"Always do everything you ask of those you command." - George S. Patton Jr.
In my first year as a youth minister, I took a group of students and adults to Toronto, Canada for a mission trip.
The mission organization’s group leaders took us to a park that, in the evening, was known for immoral activity but during the day was safe. So we took our group of high school students and adult leaders to this park and began to worship God through music and interacting with the few people that we could see in the park. As we began to play music, something very interesting happened: people we hadn’t seen in the bushes and surrounding areas came out to join us. It was obvious that many of these people were homeless or didn’t have anything except for the clothes on their backs. Some of them began to worship with us and others just needed someone to listen as they talked.
Before we left for Canada, I had trained our students and adult leaders as well as I knew how and was very pleased with how well our group from our small town in the United States was doing in this situation. I was excited because I could see these students and adults really getting into helping and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with these people.
I had no idea that what we were about to experience was not only going to change our youth ministry but also change me forever.
While we continued to worship, I noticed a man coming toward us who looked as if he had been in a fight not long before our arrival in the park. As he came closer, I realized that this man was covered in blood. To this day I do not know if it was his own blood or someone else’s, but I will tell you what went through my mind:
- I immediately thought of the safety of these students and adults for which I was responsible.
- Since I didn’t know what he needed or if he was dangerous, I immediately began to consider how I could keep this man a safe distance from everyone.
- I thought of my wife whom I had married 10 months earlier, our relationship, and our first child with whom she was pregnant.
I was very afraid as I thought of my new family, for I didn’t know if I would contract some sort of disease from this blood-covered man.
Then it happened! As the man approached me, he stuck out his hand to shake mine in friendship. I was frozen for what seemed like a minute, but I’m sure it was only about a second. What should I do? Then my spirit heard the voice of God say, “Jesus would touch this man.” I knew I had only a split second to obey or disobey God’s leading. I could either touch this man and quite possibly ruin my life, or I could keep him away from me and everyone else so that we were safe but still getting him help. Or I could touch him as Jesus would have touched a leper and welcome him into the group.
I am pleased to say that God gave me the strength to obey His leading. I stuck out my hand. We shook hands and then embraced. We talked for a while, and our group not only got him something to eat but also got him to the right people to get help.
I tell you this story so you understand the importance of your actions and obeying God’s voice when He asks you to do something for Him. You see, your life is not your own. It belongs to God.
I can also tell you, I believe, that that one event in a large park in Canada changed the entire scope of the youth ministry at the church I was serving and in the surrounding community when we returned home.
Because I heard and obeyed God’s voice, those students as well as the adult leaders knew that I was completely sold out to Christ. They knew that I was willing to put my life on the line to not only help others for the Lord but also to further Christ’s Kingdom.
I am pleased to say that this one event started a revolution in many people in our community that continues to grow throughout the world.
All I did was follow Jesus’ example in ministry! We all need to do the same right now. We need not fear humans or the circumstances we are in; we only must fear and respect God. Only when we grasp and live by this concept will we start to see some progress in society. Jesus trained His disciples by being with them and showing them how to live. He sunk His life into them. If you are a youth leader, pastor, or other Christian leader in your community, who are your disciples? Are they learning how to live the way of Christ or the way of man?
Write down at least three people you need to spend time with and disciple. If you are already meeting with these people, then start spending even more time with them.
Read God’s Word, listen for His voice, and obey His leading. This is all that matters in life. Once we put ourselves behind God and, without fear, put others before ourselves, we will see and experience a mighty work of God. Until that happens, we will continue to live our boring lives sitting in front of the television and computers watching life go by day after day. It’s time we live the adventure.
For further reading on learning Christ’s ways, check out:
Luke 10:1–24 Read carefully and put into practice what Jesus does here. Start learning how to train from the greatest leader ever. He sunk in to the few to further His Kingdom and He is STILL followed today. After all, He walked the earth over 2,000 years ago. He must have done something right.
Luke 10:25–37 How should we treat others? Let’s follow the example of Christ.
In June of 2009, my wife and I lost our 7th child in a miscarriage.
It was a difficult time for us but, by the grace of God, we were able to make it through. It helped me better understand how precious human life really is.
The doctors estimated by the size of our baby that our son died in the fourth month of the pregnancy. What really made it difficult was that my wife was supposed to be in the fifth month of the pregnancy: the baby had been dead for approximately one month. Our local doctor was unsure of what we all were in for, so he wisely sent us to a University hospital to be treated by specialists.
To my surprise, all of the nurses, doctors, and hospital staff were so nice. They were all so sorry that our son had died at four months in the womb. You notice I wrote, “died.”
They not only treated my wife and me with love and dignity, but they also treated our dead son with the same respect and dignity that they gave us. They asked what our son’s name was and if we wanted to have a funeral or have him cremated. They even wrapped him in a blanket and offered to take photos of him so we could remember him.
Please note, this is at the four month stage of his growth during pregnancy. Do you see where this leads us?
If for us – grieving parents who had wanted this baby, doctors were treating our baby as a dead child at four months inside the womb, why is it different for others who get an abortion at four months? Does anyone have an answer?... Anyone?
The fact is, there is no difference. Maybe emotionally there is a difference, but medically, scientifically, and factually speaking, there is no difference. They are the same situation—no matter the intent of the parent, that baby is still a human being. There is no gray area—one option is right and one is wrong. I know which one is right, and if you are willing to let your emotions get out of the way and just look at the facts, you also know which is right. The choice is up to you. Please, please make the right choice!
Please note: If you’ve had an abortion, God does not hate you. And neither do true Christ-followers. We love you and want to help you. Just invite Jesus into your life.
Here are some places you can find help:
Let these Scripture passages encourage you:
I hope these encourage and challenge you to really love God and others. There are some things here for students as well as their parents. Which ones will you do today and this week?
- Love is putting others before yourself.
- Love is realizing that when a problem or conflict arises that you are a part of the problem or conflict too, instead of just pointing fingers at everyone else.
- Love is helping your brother or sister with their chores not expecting anything in return.
- Love is knowing when to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”
- Love is knowing when to say, “I love you too much to let you keep walking down the wrong path without telling you the truth.”
- Love is putting your dreams aside to fullow God’s dreams for the life He has given you.
- Love is unconditional. At least real love is.
- Love is welcoming your mom or dad at the front door when they come home from work. Just to say “Hi, how was your day?” Then listen to them. Do not ask for anything.
- Love is listening to your parents and obeying them with your words and actions.
- Love is a husband who doesn’t leave his wife when she gets terminally ill.
- Love is a wife who doesn’t leave her husband when he loses his job.
- Love is a mother giving birth.
- Love is dad being there to see his child born.
- Love is writing a letter to your Mom and Dad and thanking them for bringing you into this world and giving you life.
- Love is letting your child have the last meatball for the spaghetti dinner you are having.
- Love is helping your brother or sister with their chores not expecting anything in return.
- Love is letting your children sit in your special chair.
- Love is listening to your parents and honoring them with your actions.
- Love is telling your child, “No.” even if it will cause a conflict with them because as a parent you know that “No” is the right answer.
- Love is giving your child freedom and saying, “Yes.” sometimes to teach them the importance of responsibility.
- Love is rewarding your children when they do the right thing with responsibility and giving them consequences that sting when they mess up. This will help your children learn godly principles.
- Love is spending time with your family. Get off the computer and play some cards or a board game together. (How about put a 1,000 piece-puzzle together and get to know each other again. I learned the importance of this from my friends Mike and Christy Fluegel. Thanks!)
- Love is letting mom and dad go on a date while you clean the house from top to bottom while they are gone.
- Love is slowing down and spending intentional time with God.
- Love is shoveling your neighbors’ sidewalk and driveway.
- Love is not complaining when your parents say “No.” for your own good. Even if you don’t understand. Other than God, who loves you more than they do?
- Love is washing the dishes instead of mom doing it for the umpteenth time.
Go love today!
I Corinthians 13
I John 4:7-12
"Nobody ever defended anything successfully; there is only attack and attack
and attack some more."
- General George S. Patton Jr.
When I first came across this quote, I was very excited because it expresses the method that, I believe, we as Christ-followers need to adopt in advancing the Kingdom of God. We have been in defensive mode for so long that I think we have almost forgotten how to attack Satan and his demons. Let’s just face the facts: Many of us who claim to be Christians have gotten lazy and expect others to take up the mantle of Christ. We need to stop reacting to what the world has to say —we need to act!
When Christ was tempted by Satan in the wilderness for 40 days, how did Jesus engage him? Satan took God’s Word out of context, and Jesus engaged him with the correct interpretation and context of the Word of God. This is what we need to do as well. We need to go on the offensive and speak the truth.
One major hurdle that we must jump over is the poor teaching from some people in the church’s pulpits and leadership. Harsh? Maybe, but many of you reading this know it’s true. Why can I say this so confidently? It’s because I am engaged with pastors and leaders in the church every month who compromise the Word of God and do not take a stand for truth. They let the wisdom of men rule their thoughts and teachings. These heresies are then passed on to their “flock.” Compromise seems to have become the truth of the day. If you think I’m out in left field, please consider the following people I have personally been in contact with just in the past month:
A person who claims to follow Christ, yet says the act of homosexuality is not a sin. She believes that homosexuals should still marry even when I pointed out to her that Jesus states in Matthew 19 that marriage is between one man and one woman.
A United Methodist pastor who teaches that the abortion debate is only a woman’s issue, so men need to take a back seat and not speak up.
At Worldview Warriors, we are dedicated to equipping the saints, adults and students alike, to not only know what they believe and why they believe it, but to be on the offensive and attack the enemy’s lies.
I would like to close with this little truth I learned from my good friend, Shane Adams, who speaks for us occasionally and coaches a high school boys basketball team. He teaches his team, “Play defense, and that defense wins championships!” This sounds a little different from the Patton quote above until you realize what he means by this. Before the season started he told me, “We are going to be the most disciplined team on the floor. We are going to slow the game down and play defense. When we are on offense, we will control the ball until a great shot opens up.”
Do you see the wisdom in this philosophy? Stay on the offense, attack and attack and attack some more. The best defense you can have is a strong offense that looks for the great opportunity to score — not a good opportunity, but a great opportunity. And with this comes discipline.
We need to learn truth and have a solid biblical foundation set in Christ. We need to be disciplined with our relationship with Jesus Christ. We not only need to speak the truth in love but we need to show truth though our actions as well. As Christ-followers we need to engage people right where they are in the culture. Remember that people who are blinded by false teachings are not the enemy; Satan and his demons are the enemy. We need to speak and act in love toward people.
Ephesians 6:12 – “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Do you agree that discipline is a good thing or not? Why do you think that way? Back it up with scripture.
Further reading on discipline (Living as a person of discipline and receiving discipline):
II Timothy 1:17