling up in the glass! It goes down so easily,  but later it bites like a poisonous snake.  You will see weird things, and your mind will play tricks on you.  You will feel tossed about like someone trying to sleep on a ship in a storm.  You will be bruised all over, without even remembering how it all happened. And you will lie awake asking, “When will morning come, so I can drink some more?”

Observation
Drunkenness leads to stupid behavior. It’s nothing new, it’s the same today as it was then. Drink, waste your money, waste your time, waste your health, get in fights, drink more to forget about it all.

Application
Time to live in a new way. Just like drinking has always been around, so has God and his plan of salvation! In fact God was there before drinking. Before anything was a problem. Sin is not new, not even the kinds of sin we struggle with… The wise ways of the Lord are now, and always have been, the only ways worth living.

Forgot to Ask

JOS 9:14 CEVDCUS06

The Israelites tried some of the food, but they did not ask the Lord if he wanted them to make a treaty.

OBSERVATION

Israel was on a mission from God. They were sent to remove the people from the promised land. But some of the people tricked them into thinking they were from far away and had come to make peace. And, instead of asking God if this was part of the plan, they just made a peace treaty.

APPLICATION

God made that situation work out, but not the way He had commanded it. Just like how they got to the Promised Land eventually, but 40 years later than they were meant to. This time, they didn’t ask Him at all.

I can think of several times I didn’t ask God’s input on decisions I was making. And I wonder if I missed out on a blessing, or if I earned myself extra hardship by avoiding God’s feedback. I’m sure I have.

I know that God has called us not just to a one-way faith, but a relationship that is a continuing conversation :

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Pray continually . . . Talk to Him all the time.

PRAYER
God, I want your input in my life. I want to follow you in everything I’m doing. Help me to keep the conversation open at all times, and to be listening for your side of it as well. In Jesus name, amen.

Simple Things Have Great Meaning

NUM 21:6-9 NIV

Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.  The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

observation
The people sinned. God punished them = snakes. He offered them a way to live even when the snakes bit them = look at the bronze snake.

application
Why did God send snakes? And why have the bronze snake to undo it? God is powerful enough to take away the poison without making them look up at a snake… Maybe He just wanted them to obey him for a moment, even just in that small command of “look up and live”. Maybe He just used this to demonstrate that He was(and is) in control. They were complaining about being out in the wilderness, questioning God’s plans. Maybe getting them to look at the snake was just a way of showing them, “no matter what comes up, I have a way for you through it.”

I wonder what “bronze snake” I’m filling to look at. What simple act of obedience have I neglected that might put me in the right place to overcome things in my life? I can think of a few.

prayer
Lord, help me see the simple things, and to obey them. And as I trust you in the small things, train my heart for the greater things that are yet to come. I love you. May that be evident in my life through my obedience and trust in you. Amen.