I grew up in a Christian home and my parents instilled a strong sense of God in my life. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was very young, went to church almost every Sunday, was involved in youth group and later taught Sunday school. As a young mother, I began attending a community Bible study, and it was there that my faith began to develop and I began to see God work in exciting and powerful ways.
People who own their faith follow Jesus not because their parents, pastor, youth pastor, and friends do or because other people expect them to. They follow Jesus because they themselves have a personal, thriving, passionate, serious, genuine relationship with Jesus. Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) says "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." When we discover that God wants to be real in our lives, To own our faith means to understand that knowing Jesus is worth more than anything else in life. Do you own your faith?
Ask your teen...
Do you own your faith?
Challenge your teen...
Try to speak from your heart and tell someone what you believe.
Draw a timeline and use words or doodles to describe your faith at different points in your life. Notice the changes in your faith. What experiences have made it stronger?
God, be present in every part of my life. Give me wisdom and understanding to discover for myself your goodness and love. Guide me in my journey, in Jesus' name. Amen.
Consider the word "mentor" for a moment. What comes to mind? The dictionary defines a mentor as an experienced and trusted advisor; to advise or train someone, especially someone younger. Mentors come in the form of parents, teachers, coaches or supervisors. Children look to parents or other adults as mentors, knowing that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter.
From the day that we were born, we have been in Christ's care. Babies are God's way of reminding the world that God is the most wonderful inventor, scientist, and artist. All the invisible, infinitesimal things that have to go right for a baby to be created and to enter the world happy and healthy are a testament to our God, whose eye is on the smallest details.
Mark 10:14b says "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." The kingdom of God belongs to people who are like little children. I would love to go back to daily recess and nap time, but that's not what Jesus meant. It also doesn't make sense that only innocent and immature people are part of the kingdom. What did Jesus mean when he said that the kingdom belongs to children?
What childlike examples would you add to the list?
In what way is God calling you to be more like a little child?
What can you learn from interacting with younger kids?
Teach us, O Lord, to accept help, to be honest, and to trust you absolutely. Amen.
Some people worry a lot. We worry about bills to pay, grades to keep up, relationships to maintain, college applications to complete. News of shootings and terrorists adds stress to our lives. People pleasers want everyone to think well of them, so they worry about messing up or even making someone else look bad. We worry we won't live up to other people's expectations. We even worry about worrying! Will worry affect my health? Does worrying mean I am not trusting God?
When we catch ourselves worrying, we need to take a step back and put things into perspective: God cares about us. God has the power to take care of our needs and He knows what is going on in our life and loves us dearly. Worrying is like saying that God is not in control and that our circumstances are greater than God can handle. Learning to trust God more and to worry less isn't easy.
Here's a couple of tips for breaking the worry habit...
Every time a worry arises, ask God for wisdom before you do anything else. Feel free to keep your prayer short and direct, but be as specific as possible: "Dear God, please help me with _____. Amen."
CORNERSTONE AT HOME is a blog that shares what is being covered each week at Wed. Night Youth Group and other resources to support you as you intentionally shape your child's faith.