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A Call To Young People

27 Jun

Get ready to have your mind blown.   I cry every single time I watch this, and I’ve seen it probably 50 times (a modest estimate).

This is why we BELIEVE in youth ministry.

“’The Lord was calling the young man.’  That phrase right there tells us that Yaweh God calls young people.”

Here’s the list of scripture references:  ASTOUNDING.

Samuel was 13 years old when the Lord called him, spoke to him, used him as a leader in Israel.  (1 Samuel 3)

Joseph was  17 years old when he RESISTED sexual temptation when alone with an older woman. (Genesis 39:9)

Esther risked her very life for the people of God. (Esther 2: 15)

Josiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord at AGE 8. At 16 he “sought hard after God.”  (2 Chronicles 34)

Daniel STOOD for God, alone.  Away from his parents, away from his friends, in an idolatrous culture.  He took a stand for God at age 14.  (Daniel 1:8)

And Mary, at 16 years old she remained a virgin, and trusted God’s crazy promise, and became the mother of our savior Jesus Christ.  (Luke 1)

I love teenagers.  I love them with my whole heart.

I Unashamedly Borrow Prayers

27 Jun

“And this is my prayer:”

This may have been Paul’s prayer originally (since he wrote Philippians), but I’m borrowing it.  It is my prayer for the girls at Bethlehem.   It’s WHY we do Girls Night.  I stumbled across these verses in January of this year (2010) and instantaneously they became my mission, my theme, my passage to pray over the precious girls in our youth group.

“…that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.” [Philippians 1:9-11]

Wow – let’s unpack all this awesomeness a little, shall we?

The order of this prayer is so precious to me – it is the process of growth, of discipleship!  It starts on the inside, with our hearts, and ends with fruit (visible proof of the lordship of Jesus in our lives).  And here at Girls Night, we’re following this roadmap.  Growth, REAL GROWTH, happens from the inside out.  It starts with love, then insight, then fruit, good choices, and righteous living.  I pray that God gets a hold of our hearts – and our actions will follow suit.  Here at Girls Night, we won’t batter people with lists of do’s and don’ts and rules for being a “good person.”  Fruit follows love.  We’re going to fall in love with Jesus.

“That your love may abound”:
It starts with love, it always starts with love.  We love God before we obey him.  And we love him, because He loved us first.  God is love, He shows us love, and He commands us to love.  Everything in the Christian life starts with love.

“That your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight”:
Knowledge – we’re going to learn truth!  We’re going to learn the facts, the principles, the basics – and in all this learning, I pray that we gain “depth of insight.”  We want wisdom.  We want to see life like God sees life.  We want to live life from God’s perspective.

“So that you may be able to discern what is best”:
OH MY WORD!!!  If there is ANYTHING students need today, isn’t it discernment???  Wisdom, insight, clear thinking: God’s guidance as a compass to guide them through the murky waters of middle school and high school.  To understand what is best.  Not to settle!  Not to throw their lives away!  To make these formative years count. To become the person they want to be – that God wants them to be!  Oh, Lord – this IS our prayer!  Give us depth of insight that we may be able to discern what is best!

“And may be pure and blameless”:
That’s right.  We’re passionate about purity!  About being clean and good and not trashing our lives or our souls or our testimonies.  We hold each other accountable here.  What a treasure, to have a group of girls to help you come out on the other side of high school , pure.

“Filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ”:
We want fruit in our lives, proof.  We want the fruit of the Spirit to be OBVIOUS in us. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  And we want to bring our friends along for the ride – we want our friends to be saved, for them to fall in love with Jesus too!

“To the glory and praise of God”:
Because from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things.  His is the kingdom, the power, and the glory.  Everything we do is for God’s glory.  He is worthy.  He is our greatest treasure and our first love.

Discipleship works from the inside out.  So this is our prayer.  Pray with us for the girls of North Alabama!