Go See My New Landlord!
How do you hold onto spiritual mileage after a big event? I mean, it's one thing to pray and think you've made spiritual progress after a good service or a powerful retreat. But how do you hold onto that progress…and keep growing? This Source, is about the battling mind games that we all often face after we've made some substantial spiritual gains in our lives. In these times, our thoughts are just something we feel like we can never get away from, never ESCAPE. Sometimes it feels like the landlord of our minds really is a JERK.
Using a memorable illustration, I talk about how it feels to have taunting thoughts knocking on the walls of our minds all the time. I also share key Scriptures we can use to live in peace in the homes of our minds after we've invited the NEW landlord, Jesus Christ, to live there daily.
- Sermon Notes
- Token Ideas
- Discussion Outline
- Leadership Notes
Why is the TV series Heroes such a smash hit? Everyone wants to be one...a hero that is. Don't you? In this Source, we speak to that desire. Through skits, stories and the Bible, we laugh, cry and reveal what it takes to be God's kind of hero, not a seasonal hit but an eternal one.
The public and private life of Esther gives us great insight on both the responsibility and risk that come with being God's kind of hero. As you know, while we all want to be a hero in front of the lights, flash and camera, most true heroic moments come when few, if any, are present. Esther was no exception. Her struggles and ultimate victory gives us hope that we too can come out on top.
Just in case no one has shown up in your life to express appreciation lately, allow me to thank you for paying all the costly prices to be a hero in the lives of our students. May you continue to have the vision, endurance and desire to love our kids authentically and run the race well.
Enjoying the journey with you,
For the majority of us, we find our families, as well as our closest friends, to be the toughest mission field. We know all too well, when we share Christ with those we love most, the risk of rejection is high for a number of reasons. However, the reward of spending eternity with them in heaven can't be touched. We know this...our students know this...yet sometimes we both need reminded of it.
In this Source, we give students some tangible ideas on how to intentionally love their family and friends in ways that will enable them to both hear and see Jesus through their actions, attitudes, words, and deeds. My prayer for this resource is that our students will be able to cut through all the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, and stand in the gap for those closest to them.
Fighting for the Family,
Can you believe that "American Idol" is still a season hit to this day? But, as you know, "idols" were around long before the T.V. show made the word famous. In Ezekiel, the Bible tells us the Lord is still trying to capture our hearts. Yet all too often, like in Moses' day, we get off course and allow other things and people to take center stage in our lives.
In this Source, we take some time to honestly consider who or what we are placing at our heart's center. My prayer is that these continual heart exams would keep each of us from undoing in careless moments of disobedience the work that God's grace has taken much time to build. For remember, the Enemy always reserves the right to cash in on our moments of disobedience at the very instant it will do him the most good. Let's choose not to give him that foothold for our own sake and for the sake of those following in our footsteps.
So, grab your cup of coffee and let's dive in.
How sharp do you feel spiritually right now? Have your edges become a little dull? Great questions aren't they? They're ones we need to continually ask ourselves whether we're 14 or 40, or any age for that matter. And, if we're honest, I think even the best of us struggle on occasion with our quiet times with Jesus for one reason or another. Revelation reminds us to return to Him, our first love, and choose to do the things we know to do.
In this Source, we'll look to Elisha in 2 Kings 6:1-7 for thoughts on recovering our spiritual cutting edge when times get a little too quiet. We'll come face-to-face with the causes and challenge each other to sharpen ourselves once again. Jesus, our audience of One, deserves our very best.
Have you ever caught yourself asking, "Lord, why didn't you make me better at...?" or "Jesus, why didn't you make me more like...?" It seems like we forever want to be someone else and often sense that we just don't measure up. Trying to conquer our self-esteem issues is a constant battle not only in our own lives, but in the lives of our students as well. Given that the God of the universe holds us in such high esteem that He sent His Son to die for us, you wouldn't think the battle within would be so difficult and costly. But, we know that it is!
The value we place upon ourselves is, perhaps, the single most important or strategic factor in our whole future. Measuring our worth by our appearance, intellect or abilities can be devastating. So, in this Source, "Extreme Makeover: Inside Edition," we challenge students to realize that their external frame is not nearly as important as what lies within. The inside really is the big deal!
What a privilege we have to help an aching youth culture know that they matter and the best is yet to come!
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"These are they who have turned the world upside down!" Acts 17:6. The early Christians weren't always "NICE"...they were RIGHTEOUS! They weren't always POLITICALLY CORRECT...they were often RADICAL! God is still looking today for RADICAL, RIGHTEOUS REVOLUTIONARIES...to reach out to a generation of RADICAL, UNRIGHTEOUS REVOLUTIONARIES!
In this month's Source, "The Reckless Ones," I'm sharing from the book of Acts what it truly means to be God's kind of reckless. In this resource, I give four principles to become the kind of person who "turns the world upside down" in God's kind of way. It's a great topic to help your students go to the next level in their personal relationships and heart after God.
The Enemy would love for us to live our lives as if there were no "contender," as if neither he nor spiritual warfare existed. To live in that manner, however, would be foolish, especially given that two-thirds of Christ's ministry before the cross involved the devil or the demonic world. That, my friend, is a substantial percentage!
In this Source, "The Contender," we pull back the veil on spiritual warfare by exposing the Enemy and examining our weapons of choice. Our goal is not to spook our students, but to convince them not to take this whole thing lightly. It really is a big deal in the eyes of Jesus. The people who make Hell laugh are those who act as if it is not.
Fortunately, while the battle is real, if we have Christ in our lives, the Bible makes it clear that we will be the ultimate victor. Despite that fact, the Enemy still wants to engage us in battle and derail our lives, even if only momentarily. We cannot allow that to happen! Learning how to put on our armor and draw our weapons will prevent it!
Fighting with you,
In this Source we hope to provide you and your students with a diagnosis and cure for what we're calling "Spiritual Schizophrenia." Have you ever suffered from it? I know I have. I know Peter and Judas did as well.
"Spiritual Schizophrenia" is an illness where you struggle making your "spiritual world" match your "everyday world." While the Enemy would love for you to think it's a fatal disease, it's not. There is hope. The game is not over. Together, let's uncover the symptoms, causes and cure for this dreaded disease.
So grab a cup of coffee and a tissue. In this Source not only will you laugh a little, but you might cry a little as well. If I haven't said it in awhile, thanks for letting me be a part of your life my friend.
There are very few books in my life that I read and re-read. Tonight's message is based on one of those books for me. Gene Edwards' "Tale of Three Kings," which I think is a must read for anyone in ministry. It is one of those books that I read at least once a year.
As I was putting together the message for tonight, "The Fine Art of Spear Throwing," I sensed it may be over some of my kids' heads, having students in the room ranging from junior high to college. But I took a risk, and it paid off. So whether you use this night for your own youth ministry or not, it sure will be a night you will want to listen to over and over again for your own walk with Christ.
Fighting for the "Order of David,"
In the spirit realm, unforgiveness always emotionally chains you to the person you are not forgiving. The truth is that forgiveness is hard. It's easy not to forgive because we don't feel like we can or we think it lets the person off the hook from what they've done. In reality though, unforgiveness is like drinking a cup of poison and expecting the other person to die from it.
In this month's Source, "Who Are You Chained To?" I'm sharing with our students five practical ways to unchain yourself from people who have wounded you. I promise you, for your students and your adult leaders alike, this will be an incredibly helpful message.
Taking off the chains,