In Acts 1:8-11, the ascension of Jesus Christ takes place. Something special happened as Jesus gave his final instructions and shot off into the clouds. What was it? What does this event have to do with you?
When Jesus ascended to heaven, an eternal hand-off from Jesus to the disciples. 3 years of public ministry had come to an end and now it is up to them. And now it is up to us. In John 16, Jesus said it would be to the disciples advantage that he would leave…because then…you would get the Holy Spirit.
Let me ask you this – I understand this was a promise for the disciples…but is this a different Holy Spirit? A different source of power than the HS that lives in us? Are we to be a witness to a different Jesus? We have the power to be a witness for Jesus in our neighborhood, our community, our workplace..and we as a church are giving to missions, some of us are answering the call to missions to allow the Gospel to go to the ends of the earth.
If a loved one held your hand before they passed, and they gave you final instruction… would you listen? People, this was Jesus’ last instruction before leaving earth. So church…ARE YOU? Are you being a witness to others? Your mission is to spread the Gospel, the message of Jesus…He came, He died, He rose again…and He left – and has chosen us to spread Word about Him, His love, and His Salvation. Will you?
Before I get to the point…watch this incredible story of a Dad and his son.
You have experienced Amazing Grace if you have salvation. And you have been given new eyes, a new focus, new meaning…a new life. You have new sight. You have been looking at the ground all this time…at this world hoping to find happiness, joy, and fulfillment. Now, you can look up, and you can SEE. You have been given new life. From death to life.
And with these new eyes, How dare we look down on anyone else in the sense that we are any better – No, if anything we should have a better understanding of where they are – and where they could be! It should break our heart – motivate us to share how they could be rescued, delivered from death to life.
To sum up…you have salvation, NOW WHAT? Live a life as if you have been given a new life (because you have), and share this new way of living with those that have not experienced it. LIVE & SHARE!
This is a clip from this sermon. Clink on the link to hear more.
That seems like a silly question. Couldn’t all parents use at least a little help with parenting. Paul Tripp wrote a book called “Parenting”. You know what it is about? Parenting. Seriously though, it’s more than that. This book has a dynamite combination. Sometimes when you combine two things, it’s not so great. Like hot dogs and mayonnaise, not what the doctor ordered. Or how about stripes and plaids? Gasoline and an open flame? These are all disasters waiting to happen. But when you combine a parenting book with the Gospel, you get a must read.
Don’t Skip the Intro. What a way to set up a book! Like a great pregame from a coach, the author’s motivation in the opening pages is impeccable. Not sure about the book, read the intro and you’ll be asking “Where do I sign?”
Gospel-Centered. The author’s web page suggested his concern of parenting self-help books, and even his previous parenting books being held in more importance than God’s Word. So, the author goes all out in taking the Gospel into parenting, rather than the other way around. And he does a masterful job of instilling Gospel principles into everyday parenting. It’s not too over the top, the “porridge” tastes just right.
That Didn’t Take Long. Read a chapter and set a timer…it won’t be very long until you are tested with these practical principles from God’s Word. These chapters are filled with practical lessons, that are both challenging and convicting. And it doesn’t take long for you to be tested on the material.
This, This, and This. The author has a certain style. He like a particular mode of writing. The book is filled with a specific literary technique. I was trying to be subtle there, but the author tends to lean on a repetitive style of writing, and enjoys repeating a phrase in different ways. Most of the time, it is very effective and needed, but every once in a while the list just seems redundant.
The Grade: A. For any phase of parenting, this book is a must read. Read it before having kids. Read it when you are in the heat of the battle. Read it as a grandparent. Suggest it to friends. Suggest it in parent meetings. It’s a must read. It goes to the heart of both the parent and the child, and it does not let go. It is enlightening, frustratingly challenging, spiritually uplifting, directionally on target, and never wavers from the truth of God’s Word. It is a must read.
This past week I was able to attend the Vision for Youth – National Youth Ministries Conference. Clarks Summit University hosted speakers from all over, training youth workers and pastors in youth ministry. Here are a few of the highlights of what I learned:
Maybe you can attend next year! Check out the ministry of vision for youth, and see if they can of help to you in your youth ministry… http://vfyouth.org/
Biblical. Imagine that! A devotional that is actually devoted to God’s Word. Not only does it provide additional Bible reading for each devotion, there was often passages of Scripture weaved in and out of each page. The Bible was the foundation for the writing. This was not simply thoughts of a writer for a daily pick-me-up. This was a devotional written how it should be.
Honest. Love the honesty of the writer throughout. Often, he would reveal how he fell short of the exact content of the devotional. The raw, honest struggles that were revealed allows the reader to connect with the author in a more personal way.
Deep. You won’t need a shovel to get depth on this one, but you may need to take a break before you climb out of the deep well of thinking. Man, this dude brings it in theological constructs, Biblical insight, and Christian life application. Good thing this is a daily devotion and can be taken one day at a time.
Lists. There is a pattern, outline, array, summary, framework…I think you get the point. The author enjoyed lists. He would often list out a description of something in multiple ways, and the reader had to wade through the list to get to the point. The good part of this is many times those lists contained some real gems that needed underlined and examined.
The Grade: A. One of my all-time favorite devotionals. Seriously, with the depth, insight, and challenge…Paul Tripp brings the thunder to help produce real growth and knowledge of your spiritual condition. It is worth your time and is valuable to your quiet time with the Lord.
Another year and more goals for the Lord to accomplish! It’s great to look forward to another year of serving in youth ministry and another year of God doing amazing things. This is just the tip of the iceberg…because I know God will do so much more. But still, it’s always good to put goals out there to aim at as the Lord directs our shots.
In January of this year, I posted my ministry goals for 2016. When you make goals, it’s a balance of faith, attainability, and measurability. Let’s take a look and see what God did this year…