Give to Get to Give

We just had our annual youth conference at our church this past week! The way that God used the preachers always amazes me! There were six messages this year and they were all needed and right on time for this generation we live in.

My biggest take away from the conference is the title of this post, “Give to Get to Give.”

The conference was bookended by two great messages on giving. Neither one of them were about giving money, although giving tithes and offerings is important.

The first message of the conference was taken from the story of the lad with five loaves and two fishes. This lad gave everything he had to Jesus, he gave all his food. To get a child to give a little part of his lunch away is a feat in itself, but to have a child give ALL his lunch away is amazing! Jesus took that little lunch, He took everything that the young man gave Him and performed one of the greatest miracles in the Bible. The feeding of the five thousand!

The lesson I learned from this message is a simple one but full of truth. If we give everything we have to Christ, He will do great and mighty things with it. It doesn’t matter who you are or how old you are or where you are from, God can still use you if you are willing to let Him use you.

To end the conference, we heard a message on getting and giving the blessing from the story of Isaac, Jacob and Esau from Genesis 27. In this story, we see how Jacob stole the blessing from Esau. The truth that was brought out from this story was that we as Christians need to have the blessing from God. If we don’t have it, we need to figure out what we need to do to get it! If we do have the blessing, then we need to do what we can to be a blessing to those around us.

In this selfish society we live in today, where everyone is out for their own good and how they can get ahead, these two messages were perfect for a youth conference. We all need to learn how to give. We need to give of our treasure, our time and our talents, and if we do, God will bless us in ways we can’t even imagine!

We need to learn to “Give to Get to Give” and continue to keep that cycle going and we will see great blessings from God!

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Open Your Window

“For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,”

Proverbs 7:6-7

This chapter is the story of a simple young man who had every chance to make it in life, yet had his life destroyed because he went down the wrong street. He went down the street of the harlot or the street of the sin that so easily besets you.

I have heard many lessons and messages from this chapter and they have all been good and have been a help. But, I noticed something the other day in my Bible reading that has been sticking in my head.

I noticed that Solomon, (as I believe he was telling this story to his son) stood at his window and watched a young man head down the path of destruction…

…And said nothing to warn him.

Yes, Solomon warned his own son of the destruction of that path…but, why couldn’t he yell out the window and say “BE CAREFUL!!” or “WATCH OUT!!”

The lesson I take from this, is that we should be wanting to do our part in helping people avoid destruction! We should want to do our part in pointing people the right way!

I’m glad that I had people in my life from my parents, to my friend’s parents, youth pastors and preachers, even some of my bosses, that have opened their window and yelled and told me to watch out and be careful! They cared enough about me to want to stop me from falling into sin and ruining my life!

So today, open your window and yell out a warning when you see someone headed down the path of destruction! Someone opened theirs and helped you! Don’t keep the truth to yourself!

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3 Friends That Walking With God Will Bring

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to teach in our College and Career Sunday School Class. This class is our singles class for those in college or those who are starting out their careers in whatever field they are in. I remember that time in my life when I was trying to figure out what I was doing and sometimes I still feel like that.

The lesson that week was on the subject of “Read Your Bible.” A simple lesson, but profound in its truth. No matter what stage of life we are in, no matter who we are, we all need to read our Bibles more. There is no substitute for the Word of God or for the relationship we need to have with Him.

One of the points in the lesson was what the Bible does. Underneath that point, one of the sub-points was ‘it makes friends.’ As soon as I saw that point, I immediately thought of the quote from camp…”Don’t quit walking with God, to walk with your friends.” I knew exactly where I was going to go with my lesson that morning.

The verse used for this point of ‘it makes friends’ was Psalms 119:63, “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.” The writer said that he was a companion or friend of those who also feared the Lord and kept His precepts or kept His Word. As a Christian, we need to be careful who our friends are. We need friends who are walking with the Lord, serving the Lord and trying to do their best in living a life that is pleasing to the Lord.

I thought about 3 types of friends that having a walk with God will bring.

  1. Having a walk with God will bring you the BEST FRIEND. The best friend that we can have is Jesus Christ. He is the friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Jesus is the friend that will never leave you or forsake you. But like the Bible says, you have to be friendly to have friends. You can’t expect to have a friendship with Christ if you are never talking to Him or spending time with him each day. You have to daily walk and talk with Him to build your friendship.
  2. Having a walk with God will bring you BIBLICAL FRIENDS. The closer you get to God, you will find friends that are also trying to get closer to God. This is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. My friends should be those who are also trying to get close to God and have a relationship with Him. The verse from Psalms 119:63 says that we should be companions of them that fear the Lord…these are the ones who are also following and walking with the Lord.
  3. Having a walk with God will make you a BETTER FRIEND. When you are daily reading and walking with God, you will become better. You will be a better friend to your friends. You will be able to build your friends up because you have built yourself up in Christ. When you walk with God, you will be a better person and a better friend.

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