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Four different things that can happen

Last night (Wed., July 2nd), the YouthRoom got pretty intense.  I preached on the Parable of the Sower from matthew 13.

The Bible often is so clear and precise and easy to understand.  The 4 types of ground, and especially the explanation of the parable in Mt. 13:18-23, is a great example.

With the summer in many ways being ‘the wasteland for teenagers’ that I often describe it as, and us just having returned from camp 2 weeks ago, I felt the need to be quite serious in Youth.

I was. And I think God was working.

Every single time the Truth is preached one of four different things can happen in the hearers.  There are four different ways for them to respond. 

Let us not forget Isaiah 55:10-11 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

1. One response to the preached Word is none at all.  The hearer is hardly phased at all to the things of God.  They don’t understand it.  Satan snatches it away from their heart. This is not a good response.

2. A 2nd response to the preached Word is short lived. The hearer at first appears to be joyfully accepting the Truth of God but soon will fade.  There is no root to their faith. It is not genuine.  It is like a weed growing in an asphalt parking lot crack. It cannot grow too much and soon dies.  This is not a good response.

3. A 3rd response to the preached Word is unfortunate. The hearer seems to sincerely want the things of God, but following Jesus becomes too hard.  The cost of discipleship becomes too expensive.  The cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke their faith out, and they become unfruitful.  This is not a good response either.

4. A 4th response to the preached Word is Awesome.  The hearer hears the truth, is convicted of sin, embraces the Gospel of Jesus, and responds in obedience. In other words, the Word has changed their life.  Now they better understand the Truth and are motivated to go and live like it.  In this case, their faith and response proves to be very fruitful.  God is glorified when this repsonse is present. This is a great response.

And so, upon preaching through all of that and the youth listening so intently, I ask… which ground are you?  which response do you have to the preached Word?

As Jesus said “He who has ears, let Him hear.”

K2G defined

Know to Grow

The true follower of Jesus has a commitment to the truth of God. If there is no commitment to God’s Word, then there should be serious concern surrounding the faith of the believer. Jesus told the Pharisees “and you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom He has sent” (John 5:38). Elsewhere, He says “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). And then later Jesus prayed in the Garden, “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.” (John 17:17)

The follower of Jesus has died to self and has abandoned selfish and worldly purposes, influences and motivations. Those have been replaced by the foundational, powerful and active truth of the Bible.

Now the Bible also says that believers, upon being saved, are to grow and strive for maturity. The Apostle Paul writes “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” (Col. 1:28) And the Apostle Peter writes “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Pet. 3:18) God saves us that we might become more like Jesus. And our becoming like Him is accomplished through knowing and living His Word.

We know that God is pleased, honored, and glorified when His redeemed people know Him and understand Him accurately from His Word. Therefore, we must Know to Grow.

So we conclude and resolve that as true followers of our King Jesus we commit ourselves fully to growing in our knowledge and understanding of God’s truth so that we may grow up to maturity and further glorify our God and Savior Jesus Christ who suffered and died under the judgment of God in our place for our sins. So that just as Paul wrote to Titus, our aim is to have a “knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness.” (Titus 1:1)


Ninjas or Pirates?

Last Wednesday night (June 25th) in the YouthRoom, I taught on the awesome parable of the hidden treasure.

“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field , which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” -Matthew 13:44

I asked, which do you prefer Ninjas or Pirates? Overwhelmingly the majority chose ninjas. There is some recent craze with Ninjas. It could be the hilarious jokes about Chuck Norris. It could be the explosion of new Ninja TV shows like Ninja Warrior. Or it could be that the TMNT (turtles) are more influential than we realize. Either way, youth like ninjas more than pirates.

From there, I explained that I prefer Pirates. I went on to say that Pirates always have two common characteristics. 1) They always say “RRRrrrr” and 2) They are always searching for treasure.

I then moved on to preaching. We too are searching for treasure…and the Kingdom of heaven is that treasure. I explained the Kingdom of heaven as the kingdom of God, in other words having Jesus as King over you.

I challenge the youth to treasure Jesus. May we not come to Him lightly and half-heartedly, but instead may we count the cost, go and do whatever we must so that we will be sure to get that treasure…King Jesus.

Know to Grow

Our focus in youth ministry at FBCF centers around the ‘K2G’.  K2G is an abbreviation for “Know to Grow”.  As I was praying, studying, and preparing on a weekly basis to lead and make disciples of the youth in Fairdale, I found myself continually coming back to the same thought. That thought goes something like this:  I want these youth to bring glory to our great God with their lives, goals, and futures.  So then I pondered… How do we raise up youth that glorify God?  Well, when anyone (youth or adults) becomes like God and begins to walk in His ways in accordance with His Word then God is magnified, worshipped, and glorified.  So I asked… How do we raise up youth that are like God and that walk in His ways in accordance with His Word? 

And that is when my ‘K2G’ mindset was developed!

The more youth know and clearly understand about Jesus, the more they grow in His likeness.

The desire of FBCF Youth is to Know Christ through His Word in order that we may Grow in Christ through His Word.

We want to become like God so that He will receive all the glory and credit for our lives.  The way this is accomplished is through us knowing Him in a personal and true way.

Regularly, we are emphasizing to all our youth — “You must KNOW Jesus more so you can GROW in Jesus more!”

The Youth at Crossings Camp ’08!

Hear the Word!

Josh Powell (He’s our favorite preacher). Most of his sermons are posted on

Alistair Begg. You can find his sermons on

Stephen Curry. You can find his Irish sermons at


Neil McClendon. He travels & preaches to youth, and he also pastors Grand Parkway Baptist Church. His sermons are at or

John MacArthur. He is very well known and pastors Grace Community Church. His sermons are at

John Piper. He pastors Bethelehem Baptist Church and his sermons are at

Tanner Turley. Tanner is a PhD student at Southeastern Seminary. His sermons are scattered abroad. We hope to have a link soon.

Travis Jones. Travis travels and preaches and loves missions. His sermons are scattered abroad as well. We hope to have a link soon to all of Travis’s sermons. In the meantime, you can find some of his on

New Hours at UPS

As many of you know, I also work at UPS.  I did this so that my wife, Valeria, could stay8 at home with our new baby JJ.

Well, last week, UPS gave me new hours. Guess when?

3am to 8am.  I have to wake up at 2am. Thats early!

The good thing is that it has allowed me to spend more time online and now I am trying to get this youth site up and going.  Hopefully, the youth site will benefit from my new hours at UPS.

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