What the heck is…(week 1): PARENTS

Hey guys, sorry about the delay in writing this blog post.  My schedule last week prevented me from doing so.  In keeping you in the loop I felt is was important to back-track a bit.

Two weeks ago at Emerge, on Oct 13th, we started a three week series that we are calling “What the heck is…”  We are leaving the end of this question blank as each week we are looking at a different question each week.  Each of these three questions deal with a pillar of the Christian faith.  These are not the only “pillars” but they are the things that #1 unite us in the Christian faith no matter what church you go to and #2 they are things we say or do often in the church.  We are praying that knowing these three things deeper will deepen our relationship with Jesus.

We opened the series with the question, “What the heck is…being saved?”

This question is what enables us to be able to call ourselves Christians.  You can always tell whether a religious-sect is “Christian” or not by their belief in Jesus.  To help us answer this question we looked at a story in Acts 16: 16-34.  We actually read the whole story and identified with all that was going on.  For the sake of this blog post I will not recap everything we mentioned but in this story we see three things:

  1. A Jailer…who we’ve identified as someone who is not a follower of Jesus
  2. Paul and Silas…who are followers of Jesus
  3. The greatest question that an individual could ask

The jailer asked that great question: “what must I do to be saved” (Acts 16:30).  Pauls answer here is what we focused on as this is what we see biblically to the answer to this question.

Answer: Believe in the Lord Jesus.

This answer begs for another question: If I just say that I believe in Jesus, is that enough to “save” me?  The heart behind this question is, can I believe in Jesus and live any way that I want.  Answer: No.  Believing in Jesus is fully relying on that what Jesus had done on the cross.

What was that?  Because we are sinful people…no matter who you are…we can not know (or have a relationship with) our creator God.  God is in another stratosphere in His holiness, righteousness, and goodness.  This is why we can just do “good deeds” and be saved.  Nothing we do could ever earn us favor.  For us to be “right” with God, someone has to die.  Jesus died in our place on the cross so that we can have a relationship with God.  Jesus died so that we can know God!

Here is the catch.  When you turn to Jesus you have to turn away from the things that break Jesus’ heart!  We’re not saying that you have to be perfect.  You will never be perfect!  Jesus is perfect for us!

When you come to the crossroad in life where you take the leap and say, “I believe in Jesus…I believe in who He claimed to be (God)…and what He did on the cross for ME” you start pursuing this new relationship.  No one who believes in Jesus is unchanged.  There are greater degrees of change but change always happens.


What the heck is…(week 2): PARENTS

Hey parents, we want you to know what we are teaching your students so every week we try to update the blog with what we talked about at Emerge.  Last night was our second week in our three week series that we are calling “What the heck is…”  We are leaving the end of this question blank as each week we are looking at a different question.  Each of these three questions deal with a pillar of the Christian faith.  We are praying that knowing these three things deeper will enhance our relationship with Jesus.

Last night we talked about, “What the heck is…Baptism”

Defined:  Baptism is an outward expression of what Jesus is doing inwardly.

We walked in a circle last night. We started with this definition then we talked about what Jesus is doing inwardly that would cause us to celebrate outwardly.

What is Jesus doing inwardly?

We made the connection that we live in a world that LOVES the supernatural.  God loves the supernatural no less than we do.  We looked at a few miracles that Jesus did and ended with how amazing it was that Jesus raised three people from the dead in the gospel accounts.  This has never been done before in history, in my recollection.  Sure, doc’s have brought back people form the dead after about 30 minutes but Jesus brought Lazaras from the dead after we was gone for 4 days.  WOW!

What does a near death experience bring you?  It brings you a different understanding of life!  Imagine how this experience effected Lazaras’ life.

Biblically we looked at our state spiritually before Jesus enters our scene.  We are dead on the inside (Rom 6:23; Ephesians 2:4-5a; 2 Cor 5:17).  Jesus brings life (just as we talked about in week 1 of this series) as we believe in Him as the Son of God and we turn to Him.  In Jesus we are a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come.  We move from death to life!

Romans 6:3-4 says:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

The definition of baptism is, again, celebrating outwardly what God is doing inwardly.  When a dead man walks, he celebrates.  As believers in Jesus we believe in believers baptism.  Once you make the decision to follow Jesus we celebrate that decision in baptism.

Symbol of Baptism.  As Romans 6:3-4 says, we are baptized with Christ in his death and raised to life just as He was raised.  As we stand in the baptism waters we represent our self as the “old self” (2 Cor 5:17).  Before we enter the water we are dirty, sinful people, stained by the fall of man.  When we are fully immersed in the water it represents our death with Jesus.  As we come up out of the water we are symbolizing our new self raising with Jesus.

To combat what some faiths may teach…we do not see the biblical approach that you must be baptized to be saved.  Also, as we celebrate with people who have been baptized as infants, we teach that the Bible teaches believers baptism as the first act of obedience for a follower of Jesus.

I closed the night last night offering to have a conversation with any of our students who may want to be baptized at Mosaic’s baptism service on November 21st.

Broken Hearts (week 4): PARENTS

It’s Mosaic Youth’s desire to partner with parents in raising students.  Maybe it’s not OK with your student if you come in and hang out with us at Emerge on a Wednesday nights…so we are bringing Emerge to you.  We want to encourage you to read this blog weekly so you know what we are teaching your student.  It can get difficult and daunting in raising/leading teens.  We understand that and desire to come along side of you in leading your student in biblical truth.

Last Wednesday at Emerge we finished up our first series of the Fall.  In our Broken Hearts series we have walked down a path of dealing with broken hearts brought on by other people.  Every week we have looked to God and His word for solutions.  Our last night in this series took a turn and dealt with the question, “what happens when God is the one who breaks our hearts.”

Our very first warning of the night was…this was going to be a lot of information thrown out…but look for the main idea.

We quickly discussed the fact that if we were honest, the majority of the time that God breaks our hearts as teens is when:

  1. God doen’t make “that” girl notice me.
  2. I beg that God give me the game of my life…and He doesn’t “come through”
  3. I ask the He get my parents off my back…and their still all over me.
  4. I beg Him to help me pass the test I didn’t study for.

BUT this question is so much deeper than that.  As we get older we will notice a lot of the “injustice” in the world around us and ask ourselves, if God is as loving as He claims to be, how can He allow all this stuff to happen?

We started this deeper discussion by asking…what is our belief about God?  Is He our genie in a bottle or is He our God?

It is becoming more and more popular that people believe that God exists but is impersonal and uninvolved with everything God on in this world.  It’s easy to just slash off all the earthquakes, floods, genocides, and cancer as…we live in a sinful world and it’s the consequence of living in a fallen world.  The problem is, that is not what the Bible teaches.

We read Colossians 1:16-17,  and came up with the conclusion that everything was made by Jesus and for Jesus (everything created, all powers, and all authorities and He stands before them all).  In Romans 8:20 the world, though it is wasting away, has been set up that way by God for hope.  Romans 9:16-17 lastly states that that God even raises up the evil tyrants in the world to show His great power. GOD IS VERY INVOLVED IN THE WORLD. Many things on the front stage we are quick to label as ungodly, when the truth just may lay in the fact that God is in the midst of it trying to reveal His love on a deeper  level.

How do we make this personal?  When we experience death in the family, trauma, or suffering…where is God?

Our main idea was: God’s love is very active.

It is a Biblical truth that:

  1. God’s love is active in the way that He is chasing after you. (Matthew 18:10-14 & Luke 15:1-7)
  2. God’s love is active in how he disciplines you. (Hebrews 12:7-8, 10-11)
  3. God’s love is active in how he pulls you through suffering. (Romans 5:3-5)

Our challenge based on our main point was…the next time you find yourself asking the question, “where is God now?”:

  1. Know that God is alway personally involved in your life chasing after you.
  2. Then next time this question pops up, STOP and THINK.  Is God trying to lead me away from sin?  Is God trying to take me somewhere new in my walk with Him?  Has my sin lead me to this place of confusion?
  3. Know that God has the ability to bring you through tuff times for your good, his glory and for the benefit of others around you.

Broken Hearts (week 1): FOR PARENTS

Though one of our greatest passions is hanging out with and leading your student, it’s also our goal to put some tools in the toolbox of parents.  One way I would like to keep parents informed is by giving a brief update about what was talked about the following Wednesday night at Emerge.

We launched our new series last Wednesday called “Broken Hearts“.  We talked about YOU, the parent.  The reality is, no matter how close you are to your kids, you are going to break your child’s heart.  You will make decisions that they don’t like and they most likely will let you know about it…or passively harbor it in till it all explodes one day.  The question we were seeking to answer was, how do I manage a broken heart from my parents?

Practically speaking the major disconnect happens between a child and a parent when one or both parties represented are misunderstood.

That’s right.  You don’t understand your students just as much as they don’t understand you.  I think we believe that we know what they are going through by default because we’ve been there.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  Chap Clark has written an amazing book, Hurt, that defines adolescence today.  You need to pick it up.  Chap has his Ph.D and is a professor of Youth, Family, and Culture at Fuller Seminary and he even professes in his book that before his research he didn’t understand adolescence like he thought he did (even through he had older teenagers living at home).  We as parents have to be willing to admit that our teen is going up in a different culture and generation and we need to seek to understand them…today!  I fully believe we will continue grow further from our teens the lazier we get from understanding their world.

This past Wednesday at Emerge our challenge to our teens was based out of Ephesians 6:1-3.  Here is a brief recap.

  • When our parents shatter our hearts it’s important to understand that…Everyone submits to someone.  Ephesians (chapter 5-6) is a book of the Bible that gives us a bigger picture into the family system.  Students tend to think that their parents were kids once who had bossy parents and now it’s their turn to be the boss of their kids.  That’s not the picture that Paul paints in Ephesians.  In our frist point of Everyone submits to someone…dog to the kids, kids to the parents, wife’s to the husbands, and husbands to Christ; our hope was to say, hey, student…give your parents a break…tt tougher being a parent than it is a kid.
  • When our parents shatter our hearts it’s important to understand…what God expects from us.  Ephesians 6:1-3 quotes the 5th commandment, honor your father and mother.  A synonym for “honor” in this text is “honest”.  We gave a different light to this commandment that all students hate.  We talked about how students can respectfully be honest with their parents and still honor them…but it’s also our command to respond to our parents with an obedient heart.
  • When our parents shatter our hearts it’s importnat to understand…why God asks us to obey our parents.  As this is the only commandment of the 10 that has a promise…the answer lies there.  We are promised “to live long in the land” if we obey our parents.  Without getting too much into it what God is saying through Paul is that God makes himself known through our obedience to our parents.  That’s why we obey…to know God.

I close with this thought.  Here is a music video that speaks to dads!  Here is our biblical responsibility to our wives and our kids…to lead them, the love them, and to fight for them.  Watch these two videos and allow God to speak to your hearts.

Music Video for Lead Me:

The Story behind “Lead Me”