D-Now is Coming

Disciple Now is coming this weekend!

That is all.

Develop Your Gifts

I took the week off from speaking and turned the mic over to a good friend of mine, Chris Hall.  Chris is a fellow seminary student and genuinely a pretty sharp fellow. He challenged the students to examine their lives, discover their gifts, and develop them for the use of God’s Kingdom.

He used the example of a little known character in 2 Chronicles 2, named Huram-Abi.  Huram was a skilled craftsmen capable of working with all sorts of materials (wood, metals, and fabrics), and so when it became time for Solomon to build the temple he chose Huram to  be the artisan in charge of making it a reality.  Huram was naturally gifted by God as an artisan, however throughout his life he perfected his craft, never knowing that his crowning achievement would be the temple in which the Lord dwelled.

Likewise, God has gifted each person with a variety of skills.  Some are spiritual gifts like you would find in 1 Corinthians 12-14 and others are more physical gifts (art, athletics, debate, etc.).  The reason each person is uniquely gifted is so that they can give glory back to God through the use of these gifts.  The difficult part of being a teenager is determining where God has indeed gifted you.

Parents, help your child to discover their gifts, and encourage them to use their gifts to give glory back to God.  You have a unique perspective which your child needs, an outsider who knows them fully and can speak truth to them about their unique giftedness.  If you discover your child is gifted at something, but are not sure how that gift could be used for the glory of God, don’t worry about it – encourage your child to develop the gift and be aware that God may have a purpose for that gift in the future.

I knew a student who was gifted in Spanish.  She knew she enjoyed it, and she knew she was good at it, but she didn’t know how God would use that in her life.  She developed the gift further, and then one year on our local mission trip she had numerous opportunities to speak to people about the love of God in Spanish.  You never know why you have gift, just trust that God has a purpose for it.

The Cost of Discipleship

Salvation is the free gift of God through Christ.  On the cross Jesus Christ paid the price for the salvation of every individual.  There really isn’t any better news than the good news of the free grace of God.
Beyond salvation, there is a cost for Christians who are pursuing the life of a disciple.  When Jesus called his twelve, each left a life of relative security to follow the Teacher who turned out to be the Savior.  Discipleship is a costly thing, however like most things that are costly it is worth the price.
Jesus spells out the cost of being a disciple in Luke 14.  Here he says that if you don’t hate those closest to you and take up your cross to follow after him then you are not a disciple.  Strong words.  In comparison to our love and dedication to Christ, our dearest relationships (spouse, children, parents, etc.)  should appear like hate.  We should love Christ that much more.  Note: this is not a reason to say to these people, “I hate you,” rather you are to love these immensely, but to love Christ more completely.  This was illustrated in the Old Testament by Abraham who was commanded to take the child God had promised him and sacrifice him to God.  This was a test, would Abraham trust God and would he demonstrate his belief in the goodness of God?  Abraham did trust God, and God came through and blessed Abraham for being willing to part with the most precious thing in his life.
It is true that following after Christ may cause some hard times in your life.  Perhaps you lose a friend, or have a strained relationship where there previously was no tension; regardless, following is worth the cost.  What are the benefits of being a disciple?  First, you get to be in a relationship with the Almighty.  People spend many hours dedicating themselves to the election of a congressman or president, because they believe that they are part of something greater (if only for 4 year stretches).  However, we are able to take an active part in the greatest thing in history.  We are able to meet with our Maker and then to do his will on the earth.  We are able to introduce loved ones to God and to see lives changed for eternity.  Eternity.
Is it costly to follow Christ, yes.  Is it worth the price, absolutely.  Are you choosing to be a disciple?  What steps are you taking?  Do you spend regular time in the Bible?  Do you have a spiritual mentor?  I hope you see the value in being a disciple, and are disciplining your children to follow closely to Christ.

News and Notes

I’ve been remiss on giving an update now for about a week, so here is a quick overview of what’s been going on with the Student Ministry.

Frontline:  Had a great night of games, worship and teaching.  Played another round of The Price is Right, which led to a discussion on Jesus paying the price for all of our sins.  As a Christian, there are times when we take for granted the grace of God as expressed in Jesus Christ.  But we were reminded that Christ died for our sins, even though we were sinners and enemies of God at the time.  I am always amazed when I think on the powerful love of Christ.

Sunday:  Had our semi-regular parent meeting following the worship service.  I enjoyed having a good turnout for the meeting, and hope that it was worthwhile to attend.  We discussed upcoming events, important dates, and gave parents an opportunity to ask questions.  Below is a list of upcoming events that I would ask you to take note of.

  • Disciple Now Weekend – April 29-May 1
  • “What Not to Wear” Girls Event – May 13 (evening)
  • Youth Sunday- May 22, also will be Senior Recognition Sunday (for HS Seniors)
  • HS Summer Camp – June 20-24
  • JH Summer Camp – June 27-July 1
  • Prague Mission Trip (HS Only) – July 7-16
  • Vacation Bible School – July 18-22

I hope your child will plan to be involved with as many of these events as possible.  I am anticipating a great summer!