SYMC devotionals

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Devotionals for the Simply Youth Ministry Conference

Transcript of SYMC devotionals

  • SYMCPreconferenceDevotion#1:

    HeartConditionByKevinMahaffy,Jr.

    (AdaptedfromTheCompleteNewTestamentResourceforYouthWorkers)

    InMark4:120,Jesustoldastorythatwereprobablyallfamiliarwith:

    AgainJesusbegantoteachbythelake.Thecrowdthatgatheredaroundhimwassolargethathegotintoaboatandsatinitoutonthelake,whileallthepeoplewerealongtheshoreatthewatersedge.Hetaughtthemmanythingsbyparables,andinhisteachingsaid:Listen!Afarmerwentouttosowhisseed.Ashewasscatteringtheseed,somefellalongthepath,andthebirdscameandateitup.Somefellonrockyplaces,whereitdidnothavemuchsoil.Itsprangupquickly,becausethesoilwasshallow.Butwhenthesuncameup,theplantswerescorched,andtheywitheredbecausetheyhadnoroot.Otherseedfellamongthorns,whichgrewupandchokedtheplants,sothattheydidnotbeargrain.Stillotherseedfellongoodsoil.Itcameup,grewandproducedacrop,somemultiplyingthirty,somesixty,someahundredtimes.ThenJesussaid,Whoeverhasearstohear,letthemhearWhenhewasalone,theTwelveandtheothersaroundhimaskedhimabouttheparables.Hetoldthem,ThesecretofthekingdomofGodhasbeengiventoyou.Buttothoseontheoutsideeverythingissaidinparablessothat,theymaybeeverseeingbutneverperceiving,andeverhearingbutneverunderstanding;otherwisetheymightturnandbeforgiven!ThenJesussaidtothem,Dontyouunderstandthisparable?Howthenwillyouunderstandanyparable?Thefarmersowstheword.Somepeoplearelikeseedalongthepath,wherethewordissown.Assoonastheyhearit,Satancomesandtakesawaythewordthatwassowninthem.Others,likeseedsownonrockyplaces,hearthewordandatoncereceiveitwithjoy.Butsincetheyhavenoroot,theylastonlyashorttime.Whentroubleorpersecutioncomesbecauseoftheword,theyquicklyfallaway.Stillothers,likeseedsownamongthorns,heartheword;buttheworriesofthislife,thedeceitfulnessofwealthandthedesiresforotherthingscomeinandchoketheword,makingitunfruitful.Others,likeseedsownongoodsoil,heartheword,acceptit,andproduceacropsomethirty,somesixty,someahundredtimeswhatwassown.

    o Howhaveyouseenthetruthofthisparablesurfaceinyourownlife?

    o Howwouldyoutranslatethisparablesothata4yearoldcouldunderstandit?

    o WhydoesJesustellthedisciplesthatiftheyhavetroubleunderstandingthisparable,theyllhavetroubleunderstandingeveryparable?(vs.13)

  • Devotion:HeartConditioncontinuedOfcourse,thepointJesusismakingisthatwhilethemessage(seed)isthesame,theconditionofourheart(thesoil)determinesourresponsetoGodsWord.Inotherwords,theeffectofthemessagedependsonthestatusofthehearer.Jesusdescribesfourdifferenttypesofsoilwhichrepresentfourdifferentheartconditions.

    SurfaceThisisthepathalongwhichtheseedfell.Becausetheseeddidnottakeroot,itwasquicklysnatchedupbythebirds.ShallowThisistherockyplacesuponwhichtheseedfell.Becausethegroundwasrocky,theseedwasnotabletoputrootsdowndeepenoughtosustainlife.StrangledThisisthornypatchuponwhichtheseedfell.Theseedwasabletotakeroot,butbecauseitwascrowdedbythornsandthistles,itwasunabletoproducefruitorreachitspotential.SuccessfulThisisthegoodsoiluponwhichtheseedfell.Becausethegroundwasfertile,theseedwasabletoputdowndeeproots;itwasabletospringtolife;anditwasabletoproduceanabundanceoffruit.

    o InwhatwayshasSatanattemptedtostealtheseedoftheWordofGodbeforeithasachance

    totakerootinyourlife?

    o WhatkindsofthingscauseustorespondtoGodsWordinashallowway?

    o WhatkindsofthingschoketheWordofGod,andholdusbackfromreachingourpotentialinChrist?

    o WhatkindsofthingscausetheseedofGodsWordtoreallygrowinourlives?

    o IfJesusweretotakeasampleofthesoilofyourhearttoday,whatwouldHefind?

    o Whatsonethingyouvedone,oraredoing,tocreateafertileenvironmentinyourheartforGodsWord?

    AsyoureheadingtowardyourtimeatSYMC,rememberthatthefruitthatcomesaboutasaresultofwhatisimpartedtoyouiscontingentuponyourlevelof

    expectancyandopenness.Taketimeprayaboutwhatyouvebeenthinkingaboutinthisdevotion.

  • SYMCPreconferenceDevotion#2:

    JesusIsByKevinMahaffy,Jr.

    (AdaptedfromTheCompleteNewTestamentResourceforYouthWorkers)

    Haveyoueverjourneyedthroughahardseasonoflifeandfeltlikeyouwereallalone?Haveyoueverneededtotalktosomeoneaboutsomethingbutthoughtthatnoonecouldpossiblyunderstandwhatyouweregoingthrough?Oh,whoarewekidding?Wereyouthworkers,weveallbeentherebefore!Weveallfeltthoselonely,frustrating,hopelessfeelings.

    Wheneverweregoingthroughsomethingdifficult,andweneedsomeadvice,somehelp,orsomedirection,moreoftenthannotwewanttotalkwithsomeonewhohasbeenthroughwhatwearegoingthrough.Why?Becausewewanttohearfrompeoplewhoknowwhattheyretalkingabout.Lotsofpeoplewithgoodintentionsmayhavethingstosay,butunlesstheyvebeenthroughwhatweregoingthrough,theyrereallyjustguessing.Whatwereallywantistohearfromthevoiceofexperiencefromsomeonewhohaswalkedinourshoes,feltwhatwearefeeling,andreallyknowswhattosayorhowtorespond.

    Hebrews2:18,speakingofJesus,says:

    Becausehehimselfsufferedwhenhewastempted,heisabletohelpthosewhoarebeingtempted.

    HowcanJesuspossiblyknowallthatyouandIgothrough?HecantpossiblyknowwhatitsliketoleavethecomfortofHisownbedandthecompanionshipofhisamazingfamilytospendasleepless,prankfilledweekendwithjuniorhighkids!Thereisnowayhecanunderstandtheintensetemptationtostrangleakidyouvebentoverbackwardtohelpgotocampwhenyoufindhimsmokingpotbehindthecabin.Yet,theauthorofHebrewsgoesontosay,Forwedonothaveahighpriestwhoisunabletoempathizewithourweaknesses,butwehaveonewhohasbeentemptedineveryway,justasweareyethedidnotsin(Hebrew4:15).

    Theincredibletruthis,whilethespecificsofourtrialsmayvary,JesusunderstandsandcanhelpusthrougheverythingwefacebecausehehasfundamentallybeenthrougheverythingwegothroughHeknowshowtoshowusthewaythroughthechallengesweface.HeknowsbecauseHechosetogetoffofHisthroneinheavenandcometoearth.Hechosetobecomeahumanbeingjustlikeyouandme.ImalwaysinaweofthefactthatHedidntjustcomedownasamatureadultreadytohandleeverythingthatwasthrownHisway.Hecameandwasbornasababyinthehumblest,mostinconspicuousplaceimaginableinastable,inabedofstraw.TheBibletellsusthatJesusgothungry,thirsty,angry,andemotional.Hewepthardandoftenfeltlonelytheseareallofthethingsthatmakeushuman.Jesus,aswesay,hasbeenthereanddonethat!

    Notonlythat,butJesusdidntchoosetocometoearthandnotdealwithourproblems.Heenteredrightintothemessinessofourworld.

  • Devotion:JesusIscontinued

    InTheMessageversionofJohn1:14reads:TheWordbecamefleshandblood,andmovedintotheneighborhood.

    Jesusenteredintothehurt,thepain,thehostility,theinjustice,thecrime,thedeatheverything!Philippians2:511tellsusthatJesusidentifiedwithusallthewaytodeath.Frombirthtodeath,Jesuslivedthefullyhumanexperience.JesusevenchosetoexposeHimselftothetemptationsthatweface.ThemostfamousaccountofJesusbeingtemptedisfoundinMatthew4:111,whereSatancomestoJesusinthewildernessandtemptsHimfor40daysand40nights.Butmakenomistakeaboutit!ThatwasnottheonlyperiodinHislifethatJesuswastempted.HewastemptedonadailybasiswithmanythingsbothgoodandbadwhichwouldderailHimfromthemissionHewason.InorderforJesustobefullyhuman,HehadtoexposeHimselftothesamethingsthatweallfaceonadailybasis;otherwiseitwouldnotbeaccuratetosaythatHefullyidentifiedwithus.Heknowswhatitistobetempted,justasyouandIaretempted.YetHewaswithoutsin.ItisbecauseofHisfullyhumanexperiencethatHeisabletohelpthosewhoarebeingtempted.JesusGodinthefleshcametoearth,livedaperfectlife,overcamesinanddeath,andwasraisedtolifeinvictory.TodayHehasreturnedtoHisFatherinheavenwheretheBibletellsusHeisintercedingforyouandme(Hebrews7:25).Thatis,HestandingbeforeGodtheFatheronourbehalf,rightnow,advocatingforus,offeringushelpasweseektowalkinthevictorythatHehasalreadywon.

    Takeaminuteandrespondtothefollowingreflectionquestions.IfyourecomingtoSYMCasagroup,considerdoingthisasindividualsandthensharingtogetherasagroup.

    o Whatssomethingyouregoingthroughinthisseasonofyourlifethatmakesyoufeelaloneorneedy?

    o NowconsidertherealitythatJesuscanfullyidentifywithyouinthissituation.Whatmakesithard,oreasy,tobelievethistruth?Explain.

    o NowgobacktothesituationyouwroteaboutaboveandwriteaboutwhoJesusistoyouinthatsituation.Example:Imdealingwithaphysicalsickness.Write:JesusisHealer.

    o AfteryouhaveproclaimedJesuspresenceinthatarea,prayyourproblembacktoGodandthankHimforprovidingtheanswerinJesus.

    AtSYMCwereprayingforyou!YoucanpostspecificprayerrequestsbyvisitingourFacebookpage,andevenrequest

    someoneonourprayerteamtocontactyouifyoudlike.Andifyourecomingtotheconferenceandfeelingalone,check

    outtheConnectGroupswhenyougethere!TheresaConnectGroupOpenHouseonFridayfrom4:306:00pmintheConversationLounge!Andifyoureneedingoneononesupport,counselingorcoaching,visittheShelteratSYMC

    itsasafeplacethatyoucangotogetthehelporencouragementyouneed.

  • SYMCPreconferenceDevotion#3:

    Hopes&DesiresByKevinMahaffy,Jr.

    (AdaptedfromTheCompleteNewTestamentResourceforYouthWorkers)

    AbriefsurveyofJesusliferevealsthathewasconstantlysurroundedbypeopleinneed.TheycametoHimbecausewordonthestreetwasthatHehadthepowertohealandsetpeoplefreefromthingsthatweretroublingthem.TheycametoHimhopingandexpectingthatHemightbehealer,deliverer,Saviortothem.Amongtheinstanceswereadaboutinthegospelsonethingthatispresentmoreoftenthannotisanexpressionofthatneedbythepersondesiringatouch.

    ConsiderthestoryofBartimaeusinMark10:4652:ThentheycametoJericho.AsJesusandhisdisciples,togetherwithalargecrowd,wereleavingthecity,ablindman,Bartimaeus(whichmeanssonofTimaeus),wassittingbytheroadsidebegging.WhenheheardthatitwasJesusofNazareth,hebegantoshout,Jesus,SonofDavid,havemercyonme!Manyrebukedhimandtoldhimtobequiet,butheshoutedallthemore,SonofDavid,havemercyonme!Jesusstoppedandsaid,Callhim.Sotheycalledtotheblindman,Cheerup!Onyourfeet!Hescallingyou.Throwinghiscloakaside,hejumpedtohisfeetandcametoJesus.Whatdoyouwantmetodoforyou?Jesusaskedhim.Theblindmansaid,Rabbi,Iwanttosee.Go,saidJesus,yourfaithhashealedyou.ImmediatelyhereceivedhissightandfollowedJesusalongtheroad.

    Muchcouldbesaidaboutthisstory,butjustconsiderthisonepoint:BartimaeusisablindbeggarwhomakesanembarrassingscenetothepointthatJesussto