Posts Tagged ‘education’

Our students are engaged in a battle and while they have all the spiritual tools they need to overcome, they lack the training on how to use them. So their spiritual blessings remain idle and our kids remain vulnerable.

I am helping prepare a discipleship program for our high school students at church. I searched and researched, but could not find an inductive study that kept the kids noses in the Word and forced them to think about it. We also wanted to be very intentional about teaching the kids how to practice the presence of God in prayer while allowing the Word of God to transform their lives. Out of that desire emerged Crave Bible Study and Discipleship. This is the first week handout the kids receive. The following weekend they receive a 20 minute teaching and then discuss what they learned by exploring the scriptures the previous week on their own.

The handout folds in half and fits in their Bibles and requires about 20 minutes of study time each day. You are welcome to download the first handout to share. If you want the whole study, shoot me an email or just comment on this post. Have a very blessed day!

1/27/14 update
What a blessing to receive requests all over the world! Yes, I am still emailing the study to all who request it. May God be glorified!

Ephesians ch. 1

“What is truth?” –Pontius Pilate (~33BC)

Ideas have consequences. It only takes a brief scan of the front page of your local paper or a 60 second sound bite on CNN to confirm this reality. What determines whether our beliefs have ultimately positive or negative consequences? Could it be whether or not our beliefs correspond with reality?

As my children grew older, their insatiable desire for answers grew with their stature. I recalled at 8 years old my own persistent questions drove my mother to schedule weekly sessions for me with the pastor so I could quiz him… and give her a break. The sad thing was that he was ill equipped to answer my simplest questions. “Who made God? How do we know God is real? Why does God send people to hell who never heard of Him?” What is even more tragic is that 30 years later as my children began to ask these same questions, I realized that the church was still grossly ill-equipped to grapple with these issues. So where is a mother to go to find the answers?

 My journey to find answers led me to a study of Christian apologetics and I in turn invested that knowledge into my children. But I am still grieved by the failure of the church to equip members to defend their faith and give a reason for the hope they have. I think things are changing with the emergence of wise men and women welcoming challenges to their faith on the public stage. Conferences are popping up all over the country to educate and equip the faithful, but do conferences effect real change especially for women?

I know that for me as an external student separated from the camaraderie of my peers, my motivation is challenged in the absence of community. Conferences are good for me in that I can mingle with like minded people who are as passionate about equipping the church as I am. But that connection soon fades as everyone goes about the business of building the Kingdom. We are each islands to ourselves, lacking unity and ultimately effecting little change. One challenge I hear repeated by those in the field of apologetics is that it is an uphill battle, not for the faint of heart. But what if we all banned together creating a unified network focused on meeting the challenge at the grass roots level?

 The effort to equip the church with the tools to defend the faith has up to now been largely a top to bottom effort. We offer conferences, write books, speak to large audiences to get the information in the hands of the church, but is real discipleship accomplished in mass or in person? If those involved in the Christian Apologetics movement are really serious about equipping mothers raising up the next generation, they needs to offer community and one-on-one (or one-on-few) discipleship. When the church successfully equips moms such that they know what they believe and why, then our children will have a faith built on rock.

 The latest studies are showing that children raised in Christian homes are not losing their faith in college as previously believed; they are losing their faith in 7th and 8th grade when they are still in our homes. Our children need to know that the Christian faith corresponds with reality so that, when they do leave our homes, they know what they believe and why. It is the mother who speaks truth into her children everyday who will one day see her children “rise up and call her blessed.” Proverbs 31:28  When the women of the church are well prepared to answer the tough challenges to their faith, we can change the world.

 

Continue praying for the salvation of the middle east and all of those suffering in bondage to lies. The dawn is breaking, there is hope.

Isaiah 9:2

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

Top Hamas Leader’s Son Converts to Christianity
By Ethan Cole

The son of a top Hamas leader has converted to Christianity and prays someday his family will also accept Jesus Christ as their savior, an Israeli newspaper reported.

Masab Yousef, son of West Bank Hamas leader Sheik Hassan Yousef, revealed for the first time in an exclusive interview with Haaretz newspaper that he has left Islam and is now a Christian. Prior to the interview’s publication last Thursday, Yousef’s family did not know of his faith conversion even though he is in regular contact with them.

“[T]his interview will open many people’s eyes, it will shake Islam from the roots, and I’m not exaggerating,” Yousef, who now resides in the United States, said. “What other case do you know where a son of a Hamas leader, who was raised on the tenets of extremist Islam, comes out against it?”

Yousef, who is now 30-years-old, was first exposed to Christianity eight years ago while in Jerusalem where out of curiosity he accepted an invitation to hear about Christianity. Afterwards, he became “enthusiastic” about what he heard and would secretly read the Bible every day. . . .

For his part, Yousef says he hopes to “open the eyes” of Muslims and “reveal the truth” to them about Islam and Christianity with the goal to “take them out of the darkness and the prison of Islam.” . . .

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080804/top-hamas-leader-s-son-converts-to-christianity.htm

 

John 3:16-21

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

Believers who live by the truth of the light draw the lost out of darkness. Loving the unlovable, forgiving the unforgivable and granting mercy to the unmerciful. Grace is not the cost of salvation it is a privilege for those who have received it to share it. Today pray for those who are blinded by the darkness and that our light will shine so brightly and consistently that those in bondage will be drawn to it and find true freedom at the cross. 

 On a personal note, I especially want to lift up my evolutionist friends at Florida Citizens for Science. One need only read the comments made on their blog to recognize the fear and the hate perpetrated by such “citizen” groups existing for the sole purpose of stripping our freedoms and silencing the truth. I posted a dissenting opinion on their blog and it did not take long for them to beautifully illustrate my point. It is good to be a “lunatic” for Christ.

Job 21:14-15

 
14     Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone!
We have no desire to know your ways.
15     Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
What would we gain by praying to him?’

 

  

The focus of planning according to the Lord’s will is not trying to decipher the details of your life such as who you will marry, what job you will get, or where you will live as if consulting a fortune teller. Planning according to the Lord’s will is about ensuring that the plans you make are in align with His precepts. 

 

 

Does your potential mate have a growing faith in Christ and is your relationship pure?  Does the job you are considering still allow you to put God and family first?  Is the home you want to purchase affordable and still allow you to give generously?  We sometimes fret over details trying to figure out what God wants us to do, when if we examine our desires and plans in light of scripture His truth always reigns. 

 

 

God’s word is black and white; the gray only exists in man’s heart.  Are you struggling with a decision right now?  Is it possible that you know the answer, but it is not what you want to hear?  Most of the time our problem lies in a failure to obey not in a failure to know God’s will. 

 

 Deut. 30:19-20  19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

 

 

Today commit to choose life – a life that honors God, so that you will love Him well, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him.

 

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:13-18

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” At the time James was writing his letter to his converted brethren, many Jews were claiming righteousness while promoting violence either outwardly or by virtue of manipulation.  In fact it was out of envy that the Jewish leaders handed Jesus over to Pilate.

 

Matt. 27:15-18 15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him.

 

Do you rejoice when others succeed or do you harbor secret envy or criticism? Worldly wisdom is selfish, robs God of His glory, and exalts man.  Today commit to avoid self promotion at the expense of others. Paraphrase Psalm 17:3-5 for your prayer today.

3     Though you probe my heart and examine me at night,
though you test me, you will find nothing;
I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.
4     As for the deeds of men—
by the word of your lips
I have kept myself
from the ways of the violent.
5     My steps have held to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.