Monday, April 4, 2011

Youth Retreat at Bates Creek

The Lord has provided a tremendous opportunity for me to preach to young people at a weekend retreat this month (April 21-23). They are expecting 40-80 young people between the ages of 12 & 18, plus counselors & adults.

The theme of the retreat is the persecuted church throughout the world. They will be looking at some materials from Voice of the Martyrs, having Bible studies, as well as, some recreational activities.

I will be preaching 5 times on the following subjects, focusing on the importance of the Gospel & missions:
1. How Good Is the "Good News"? (Romans 5.20)
Reaffirming the greatness of God's grace with its freedom & joy, which contrasts the bondage & sorrow in the world--truly a message worth proclaiming, that answers the longings of human hearts everywhere, and that will win the hearts of men from every culture.

2. The Big Picture: What on Earth Is God Doing? (1John 3.8 & others)
The work of God thru the ages, beginning with creation, and culminating in eternity, focused on Christ, and blessing every people, gives us vision & purpose for our lives, and affirms the importance of here & now in God's grand scheme.

3. The Seduction of Our Culture & the Power of Love (Matthew 13.22 & 2Corinthians 5.14,15)
Beware the deceit & power of our culture to draw our hearts away from our "reason for being" as believers, but the expulsive power of Christ's love for us casts out our love for lesser things, and focuses us on God's mission.

4. What Good Is This Body? (Philippians 1.20-26)
The great joy & purpose of our life now is to serve Christ & magnify him in our bodies, which we may do either by using our bodies for him, or by laying aside our bodies for him, both of which uses make known his surpassing worth.

5. What Does a Missionary Really Look Like? (Acts 11.19-22)
We are all called to play a part in God's mission, using whatever skills, knowledge, abilities & gifts God has given us to make him known among all peoples; the question is not whether God is involved in our lives & plans, but whether we are involved in God's life & plan, in his grand drama of the ages.

Please pray for this endeavor, that God would work in the lives of these young people for his glory, raising them up to be bright lights in their generation, not living for the "American dream," but to show forth the wonder & greatness of God's character & works--and doing so regardless of the consequences.

"Remember the prisoners as if chained with them--those who are mistreated--since you yourselves are in the body also."--Hebrews 13.3

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