Archives for January 2018

Adam’s Devotional – January 25-31, 2018

From Adam

Earn your grades.  Earn your reputation. Earn your job.  Earn your friends.  Earn your responsibilities.  Earn your spot on the team. Earn your popularity.  Earn your waist size.  Earn your worth. That’s the way our world works. But God turns that on its head. There is nothing you can do to earn God’s love, and there is nothing you can do to lose it.  You will never deserve it. It’s called grace.  Our youth ministry values statement starts like this: “We are committed to being a Christ Centered community marked by compassion, brokenness, and grace.  Grace means that God has already decided how God feels about you.  Do you believe that?  How would your life, your relationships, and your values transform if you lived in the reality of God’s grace? How would you live differently if you received God’s wild love for you and stopped trying to hustle for your own worthiness? Grace is God’s standing invitation to real and authentic relationship with God, yourself, and others. Will you say yes to that invitation, or will you keep frantically trying to earn it? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – January 18-24, 2018

From Adam

Wake up people! Nobody has it all together. No matter how put together we look on Sunday morning or on social media, we are all a mess.  All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. We are united by our common need for God’s grace, and for each other. We actually can’t do this thing called life, nor can we do this thing called faith, alone. Our youth ministry is committed to being a Christ Centered community marked by brokenness. What does that mean?  That means that the love of God calls us to be courageously honest and vulnerable about not having it all figured out. Perfection is not a prerequisite of being a part of our community, brokenness is. Where are you afraid to fail? . . . the places you think you need to be perfect?  What are the ways you try to hide your brokenness?  Where are the places and who are the people with whom you can be vulnerable? What do you think about the idea that God wants YOU along with your shame? How have you been a vessel of God’s grace by providing a judgement-free space for others to be authentically vulnerable? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional- January 11-17, 2018

From Adam

To quote Wesley from The Princess Bride, “Life is pain; anyone who tells you differently is selling something.” Our youth ministry values statement starts like this: We are committed to being a Christ Centered community marked by compassion. What do we mean by compassion?  Compassion literally means suffering together. We just celebrated Christmas, the season where God reveals the divine self as the WITH US God, Emmanuel. We suffer together and rejoice together because that’s what God does with us in Jesus Christ. Aren’t those the type of friends you long to have? Isn’t that the type of friend you long to be?  the friend that doesn’t try to fix you . . . the friend that doesn’t belittle your pain or distract from your joy . . . the friend who sits with you in hell and walks with you into heaven (no matter how long it takes).  What a friend we have in Jesus! Who are those friends in your life that suffer with you?  Who are the people in your life with no other agenda than being with you on your journey? Who are those people that God has placed in your life for you to sit with, for you to suffer with, and that need you to point to and embody Emmanuel?  God is up to something . . . be a part of it.

 

Adam’s Devotional – January 4-10, 2018

From Adam

Our youth ministry values statement starts like this: We are committed to being a Christ Centered community marked by compassion, brokenness, grace, worship, mission, and play. What does it mean to be Christ Centered? It means we depend upon God to hold us together in the same way we depend upon gravity to hold us to the earth.  When we are Christ centered we remember that through Christ we have been reconciled to God, reconciled to ourselves, and reconciled to others.  When we have our center somewhere else we forget that we are loved, forget that we are called to share that love, and we allow our differences to cause of separation rather than celebration.  To be Christ centered means to live in the reality of Christ’s reconciling love. What is at the center of your life right now? What things do you place at the center that separate you from other people; politics, race, popularity, or maybe even social class? What would it look like in your life if you lived the reality of Christ’s reconciling love?  Who would you judge less?  Who would you listen to more? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – December 28, 2017- January 3, 2018

From Adam

What words come to mind when you think of judgement?  What about when you think about God’s judgement?  Words like fire, brimstone, or consuming fire?  According to scripture, God’s judgement is powerful and frighteningly awesome. Here’s the funny thing, though.  Scripture also tells us that Jesus Christ is our judge. At Christmas, we celebrate God’s birth into the world through the baby Jesus. That means that God’s judgement comes to us in the form of a helpless babe. What could be further from fire and brimstone than a helpless babe? From the very beginning, Christmas is a story of God’s grace.  How have you experienced judgement this Christmas? How have you experienced grace?  What stories of shame are you listening to in your head about how you are a failure?  What stories of shame are you telling others about how they are not enough? What would it look like if you received the gift of God’s grace being born in your life?  What would it look like if you offered it to others?  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – December 21-27, 2017

 From Adam

How many “Keep Christ in Christmas” signs have you seen on the road recently?  There is a very real fear out there that consumerism and commercialization have captured Christmas . . . that Christmas is more about a boost in the economy than the birth of Jesus Christ in the world. However, there really isn’t any fear about consumerism holding advent hostage. Why? Because Advent is about waiting.  As Christians, we actually celebrate and practice waiting. A consumer culture is driven by the on demandspirit.  Advent is driven by a spirit of slow down and wait for it. Waiting is hard though. Waiting reminds us of what we don’t have yet. The good news of Advent is that baby Jesus is worth the wait. What are the places in your life where you are frantically allowing the on demand spirit to drive you?  What would it look like if you slowed down and practiced the spiritual discipline of waiting? Be forewarned, waiting can be dangerous. If you slow down, you might have fewer presents under the Christmas tree. You might not please as many people.  But, maybe the extra space under the tree is the place where Jesus will be born.  Maybe letting go of feeling responsible for other people’s happiness will make room for God’s pleasure. God’s up to something . . . wait for it.
© 2019 First Presbyterian Church | 4815 Franklin Pike, Nashville, TN 37220 | (615) 383-1815
Website By Poka Yoke Design