Current Series: RecklessTitle: “Reckless Faith”
The Word: Daniel, 3:8-28, Ephesians 3:20.
Main Thought: Students can change the world when they believe the truth of what God says about them!
Message Explanation: Life is a continual display of choices. What do I want for lunch? What will I order when I get to the restaurant? What time should I wake up? Regular Coke or Cherry Coke? With all of the different decisions surrounding us, we REVEAL what we place our FAITH in daily.
Reckless series verse: "Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12.
When it comes to faith, many people have more faith in CONFORMING to the culture instead of influencing culture! The 6 traps the fear of man:
1. Idolatry - When we care about what other people think more than what God thinks, we turn people into idols that we worship—seeking to please them in order to earn their approval or respect. We become obsessed with thinking about how to get their attention and approval and not think of much else.
2. Ineffectiveness – When we care more about what others think about us than what God thinks about us we sometimes abandoned what God has gifted us at to get their approval.
3. Fakeness - If you’re overly motivated by the opinions of others, you won’t act like yourself. You’ll be a chameleon, adapting yourself to any situation for the sole purpose of fitting in. Your identity will be contingent to who you are with and not on who you really are.
4. Apathy – Fear of man paralyzes you from taking risks because of the potential for embarrassment or failure. You’ll never do much of anything. You won’t speak up when you know there is something wrong and you won’t confront sin in the lives of your friends because you are afraid they will stop liking you.
5. Dishonesty – The fear of man turns you into a liar because you will constantly be afraid that the truth will cause them to be offended and they will abandon your friendship. The fear of man will get you so caught up in lying that you will lose track with who you told what. The repercussions of your dishonesty have greater long term damage than the short term benefits.
Background: What was Babylon like? Around 2600 years ago a King named Nebuchadnezzar created a statue that was 90 feet high and 9ft wide. Everyone was ordered to worship the idol. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had a choice to conform or stand for God. Their original names were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The Babylonians changed them to Beltashazzar, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego. The men were around the age of 14-17 years old. In the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they were left with a HUGE decision. They were reckless.
How do we have reckless faith?
1. They refused to follow the crowd (v. 8-12)
2. They trusted God no matter the outcome (v. 16-18)
3. Jesus will stand with you no matter what you are going through (v. 19-28)
Proverbs 29:25: “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think”.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were blessed because of their FAITH. You have an opportunity to have this type of FAITH in Christ in this generation!
They REFUSED to follow the crowd. Are you living for God or other people’s approval?
They TRUSTED God no matter the outcome. Are you willing to serve God no matter what?
Jesus STANDS with us no matter what!
If you are a follower of Christ, are you living a life of RECKLESS Faith in Jesus?
Element of Fun: The middle school students played the Cheetos toes game! It was fantastic and gross. Just like middle schoolers like games!
Music: Not Ashamed, Your Voice is Hope, One Thing Remains, How He Loves.
Favorite Moment: Hearing about students following Christ! We are looking forward to baptisms at our Easter services! Praise God!
What’s Next: We will begin a new series in April called, "Imitate Christ."
To watch any of the "reckless" series messages, check out the vimeo page.
Current Series: “A Christmas Story”Main Thought: The size of your story depends on the size of your God.
The Word: Luke 1:26-38, 30-37.
Message explanation: Have you ever been asked to do something that you never thought you could do?
We can make Christmas all about presents and not His presence.
We are going to look at the Christmas through the eyes of Mary and Joseph. Have you ever wondered why God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus? Was it because she was an elite, perfect, holy woman? Let’s find out…
Luke 1:26-29: In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
Christmas through the eyes of Mary. Mary was a simple girl from Nazareth – around 13+-15+ years old (Middle schooler!). She was just a normal teenage girl. Nazareth was a small town with only one water well. It wasn’t the most cultured or the “Top spots” for a vacation!
Luke 1:30-37: "Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God. Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
She was already engaged. Most marriage agreements were made when the children were fairly young. “Betrothal” was a binding as modern marriage. The couple was regarded as husband and wife but had not had sex. Joseph & Mary had planned a wedding until God told them to prepare a nursery.
God uses unlikely people. Mary wasn’t the type of person you would expect to be visited by an angel. She was not born great, and what the angel said to her put her in an incredibly dangerous position. Mary had to deal with what her family would say? What will Joseph say? What about the townspeople? What will they think of me? Am I headed for a life of being a single parent?
Matthew 1:19-25: " Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born.
Mary obeyed God even when it was hard to understand. Instead of saying, “God, bless me,” Mary’s prayer is the complete opposite, “God, how can I bless you?”
God looks at the heart. Man looks on the outward. When God was looking for the next king of Israel. “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7.
When life is focused on who we are, how we look and what we bring to the table, those are the moments that we miss God when He shows up. God looks people who will pursue obedience, whatever the cost. God looks for people who will trust Him – even though the outcome seems unsure.
Element of Fun: We had the joy of watching students chug egg nog and eat Christmas cookies. The crazy thing is nobody threw up! We also had a Christmas trivia game on pro-presenter!
Music: Born is the King (It's Christmas!), O Come Let us Adore Him, Joy to the World, O Holy Night, Your Presence is Heaven to Me.
Favorite Moment: Having the entire student ministry together for the night. I am thankful to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of students and families at the Springs.
What’s Next: We are having Christmas dodgeball next week!