Help me now to always be in submission to you God,
to be dependent upon You,
found on the path where You do walk
and where your Holy Spirit moves,
warning me of my wandering ways
and of growing insensitive to your love.
You do not move men like stones are moved,
rather you indwell them with life
not to give us permission to move without You
but in submission to You, the one who moves first.
O Lord, I am astonished at the difference
between what I have received and what I deserve;
between the state I am in now and my past state of despair;
between the heaven that I am bound for, and the hell I merit.
Who could have caused this great difference in me but you O God!
for I was no more willing to receive Christ than any other man.
I could not have taken the first step toward you,
had you not first loved me;
nor would I have even been willing,
had you not first made me able.
O that such a crown would fit the head of such a sinner like me!
such a glorious position for one as unfruitful as myself!
such joys so wondrous for a rebel so wretched!
Infinite wisdom designs the means and ends of salvation,
established and built on divine purchase and spiritual freedom.
Let wrath deserved be written on the door of hell.
But the free gift of grace on the gates of heaven.
I know that much of my suffering is the result of my own sinning,
but in heaven both will no longer exist.
Permit me by your grace to set foot on that eternal shore,
and to be done with my sailing in this life;
may the powerful winds of your mercy blow me safely into that glorious harbor.
May your steadfast love draw me ever nearer to you;
purify me from my selfishness,
teach me to die to this world,
and make me ready for my departure for my eternal home.
Secure me, Lord, by your grace as I sail across this stormy sea.
– Translation from The Mover, Valley of Vision, p.12
Last month, the Barna Group reviled the results of their 2016 Teen State of the Bible research. If you have a few extra moments, I’d recommend reading over the full results. There are many positive responses that can encourage us, but here are a few that may renew our resolve to help kids understand the Bible.
That’s a simplified look at the minds of teens when it comes to the Bible. Now, let’s look at what a preteen mind can comprehend about the Bible. (These come from Lifeway’s Levels of Biblical Learning, something that our leaders are being equipped with as they reach our kids.)
Parents, help your preteens understand these concepts. Make Bible reading a special time in your home!
When looking for inspiration for upcoming blog posts, I came across a blog topic generator. You insert a few nouns you want to write about, and it would give you the titles of potential blog posts. I gave it a shot and typed Jesus as the noun to use. The results were a little humorous.
5 Tools Everyone In The Jesus Industry Should Be Using
10 Signs You Should Invest In Jesus
What Will Jesus Be Like In 100 Years?
10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Jesus
The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Jesus
7 Things About Jesus Your Boss Wants To Know
It’s a silly example, but how often do we treat Jesus as just another noun…like a person from the past, a place you occasionally visit, or a thing to be studied and put back down. Jesus is more than that. In fact, He is the creator of all people, places, and things (Colossians 1:16). Jesus is our peace that reconciles us to God. If you want to know more information about going from Jesus as a noun to Jesus as your savior, click here.
I read an interesting fact the other day in Children’s Ministry Magazine. According to Pew Research, 40 percent of Americans say they rarely or never talk about religion, even with their own families.
It’s my hope that parents take the spiritual leader role and Proverbs 22:6 to heart.
Talking with your children about God and our faith isn’t hard! Here are some simple tips and tricks to get you started…
1) Be Learner-Based. We love being learner-based around here. Part of that means knowing which ways are kids learn best. Sometimes you can get a deeper discussion time in by using things like music or art. Ask kids to draw you a picture of what they learned in Sunday school instead of just asking. Review the songs we sang at church and see if kids can tell you why Jason felt led to include those in the service. Even a game of basketball can turn into a discussion of how we’re all one body working together.
2) Know What Kids Can Understand. LifeWay has an amazing resource that can help you next time you talk with your kids. It’s called the Levels of Biblical Learning. It puts kids into six different levels based on age, and can help you know what they can comprehend in 10 different faith-based areas. Use this to help guide your conversations to a level your children can really understand.
3) Family Devotionals. Faith conversations can happen anytime and in any place. Always be on the look out for those moments. But, you can also be intentional and plan family devotional times. There are some good ones out there, including Long Story Short and an audio based one that you play in your car that you can find in our library!
Note: This is the fifth in a five part series on devotionals for adults from CentriKid camps. See part one for more information.
STATION 5: Asking for Peace
In the midst of your job, your school, your family responsibilities, and even taking care of yourself, you are here with burdens and needs for which only God can provide. More than likely, there is a situation in your life that is preventing you from feeling daily peace. Perhaps it is choosing a major or deciding what you will do after college. It might be related to your relationships, your family, your job, your finances, or numerous other circumstances. Regardless of the situation, God can provide peace for you.
Have you asked God to calm that storm? Have you boldly asked your Father for wisdom in these situations? As a child of God, you should feel no hesitation or shame in asking your Father for what you need. By asking God to provide for that need, He can also grant boldness for you.
Think of a request for peace that you want to ask of God:
I’m asking God to provide peace for____________________________________________________.
Now, simply pray. Start by expressing to God what is on your heart. Remember these words from Matthew 7:8:
“Everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will opened.”
Through prayer, you enter into the presence of the One for whom nothing is impossible, and He alone can supply all your needs. Trust in Him right now to provide for every need you may have.