Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pure Hearts

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When youth are given the opportunity to share their heart, the outcome is riveting. 

Lately, the Mr. has been talking to our youth group about the armor of God {Ephesians 6:11-18} and how important it is to use that armor we've been given.

He gave an illustration a couple weeks ago to help them understand the importance. He had a big guy suited up in armor in the literal sense and a petite girl across from him with just a shield. He asked her how comfortable she would feel defending herself against him. She replied that she would be scared. 

Slowly he would give her pieces of armor; bigger, shinier, and more sturdy than the guy had. 

The helmet {of salvation}, the breastplate {of righteousness}, the sword {of the spirit}, the belt {of truth}, the shield {of faith}, and shoes {with feet ready to share the gospel}. 

As she took each of the pieces she became more confident, more courageous, and she looked like she could defeat the big guy across from her. 

That illustration in the natural was paralleled to that in the spirit. It was awesome to see it "click" with them.

Last night we had our Wednesday night youth service. We shook things up a bit and all met in our cafe on some cozy couches and rocking chairs for some great discussion time.

The Mr. wanted to focus the discussion on the sword of the spirit; the Bible. He asked each of them to find a scripture in their Bible that they have used in their everyday life as a sword. 

They each took turns sharing what was on their heart. I was taken back by the words coming out of their young mouths. Their hearts are so pure, so unadulterated, so honest. 

A couple of verses that were shared that stuck out to me were Isaiah 43:1-2 and Job chapter 5. 

I hope you take the time to read these verses. They are so powerful. To hear how these 15 and 18 year olds apply these scriptures to their daily lives are so humbling. 

Isaiah 43:1-2 
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. 
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. 
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned. Nor shall the flame scorch you.

Job 5  
{The Message}
If I were in your shoes, I'd go straight to God, I'd throw myself on the mercy of God. 
After all, he's famous for great and unexpected acts; there's no end to his surprises. 
He gives rain, for instance, across the wide earth, sends water to irrigate the fields. 
He raises up the down-and-out, gives firm footing to those sinking in grief. 
He aborts the schemes of conniving crooks, so that no none of their plots come to term. 
He catches the know-it-alls in their conspiracies-all that intrigue swept out with the trash! 
Suddenly they're disoriented, plunged into darkness; they can't see to put one foot in front of the other. 
But the downtrodden are saved by God, saved from the murderous plots, saved from the iron fist. 
And so the poor continue to hope, while injustice is bound and gagged. 

So what a blessing when God steps in and corrects you! 
Mind you, don't despise the discipline of Almighty God!
True, he wounds, but he also dresses the wound; the same hand that hurts you, heals you. 
From one disaster after another he delivers you; no matter what the calamity, the evil can't touch you-

In famine, he'll keep you from starving, in war, from being gutted by the sword.
You'll be protected from vicious gossip and live fearless through any catastrophe. 
You'll shrug off disaster and famine, and stroll fearlessly among wild animals. 
You'll be on good terms with rocks and mountains; wild animals will become your good friends. 
You'll know that your place on earth is safe, you'll look over your goods and find nothing amiss. 
You'll see your children grow up, and your family lovely and lissome as orchard grass. 
You'll arrive at your grave ripe with many good years, like sheaves of golden grain at harvest. 

Yes, this is the way things are-my word of honor!
Take it to heart and you won't go wrong. 

I encourage you to ask a young person around you, in your family or circle or friends, what scripture{s} speaks to them. You might be surprised by their response.

When youth are given the opportunity to share their heart, the outcome is riveting. 

1 comment:

  1. This is so sweet. What a great post and what a great opportunity you guys have to reach young people. I get scared when I think of our children's future because I see the world that they've inherited. Jesus is quickly being pushed out of our culture and I can see that full persecution of Christians is not far off. Scary to say the least. You and your husband are a blessing to these teens. Thanks for sharing!


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