First a respond to last post’s comments:
i. Kelly – Interesting. I thought Jesus cry not b/c of Lazarus death but it was through seeing the grieving of Lazarus’ love ones (aka his sisters, Mary and Martha) that touched His heart.
ii. joe – In some scriptures (like Mark), the disciples are depicted are those who just don’t get it. If I was in their case and seeing all the miracles with my own eyes I probably don’t get it either. I, myself, has a miracle bestowed upon me (liver transplant). Yet there are days when I have to remind myself, “Cliff, you had a liver transplant. Not everyone has that.”
The weekend, I had the opportunity to serve to be part of a team to run the program for the high school kids at a church retreat.
I had a great time in getting to get to know a number of kids. The focus was on spiritual habits.
Between my Youth Pastor, a brother and I, we were given to speak on one topic (aka a sermon). This was the first time I prepared for anything like this. The Youth Pastor gave us materials to work on. This is my sermon notes (image below):
My topic was on tithing. I picked this topic simply b/c I know this is a topic that is rarely discussed. Yet when it comes to our Christian living, in which we deal with money everyday, it becomes ever more so to discuss the importance of why we tithe.
My receipt of the sermon is very loose.
i) I started off with a few Bible quotes (Matthew 6, Do Not Worry, Invest in Heavenly treasure, Cannot serve two masters and Matthew 19, rich young ruler).
ii) Added in a few pointers (Money is important but loving God is more important etc.)
iii) Mixed thoroughly with my own experience (how i use to steal from my parents and how I use to tithe [pay me first, pay God second]).
The worship songs prior to the sermon helped me greatly. I let the Holy Spirit flow and things started to rock and roll.
The kids were very attentive. There were a number of grade 6s listening as well. I would expect them to tune out. Instead they put their hands up and ask me questions. I could see from the audience that they were glued to what I was saying.
I shared about my teeth accident two years ago and showed them the tooth that came out (gross!). I reflected on my own experience how I pray for God to provide for me to fix my teeth.
Twenty minutes gone by very quickly. All in all, sermons are fun. Even when the subject is not as exciting as …tithing. Any chance to serve Christ is fun.
Afterward, I listened to a group of youths sharing what they learn from the retreat. As each youth shared, I started to see the impact and footprints we leave to upon them. And the impact is huge. It might not appear now. But given enough time, the ripple effect will be visible.
If enough care, nurture, and attention are invested into them, they can (and will) become strong Christian leaders. These are the seeds that are waiting to for guidance to be molded and polish. The potential is huge.
I started to understand and seeing why my Youth Pastor is pouring everything he got for these kids.
It is through this opportunity to serve that I was given a glimpse the bigger picture from God. And it is through this bigger picture. A picture that is bigger than me. A bigger picture I am given to participate. A bigger picture than I ever envision, that I am ever more excited to stick through thick and thin in this narrow walk to the Gates of Heaven.