Archive for the ‘Spiritual Disciplines & Discipleship’ Category

God’s Reasoning with Teens and Young Adults

“Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.”
This is God’s Message:
“If your sins are blood-red,
they’ll be snow-white.
If they’re red like crimson,
they’ll be like wool.
If you’ll willingly obey,
you’ll feast like kings.
But if you’re willful and stubborn,
you’ll die like dogs.”

That’s right. God says so.
Isa. 1:18-20 (The Message Bible)

Isaiah is a young man, around the age of twenty, when he utters this prophecy. His ministry is one which will span the course of some 64 years – it is a ministry founded upon these first words God spoke to him while living in Judah (which literally means “praise”). His, was a call unto the holiness of God, a promise of purity in life… resulting in the future prosperity of the saints of Israel (and much later, the entirety of God’s creation)! Isaiah’s definitive “yes-answer” to this call would sustain him throughout his 84-years on this planet!

It’s at this crucial time that God promotes both youthful exuberance & a spiritual zeal for the things of God in the young and inexperienced life of His prophet, Isaiah. The reality is that youthful exuberance by itself can be quite frightening. Coupled with proper biblical zeal for His church, youthful exuberance becomes a vehicle by which we can see the wonders of the glory of God & lives lived out with excellence in service to our King.  Isaiah’s youthful energy & his passionate drive for the Holy would flood his heart and soul as he “reasoned” with His God. This shows us that the Lord is not afraid to haggle with the youth of our day, and in the end, encourages and even demands youthful behavior that is exemplary in belief, in behavior, and in the everyday battle of life.

The truth is, (whether we like it or not), like Isaiah, the choices made in our teen years and our young adult years set the foundation on which the rest of our lives are to be built. Our parents have us during our formative years growing up, but then, there comes a time when one must begin building his/her own life making their own decisions (and hopefully our parents equipped us with the proper tools to begin that building). There comes a time when it is up to us! The buck stops here, as they say.  It’s true, the decisions we make today impact our tomorrows.  Add to that, the most important decisions in our lives tend to be made from the ages of 14 to 25 (Godly living or not, marriage. college, career, where we will live, etc…).  No wonder the Bible teaches that we need wisdom outside of ourselves. The conclusion of it all is, God’s call to the youth of our day is the same as in Isaiah’s day…

“Come let us reason together.”

Depth and Joy

I find it telling that the church has come to believe that depth in spirituality and authentic human joy equals the quintessential oxymoron. It seems that the beckoning call of many is, “Come and dine at the table of new thoughts and new ideas, for it is a new age we live in.” The thought being, that, Christianity must be rethought, relived, reviewed and realigned with the post modern world in which we live – that is, if we are to reach them. We must “dress up” the antiquated doctrines of the past – we must abolish systematic theologies and migrate (yes, I said migrate) to the greener pastures (and yes, I mean “going green”) of uncertainty in our faith that we might be more sure of who we are. Emergent thought at it’s best. Joy unspeakable and full of glory is the person who sees Jesus as He really is – and He really is as we see Him. We create our own Jesus – a Jesus to our liking. True joy is found in a certain deception or folly in the mind of creativity and imagination, as we thus, create a “new and improved Jesus”. True joy is self-deception. That is the thinking of many Emergents today.

However, I would submit, that, true joy in salvation is a friend in Christ. True happiness is staked in the ground of biblical truth that has been passed on from generation to generation. True joy is found in belonging to a local body of believers who “do life together” – who live the faith life together. I find that my joy is complete in the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
I can truly say, “Since I came to know Jesus, my life has never been the same since!” I mine the depths of the riches of the glory of His inspired Word – I strike gold – it’s a vein – and I follow to see where it will lead. My heart dances at His Word. My heart rejoices at His Presence. My spirit communes with his Spirit. All that said – I believe God would have us to rethink our rethinking – and return to biblical Christianity – where we quote Scripture more than some musical icon of America’s past.

Late Nite Thoughts

Ever wonder why it is we stay up past our bedtime?  I mean, when we are dirt tired and can barely keep our eyes open?  Why is it we linger long at the edge of the bed of the “oh so coveted slumber” when it is so readily made available to us every nite?  What keeps us up?  Whatever it is, it is also what keeps us sleepy throughout the day.  Are we lonely?  Are we grasping for one last breath of serenity?  Is it that we are afraid something is going on in the world and that we might actually miss it?  Maybe, it’s just that our thoughts run wild best at nite when it’s quiet.  Whatever the reason, discipline says, “It ain’t healthy!”