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Youth Ministry Blog

The following blog will enable you to stay updated on our most recent teaching and prayerfully encourage you in your relationship with Jesus Christ. If you ever have any prayer requests or questions always feel free to contact me aedwards@fbcconcord.org .
 

Selflessness: Imitating Christ in a Selfish Culture

We live in a culture that’s saturated with selfishness. From all angles, we are thrusted toward self-seeking lifestyles and attitudes. Some would argue that this evaluation is pessimistic and would point to the actions of others displayed in crisis. However, it’s easy to notice that it takes catastrophic moments to compel us to selfless acts from our apathy. For we know it will not take long for us to move back into our usual self-centered habits.

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The Exclusivity of Jesus

On Monday morning while preparing for the day, I witnessed on television the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel. During the dedication ceremony, a Southern Baptist pastor from Dallas, Tx was invited to pray at the opening and concluded his prayer with the phrase, “in the name of Jesus.” For Christians, such as this pastor, this expression points to the exclusivity of Jesus as the only way to relationship with God. As you could imagine, some backlash would follow from media outlets and politicians, including politicians who aligned with the pastor’s own political affiliation. Nowadays, as Christians, we are not surprised at the hostility toward the exclusivity of Jesus, but even simple moments such as this might catch us off guard. Has the truth claim of Jesus Christ really become that offensive in American culture? Will this hostility continue to expand in the coming years?


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Force-Fed Religion?

 It’s quite possible you’ve heard the notion that Christians “force religion down the throats of others.” At this moment, we confess that at times over the centuries some in the name of Christianity have very well use power to force supposed conversion (emphasis added). However, in observing the ministry and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, we witness that Jesus didn’t conquer by force, but by engaging hearts! Even Napoleon, the renown French Emperor took note that Jesus was a different kind of king with a different kind of kingdom. Even when standing before Pilate, Jesus declared that his kingship had nothing to do with force-fed religion but had everything to do with finding willing followers. Even when Jesus was falsely accused or mocked, he never fought back and didn’t push himself on anyone.

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How to Respond in Trials (James 1:1-8, 12)

Beginning in September 2017, we began a new series on Sunday evenings for youth from the letter of James. Praying and discerning where to begin a new series for the school year, I was naturally inclined to work through a book that wrestled with the daily aspects of the Christian life. Our students, though hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ in multiple settings with many responding by faith, have struggled at times living out their new life in Christ. This is nothing new. All believers should be growing in their walk with Christ and all believers struggle at times, even falling into temptation. Therefore, with these realities in mind, we turn to James for biblical wisdom.

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Reflections on Kung Fu Panda 3

First and Foremost, thank you students for participating in Mystery Night. I hope you had a great time just relaxing and spending time together. One of the activities during the night was attending AMC Concord Mills 24 theaters for the 5:40 P.M. showing of “Kung Fu Panda 3.” There were many good aspects to the movie, but one of the main ideas that ran throughout the movie that might have been new to you was the Chinese worldview of Chi. Reviewing this movie, “Plugged In Movie Reviews” describes Chi as “the energy that flows through every living thing.” The only way to control or direct your Chi is through mastering or knowing yourself.


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Whom do you Trust in the Midst of the Battle? (Read Psalm 3)

Life is a spiritual battle! Life is a struggle! Our Bibles do not ignore this. This has been true ever since the fall of man. David, the former king of Israel and beloved Old Testament person, was not immune to a battle either. Following David’s adultery with Bathsheba, life began to go downhill for David. So far downhill that even his son, Absalom, turned on him, won over many hearts in Jerusalem, and forced David to leave his own palace. These series of events are recorded in 2 Samuel 15-19, but his response to this battle is recorded in Psalm 3. In this personal prayer, in the midst of impending danger, i.e. a battle, he begins to complain about his enemies, but then turns to God in confidence and assurance that he will give him the ultimate victory.

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Do you feel secure? Paul Blart vs. God

Romans 8:26-30 (ESV)

(26) Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (27) And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (28) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (29) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (30) And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

If you watch any comedy movies, you are probably aware of Kevin James and his ability to make you laugh. In recent years he has been the star of the movie series “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” Both movies revolve around the theme of “security.” If you have watched either movie, you are aware of the inability of “Paul Blart” to keep people secure at times in the mall or the Las Vegas hotel. Sometimes, he literally just falls flat on his face. However, does God ever fall flat on his face? Is our salvation in God secure or is there a possibility that he might fail us? This passage in Romans answers this question.


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Friday, November 28, 2014

Romans 2:4-5, 11 NLT
(Read Romans 2:1-11)
 
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishments for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed…For God does not show favoritism.”

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Romans 1:18a
(Read Romans 1:18-32)
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…” God’s wrath, as described here, is his holy reaction to sin. As well, in this verse, it’s directed to a particular action: the suppression of truth. Human beings have knowledge about God because God has revealed his existence and his “divine qualities” through the world he has created. Since God revealed himself through creation, human beings have no excuse before him.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Romans 1:16-17 (ESV)

(16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (17) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Do you wonder why Paul was so eager to tell everyone about the gospel (Rom 1:14-15)? The reason why is because Paul believed the gospel was the saving power of God, in which the righteousness of God is revealed. Though the gospel is the power of God, we as Christians are tempted to be ashamed of the message.

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