Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Theme Verse for Youth Ministry

Titus 2:6-8
Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Who are those who oppose?
The students I teach?
Their parents?

Young people need an example. Even more than another lecture, teens need a living, breathing, genuine display of the truth we teach. If our lives do not match the love we profess... if our actions don't support the advice we give... if our relationships don't reflect the righteousness we demand, then we out to be ashamed; we fail.

Lord, let my life and actions and relationships reflect Your truth. Let everything I say and do point my kids to You. Let Your Spirit be seen in me. Amen

Monday, July 6, 2009

Marks of Godliness

Titus 1:15-16
"To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work."

True godliness is not revealed by a list of religious rituals or pious tasks checked off. Godliness is not about jumping through hoops or avoiding certain cultural Christian taboos. Godliness is not cavalier confidence or allowance to do whatever one pleases in the name of Christian liberty and for the sake of forgiveness.
True godliness is about knowing God in a manner that produces both conscience and love. A godly conscience is demonstrated by holiness, avoidance of sin and clear personal boundaries based on the internal leading of the Holy Spirit. Love is demonstrated by submission to one another out of reverence for Christ; leading to sacrifice, service and good works. These marks of godliness are the fruit of a mind that hungers to know God, to feed on His word and to hear from His Spirit.
Can I recognize these marks in my life? Can I identify these hungers within me? Is my confidence in rituals and religiosity or is it rooted in a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ? Am I listening to the Holy Spirit moment by moment or am I following my own hungers and my own set of religious expectations?

Father, deepen my love and intimacy with You. Let me come to know You more. Produce in me a pure conscience and genuine love as I submit to You and others, reflecting Your glory. Let my faith and godliness be pure. Amen.