Hope everyone is doing good! Testing season is coming to a close and the threat of thunderstorms is a quick reminder that summer is really upon us.
Make sure you're staying up to date with our events by visiting our "EVENTS" page or even the specific trips coming up.
We are so close to finishing up our study of the Bible. I've said this before but I've been so encouraged by our time walking through the big picture of this incredible Book. As we come to a close in our study we are to the point that the church is living in the world as a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Their one hope is Christ and their foundation is the Gospel. So God closes the book through a series of LETTERS written to the church and the follower. In this we are strengthened in what the Gospel is and how the Church to live and function in this great Truth. But also there is encouragement to STAND FIRM FOR the Gospel. There was a need then, in Biblical times, to "contend" or fight/stand for the Gospel. This is just as true now and will forever be until the battle is finished.
Attached are the notes from last night. I pray they are an encouragement to you and a challenge as we too see to live in this world, though it be stained, as citizens of the Kingdom of God. The battle has been won but we still fight it each day.....keep fighting until the end....contend for the Gospel!
Another way to keep up with our year of sermons as we walk through the story of the Bible is through our devotions. Use it for your own heart or as conversation starters between you and your students. What a great resource we have now to walk through the Bible is roughly 40 devotions.
Come Grow With us! Devotions can be found here!
Quick Update today....had a good time in the Word last night looking at "The Church." Really good teaching and wisdom centering around a huge question: Do I have to love the church? That's a biggie these days with people really clinging to a "I love Jesus but don't like the church" mindset. Is it healthy or ok to think this way? Not at all. I like the illustration Micah used in helping us understand why this thinking is not healthy.
Suppose you really liked hanging out me and wanted to do so as much as possible....but maybe you have a problem with Suzanne, as if you could! So you tell me that you really do like me and want to hang out but that you really hate Suzanne. How do you think I'm going to respond? With joy and an accepting heart? No....I'll probably tell you that she and I come as a team....a package deal. It would be impossible for me to just hang out with you knowing you hate my wife and don't want to be around her.
Jesus feels the same way about the Church....His bride. To know and love Christ is to know and love the church. It's tough sometimes....it's not always easy because the church is made up of imperfect people. But take some time today to read Ephesians 5, particularly verses 22 and on. Listen to the description Paul gives regarding the church being compared to a bride.
I've also included a video clip of a guy discussing the need/love for the church. It's very similar to our direction from last night and will offer some wisdom to this area.
I know you do....but please pray for our student ministry daily. Pray that we seek the face of God and lead our students to Him in all we do.
Abide Summer Camp: June 27-July1
Head over to the camp page for updates and information. Be reminded that we have a price increase after May 11th. Any non refundable deposit received before this date will have the normal price. So get those deposits in and help us be prepared for camp.
Also - we need a registration form for every student signed up. This our available on the camp page...listed under "EVENTS."
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!
Good morning! Hope and pray everyone is doing good, recovered from Spring Break and ready for testing season. One thing I know you're all ready for is summer break.
In your summer planning don't forget these things:
LAST NIGHT - THE GOSPEL
We're nearing the end of our walk through the Bible. We're to the ending section known as "the letters." From Romans to the end we find a collection of letters written by a few men. These letters are from God, to the church, in order to help them, and us, live in light of the Gospel.
There is great wisdom, teaching, encouragement and doctrine in these letters. The church and believer were struggling with opposition, persecution and often doubt as they walked in this new life. We really aren't much different than they are we? We're actually walking in the same light as they. With this in mind we look at these letters with excitement and expectancy as we seek to also gain wisdom and encouragement as we too live in light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Over the next 4 weeks, as we finish up our look at the Bible, we'll cover 4 huge questions and truths.
I will be held accountable to how I used my time, influence and position in these students' lives. As parents we'll be held accountable to how we taught our children. What do we value? What do we give ourselves to? What do we communicate to them the most? Do our children know God and His Word? Do they know they Gospel? We know they know to do homework, brush their tv, flush the toilet, how to field a ground ball or play a certain note or do whatever. But are we this "religious" about spiritual things. Do we leave this up to the church, youth ministry, preacher, or God? Is this a personal thing we let them figure out on their own? Some stirring questions that bug me even as I type.
Now....it's impossible to completely guard them from being in the world....It's crucial to not make this a "religious" activity or something they dread. But honestly....I don't see many young adults with straight, white teeth that bash their parents for staying on them about brushing their teeth or paying for braces. I've never heard that complaint. Sure, they complained when their friends were at a baseball game and they had to go to the orthodontist but in the long range they counted the cost. Something changes from 15 to 26 doesn't it? We being to value tough decisions our parents made on our behalf. We begin to see with more clarity. It doesn't mean the 15 year old is dumb....they are acting like every other 15 year old....it's normal. So we don't make decision based on them at 15 years old....we make decision based on them become a productive member of society whose goal in life is to live for the glory of God....and have pretty white, straight teeth. You get the point? Yes, I'm preaching to the choir. But even the choir needs a reminder that they F sharp is a little flat at times. Also, I'm in the same choir as you! And even after all we as parents strive to do it's still impossible to completely protect them...they must learn to live in this world for God's glory, as hard as that may be for them and us. So we don't lock them up or shut them down. Jesus even prayed that we NOT be taken out of the world but that we trust in the Father as we live in this world. He taught that we be SALT AND LIGHT while we're here. So as parents we fight for them and continue to make those tough decisions.....I'm getting a little off topic here.
SO...as a student ministry we feel this year was a great time to remind the students that the Bible....God's Word...in one big story with one big theme, REDEMPTION. It's a story about God working in His creation for His glory through Jesus Christ. Within the story you see the ups and downs of all sorts of people as they wrestle with what to do in this world. The people of God, the church of God walking with their God. It's not always pretty....in fact it gets downright ugly at times but at the blazing center is the cross. JESUS.
The climax of the story is the CROSS....the GOSPEL....and last night we began our descent down by beginning our look at LIVING IN LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL with the question: WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?
My notes are attached for you to see and continue the conversation at home.
My prayer is that we are all encouraged and strengthened in our view of the Gospel. I pray that we understand it and we consider how we ourselves have responded to this good news. I pray we also consider how our lives are being lived in light of this Gospel.
Thanks for allowing us at The Rock to pour into your students. Please know that every decision and every second is carefully prayed for and planned with the hopes that the students see God, know God and follow Him with their lives!
ALSO - our copier got sick before our bulletins could get copied last night so please remind your students that they can find the announcements and devos here at our website. Specially HERE
Why a blog?
A great way for parents and ministry to connect and continue the conversation of what's going on at The Rock.