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December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:10 pm
We're going to take a break from the readings until we get back from the retreat. Just focus on Scripture this week!

1. Pray. Ask God to reveal Himself onto you through Scripture. Ask God to give you an appetite for his Word (Just like how we always pray before we eat - you are essentially praying before you eat spiritually
2. Read maybe 2-3 times
3. Interpret the passage, see what verses, terms, and key phrases stick out to you.
4. See how you can apply the passage - knowledge is amazing, and to know God is essentially our focus. Even better if you can find ways to apply it.
5. Share your prayer requests. Seriously. Everyone is able to read what you flesh out and we are a Church that will pray on your behalf - also an opportunity for you to pray for others as well.
-You can always share praise songs that has spoken to you as well, maybe throughout your devotional/quiet time.
6. Pray to end off your devo, trust God that He is working through this initiative.

Suggested Passage is Ephesians 2
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Ephesians 2:1-10

on Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:11 pm
So this passage talks about being made alive in Christ. I think we've heard this general idea and message in sermons and other worship songs. For example, the first verse says how we are dead in our sins, like in the song Death was Arrested. Anyway, the passage talks about how we are dead in our sin because of our Earthly ways, and how the spirit above is doing works in us to fix us so we can be alive again. The next chunk talks of how we all have been dead in our sin at some point in our life, but the Lord's love and Jesus' love for us, he made us alive in his grace, even when we deserve his wrath on us. Then the passage keeps going saying how we were raised with Christ, and how Christ was seated on the right hand of God. This kinda shocked, but awed me at the same time. It's telling us that Jesus has been with us every step of our life since we were born, and he is with us because God wants to show us his grace and kindness, so that we can be like him and not be dead in our sin. Then the passage says that we have been saved through grace and by our faith, and not be the things that we do now. I think that we really need this mindset, since I think a lot of us boast in our works, especially me. But Ephesians is telling us that we shouldn't boast in what we do or the goals we achieved, we should in fact focus on growing our faith so that we can be like Jesus and not be dead in our sins, so we can be alive with him. Then the passage ends with telling us that we are God's handiwork, his boastful creation, and he prepared us to do good works in Christ. So Ephesians tells us that God created man and us so that we can praise and glorify God. Yet, with all the Earthly desires all around the world, we are dead in our sin and cannot continue God's intended task for us. However, with grace and our faith, we can be more like Jesus and Christ, and be alive with him as we grow in our spiritual life and continue with God's goal for us.

Prayer Requests
- Just hope that we can do our devo's this week, and that we can just really be affected positively by these devos
- Pray for my gratitude, that I can just act more thankful towards my friends and those around me
- That we can get through this last week for GBN/GBS people, and that we can have a smooth transition to break
- Pray that all the prep for retreat goes well, and that it wouldn't stress out any of the college leaders serving, and that God would just protect them and keep the leaders and PJ safe.
- That PJ comes back safely soon lol
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Re: December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:37 am
Finished the book of John this week and something that really stood out was the disbelief in Jesus' resurrection, for example in John 20:25 says, "So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” here Thomas questioned if Jesus has resurrected and really questions the other disciples. I believe a lot of the times the lack of faith shown here is something that I struggle with. I doubt the Lord's plan, future and everything that happens in my life that is all meant for my walk with Christ. Sometimes, I ask for these signs or proof that there is a life for me and it always reflects the type of heart that I have. I recently ended my friendship with someone because after praying about it and just wondering what I should really do, I just came to the conclusion that it really has affected my relationship with Christ and as much as I can say this was all for the greater good, it was really hard to do and I still have a heart full of regret. I think through these times of struggle I should just learn to put more faith in him, knowing that God has a plan for me and that I don't need a physical sign or proof that he is there for me.

Prayer Requests:
- My heart and faith has been affected, I lost someone who was very important to me and it has affected my faith and emotional well being
- Retreat is next week, just to be humbled, rebuked, just get back on track in my spiritual life
- My group members Ashley and Ethan
- School: Nursing Applications
- Family: For Eddy to choose the school that can help grow his relationship with God
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Ephesians 2:11-22

on Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:31 pm
This next chunk of the passage in Ephesians is about who we are, and how we can reconcile or be friends again with Christ. The first chunk of verse remind us that we were Gentiles by birth. This is saying that even if you are born into a church or born as a Israelite, you were still a Gentile when you were born. Being Gentiles, we were completely excluded from God, but Ephesians say that thanks to God, we are now again close to Jesus Christ. The passage then says how Jesus is our peace maker, breaking down barriers and making two groups into one. Jesus is our prince of peace, and with him we can make peace to others. Using even one of his commandments to us, to love our neighbor and our enemy as ourselves, we can with Jesus break down barriers and make peace with others. Then Ephesians tell's us that one of Jesus' goals for being sent to Earth and crucified was to make a new humanity in which we can all have peace with each other. Besides all of Jesus' other teachings, one of his big ones was love, and with that love we can make peace. Jesus really was our prince of peace with his teachings about loving each other. The last chunk finishes it off by telling us that we are no longer strangers of Christ, but instead fellow citizens and people of Christ. It continues saying how we are building on top of the foundation that Jesus and his disciples had placed, and with us building onto that foundation we become a temple for Christ. Yet, while this temple is being built, we ourselves are spiritually being built up with God in us. With Jesus helping us make peace with our enemies, he gives us a lesson of love, in which we build upon with missionaries or just spreading the gospel. In building upon Jesus' teachings, we build his temple and at the same time we grow spiritually

Prayer Requests
- Usually the same with school, family and church
- Pray that the retreat goes smoothly, and that the leaders would be protected
- That I can just really be more efficient with my work, with winter break coming and finals approaching
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Re: December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:27 am
Planned in dividing the chapter into two sections, reflected on verses 1 through 10 today.

v.1-3, Sharing how were were once dead in our trespasses and sins, as we had walked in them according to the 'passions of our flesh'
-I think it's critical to note that dead people don't come back to life, at least on their own terms via their own strength/ability. We were dead, hopelessly lost, we were also blind to our lostness and living life in a way that seemed 'normal'.
-But we carried out whatever was pleasing to our sinful flesh.

Yet from verse 4 we begin to see a greater glimpse as to who we are in Christ. Through God's rich grace and mercy, made us alive with his love for us through Christ. And just as He was once raised, we are promised resurrection as well from our sinful bodies. And verse 8 indicating a foundational truth of our new identities, we are saved by grace through faith. We didn't earn anything - in fact, if we did earn something - it'd be death and eternal separation from God.
-When we held no value, God placed value in us by sending Christ to die on our behalf. He purchased us with an expensive cost when we clearly didn't deserve it.

I stopped and reflected on this. What does this actually mean? God didn't just die for us so that we can do good things for Him, He purchased us from our sin so that we can delight in Him. I think we have this concept in our heads that we have to give God our lives (not that this is wrong) because He gave us His. First and foremost, we have to recognize that Christ died for us so we can know God. Delight in God. And in verse 10, it concludes with the fact that we are God's handiwork, workmanship, perfected masterpiece. We are the painter's painting, the potter's clay. We reflect God's beauty and we were created to do good works in which God had predestined for us to walk in.

We are made eligible to please God. And to give him glory. We are image-bearers, bearing the image of God and we are now His representatives. Is this not a privilege in which we should live out?

Please pray that I can come back and prepare well enough for the retreat. It's been rather difficult to make time to prepare ahead of time but I really want to devote faithful work to God.
Please also pray for my family, they're incredibly broken (as we all are), but just coming back home as made me recognize that things in our family aren't always picture perfect. Please pray that God's grace may be kept dear to their hearts.
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December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:53 pm
Matthew 23

The passage was about Jesus condemning the Pharisees, but really condemning people in general. The main idea was about hypocrisy, and how we must be cautious with our actions and words. Whether we like it or not, we are all hypocrites one way or another. We tend to see ourselves as a bit better than others, but in reality we are all broken and on the same level. Everyone’s a hypocrite. The Pharisees had some power, but they used it in the wrong way. Jesus said they put their work onto others and aren’t willing to do any work themselves. Everything they do is to show off their status to others and how great of a follower of God they are, but it’s all an act. Faking it till they make it, but it’s ironic that their fake acts put them farther away from others. In the past I tended to think I had a better relationship with God by showing off the amount of devos I did or by telling others how long I prayed for. But in reality, I was the same as someone who didn’t pray or did their devos. I still swore. I still talked crap. I still hated certain people. I realized that putting on a show just strained my relationship with God even more. He doesn’t care about our acts. I keep forgetting that he looks at our hearts. This passage was a great reminder to me. The verse that stuck out to me was verse 27: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.”
I need to stop judging and criticizing other people’s actions, because my actions are the same as theirs. My biggest problem right now is thinking I have something better with God than those who don’t even go to church, but really I don’t. I see myself getting farther away from God by putting on this act, but through these devos I feel as if I’m growing a little bit each time. I’ve been using the excuse that I’m getting triggered easily because my period is coming. Tbh I just think my annoyance toleration has been decreasing. I really hope I can be more loving to others in a genuine way. I don’t want to be like the Pharisees that seem beautiful but only on the outside. I don’t want to be dead on the inside. I want to thrive on the inside and outside. I’m hoping that as my attitude changes my faith and love will grow.

Prayer requests
-I kind of said most of my prayer requests above hehe
-don’t waste my life on earthly things such as Netflix, shopping, social media, etc
-be more understanding and put myself in other people’s shoes instead of getting annoyed with them instantaneously
-help me to find something other than talking bad about someone or ranting in a mean way to relieve my stress
-help me to turn to the Bible and crave His word more

Song:
Drops in the Ocean by Hawk Nelson
The whole song is amazing. The lyrics really lift me up.

I want you as you are not as you ought to be
Won’t you lay down your guard and come to me
The shame that grips you now is crippling
It breaks my heart to see you suffering Cause I am for you
I’m not against you

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Re: December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:38 pm
12/21/18
1 Peter 1

After finishing up the book of Romans, I decided to take PJ's advice and go through 1 Peter next.
There was a lot to unpack in the first chapter, beginning from how we should praise God, to our worldly sufferings, to how we should live in God's word, to how we were ultimately dead and revived through his everlasting word. The chapter opens with Peter praising God for giving us an inheritance that cannot perish, spoil, or fade. He talks about how our faith and God's power saves this inheritance for believers until salvation is revealed to us. When the salvation is revealed, it would be obvious to us by how we live through our struggles. It talks about how our struggles are only worldly and that these struggles result in praise, glory, and honor through God's refining fire. I know I talk about this a lot, but passages that talk about revealing God's glory through struggles is really important to me. It gives me a reason to continue to struggle through everything instead of giving up, and I think that this was an especially influential passage for me. Struggles allow for God's refining fire to come and purify us, so we should be willing to glorify his name by going through these struggles. In this way, we can be filled with joy and salvation.
In the next section, it talks about how we should not conform to the evil in the world, but that we should follow God's image and live a holy life as Christ did. Furthermore, he calls for us to live in reverent fear. This is because we were saved by something that was absolutely perfect and not by worldly items that we may value more than Jesus. This helped me think about how I should purify my priorities and make sure that I don't turn to anything but God in my times of need as well as my times of joy. Lastly, he talks about how once we realize that we need to put God first, that we will be reborn through him in nonperishable seeds instead of the worldly desires.
I think this chapter was sort of a checklist? or like a timeline of sorts that we should go through. We need to recognize that God loves us so much that he has an inheritance set aside for those who truly seek salvation. In order to reach this salvation, you much acknowledge that the struggles on this world is to glorify God and that we should act upon our teachings. I think that this passage really highlighted on what we should be focusing on as Christians seeking salvation and was a good wake up call about how much I should really be relying on God through everything.

Prayer Requests:
- Last day of school tomorrow! Please pray that the final push will be strong
- Pray for all of our health during the events that are to come this week
- To turn to God in everything that I do and not just when I need him
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Re: December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:28 am
Philippians 3
This chapter of Philippians follows the account of Paul discussing two main topics: confidence in the Spirit and focus on the ultimate goal which is our citizenship in heaven. In the first section of the chapter, he is shown reflecting on the contrast between spiritual and secular confidence. In verses 7 through 9, Paul makes the statement that the material possessions that he previously considered gains were now losses for the sake of Christ and paled in comparison to knowing Christ Jesus. He also emphasizes righteousness on the basis of faith rather than one that comes from the law. I took away two points from these verses. First, as Christians our earthly possessions should be viewed as mere objects, rather than things of value. In the current culture that exalts the wealthy, people are inherently susceptible of placing unnecessary on material items which can be touched, seen, and put on display to please or gain approval from others. However, as Christians were are to recognize the insignificance of such items and consider them garbage. This leads into the second point: to prioritize one's relationship with Christ above all else. In order to fully divorce from the culture that values material objects, there is the need to prioritize something else instead, which in our case is Christ Jesus. The second section of this chapter, Paul discusses the distinction between those who have their destiny set in Hell and those who have citizenship in heaven awaiting them. When describing the enemies of Christ in verse 19 it mentions that their god is their stomach, their glory their shame, and that their mind is set on earthly things. This expands on the message from the previous section of the book that those who prioritize and let their minds/hearts be consumed by secular rather than spiritual motivations will inevitably meet their fate in Hell. But if we are to look to Christ alone and reject a secular frame of thought, we are offered citizenship in God's house.

Prayer Requests:
- My health. It's been deteriorating for the past couple of days.
- The winter retreat's efficient organization and the Holy Spirit to influence Pastor James and the other leaders to bring the congregation closer to God.

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Re: December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:47 am
Matthew 26 Jesus Anointed at Bethany

Summary: This is the story where a woman with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume pours it on Jesus’s head. When the disciples saw this, they got triggered because they thought this was a waste of perfume. They said, “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor”. Jesus responds with, “She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have, but you will not always have me.” Then Jesus goes on to say that her act of kindness will be spread to the rest of the world and she will leave behind a legacy.

Application: this reminded me of Pastor Yohanes sermon on Sunday. People didn't understand why Christians could be so loving and kind, just like how the disciples couldn't understand the woman’s act of kindness. As Pastor Yohan talked about, the emperor of Rome pour federal funding and millions of dollars to combat Christianity but somehow, Christianity did not die out. It was because Christians were not only taking care of their own poor but also the poor who were non-christian. I think that a big part of evangelizing is just showing people, unconditional love. Not to flex but in the past, I have been asked why I bend over back for people who aren't even my friends, and I’ve used that opportunity to no boost my ego but to point it back to Christ. Furthermore, Jesus says you will always have the poor but not him. This reminded me of our leaders. We will always have the problem that we will need to work through but we will not always have the same leaders. I think that we've gotten very comfortable with each other, which is a great thing, however, I don’t think we realize how short of time we have together with this exact hour. So when something comes up, we can't either fight and debater over whois right, or we can look past it to help grow the youth group. I see a lot of us prioritizing our own desires before the needs of our youth group, and I believe I’m in the same boat. I think we realize how influential our leadership group is. Our leadership group is pretty big and the people in it are the ones who come out to church the most. The things we do, but more importantly the things we don’t do have a huge influence on the youth group. Think of how many times you took time out of your own day, or went out to talk to a junior high kid or someone who is excluded from youth group. If you’ve talked to them, reflect on how your relationship is with them. How deep or shallow is it? I think that the number of people who actually reach out is a very small minority of our leadership group.

Prayer Requests:
I think that we are starting to grow apart amongst the leaders. We need to remember that we are all here to help grow the youth group. Please pray that we respect each other's opens and for unity
Please pray as the retreat is about a week away and we are finishing up the planning for the retreat. Please pray that we will receive many blessing!

Song of the Day:
“This alabaster jar is all I have of worth
I break it at Your feet, Lord, it's less than You deserve
You're far more beautiful, more precious than the oil
The sum of my desires and the fullness of my joy
Like You spilled Your blood, I spill my heart
As an offering to my King”



Last edited by Euntak Jang on Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:11 am
Matthew 27:45-55 The Death of Jesus

Summary: Jesus the Messiah was traded in for Jesus Barabbas, who was a well-known criminal. The elders convinced the crowd to release a criminal for Jesus the Messiah so that he could be crucified. Pilate says that Jesus blood is on them and it is their responsibility. As Jesus is about to be crucified he is mocked by the elders, crow, soldiers, and even by the two other criminals that were about to be crucified with him. Around 3, Jesus cried out “Eli, Eli, Lema sabachthani?” which translates to “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus cries out one more time before he dies. As soon as this happened, the Earth shook and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people rose to life.

Application: Even though I’ve heard this story thousands of times, and I probably will another thousand times, it still gets me when Jesus, with his very last breaths, calls out to God. He asks God why he has forsaken him, but he also believes that He will be done. When I read this, all of the problems that discourage me from serving seems os minuscule. The problems that we have amongst the leaders aren’t anything, but when you look at the big picture, they are so small that we should let go of our pride and ego and squash beef. I have trouble doing this because I try to think very logically and when someone disagrees with the logical solution, I get me frustrated. When it's clear as night and day on what the right way of doing something is and they choose to do the exact opposite, it gets me confused and angry. The thought that goes through my head is, “How can you be so dumb?” and I know I shouldn’t be thinking this. Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions. However, when it hinders us from moving on and growing the youth group, I just want to sometimes through in the towel and call it quits. For example, when we have our morning devos and our leaders are saying some very intelligent things to advance the conversation, however, a couple hours later, they are discussing some very inappropriate topics, I wonder how they can be so dumb. I think I’m guilty of this too sometime and please call a foul on me when you see it. Anyways to bring it back to the lesson, when I experience this and I‘m discouraged, I see how much Jesus had to suffer and it puts into perspective on how miniscule my problems are. We can’t get caught up in the details, and instead, we need to look at the big picture.

Prayer Requests:
Please pray that I have a more loving and serving heart. I think that since we have started leadership team, I have been tenser and easier to anger.
Please pray that we may have the courage to call fouls on each other when we see it.
Please pray for yourselves to prepare your hearts for God during the winter retreat.

Song of the Day:
“Even when the fight seems lost
I'll praise you
Even when it hurts like hell
I'll praise you
Even when it makes no sense to sing
Louder, then I'll sing your praise”

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Re: December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:28 am
Radical Chapter 5 The Multiplying Community

Summary: This chapter focused on Jesus’s last command before he left the Earth, which was. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28). As the previous chapter mentioned, we should go out to the world and make disciples. However, successfully doing this doesn’t mean starting a megachurch and bringing thousands of people on a Sunday morning for a couple of hours Jesus invested his entire ministry on Earth to 12 men. He did this because it's not about the number but disciples he made on Earth but what quality of disciples. He knew that they would go out and make more disciples. Furthermore, Platt goes into how we baptize others to discipleship. We do this by building relationships and growing with them, sharing our own histories, families, dreams and struggles. Platt says it the best when he says, “Disciple making is not about a program or an event but about a relationship. As we share the gospel, we impart life, and this is the essence of making Disciples. Sharing the life of Christ” (pg.96). Platt then goes on to tell us that all of us are called to be teacher and mentors of the new disciples. We do this by taking up our own daily cross and actively pursuing him, as he says, “This raises the bar in our own Christianity. In order to teach someone else how to pray, we need to know how to pray. In order to help someone else learn how to study the Bible, we need to be active in studying the Bible” (pg.100). What he means when he says that the bar in our own Christianity raises, he explains two pages later, as he says, “All of a sudden the pen and the paper come out. Note taking is not the measure of how committed we are to making disciples, but if we are hearing God’s Word taught in order to teach others, then we want to get it down as best we can. When we realize we have the responsibility to teach the Word, it changes everything about how we hear the Word” (pg.102). Lastly, he talks about the concept of disciplining or disinfecting Christians. The difference between the two is that one define success and holiness by the things that they don’t participate in, the acts they deem sinful. The other defines success in the church not on the hundreds or thousands whom we can get into our buildings but on the hundreds or thousands who are leaving our building to take on the world with the disciples they are making.

Application: Chapter 5 talked about a lot of topics and I thought a lot of it was very important and that's why the summary is pretty long. I wanted to just pick one of the topics and apply it to our lives because there's a ton you can get from this chapter. The section that hit me the hardest was when he talked about when we listen to sermons and take notes, we aren’t only doing it for ourselves. When we do our devotionals, instead of asking what I can get from it, we must think about all the people that we will meet in the future and how this one devotional might help them. It’s not one about us. Christianity is so much bigger than just us. I think that our group thinks that they are very important. I’m not saying that our lives don’t have any meaning but we think way too highly of ourselves. When we look at the big picture, our problems, our struggles, and every obstacle that we face are so minuscule to everything else. Furthermore, i think that we need to spend more time developing relationship that help create disciples amongst each other. I feel like our leadership group is pretty close but when is the last time you talked about church other than encouraging each other for devotionals. Have you taken the time to really talk to someone about their struggles. One thing that I’ve learned about life and that is consistent among every human being is that everyone is struggling with someone. Some people might struggle with serious problems, but without failure, I realize everyone is struggling. We need to develop not more, but deeper relationships.

Prayer Requests:
I think that our leadership is toxic because people are afraid to “Just Say it”. I think that's why we have so much drama amongst us. If we just took it up with the person and explained our frustrations, they would understand and we would end the problem there. Please pray that God helps us give courage to call fouls on each other and be real with each other.
Please pray that God gives us more perspective on the weight of our learning.
Please pray that God will develop not more but deep relationships with each other.
Please pray that God will rebuke us to do our devotionals.
Please pray about the Winter Retreat. I don’t think people actually know about how much work goes into planning it. Please pray for the leaders as they are working very hard.

Song of the Day:
“I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about you,
It's all about you, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about you,
It's all about you, Jesus”

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Re: December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:11 am
Psalm 102

verses 1-2
“Hear my prayers, Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly”

These verses are basically saying how we want the Lord to hear our prayer and to always be there for us. These couple verses stood out to me the most because these past couple of months, I feel like I relied too much on myself instead of God and believed that I could do anything without him. Which is far from true. I want so strongly an unbreakable bond with God, but how can I have that when I cannot even rely on him during my darkest times? These verses caught my eye because it made me realize that whether or not I can see or feel it, God is always listening to my prayers and answering them in one way or another. It is difficult at the moment, I will admit, but I want to be able to talk to God and trust that through him and with him, I can do all things.

Prayer requests:
- for me to be more grateful with everything I have in my life
- for me to love easily and judge less
- winter retreat!! that everything runs smoothly


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Re: December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:58 am
12/23/18
1 Peter 2

The beginning of the chapter is the ending of the last section of chapter 1. It calls us to rid ourselves of our sins and to crave the spiritual milk to nourish us because we have tasted that God’s grace is good. I think this should also be a good indicator of if we are truly devoted to Christ. If we have tasted the goodness of the spiritual milk and we are still not craving it, but craving our sins, we need to re-evaluate our faith.
The next section is the portion i want to focus on. It uses the analogy of stones and a cornerstone. We can be seen as the stones in this, as we are used to glorify and build God’s kingdom. The portion that stuck out the most to me was verse 7. It says, “Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”. This stuck out to me because I took it in the sense that God uses everyone to build his kingdom, no matter how broken or rejected a stone is. I think this was helpful to me because it reminded me that God chooses the broken to lead his kingdom and to build it up. He doesn’t look for the perfect and picks those who would be rejected.
Lastly, it talks about how we need to follow our leaders to follow God. He isn’t a being that is beyond our daily lives. Our leaders were placed in their position for a reason, so we should follow their decrees. In this way, we are also worshipping God, just in a different manner. Although I didn’t learn anything new, these were all good reminders to follow God and make sure I’m glorifying him always.

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Re: December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

on Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:31 pm
The passage that I read today was a very short passage in Matthew chapter 13:45-46 which says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it." I believe a lot of us have found these fine pearls in life and it may have hurt us or it may have been a great benefit for us. However, I believe that I have found this one great pearl in God and he has blessed me with this youth group. These past few days really reminded me of how much I am loved by the members of this youth group and how important I really am. As someone who lost someone very dear to me recently, being with this youth group really helped me to face this problem even in times of hurt and solitude. This makes me really thankful and makes me even more excited to serve at this retreat and really just bond with the brothers and sister that God has blessed me in my life. So some of the things that I want to be thankful for in this time of holidays is a loving family who will always be there for me, a second family where I can finally call my home, some of the brothers and sisters in college who I have really had a great time to bond with, Daniel to really be there to do all the dirty and hard work for the youth group, Nicolle for blessing me with this great Secret Santa gift, Pastor James who finally came back and whom I missed dearly and to have our bake sale work out to really support our youth group.

Prayer Requests:
Retreat- Its in two days and we go with a heart of desire for God to really learn and to be blessed
For strength- all of us are really tired from all that baking that God will give us these next two days of Christmas eve and Christmas to really rest and get ready for retreat
My small group- that I could be loving, patient and be humble with the members of my small group and that we can learn and be blessed from each other


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Re: December 16th to 22nd (Suggested Passage: Ephesians 2)

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