"Parents in the Know" is where you can come as a parent to see what your student is learning about in all the different youth ministries that we have going on throughout the week. These entries are updated weekly and are designed to help you continue the conversation at home. They are presented in a devotional style, and hopefully will challenge both students and parents to grow in their faith as you engage with these discussion topics throughout the week.
*Updated Thursday, 7/12/18 at 11:23am
Have you ever felt like you don't belong? Like you have gotten yourself into something that's way over your head and that now matter how hard you try, you'll never succeed? I felt like that many times in my life. I'm not to proud to admit it. There are people who are much smarter, better looking, and more successful than me. And when I start to surround myself with these kind of people, I start to feel like I just don't have what it takes. But here's the thing...None of that matters to God. He's got a plan, and it's going to happen no matter what you think your shortcomings are. I know I've messed up more times than I can count, but that never stopped God from using me. He is the perfect father! No matter how bad you mess up, He will never leave you. I know that when I get mad at someone, I just need a break from that person. But that's not how God operates! He never takes a break from you. He's always right by your side, ready to reconcile with you. I don't know if that kind of love is even understandable to me, because I've never seen a person who can do that...But God does! It doesn't matter how much you've messed up. He's right there to forgive you and step forward with you into his plan for the world.*
Contrast is defined as, "The state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association." So living a life in contrast is something that we are called to do as Christians. There are two kids of people out there, believers and non-believers. And at a glance, they look very similar. They both have interests and hobbies. They both have families and friends that they care about. But if you take a closer look, there are some big differences. A believer lives a life that is not dictated by fear of the unknown. A believer knows what it means to live in the light and stay away from the darkness. A believer understands that the love of others is an extension of the love that Christ first extended to us. And that's the juxtaposition! While we look the same, we are in fact so different! It's our job to work hard at keeping that contrast from blurring over in our lives.*
This summer we are working our way through "The Sermon on the Mount" (Mt 5,6,&7), which if you have a red letter Bible, then you can see that this is the most concentrated part of Scripture when it comes to the words that come directly from Jesus. I'm convinced that this has got to be one of the most important passages in entire Bible. Jesus is telling us how we are supposed to live our lives. What more could you need or want!? Our first couple of lessons have been all about setting the tone for the sermon ahead. Jesus wants us to start thinking outside the box. Everything that he's about to say is going to be counter-intuitive and counter-cultural, so he's just trying to get us thinking along those lines. I think that we all too often get caught up in the debates and intrigue of our culture, and we forget that Jesus is talking about living a life that is completely in opposition to those things. Honestly, I don't know if we as a church have made much progress on this front in the past 2000 years. If we truly want to be followers of Christ, then we should pay very close attention to the sermon that he's about to preach, and then do our absolute best to put that into practice in our daily lives. So pay attention to the marching orders, because the time is coming where we will be challenged to live them out!*
For more information about the Youth or Family Ministries at FUMC Saline contact the Director of Youth & Family Ministries, Jay Leadley at 734-649-2684 or .