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This is an article a friend shared from the Gospel Coalition. Don’t Segregate the Youth.

We live in an entertainment-centered world. What is youth group but a place to hang out with your friends, play games, eat snacks, and maybe find romance, right? When I was in youth group it started out well; there were some older students who I looked up to, who helped me and encouraged me in my walk. We went to youth events like Aquire the Fire, which taught me and helped me grow. We had a youth drama team, that allowed everyone to participate and share a message through an art form. But was this enough? After the older students graduated and moved on with other aspects of life, I was one of the older teens in the youth group. I ended up leaving youth group when I was 16 because it was too “seeker-centered”. I had grown up in church, knew the doctrines, understood the concepts, and lived it; there was nothing left for me in the youth group. I was not respected enough by either the students or the youth leader to help mentor or teach younger students, and I lacked the confidence, so I left and attended “big church” instead.

I am very much in favor of youth group and youth activities, but there comes a time when a teenager simply has to learn to “deal with it”. Young children and teenagers need to learn when it is time to be entertained, and when it is time to sit quietly and listen. I am appalled when I see family make a quick trip to the store and their 5-year-old is walking around with a tablet watching movies, or when children are given some technology in church just to make them sit quietly. I am ok with activities like Christian-themed coloring books when a little kid needs to sit through service, or a children’s Bible for them to read and look at the pictures, but technology is just an excuse. Parents trying to appease a child who is usually poorly behaved.

I like the way the church I currently attend handles the youth: children stay through the music portion of the service and participate with their families. They get to see how adults worship, and also learn most of the regularly played songs. After music and announcements, children ages 3 through 5th grade are dismissed to Sunday school, 6th and up stay in the service. The young ones have an opportunity to learn at their own level so that they can more firmly grasp the concepts when they do graduate to 6th grade and “big church.” The Bible tells us “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” (Matt 28:19-20). The word translated as discipline in Greek indicates self-discipline, while in Latin the word “discipula” means “student”. Our children will not be discipled through entertainment, but through self-discipline and study.

At the second church my family attended, from the time I was 6-13, we did not have Sunday school for all the students. When I was little (and easily bored) I remember reading during service, sometimes a pamphlet they had on a table about something (like the true origin of  St. Nick), or sometimes a book I brought, or a Bible coloring book. As I sat there I learned and listened, and eventually was able to focus more on the message (I’m a bit ADD, so sometimes I still doodle as I listen and take notes). I STILL remember some of those sermons, and I understood quite a bit of the things we were taught. I was in service watching my dad take notes, and I learned how to listen and create an outline to help me remember what I had heard. Sometimes the sermons and concepts come back to me when I think about certain topics. Maybe being bored in church isn’t such a bad thing for kids after all.

 

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What is commitment? Does anyone know these days? Here’s what the dictionary has to say about that.

1 a : an act of committing to a charge or trust: as (1) : a consignment to a penal or mental institution (2) : an act of referring a matter to a legislative committee b : mittimus
2 a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date

 b : something pledged
 c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled <a commitment to a cause>
A commitment does not have to be a signed formal contract (not that those last long in this century), it can be a spoken word, a written message, or a non-verbal understanding.
This week I’ve witnessed two acts of non-commitment. A friend left his wife because, as he said “she has issues she needs to work out”  (though he does too…) and another friend was cheated on for the second time. The first instance is sad because a husband (or wife) should be committed to their spouse no matter what.  In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse, as long as you both shall live. ‘Til death do us part! Nowhere in this verbal agreement does it say, “I get to leave you because you have issues.” The second instance is sad because within days of saying “I want to be with you” to my friend, this guy was with another girl. After he had already been forgiven for cheating on my friend once, he was with another girl. What is wrong with these people?!
1 Corinthians 7:10-11: “But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not [d]leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not [e]divorce his wife.”
Malachi 2:13-16 tells us that God does not accept the offerings of those who are unfaithful to their spouses: Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 1You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[c] So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[d] says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. 

The Bible says that God hates divorce. Why? Because it tears apart something that he has designed to function as one unit. We were created to be married and partnered with someone for all our lives.

“Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

I know that ending a relationship is not nearly as serious as ending a marriage, but it has the same effect in this day and age. It used to be that people did not have an intimate emotional relationship until the point where they were engaged or married. In our society we have a serious intimate relationship before we are married, often with physical affection attached. When these relationships end abruptly, they can be just as painful as divorce (even if they’re less complicated legally).

All this is to say PUT ON YOUR BIG BOY PANTIES AND DEAL WITH IT!!!! When you commit to a relationship you are in it until you have a seriously good reason to end it. “I met another girl” is not a good reason, nor is “I’m bored” or “you gained weight” or “you aren’t as perfect as I thought you were.” If there’s a logical reason to end a relationship, be honest and just do it. If you’re married, just deal with it. Get counseling, talk to a pastor, and stick with it. There is NO good reason to end a marriage, even if you think there is one at the time. Deal with it.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:22-33)

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“Yield”

Knowing God’s Will Part 2

Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”

Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”

He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)

11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”

12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”

13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.

17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

  • Introduction: The exercise of His rule or SUPREMACY over all His creation.
  • Proposition: In Jonah 1:4-13 we will examine God’s sovereignty at work in fulfilling His plans.
  1. By Using UNBELIEVERS  (vs. 4-10)
    1. a.      To AWAKEN Jonah from sleep to prayer (vs. 5-6)
  • Notice that Jonah had not been praying, even in the midst of the terrible storm. Jonah was a prophet, and he knew that God would not hear his prayer as he ran from Him and committed the sin of disobedience. (“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18)
  • The unbelievers were praying to their gods and nothing was happening, but they knew Jonah to be a prophet of God, and asked him to cry out to the Lord. They recognized God’s sovereignty, and that he was a powerful God.
  • Thought to consider: has there ever been a time in my life when a non-believer asked me to pray for them because they knew that I was a Christian and thought God might heed my prayer to help them?
  1. b.      To CONFRONT Jonah’s disobedience. (vs. 7-10)
  • Jonah’s behavior was irresponsible: he brought calamity upon others through his disobedience. “What have you done?” they asked(vs. 10). They knew he was running from God.
  • Thought to consider: Has MY sin ever caused someone around me pain or inconvenience? If I love God, why am I still doing _______________?
  • When the sailors cast lots to see who had caused the problem, the lot fell to Jonah. God even used an inanimate object to point out his sin.
  • Jonah refused to go witness in the place that God had called him to, and so God used him as a witness to the unbelievers on the boat!
  • As Charles Spurgeon said, “God never allows His children to sin successfully.”
  • Thought to consider: has God ever used a non-believer to point out an area of sin in my life? “If you’re really a Christian, why do you ________?”
  1. By using the WEATHER. (vs. 4, 11-16)
  • If you do not listen to the whisper of God’s voice, he may have to stir up a storm to get your attention!
  1. b.      STIRRED up a storm (vs. 4, 11-14)
  • God had given him a direction, as he gives many of us an “impression” of what we need to do, but far too often we continue to row our own way in our little boat to escape God’s commands.
  • As the night progressed it became increasingly stormy. Even in the storm God calls us to “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”(Psalm 46:10)
  • “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
  • God has you under the umbrella of His will. If you step out from under His umbrella, you WILL get wet.
  • Psalm 107
  1. c.       CALMED the storm, resulting in reverence. (vs. 15-16)
  • The unbelievers saw the result of Jonah’s actions, how God calmed the storm when Jonah was thrown overboard: “At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.” We do not know if this means that they gave their lives to the sovereign Lord, but we do know that God used this situation to touch their lives, and these pagan sailors reverenced Him. God even used Jonah’s disobedience to reach people!
  • Many times in life God may not calm our storm, but God will always calm the faithful believer to get them through the storm.
  • God promises that we will have trials in life, but He has overcome them. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
  • He has also promised that he will never leave us: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence,’The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?’”
    (Hebrews 13:5-6)

 

  1. By using a FISH(vs. 17)
    1. a.      APPOINTED a fish to swallow him.
  • God had a very large fish in the right place at the right time, so that it could help Him complete His plan to save Jonah. When Jonah was thrown overboard he probably thought He was going to die. And STILL he didn’t pray.
  • In Numbers 22 God even used a Donkey to save Balaam’s life, and finally the Donkey had to SPEAK to him before he would listen.
  • Thought to consider: Have I ever known that God was trying to speak to me using someone/something, but purposely ignored it? How much tribulation do I have to go through before turning to God in obedience?
  1. b.      PRESERVED for His purpose.
  • God saved Jonah, both from himself and from the trials associated with running away from God.
  • “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
  • God wanted to save Nineveh, and he wanted to use Jonah to do it. Jonah, in his half-digested state, would have been an effective witness to the Ninevites.
  • You can never escape God’s plan, only slow it down for a while.
  • Conclusion: are you yielding to His sovereign will?
    • Do not forget God’s sovereignty! In the old testament, God told the Israelites to set up markers at certain places so that they would remember the good things that God had done for them. What good things has God done for me that I should remember?
    • Thought to consider. Man often acknowledges God as supreme over all creation, but not over man. Am I guilty of this type of thinking?

 

“Remember this, keep it in mind,
take it to heart, you rebels.
Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’
11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned, that I will do.
12 Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted,
you who are now far from my righteousness.
13 I am bringing my righteousness near,
it is not far away;
and my salvation will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion,
my splendor to Israel.

Isaiah 46: 8-13

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“The Man Who Said ‘NO’”

Knowing God’s Will for Your Life, Part 1

  • Introduction: Have you discovered God’s will for your life?
  • Proposition: in Jonah 1:1-3 we will examine two facts concerning God’s will.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”  But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.”

Jonah 1:1-3

  • Thoughts to consider:
    • Have I ever run away from or ignored God’s will for my life?

 

  1. We must DISCOVER it.

Discover: transitive verb

a : to make known or visible : expose b archaic : display

2 a : to obtain sight or knowledge of for the first time : find <discover the solution>4

  • We must actively seek to know his will.
  1. His will is revealed through His WORD.
  • The Bible is our instruction manual, we must read it to discover His will.
    • 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
      • Some translations say “study to show thyself approved”, this means that we are to discern what behavior God approves of.
      • Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Read all of Psalm 119 for further information!) His Word will lead us in the right direction.
      • Eph 4:14 – Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Read chapter for context)
      • If we only talk to God and don’t read His word we are like a broken radio circuit, always transmitting but never receiving.
      • James 1:22 – “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
      • General commands:The Word of God gives us principles that all Christians are to follow; these are the commands that all who claim to follow Him must obey and are not only for an individual. These are things that we do not have to pray about to find God’s will, it is clearly written for us to know.
        • Love God and love Man:
          •  28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating… he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[c] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[d] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[e] There is no commandment greater than these.”” Mark 12:28-31
          • Gracious speech:
            • “Let no [b]unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification [c]according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:28
          • Forgive as you have been forgiven:
            •  “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven [x]you.” Ephesians 4:32
          • Be Holy, as He is Holy:
            •  “13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a] Peter 1:13-16
          •  Get rid of your old sins:
            • ”Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”  Colossians 3:5-10
      • Concept: His will is not revealed through circumstances; you can be acting completely out of God’s will and still have positive circumstances.
        • When someone runs from God, Satan is more than happy to provide transportation and accommodation.
        • Example: Jonah just happened to find a ship bound for Tarshish; he could have believed it to be a sign from God that he should take that ship, when he clearly knew what God had commanded.
        • Sometimes that “peace” you feel about a decision can be false.
      • Thoughts to consider: How much of the Bible do you know is God’s will for your life?
  1. We all have a COMMISSION.
  • “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [e]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [f]always, even to the end of the age.””Matthew 28:18-20
    • This should read “as you are going, make disciples.” It’s a given that people will be going about their daily business. As we do this we should be making disciples. Start in your Jerusalem, in your home town, the places that you go daily.
    • It starts at home: make disciples and be witness to those around you.
      •   So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8-12
        • By sharing your life and living according to God’s commands, you are a witness to those around you.
        • “Be prepared to kindly give an answer for the hope that is in you. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15-16
        • Romans 1:16 –  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…”
  1. We must OBEYit.
    1. Even when it is DIFFICULT.
  • It is often difficult to obey when the task is unpleasant:
    • Paul was beaten for preaching the Gospel. Acts 16:22, 2 Corinthians 6:3-10
    • Jonah was commanded to take a message to Nineveh, telling them that the wrath of God would come upon them if they did not repent (Jonah 3). Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire, enemies of the Jews; Jonah did not want them to be saved, he wanted them to suffer and be destroyed. This would be as if a Jewish American were told during World War II that he needed to go to Nazi Germany to take a message to the Nazis so that they could repent and be saved.
    • Other difficult tasks: love your neighbor, ask forgiveness, give forgiveness, be holy.
      • Sometimes there are things we need to do that are difficult, like turn off that television show we shouldn’t watch (Psalm 101:3 “I will not look with approval on anything that is vile.”) or reach out to that person in need (James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”)
      • Role-specific commands.
        • God also has specific commands in the Bible that apply only to certain people. There are commands for husbands and wives, children, parents, unmarried women, leaders, pastors, etc. and there are general commands that all Christians must follow. (See the books of Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 1 Corinthians, 1 Peter, Tutus 2,  and Proverbs 31 for some specific instructions regarding your station in life. )
        • Thought to consider: what is my specific role in life right now? Are there any specific commands for me in the Bible? Am I keeping them?
  1. Following instead of FLEEING.
  • Jonah went completely the opposite direction of what God told him to do.
    • Even if you do not run from His commands, inaction is still disobedience.
    • Circumstances seemed right for Jonah to do his will, instead of God’s.
    • It is best to be in God’s will now, to bring Him glory and follow His commands. God promises to bless those who follow His precepts. Psalm 103:17-18 “But from everlasting to everlasting
      the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”

      • Noah’s family was spared – Genesis 6
      • Abraham was blessed – Genesis 18:17-19
      • Lot was saved – Genesis 19
      • God’s will does not go away if you ignore it, and whether you like the command does not change it.
        • There was a story of a woman who would throw sticks in the air every time she came to a fork in the road to determine which way to go. Upon observing her repeatedly throwing a large number of sticks in the air one day, a man asked her why she threw so many. She replied “I throw them until they land in the way I want to go!”
        • Thought to consider: Am I guilty of trying to conform God’s will to my desires?
      • The Lord will discipline those who are disobedient, as a father disciplines his child.
        • Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. Jonah 1:17
        • Solomon’s Kingdom was taken from him. 1 Kings 11:10-11
        • King David’s son died, other men slept with his wives, and his household was filled with calamity and violence. 2 Samuel 12:7-14
        • Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land. Deuteronomy.
        • Israelites forced to wander for 40 years.
  • Conclusion: Mold me and make me after THYwill.
    • Pray for God to show you His will for your life, and earnestly ask Him to change your heart and shape you according to his will.
    • In summary, 3 ways to know God’s will: 1. Read the Bible. 2. Pray. 3. Seek Godly counsel from mature believers.

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I’m sitting here in a little coffee shop in downtown Safety Harbor with my boyfriend, looking out the window at the still-lighted trees and watching all the passers-by in the fading twilight hours of a rainy Florida day. I felt inspired to write what I have been thinking about; how two souls, with two very different personalities, can come to be one.

The Bible says in Mark 10, “…at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” While we all know that this passage, in its most basic form, refers to the sexual (and also emotional) union of a husband and wife, I think there is certainly more to it. In our society, where we spend so much time with our significant other before marriage, we become far more connected and “one” with each other before marriage. The time we spend together, talking, praying, attending church, snuggling, kissing, etc. brings us close together and helps us to form a very unique and tight bond, that we will never have with another person. This is one of the reasons why we are told to guard our hearts above all else, because our heart is the wellspring of our life, everything we do is affected by it. (Proverbs 4:23)We must be careful that we don’t become too emotionally attached before we are married to our sweetheart.

While we need to be careful how close we get, I have been realizing how wonderful it is to have that person to connect to, and how wonderful our differences are. My boyfriend and I are very different in many ways; we have differing backgrounds, tastes, preferences, mannerisms, dispositions, and ways of analyzing things. As we go through our lives together I realize that, because of this, life can be twice as beautiful and twice as sweet. I get to see beautiful things and hear wonderful music through two sets of eyes, and two pairs of ears. Things that I may notice and appreciate in a passage from a book or a portion of a sermon may be different from things that my boyfriend notices, and we both benefit from these insights. When we eat together, we try different things that may be unusual to us, and we often share the meals we eat; this makes the world so much more delicious and twice as sweet. We learn new traditions and share our unique cultural heritages–the world is twice as colorful. Through two pairs of eyes, two minds, and two hearts we experience the world together as one, and it is so much more sweet, and beautiful, than it would be alone.

Two souls, two eyes,

One heart, one mind.

Beating, blinking,

Loving, thinking.

Sharing all the earth,

Sorrow and mirth.

Two hearts, four eyes,

One love, one life.

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What Happened After God’s Funeral?

–Ravi Zacharias

These are the notes I took while listening to this message, it comes in 4 parts and they can be found here:

http://www.rzim.org/resources/listen/justthinking.aspx?archive=1

“Young people, please hear me; this, to me, is the problem of 20th century man: he no longer knows what to laugh at and no longer knows what to weep at.”

“So you turn on your television screen and before you know it, you’re looking at a seduction yourself. And instead of weeping at it, you’re watching in intrigue as the story unfolds. You watch illegitimacies transpire before your eyes and mine, and because Hollywood has convinced us that it is entertainment we become entertained, rather than sitting there with a crushed and a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And I often wonder, if my Lord Jesus were able to stalk some of the seats of Broadway, or sit in some of the theatres where things are perpetrated and shown to you and me, where jokes are made of His virgin birth, where Christianity is demeaned and mocked, where illegitimacies are glorified and exalted; that which is vulgar is intended to make us laugh, that which is sacred is intended to make us weep, rather than sit there in awe and gratitude for the sacred, what has really happened between the educational system and whatever else is happening, we’ve lost the differentiation between laughter and tears. It is vitally important what you laugh at. It is vitally important what you weep at. What breaks your heart tells God who you are. What makes you laugh tells God who you are.”

If God is dead:

  1. You have to mistake man for being God:
    1. If there is no infinite being, you are left with a finite being: man.
      1. i.      If man is made god, some men will become God.
  2. If God is dead someone will have to take his place, it will be megalomania or erotomania. The drive for power or the drive for pleasure; the fist or the fallace; Hitler or Hugh Heffner.
  3. You will have to take your body to be a soul
    1. If there is no God, there is no soulishness. If there is no soulishness all you have left is the material, and you have to take the body to be the ultimate and the eternal. Your body becomes your soul.
    2. The Abolition of Man, CH 1: Men without Chests, by C.S. Lewis.
      1. i.      “If I believe these men, they tell me mathematics is real therefore my brain is real. Food is real, therefore my stomach is real. But they tell me my emotions have nothing whatsoever to do with reality; they are going to produce a generation of men with brains, men with stomachs, men without chests and no heart.” –Lewis
  4. “And if God is dead, you have to take the body to be the soul. And you will end up killing feelings of nobility, and shame.”
    1. i.      If your glands are what make you feel a certain way, then you can decide what you do without consequences: there is no nobility, there is no shame. We become men without chests; we’ve killed our heart.
  5. Matthew 16:26, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”
  6. When we see something noble, there is something of the spirit in it (not just flesh, blood, and bone). If God is dead the body has to be taken to be the soul. The only way one can live with this is to live with a constant sense of contradiction.
  7. “The new rebel is a skeptic and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty therefor he can never be a real revolutionist. The fact that he doubts everything gets in the way when he wants to denounce anything, for all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind, and the modern revolutionists doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. So he writes one book complaining that imperial oppression insults the purity of women, then he writes another book, a novel, in which he insults it himself. He curses the sultan because Christian girls lose their virginity, then curses Mrs. Grundy because they keep it. As a politician he cries out that war is a waste of life, and as a philosopher that all life is a waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. A man denounces marriage as a lie, then denounces aristocratic profligates for treating it as a lie. … In short, the modern revolutionist being an infinite skeptic is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling morality, in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes for revolt; by rebelling against everything he has lost his right to revolt against anything. “ G.K. Chesterton.
  8. When soulishness is gone and body is all that is left, you live with a constant sense of contradiction, and nothing will make sense anymore.
  9. You have to take time to be eternity.
    1. There is no tomorrow, there is no eternity; worms will eat your body and it will decompose. When a child dies it is no more significant than if a 95 year old were to die after a long life, because death is the end of everything.
    2. If you live by Nietzsche’s philosophy, that’s it. If you live by the teaching of God’s work, that is not it.
    3. John 14:19 “Because I live, you also will live.”
    4. Illustration:
      1. i.      A young med student tried to perform an abortion on his wife. They could not go to the abortionist because in his lectures he denounced abortion, and he accidentally killed his wife. We should not play God.
  10. “No guilt in life, no fear in death; this is the power of Christ in me.”

 

 

You choice: Christ, or Nietzsche.

 

 

 

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Get Back

Argh!

You know, I really need to start getting back into the Bible. I used to read regularly, every day, and even when I wasn’t as focused as I should have been I was in the Word. Lately I’ve been busy, tired, or whatever. So sleepy all the time! I need to get back to God, get back to the place where I was when I was in high school and walking closely with God. I feel at times that I am distant from him, but I am not sure if that is because something I’m doing is coming between us (probably), or if God is pulling back, trying to get me to seek His face more. Whatever the case, I need to do it! If you read this, please say a prayer for me that God will change my heart and give me the strength and wisdom to do what needs to be done to draw closer to Him. Justin and I are starting a devotional in the near future (as soon as it come in the mail) and hopefully that will help us both get back to where we need to be. Thank you all for your prayer and support!

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