JANUARY 31, 2024

JANUARY 31, 2024

Dear Friends,
 
This weekend is a big weekend for our students. 

 

The D-Now weekend is an opportunity for students to work together, have fun together and grow together spiritually.  I hope you’ll be praying for these young people, Pastor Cole and our Roots volunteers.
 
It’s interesting to me that we know nothing about Jesus when he was a teenager.  The only glimpse we have of Jesus between the time when He was a baby until He began His ministry as a young man is found in Luke 2.  It’s an account you likely know well.  Twelve-year-old Jesus and His family are coming back from the Feast of the Passover, when Mary and Joseph realize their oldest son is missing.  They find Him back in Jerusalem, in the Temple, interacting with the Rabbis.  He tells His parents they should have known their Son would be in His Father’s house.  Luke says Jesus’ parents had no idea what their Son was talking about.
 
As I think about this account from the life of Jesus, I’m struck by the fact that at age 12, Jesus had a clear sense of calling and mission.  It’s important to keep in mind that Jesus, according to Luke, was still growing in wisdom.  We don’t know how many of the dots He would have connected at this point regarding His mission and His ministry. 
 
When He heard for the first time the story of Isaac lying on the altar about to be sacrificed, did He understand that Isaac was a type of the Messiah? 
 
When He learned the historical account of Joseph being beaten by his brothers, thrown into a pit left for dead, how much of the big picture was this young boy able to see?   
 
At what age did He understand that Isaiah 53 was a prophecy about how the Messiah would suffer and die? 
 
I think by the time Jesus was twelve, He was beginning to sense that God has a unique plan for Him.  Did he realize at age twelve that He was, in fact, the Messiah?  Maybe.  Maybe not.    
 
Did He know at this young age that He was God incarnate?  We don’t know.  But if I had to guess, I would imagine that He didn’t have it all figured out.  He was God in human flesh.  But He was still growing in wisdom.
 
Think about this.  At age twelve, Jesus was not too young to begin to understand His mission.  And it’s not too young for our students either. 
 
We often tell young people that they can be anything they want to be as long as they work hard and do their best.  We tell them “you can be a concert pianist or a superstar basketball player or a Nobel Prize winner.” 
 
But it seems to me that we ought not be telling young people that to strive to be whatever they want to be.  We should be pointing them toward the goal of discovering God’s plan and purpose and design for their lives.  To begin pursuing that goal.  And that they shouldn’t be waiting until they graduate from high school to think about God’s purpose and plan for their lives. 
 
Young people ought to start thinking now about how God has gifted them.  About the talents and abilities has He given them.  About their desires and passions.  About the opportunities they have been given.  And as they think about these things, then can begin putting it all together and asking themselves “How can I take who I am and the gifts and passions and abilities God has given me and put those all together to work to serve Him and advance the work of His Kingdom. 
 
That’s what Jesus was thinking about when He was twelve.  Our sons and daughters ought to be thinking about these things as well.    
 
But it’s not just teenagers who ought to be thinking about what God has for them.  Ephesians 2:10 says that each one of us is God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which He has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  God has a mission for each one of us.  Are we living out His purposes for our lives?  Or have we become distracted by lesser things?
 
The sooner we orient our lives, our activities and our desires around serving King Jesus and advancing His kingdom, the better off we’ll be. 
 
Live for yourself, and you’ll quickly find (as King Solomon did) that life is empty.  Without a transcendent purpose, our lives like the noble purpose God intends us to have. 
 
Live a life on mission, following God’s plan for your life, and you will experience the abundant life Jesus promises. 
 
Jesus was on mission as early as age twelve.  My prayer is that our students would be living their lives on mission beginning now, and then continuing on throughout their lives. 
 
And for the rest of us, it’s never too late to recalibrate and begin pursuing God’s purpose and design for you.  Seek first the Kingdom, Jesus tells us.  And His righteousness.  And everything else will fall in place.
 
 
 
  
Don’t forget, the D-Now weekend wraps up on Sunday with a bake sale to help raise funds for the Street Reach summer missions trip. 

  

If you’ve signed up bring goodies, don’t forget.  And make sure you plan to take some treats home with you this week after church.
 
  
 

Guys, next Tuesday night we’re continuing our Stepping Up men’s study.  I’m bringing goulash at 6:15. The session starts at 7:00.  Even if you’ve never attended one of these studies, you’re welcome to join us for some good food and great conversations.

  
   

 

We’re a little more than a week away from the start of Super Bowl weekend.  And it all kicks off with a night of Super Bowling!

  

You should plan to come!  Register by clicking here
 
 
And start thinking now about the soup you want to bring on Sunday, February 11 for our annual all church Soup-er Bowl Sunday lunch.  Whatever sounds good to you – bring it in a crock pot and we’ll have it ready to serve as soon as church is over.

   
   

 
 
I mentioned on Sunday the study through the book of Romans that Curtis Thomas is planning to lead beginning this month.  The plan is to meet on Sunday nights.
 
If you need more details or you’re interested in being part of the study, contact Curtis and let him know.  c-b.thomas@sbcglobal.net
 
 


One last thing.
 
Our Spring Men’s Retreat is now five weeks away.  We have space for 32 guys. It’s happening at the Cross Heirs Retreat Center, about an hour east of here.  And trust me, it will be a great weekend.

 

Registration is now open.  Click here for more info or to sign up.  It’s one night away from home.  The cost is $100 and that includes four meals – from Friday dinner through Saturday dinner.  Trent Griffith will be our speaker.
 

 
 
Most of us, when we think about Jesus, get our picture of Him from the accounts found in the four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  This Sunday, we’ll see a very different portrait of Jesus found in Revelation 1.  It’s a clear picture of the Jesus who is coming again.

 
 

See you in church.
 
Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

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