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Apostle = One Sent!

This past Wednesday, the YouthRoom was loaded with intensity over the Scriptures.  We intended to study Mark 3:22-30 concerning the unpardonable sin (blasphemy of the Holy Spirit), but we never got to it.  We got stuck on the passage before that which deals with the calling of the Twelve apostles.



Teaching Youth with Halloween in mind!

Last week, we did not have Youth at our church.  We were in the middle of a Revival week and therefore Youth was cancelled.  Nevertheless, we had many youth attend the Revival services and God continues to work among our Young people at FBCF.

This past Wednesday though, we did meet.   And it was good.

Each year at Halloween, we let the children carve pumpkins and sometimes the Youth help out.

This year, I met with the Youth in the YouthRoom for about half the evening.  We were in there until about 7:40.  Then we went ouotside to carve pumpkins and have Hot Chocolate and cookies. It was awesome.

While inside though we took a break from Mark.

I asked 3 questions which are appropriate this time of year.

1) Can we legitimately be scared of the dark?  Either way, then why are we?

2) Are there such things as ghosts?

3) Are there such things as demons or evil spirits?

As the culture declines and families do with it, sadly there are more and more young people who are fascinated by evil and many things associated with it.  It chills me to think of so many teens seeing Halloween and things related to witches as such an awesome thing.

We discussed these three questions.  I wish more people could have heard our discussion.

Here are my conclusions:

1) No and No. 1John 1:5 “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”  The biggest reason we are scared of the dark is because we have trained ourselves to be. And that is bad, because now Satan uses that to make us more afraid and less faithful.

2) No. Ghosts are defined as someone who has come back after dying.  This is not possible.  Hebrews 9:27 “it is appointed for man to die once and after that to face judgment.”  Sorry, but there is no chance. This is God’s world.  The moment you die, you are before Him, to be judged by Him, and to be sent to heaven or hell by Him.  There is no opportunity to come back as a ghost.  Sorry.  Any argument in support of ghosts would have to be explained around this truth.

3) Yes and absolutely.  Satan is not infinite like God.  So, he has armies.  He has demons that work for him and with him.  But let us remember what the Scriptures teach. God is over the demons.  They answer to him and obey him and know him.  Like Luther said, “the Devil is God’s devil.”  So the follower of Christ living by faith has the power of God which is bigger than demons.

May we think about things that matter as we take part in this years Halloween.

Jesus is better.


“Wimpy doctrine makes wimpy Christians.” -Piper

“Paul’s antidote for wimpy Christians is weighty doctrine.” -Piper

Life is Hard! Youth 10/15/08

This past Wednesday night, the YouthRoom took a turn in a different direction.

For some strange reason, every so often when I walk into the room and see 20-30 teens there eagerly waiting to hear me teach God’s Word to them, I become overwhelmed with excitement and energy and responsibility to the duty of being fatherly to them…all of them.  So on Wednesday (after they did a few rounds of ‘improv’ which made us laugh), I began talking to them about how hard life is.  This wasnt intended to be our Bible study.  I was merely talking to them about something on my heart. Well, turns out that took 20 minutes, and we were running out of time. So, I scratched our study from Mark 2 ( will get back to it next time), and I concluded the night following the same discussion concerning ‘life being hard.’

Life is so hard!  Even in thinking that and writing that, I still feel like I fail to grasp its difficulty especially for others.  Today, I preached a funeral for an 84 year old man who is survived by his wife of 61 years. These days must be hard for her.  I know of a 19 year old in Fairdale who is a  mother of two who was just killed in a motorcycle accident.  The driver of the Bike wasnt killed. These days must be hard for him.  Even more, the two children who will now grow up without a mother. Life will be hard for them as well.

My purpose in discussing this with our young people was this: are they ready for hard times?  what will get them through the difficulties?  Will their faith hold them up during the hard times?  Or is their faith so shallow that they will abandon it during the hard times?

As one author says so correctly “wimpy doctrine makes wimpy Christians”.

As the K2G (please see our 2 posts on the K2G on the left side of our youth page) attempts to explain our faith, trust, devotion, & dependence upon God is directly connected to our knowledge and understanding of God and growth in it.

So after that great discussion, we turned to 2 Timothy 3. Verse 1″But understand this. that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.” 

No doubt we are there. They may keep getting worse, nevertheless,…we are there.

If your commitment to following Christ is built only on what good He brings to you and good times, your following Christ will be short-lived.  But if your commitment to following Christ is built on good, rock-solid theology (Bible teaching) from all of God’s Word, then your followng Christ will remain even in the hard times.

2 Timothy 2:13 “if we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot deny himself.”

Now thats good!

Who can come to Christ?

This past Wednesday night in the YouthRoom was powerful!  We came to a short and simple passage that at first didn’t seem like it was going to impact us so powerfully, but it sure did.

Our text was Mark 2:13-17.

This is the passage where Jesus calls Matthew to be His follower.  Now this Mark text along with Luke’s teach us that Jesus calls Levi here. But the parallel passage in Matthew clearly shows us that Levi was called Matthew too.  Levi is Matthew and Matthew is Levi.  They are the same person.

What is so powerful about this passage is that Levi is a tax collector.  He is most likely, a fairly successful and prestigious man.  So far, all the other disciples have been fishermen which tend to be uneducated common people.

This got us to thinking…Who can come to Christ?  Are there any limits?  Is anyone restricted from coming to Jesus in saving faith?

So I asked the youth…Can nerds be saved?  Can preps be saved?  Do you have to be smart to believe?  Do you have to be able to read to believe in Jesus?  Do you have to be a “good kid”?  Do you have to be a “goody goody” to follow Jesus?  Can an outsider be saved? Who can be saved? Who cannot be saved? What then does it take?  Or who can be saved? 

These are the questions we were discussing through this text in Mark 2.

After Jesus called Levi, they went back to Levi’s home and had dinner together with some of Levi’s friends who were also tax collectors and sinners.  Of course, when the legalistic hyper-religious pharisees saw Jesus having dinner with sinners, they couldnt stand it. They went crazy.

They asked the question “Why does He eat with them?”

To which Jesus answers one of the most simple but powerful truths in the Bible “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

So to the youth, that’s who can believe…be saved… and follow Christ — sinners.  Simple as that!  Jesus didn’t come to find the godly.  He didn’t come to find Christians.  He came to find His lost people and then change their hearts.  He came to save His people.

So we concluded in the YouthRoom by stating that the Gospel changes people.   And anyone can be changed by the power of the Gospel. 

I encouraged the youth with this…their youth pastor is not here in fairdale looking for the best kids. I’m not looking for the best-dressed, the prettiest, the most polite, the kindest, the most respectful, or the coolest.  All those things are well and good. They just aren’t the focus of the Gospel.  We at FBCF in the youth ministry aren’t looking for any of those things. Nope.  We are looking all throughout Fairdale for the kids that God’s is saving and for the kids who want to know and follow hard after Christ. 

Now, thats exciting!  Who can come to Christ? Anyone.  And I mean anyone! There are no restrictions. So, leave your old life, forsake your sins, and lets go follow Jesus!

“We never saw anything like this!”

This past Wednesday night in the YouthRoom was awesome!  We continued along in Mark’s gospel to chapter 2.  We looked at the first 12 verses where Jesus heals a paralytic.

What an incredible passage! 

As Jesus’ fame grew and grew, the people searched for him continually.  They found him at home and came to his house.  The house was so crowded that when 4 men came carrying a paralytic they could not get him to Jesus. They didn’t give up though.  They decided to let him down through the roof to get him to Jesus.

Picture this…Jesus is at home. So many people come that the entire place is crowded. The door is overflowing and you cannot even get through it or even to it.  The Bible says Jesus was preaching the word to them.  While Jesus is preaching to this huge crowd of people, the roof busts open and down comes a paralytic being carried by four men who are believers in Jesus.  Obviously, this going to be a huge interruption or distraction to Jesus’s preaching. You can picture all the people being astonished, shocked and staring. 

Then Jesus says to the paralytic “Son, your sins are forgiven.”  This is amazing!

The scribes in all their pride and sin, question in their hearts, and say that Jesus is blaspheming. Only God can forgive sins.

Jesus knew that they were questioning him.  So he asks them a question…”which is easier…to say to the paralytic ‘your sins are forgiven’ or ‘rise, take up your bed, and walk.'”  You see, it is a much easier thing to heal someone physically and temporarily rather than eternally.  For Jesus, it is easier to make a man walk than it is to save him from sin, death, and hell. 

Then Christ proves himself even more and says…”But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”…and then he tells the paralytic to rise, take his bed, and go home.

ok, picture this again, the helpless man who cannot walk lies there on the ground while Jesus’ preaching is interrupted, hundreds of people stand there watching, and the scribes and Jesus have a little debate. After this small debate, Jesus shows his authority, and the paralytic gets up glorifying God.  The scribes are absolutely humiliated, the people rejoice, stand amazed, and glorify God, and the paralytic walks off so humbled.

Everyone’s response…”we never saw anything like this!”

Here’s what got me.  In verse 5, the Bible says “When Jesus saw their faith” he told the paralytic, “your sins are forgiven.”

By no means does this passage teach us that someone can be saved apart from their own faith. The whole Bible teaches us that. But it does remind us and teach us that God so uses people as the means to leading other people to Christ.

To which we asked the question “whose sins are forgiven because of your faith?”

Who sees your faith and says “we never saw anything like this?”

Why we should be able to keep a secret!

This past Wednesday night in the YouthRoom, we once again went straight to the text and learned so much.

I began with a brief discussion on secrets and why we should be able to keep one.  When someone asks you to keep a secret it is because they are discosing some information to you that does not need to be public.  Now, we all know that a lot of secrets are wrong and full of slander and gossip and drama.  I’m not talking about those at all.  I’m talking about a good secret, like some sort of good news.  If someone tells you that  and asks you to not tell anyone, then you shouldnt tell anyone and you should trust that they have a very good reason for asking you to not tell anyone.  There is a good reason why that information does not need to be public.

Well, on Wednesday night we finished up the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark, and we had to deal with this issue in the Bible.  In Mark 1, there are a couple instances where Jesus tells people to not tell anyone who He is or what He has done.

Which leads everyone to asking….Why?  Why not tell what Jesus has done?  The man had leprosy and Jesus healed him from it. Then He asked the guy to not tell anyone. WHy?  The leper just had the best thing ever happen to him…Jesus healed his miserably awful skin disease….why could he not tell anyone?  Of course, obviously, everyone was going to be asking him how he was healed?  And Jesus told him not to tell.  Why?

Well, the end of the text gives some light to this “why” question?  And it really is impressive.  As people began to spread the word about Jesus his fame was spreading.  It was already getting to where Jesus could not go out in public because He was always surrounded by so many people.  So the end of Mark summarizes saying that Jesus could no longer go into cities because the crowds were so large.  He had to stay in the rural areas.

Now, why is this significant?

Christ came and lived with one purpose in mind…to die.  His whole purpose in coming was to ransom His people and this could only be done by dying for their sins and appeasing God’s wrath for them.  Every moment of everyday of Christ’s life was a fulfilling of the purpose of getting to the cross.  Jesus did not want anything to get in His way.  His plans were clearly to travel around preaching until they killed Him.  Well, His traveling and preaching was being hindered because of the spreading of His ability to perform miracles.


As we learn that some information doesn’t need to be public until the right time, we stand amazed and humbled at the glorious intensity with which Christ Jesus lived as He was becoming a propitiation for us.  Christ was determined to get to the cross so that in dying on it He could bring us to God.

Now thats awesome!


“Think before you live.”  -J Greene    “You only live once.”   -J Greene along with countless others

Get Jesus involved in this!

The Youth who follow Jesus at FBCF are so intensely on fire that the Youth Pastor can hardly keep up.  Their passion, intensity, & reckless pursuit of knowing and growing in the truth of God is setting the pace in our whole church.

Just this week the church needed some major clean up done. Major!! There were trees down and large limbs everywhere in the yard. A chainsaw and 2 trucks were needed.  Guess who did all that?

the Youth!

The Wednesday night dinner last week needed someone to clean up everything…dishes, tables, floor, trash, etc.  Guess who did it?

the Youth!

The wednesday night dinner this week needed someone to prepare it…prepare it, cook it, serve it, etc. Guess who did it?

the Youth!

The wednesday night prayer and Bible study service needed someone to set up everything in the fellowship hall because it was set up for the Baby shower on Sunday night. Guess who did it?

the Youth!

Thats right…young people can and do set the example…in speech, love, faith, conduct, and purity!

Ok, with that said, I had some previous duties I had to do before I could begin teaching the youth.  So the youth got themselves ready and then i arrived in the YouthRoom at 730 to teach. They had already discussed announcements and prayed so they were ready when I got there.

We went back to Mark 1. This time verses 29-34.  I love it in verse 30 how Mark writes that Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told Jesus about her.

This is why I titled this ‘get Jesus involved in this!’

We all are going through something…and always are.  We have family problems, boy or girl problems, self-esteem issues, drama, we hate ourselves, we hate others, we got up and we get down.  The Scriptures continually implore us to look to Jesus, turn our eyes upon Him, set our minds on Him, Have His mind.  Get Jesus involved.  Let Him know about it. 

I showed them how I regularly go to my room, shut the door, kneel down, and pray. We must do this.  Regardless what it is, we must let Jesus know. Get Him involved. Talk to Him. Pray.  Get His wisdom and understanding concerning the matter.

Also, this passage ends by saying that Jesus would not allow the demons to speak concerning who He was.  This same thing was discussed last week.  Why is this?  Why didn’t want people speaking about who He was? why?

Because He was on a mission.  Jesus came to save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21) Jesus came to die.  And He died becuase they didnt believe that He was the  Savior. So they killed Him.  Jesus didnt want anything to stop His purpose, get in His way, interfere with Him accomplishing His task.

So, I concluded and asked.  Do you know who Jesus is?  really?  Do you know who He is?  Do you get Him involved in everything you do?  Have you discussed with him all the issues you are going through?

With Authority!

Last night Wednesday Sept. 10th  was an awesome night for the Youth at FBCF.  We have dinner every wednesday night at our church for anyone who wants to come. Its not just for youth, its for adults and everyone.  There is a lot of work that goes into feeding 60+ people.  Not only preparing the food, but cleaning it all up. Last night, we, the youth group, were the ones responsible for cleaning everything up.  What a blessing this was!  The youth at our church are incredible!  They are so impressive.  Last night, we had 20+ youth down in the kitchen working hard.  Some were scrubbing dishes, some were drying the clean dishes, some were laboring over the filthy popcorn machine, some were wiping down tables, some were sweeping, some were cleanging, organizing, and getting things in order, some were taking out the trash, and all were working collectively to get the church looking good. 

This act of service (as most acts of service do) proved to be not a burden, but a joy.  Because we became like our Lord and served, we were late beginning our youth service. We didnt even get into the YouthRoom until about 7:20.  Then I took several minutes encouraging them, praising them, and exhorting them for that good work.  Then after I finished teaching at about 8:05, we went outside for a big game of football.  What was so impressive to me was the unity and comraderie and fellowship that our youth group possessed last night.  Everyone was so happy and joyful and glad to be around one another.  When I think of what I want our YouthGroup to be, it is that one united Group.  And last night we really looked like it. 

We all worked hard together cleaning the kitchen.  Then we all attentively looked into God’s Word for instructuion and training and growth. (We’re trying to K2G!) Then we all went outside and had a blast just hanging out together.  What a group of kids!  No cliques…just one big body of teens who love each other.  I feel like we are on our way to becoming more and more like the type of YouthGroup that Jesus glories in.  Remember, the world will know that we are Christ’s followers by the way we love one another (John 13:35).  Our youth understand this! Or at least are beginning to, and it is so encouraging to see and be a part of!

All of that was just the fellowship!  We had Bible Study too.  (there are so many reasons why being at church is so important. every believer should make every effort to be there and not miss.  everything that i’ve written above that was so impactful and encouraging and a blessing to me was not from the teaching but from the time spent there. i’m so glad i was a part of that.)

We continued on in the gospel of Mark. Last night we looked at Mk. 1:21-28 concerning Jesus healing a man with an unclean spirit.

Mark says that right after Jesus called those 4 disciples (Simon, andrew, james and john) they went into the synagogue.  When they got there, Jesus was teaching with such great authority that everyone was astonished. His teaching was far greater, far better, far different than the usual teachers. 

I reminded the youth of just who Jesus is.  He has authority.  In reality, He is the authority!  He was walking by a lake and calls out to 4 fishermen “follow me”, and they do.  They drop everything and follow him. Then they follow him into the synagogue where he begins teaching, and everyone there is amazed at the authority with which he teaches.  Another time He is sleeping in the boat when a sea storm begins to scare the grown men so much they begin crying and go wake Jesus.  Jesus commands the winds and waves to stop, and they do.  At the end of Matthew, Jesus reminds them that “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to him.”  Jesus indeed has authority.

So it comes as no surprise at all that Jesus in this text tells the unclean spirit what to do, and it does.  He has authority!  All authority is His!  John the baptist was absolutely right when he said in 1:7 that he is not worthy to stoop down and untie Jesus’s sandals.

Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to be silent and come out of the man. And the unclean spirit did just that. Now, it is interesting to notice what the man with the unclean spirit had been saying that Jesus told him to be silent.  He had said “you are the Holy One of God”.  I went on to ask the Youth is their anything wrong with what hes saying?  Jesus is the Holy One of God.  So whats the problem. 

2 Problems:  1) Jesus didnt want his identity exposed. As he says so often, His time had not yet come. and 2) the unclean spirit was saying who Jesus was without worshiping Jesus. His heart wasnt’t right.

So I asked the youth, what about their hearts?  They claim Jesus is the Holy One of God. Is it worship to Christ and glory to Him?  Or is it from a sinful heart and He wants you to be silent?

This Jesus has authority! So much authority that everything obeys His commands.  If your His child or follower, you will too.!

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