magicmindjames

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Archive for the tag “Youth ministry”

Happiness Is… Teen Devotion

Happiness Is…

One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts, once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness – simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain. – George Sand (1804 – 1876)

Are you happy? Are you sure? I’m pretty sure that most people want happiness, yet I’m also convinced that they are trying to gain it through all the wrong ways. It’s almost as if their lives are like a long drive trying to get to a certain destination, but they keep taking mistaken turns and eventually are lost in a myriad of dead end streets.

Do you think that God wants you to be happy? I’ve heard sermons from both sides- and I find it fascinating that those who think God is against happiness are generally pretty sour faced themselves. Conversely those who preach a gospel of giddy glee are usually livin’ la vida loca!

For me, I’d say yes and no. Yes God wants you to be happy, but not at the expense of being holy. Jesus actually gave us step by step instructions for inner joy- and the reason He took time to do that was because He really does care about the state of your personal being. He also delineates on delighting in life because He definitely wants you to watch out for the Devil‘s guidebook to happiness.

So let’s take a look at the blueprint of Jesus (Matthew 5:3-11) and the bull of the Devil (stuff I made up):

  • Jesus: “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”
  • Satan: “You’re happy when you get your own way. With more of you there is less of that ridiculous God stuff.”
  • Jesus: “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”
  • Satan: “You’re happy when you feel like you got everything you’ve ever wanted. Then you won’t have to be embraced by anyone.”
  • Jesus: “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are–no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”
  • Satan: “You’ll never be happy unless you are just like the beautiful people on magazines and in movies. That’s the moment you’ll find that everyone is jealous of you.”
  • Jesus: “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.”
  • Satan: “You’re happy when you get away from the silly Sunday School talk. God is smoke and mirrors and His way is the worst way to live life.”
  • Jesus: “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being “careful,’ you find yourselves cared for.”
  • Satan: “You’re happy when you only care about yourself. Those people out there don’t deserve your concern.”
  • Jesus: “You’re blessed when you get your inside world–your mind and heart–put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.”
  • Satan: “You’re happy when you only concern is your outer world- looks, clothes, and toys.”
  • Jesus: “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”
  • Satan: “You’re happy when you get on the side of the powerful people in the world. That’s when you make friends whom you can use later on.”
  • Jesus: “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. “Not only that–count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable.”
  • Satan: “You’re happy when your beliefs don’t offend anyone. Who are you to push your morality on anyone else? Stay happy by keeping everyone else happy.”

I think you see the difference…happiness is all in the eye of the beholder. Just keep in mind the Eye that beholds you is the only One who can see you through to true contentment.

Questions:

What or whom are you looking to for happiness?

Does Jesus or the Devil make more sense? Why?

Which of Jesus’ ideas are you willing to give a try?

via Happiness Is… Teen Devotion – Dare 2 Share Youth Ministry Resources.

God is my source of everything, the One who gives me not only Happiness but True Joy, that is everlasting :D God Bless you All
Advertisements

Got School? Teen Devotion

Got School?

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12-13)

School is back in session! (No kidding Lane, thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you’re at it, why don’t you give me a nice paper cut, and pour lemon juice on it?)

School is ultimately about being educated…but don’t forget to keep the main thing the main thing. Try grading yourself with the list below, and see how well you are being schooled.

  • If I learn my ABCs, can read 600 words per minute, and can write with perfect penmanship, but have not been shown how to communicate with the Designer of all language, I have not been educated.
  • If I can deliver an eloquent speech and persuade you with my stunning logic, but have not been instructed in God’s wisdom, I have not been educated.
  • If I have read Shakespeare and John Locke and can discuss their writings with keen insight, but have not read the greatest of all books – the Bible – and have no knowledge of its personal importance, I have not been educated.
  • If I have memorized addition facts, multiplication tables, and chemical formulas, but have never been disciplined to hide God’s Word in my heart, I have not been educated.
  • If I can explain the law of gravity and Einstein’s theory of relativity, but have never been instructed in the unchangeable laws of the One Who orders our universe, I have not been educated.
  • If I can classify animals by their family, genus and species, and can write a lengthy scientific paper that wins an award, but have not been introduced to the Maker’s purpose for all creation, I have not been educated.
  • If I can recite the Gettysburg Address and the Preamble to the Constitution, but have not been informed of the hand of God in the history of our country, I have not been educated.
  • If I can play the piano, the violin, six other instruments, and can write music that moves men to tears, but have not been taught to listen to the Director of the universe and worship him, I have not been educated.
  • If I can run cross-country races, star in basketball, and do 100 push-ups without stopping, but have never been shown how to bend my spirit to do God’s will, I have not been educated.
  • If I can identify a Picasso, describe the style of da Vinci, and even paint a portrait that earns an A+, but have not learned that all harmony and beauty comes from a relationship with God, I have not been educated.
  • If I graduate with a perfect 4.0 and am accepted at the best university with a full scholarship, but have not been guided into a career of God’s choosing for me, I have not been educated.
  • If I become a good citizen, voting at each election and fighting for what is moral and right, but have not been told of the sinfulness of mankind and our hopelessness without Christ, I have not been educated.

However…

If one day I see the world as God sees it, and come to know Him, Whom to know is life eternal, and glorify God by fulfilling His purpose for me-

Then, I have been educated!

(Author Unknown)

Questions:

  1. How well am I truly being ‘educated’?
  2. If Christ came back today, would He recognize you? Why or why not?
  3. Which area(s) of my ‘education’ do I need to work on the most?

via Got School? Teen Devotion – Dare 2 Share Youth Ministry Resources.

        All things comes from Him, and it is right to consider Him in all things. I desire nothing but the Lord’s will be done in my life. To God Be All the Glory

Got Prophecy? Teen Devotion

Got Prophecy?

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (II Peter 1:16)

There are well over 300 fulfilled prophecies concerning Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. According to author Lee Strobel, the statistical probabilities of just 49 of these prophecies to be actually fulfilled is 1 x 10157. That’s one out of 10 with one hundred fifty seven zeroes! That is the same statistical chance of a blind man randomly picking a pre-marked molecule after wandering a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion billion universes!

When you do the math on the prophecies that have already been fulfilled, it’s impossible to honestly walk away from the Scriptures believing that it was random chance. In fact, I believe it takes more faith to deny Jesus Christ than to accept Him and His claims. Why? Check this out: Unlike ancient foretellers and modern “psychics”, God‘s standard for fulfilled prophecy is 100%.

“You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken.” Deuteronomy 18:21-22

If you missed even one prediction, you were a false prophet. If you were a false prophet, you were put to death. Think about that for a moment. If the “forecasters” on the psychic phone networks out there lived in Old Testament times, they would have had a very short career span (as well as life span). Yet some people today put more stock in those freakshows than they do the Word of God!

As for Christians, we have people like Daniel on our “psychic hotline”- remember the story of Daniel and the bad kitties? Anyway, he did much more than avoid being Lion Chow. For example, five hundred years before Christ even lived; Daniel predicted the demise of the Babylonian Kingdom, the rise of the Persian, Grecian and Roman kingdoms. He also predicted accurately the rise and fall of Alexander the Great and the four generals that would take over after his death.

Kinda sends a chill down my spine!

Daniel even foretold precisely the time of Christ’s death in Daniel 9:25-26. We could on and on, but the point is that your faith in the Bible being God’s Word is no leap in the dark. In fact, the Bible backs up its claims far better than any other religious text.

So don’t be intimidated by those around you who chatter against God’s Word. They have no idea what they are talking about, and truth is on your side. When you do the math, it is crystal clear that the Word of God stands head and shoulders above every other book ever written. It is, without a doubt, the book of books.

Also, don’t be afraid to completely trust the words of Scripture. It is God’s message to the world, and following its truth is the only hope of life in the universe.

Questions:

Why do most unbelievers refuse to do the math?

What are some ways you can defend your faith more effectively?

Why do some Christians doubt God’s Word?

What do you need to do to study God’s Word on a regular basis?

via Got Prophecy? Teen Devotion – Dare 2 Share Youth Ministry Resources.

               God has truly set a plan for everyone. This morning my mom and I spent 2 hours in talking about the gospel, me sharing to her about Jesus and what He is all about and what we should all be about in line with God’s desire that’s noted in the Bible. There’s is non like Jesus. God Bless you all 🙂

Rejected, But Not Forsaken! « Healing For The Nation

Beloved, are you a participant in the ungodly deed of rejecting people? I will not judge you, but if you are, you are working against the Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God is open for all men to enter. God does not love any ethnicity more than another. Yet we have ministers who will stand in a pulpit, and preach that the children of Ham are cursed, when nothing could be further from  the truth. I don’t mean any

harm, but these are ignorant, and unlearned men, who don’t understand the bible, or the Grace of God.

Let’s be real today. Black people have been hated by western civilization ever since they came to power. Everything imaginable has been done to these people in the name of God. Let me make this perfectly clear, GOD IS NOT A RACIST! He did not curse Black People. Yet we have people who claim to be Christians who absolutely abhor them. Hatred is not of God. Hatred comes from the force of evil within the hearts of men, and is from the kingdom of darkness.

In the name of supremacy, so much evil has been done to this people. Why? It is not of God, so why do people fool themselves that God is with them in this hatred. They are deceived into thinking that good is evil, and evil is good. Let me make this clear, God is not with you in your hatred of his people. Yes, they are his people.

via Rejected, But Not Forsaken! « Healing For The Nation.

This is a perfect message for all the Lady Gaga Controversies that’s been going around. Sure I’m not a big fan of Lady Gaga but I don’t hate her, I’m what you call indifferent. But nonetheless God doesn’t teach a believer to be just indifferent but He wants working Christians, living and able to do His work.

Lady Gaga really is something of a strange person, but God heals the sick (I’m not saying she’s sick) or otherwise, so let God do the healing, He will use instruments, even people in doing so, and it would not come in the form of hatred, and if you have hatred, you are not of God.

Got Peace? Teen Devotion

Got Peace?

There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them. 
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful 
The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
 
when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest… perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize?

The King chose the second picture. “Because,” explained the King, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning 
Seems to me that most of us would have chosen the first picture- I know I would have. And do you know why? Because we’ve been deceived into thinking that 
peace is a by-product of circumstances. That at some point we will get all of our stuff together, and all will be as calm as a mountain lake on a perfect dayof peace.” (Catherine Marshall)

So we toil and strive trying to find tranquility in our lives by trying to remove all that seems difficult. In the back of our minds is a little voice saying: “if only…”

  • If only I didn’t have to go to school
  • If only I didn’t have to work
  • If only I had a different family
  • If only I had more money
  • If only I had more time
  • If only (fill in the blank), I would have more peace in my life.

Meanwhile, God in Heaven is longing to give you the stillness you are looking for…and He is whispering “If only you would look to me for true peace, I would give it to you”.

The King in the story is right. True peace can be found even in the midst of the most difficult and trying circumstances, because God lives inside you. He really desires for you to live life the way He designed it, which is to be at peace with yourself and the world around you.

So how do you get there?

Not by changing your circumstances, because you really don’t have a lot of control in that area. Oh sure, you have choices, but you cannot control the choices that other people make-which is usually what ends up trashing our tranquility.

The secret to internal peace is changing your perspective. Here’s the advice God gives:

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3)

Simple principle, don’t you think? Yet sometimes very difficult to apply. Basically, if your mind is constantly fixed on God and His Word, there remains no room for the attacks of worry and stress that kill any hope of peace in our lives. Like the little bird, we need to quit looking around and start looking up to our Creator, and repeating over and over what He has already promised us.

Where to start? Here are a few promises that you can stash in your nest for future study:

  • Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27)
  • I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is…peace (Galatians 5:22)
  • Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6)

Got peace?

Questions:

How many hours of the day do you experience true peace?

What is keeping you from fixing your thoughts on God?

Which verse from the ones above speaks the loudest to you right now?

via Got Peace? Teen Devotion – Dare 2 Share Youth Ministry Resources.

        Just this morning as I was reading this, my pessimistic mother was bombarding me with discouraging thoughts about life, and how our family is so poor and everything, but no matter how much she insists that, A promise of God always pop-ups to my mind, the promise goes something like... "seek first the kingdom of God and everything shall be added unto you." 
         Dear brothers and sisters, God is such a big celebrity, all of his fans (children) would always get the critics up in their faces, always questioning, always wanting, always whining about something, God tells us to be at peace, just seek Him and you will be equipped with wisdom you cannot fathom for it is God's not yours. 
God Bless you all this Sunday :)

Got Challenges? Teen Devotion

Got Challenges?

I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. (II Timothy 4:7)

There is a famous shoe company who’s motto is: Just Do It!

Well maybe that works in the sports arena, but it gets a little tougher when it comes to life. It seems like sometimes the older we get, the more cynical we become towards life. That’s exactly what Satan would want! The devil throws disappointment our way for that very reason. He doesn’t need to turn us into satanists, just get us whiney, weepy, and wimpy. So here is a reminder of a different kind of life motto: “Just Do It Anyway”

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.

Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest minds.

Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.

Fight for the underdog anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway.

People really need help, but may attack you if you help them.

Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you’ve got and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

(Mother Theresa)

via Got Challenges? Teen Devotion – Dare 2 Share Youth Ministry Resources.

                    I guess I’ll blog about my daily devotions. People let the pride get the best of them, this is a great reminder for us all that life is disappointing, so you don’t have to keep whining about it. Grab your work by the neck, hold tight, if it slips, hold it again. Just do it anyway. God Bless us All 🙂

Questions:

  1. Have you given up on most people?
  2. How has Satan made you bitter in the past?
  3. Is your life more challenging than Mother Theresa?

Post Navigation