We just had our last small group gathering for the guys from Awaken this past Monday, and after some good times catching up on each others’ weeks and some movie chatter, we talked about plans for how we, as a group, would be diving into the Word in 2015. I asked the guys for some honest feedback as to where they felt they needed to go next–what was it about this life of following Jesus that they knew was important, but they couldn’t quite figure out how to practically do it? Reflecting on this discussion, along with my devotional reading this week, I thought more about just how important it is that Youth (and all of the rest of us) understand what it really means to be in a relationship with Jesus. I want them to understand that we must actively engage Him in the actions of our daily routines.
As a church, we have had an awesome exploration of the fullness of Advent (as full as it can be in a handful of weeks). Our study has caused me to think about the latter chapters of this story–today, a day where we hope to follow Christ in a way that is obedient and that honors Him. What does this look like for each of us? In a position of leadership and as a mentor to younger individuals, how do I make sure they understand how to walk with the One who has the lead role in the story? To share the Gospel in such a way that it is not made to sound easy or appealing to their desires (because realistically, our fallen flesh does not perceive it as such)? To avoid the temptation of looking for a quick buy-in because somehow that makes me a good or successful Youth pastor? All these questions lead me to a point to ponder for all of us. If we look at the story of Advent and out of response could write our own chapter that was about ourselves, what would it look like? What would the details of our individual relationship with Jesus Christ look like, and how far would we go to demonstrate our love for Him?
Some of us struggle with this concept, because all too often we try to package it all up and have the entire thing thought through and plotted out. The reality is, it does not (and cannot) work that way. So what do we do with that? Where do we start? How do we ensure that we take pure and steady steps with our Savior each and every day? Let me offer something that spoke very loudly to me this week as a reminder of where I myself need to start each day to try to place my steps in stride with His…
“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
– Psalm 51:8-12
I challenge you to wrap your mind around this, and make it a focal point of prayer. I am still doing so, and I feel pretty sure that you and I will both be amazed at what we will experience. How does your chapter of the story look with this perspective in focus?
By the way… check out what verse 13 says. Pretty relevant huh?