To Our Young Leaders

Thank you young leaders.

This morning is a shout out of gratitude to young leaders. Over the next 10-15 years you will be leading nearly every organizational effort. You are incredibly important to today. You are the foundation of the future. To young leaders following Christ, you will shape the spiritual tone of an entire culture.

In the bible, the apostle Paul writes a couple of letters to a young leader. His name is Timothy. Paul has counsel for Timothy in navigating the unique issues young leaders face: 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. Until I get there, focus on the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. (1 Timothy 4:12-13)

A few points of focus:

1. Stand with humble confidence, even if others are more experienced. The Lord has raised you into leadership. He has purposes and reasons for doing this. He is confident in you.
2. Be a good example with your life. In matters of lifestyle, love, faith, and purity, set an example that others will follow and be thankful for.
3. Stay focused on God’s word. Scripture is the bedrock expression of who God is. He is the source of all leadership. Scripture is rich with wisdom. In a very real sense, it gives life.
4. Encourage other followers of Jesus. People need encouragement today. Bring it.
5. Teach well. There is a real need for good teaching today. Take time to teach well.

Thank you for being a young leader.

14 Things to Know About Jesus

“…those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” Jesus, as recorded in John 5:24 NLT

14 more things you might want to know about Jesus:
#1. He is interested in our life, no matter what kind of shape it is in.
-“Would you like to get well?” V6
#2. He is not limited by the obstacles we experience every day:
-“I can’t”, “No one will help me”, “Someone else always gets helped first” (Sick man V. 7)
-“Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” (Jesus, V8)
#3. Jesus can heal on the spot, in the moment. (V9)
#4. Jesus challenges us to use his healing to stop sinning. In the challenge he reminds us that sin is destructive
in its very nature. (V14)
#5. Jesus is always working in the same way His Father is. (V17)
#6. Jesus does not act by himself. He follows the example of the Father. (V19-20)
#7. The Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He is doing. (V20)
#8. The Father shows Jesus how to do even greater works than healing. (V20)
#9. In the same way the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he
wants. (v21)
#10. Jesus has been given the absolute authority to judge. (V22) for the purpose of being recognized and honored in
the same way God the Father is. (V23, 27) His judgement is just, because He is carrying out the will of the
Father. (V30)
#11. Believe in what Jesus is saying and believe in God who sent him and two things are true:
-You will never be condemned for your sins
-You have already passed from death into life (v24)
#12. Even the dead will be given the opportunity to hear from Jesus, and those who listen will live. (v25)
#13. Just as God the Father has life giving power, this too has been given to Jesus. (V26)
#14. Jesus can do nothing on his own. (v30)

Responsible Speech

Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. Proverbs 13:3 NLT

Apt words for today. Reckless speech is being disguised as Free Speech. The personal responsibility each person has to think about the impact of their words is so important. Opening our mouths without taking time to discern the people, place and space that will be impacted is a dangerous action to take.

The phrase “I don’t care what people think” should not be substituted for “I am not responsible for my words and speech.” On the one hand, there is a set of convictions that sometimes require us to stand strong regardless of other people’s perspectives. On the other hand, there is a responsibility to be careful with our words and speech as we make those stands.

This simple verse of scripture speaks a clear truth: control your tongue and you will live longer. Continually open your mouth, and you will be in constant trouble.

God and His Purpose Towards Us

This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer – the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.” Isaiah 48:17 NLT.

It is so easy to overthink God’s intent towards you and me. A good exercise is just to look at what God says about His purpose towards us. In this one verse we learn quite a bit:

Our redeemer: God is our redeemer. While there may be others who pose as a redeemer, there is only one true redeemer.

The Holy One of Israel: This is important to understand. “The Holy One” is a phrase that is about one truth. There is only one holy one. He is not “holy among other holies”. He is it. He is holiness, he is the essence of holiness. He is the source of holiness. He is the holy one. Of Israel: God chose to make himself known to the rest of the world by focusing on one people. The people of Israel. When Jesus, God’s son, comes on the scene he makes it very clear that what God established for the Israelites is available for everyone.

I am the Lord your God: This is a declaration. While the world may think that there are other gods one can be loyal to, at the end of the day, there is one Lord. He is God.

…who teaches you…: God teaches us. He is engaged with us. He is involved in our lives.

…what is good for you…: God is all about good. He establishes good in everything he does.

…and leads you along paths you should follow.: This is the image of a trail guide who is with us on the trail of life. He is literally leading us on the right trails through places where we could easily get lost and confused. He simply asks that we follow.

Let’s not overthink God and His purposes towards us. While He is completely God and absolutely Holy, he is not disconnected or distant. He teaches you and me. He guides us on the “trails of life”. He is with us.