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October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:47 am
Hey guys, I just want to give an encouraging note in light of this week's sermon - continue to grow with these devotionals. God is already in the interest pruning the branches that bears fruit - even if it bears a miniscule yield. I, with my flawed human eyes, have witnessed that you guys are growing and bearing fruit. But consider God, who sees everything, who knows all and most definitely is engaged with our hearts and posture in growing our faith. If I can see that you guys are growing on a personal and collective level, could you imagine what God sees?
God is growing us through these devos and He will continuously sustain us through Christ, as the True Vine, our ultimate source for nutrition - apart from Him, we can do nothing.

-Please read over Leadership Axioms chapters 26 and 74, reflect upon them as we'll go over them next week <3 (Chapter 74 addresses Woodfield Mall actually, which is pretty dang dope considering that it's so close to us haha)

I'm super encouraged by the growth that is happening amongst us. Keep going with the devos guys, even with it hurts or if it doesn't seem enjoyable. The reps that we put in, especially the ones that burn and hurt the most, will bring us the highest return in growing our spiritual muscles for God's glory!

Recommended Passage this week is 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:31.

Here's a template/example (don't feel restricted in following this, just a guide);

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.
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:58 pm
I am still currently going through Luke and I came upon a familiar story in Martha and Mary which is in Luke 10:38-42. While Martha was busy cooking and preparing the chores, for she had Jesus in her house, Mary was sitting and listening to the teachings of Jesus. Martha comes and complains about how she is getting no help from Mary and Jesus replies saying Martha was being anxious about too many things and that Mary was there to listen to something that is necessary for her and is getting the good portion. I think as leaders who are serving, we all forget that we come to church to devote our time to Jesus and hear the word but a lot of the time we are too occupied by how the service is going, will it run smoothly, and other technical stuff. I'm not saying these things are not important but I feel like a lot of the times I put these things ahead of trying to hear the word and focusing on what is important. I should learn to be like Mary and put these "chores" aside when necessary and listen and obtain this "good portion."

Prayer requests:
To focus my heart on God and learning more about him
School, Family, Friends, Church as always

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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:20 am
1 Corinthians 1:18-31.
Lots of Old Testament references in today's passage,

Isaiah 29:13-14, "And the Lord said: "Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden."
Isaiah 19:12, "Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you that they might know the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt."
Jeremiah 9:23-24, "Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise men boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD."

This passage covers the basis as to how we can know God. That to others who do not know Him and are perishing in merit of their sins, the Gospel is absolutely foolish to them. Yet to us, who are being saved by it, it is the power of God that has redeemed us from our own sins. The rhetorical questions in verse 20 is in reference to Isaiah 19:12, just as Isaiah reprimanded the Israelites of his day, portraying the fact that even the wise men do not know God or His purpose. It's quite strange to see in verse 21 that it pleases God that through the wisdom of this world none can come to know Him. And as Paul preaches the Gospel, he makes clear that it is through this 'foolish' message in which we are saved. For Jews demanded miracles and Greeks sought persuasive arguments and logical deductions, but it is those who are called by God who are able to witness God's greatest power and wisdom - which is the Gospel.

Verses 26 now addresses the church in Corinth, to state that not many of them were from noble backgrounds that were wise. Yet it was through their lowliness, that God has brought revealed the Gospel to them. So that none may boast in knowing God (based on their own merit and understanding). This is a perfect reminder of Jeremiah 9:23-24 which states that those who boast ought to boast in the Lord - truly because nobody has anything else of worth to boast of. It is the unqualified that God has chosen, that God may receive all glory, honour, and praise.

I asked myself this question throughout today's devo, "Am I glad that I know God?" Though it's easy to take our salvation for granted (obviously not justified), it may also be easy to take our knowledge of God for granted as well. I think that it's such a privilege to have been born of a Christian home, in order that I may KNOW God, the one who created and has now redeemed me from my own sins. To accept the Gospel is one thing, but to know God and to adore Him deeply is another. I want to grow in this area, where I can delight in knowing God. Rather than just being in awe of what God DOES for me (though it is definitely worthy of praise, as we should), I want to just see God for who God is and live a life in which my eyes are always fixed on Him. There is power in the cross, yet there is greater comfort in knowing the redeemer personally.

Please pray for my knowledge of God to become greater. Not to be restricted in the form of knowing bible verses off the top off my head, but to actually know Him on a deeper and holistic level.
Also guys please pray for my mom, she'll be undergoing surgery for a thyroid and they said that there might be a 20% chance they could run into cancer. It's easy to just pray for health, but just pray that God's will would be done throughout the process and for us to trust in His providential character.
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:15 am
Matthew 18:15-20

I was flipping through the Bible until I found a passage that really applied to me and our church. I think many people are familiar with Jesus talking about loving our fellow brothers and sisters, but have no idea what he specifically said. Jesus preaches about how if we have problems or conflicts with one another, we should talk with the person you have problem with one on one. If that person listens, then you’ve bought his heart. If at that point he does not listen, then take one or more person with you so that they can persuade the troubled person into working things out with you. If he does not listen to other people, then take it to the church and if he still does not choose to listen, then treat him as a pagan or a tax collector. When I take a look at our church, I feel that we are very broken, in the sense, that we are not very good at confronting or apologizing with people that we have problems with. About three weeks ago, I have apologized to another church member for holding a grudge against that person, and thank the Lord, that person felt the same way. We cleared up misunderstandings and now we are “cool with each other”. I may be wrong, but I haven’t seen that within our church. I am not saying that I am better than our youth group, but I’m saying that it feels better that way. Not just for yourself, but for the whole youth group. We can bond better without particular people feeling awkward. Verse 18 and 19 both say the same things, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” When Jesus mentions, “It will be done for you by my Father in heaven,” in my belief, he means that if someone comes to us and apologizes or confronts us, we should not get defensive, but put God first and forgive through him

Prayer Request
- School
- Our Youth Group
- Everything

Song of the day
- Endless Praise
I really like the music, but I really like the part when it says, "Light before the sun, your glory eternal." I tend to forget about God sometimes and God always reminds me through his powers in my life.
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Devotional

on Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:51 pm
For my devotional, I did mine on Psalms 37. Somethings around me have been hindering my walk with God recently, however, I know God will always prevail and that He is always watching over me no matter what the circumstance may be. Committing to something is a difficult task, however, committing to the Lord should be something we should all be doing. Although there will be the ups and downs throughout any commitment, I believe everything is worth it in the end. In verses 3-4 it says, "Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Basically trusting in the Lord with the things you do, will give you enjoyment. You should be doing good and He will be giving you an abundant amount of happiness in your life. Although there are rocky times with life in general, I should be looking up to the Lord and really relying on him to get me through whatever I may be going through. Everything around me is mainly worldly desires which will all fade, and I tend to fail to remember that. Everyday I go through a routine of going to school, coming back to my room, and just doing whatever worldly pleasure that gives me the most enjoyment. However, I should be dwelling in the Lord during that time. In verses 12-13 it says, "The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming." I always end up falling into pure pressure which is not a good thing. As a person who is older, I end up not looking and constantly reaching out to others around me because I am afraid of rejection or failure. I know everything around me is all worldly pleasures around me, but I still want that as my enjoyment and fullness. Something that stood out to me was when it said," gnash their teeth at them." That's something I don't hear on a daily basis. When I read that, it kinda gave me a bit of the chills as these people want to bring the worst of me and bring me as far away from Christ as possible. However, I know that God will always give me the strength to fight and stay with him.
This week so far has been okay for me. Nothing terrible has happened, nothing amazing has happened. However, I am going through a slight downward path with a lot of things around me. I am trying to constantly rely on God to strength me throughout this time. Even though I fail constantly, I know he is the one reaching out to me and wants only the best for me. Even throughout this hard time, I know that there are people around me who will always support me and will always look for the best of me and want the best from me as well. For that, I will always be grateful.
Prayer Request
- Even through this downward path, I would be able to still show much appreciation and love
- Everyone around me will stay happy and no matter what happens they'll always ask God for strength
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:53 pm
Romans 7 - The Law and Sin

It’s been roughly two weeks since we started doing daily devotionals on own time and its already been a rollercoaster of a joinery so far for me. The first week was really fun and refreshing, doing something new to grow my faith. I felt like I had a lot more energy and willingness to serve without feeling burnt out. The second week I still felt good but it doing daily devotionals started to get harder. At times I would be too lazy to start my devotionals or feel a lack of motivation to finish the ones I started. This marks the third week and I feel absolutely drained and no motivation to start my devotional at all. I started my devotional today just to get it done but while reading Romans 7 three verses really stood out to me. Verses 18-21 “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.” Even though the we’re serving that doesn’t mean we’re immune to sin and its evil tricks. I feel when we’re in positions to serve or grow with God, thats when satan tries to hit us even harder with temptation to fail. Like what the verse says “so I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.” In moments like these is when we need to trust the process even when it seems pointless because God knows the bigger picture. A lot of us are going feel this and will want to quit but have faith and trust the word because the law is good and the fault lies within sin.

Prayer Request
- To trust God and word and continue growing with him through our devotionals
- For my heath
- Our Lock-in and our winter retreat

Song of the Day
- Pleasing to you
- Give my faith
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:28 am
Today I went over Luke 15:3-7 which is the parable of the lost sheep. It is about a Shepard who leaves his 99 sheep to find the 1 sheep that he has lost and rejoices once he is found. A lot of the times I feel lonely and lost, this feeling that no one in this world truly cares for me but to know that Jesus is there and will go out of his way to love me is so reassuring and blessing as I get distracted and get lost by the world and the many sorrows that come with it.

Another famous parable we know of is the parable of the lost son which is found in Luke 15:11-32, in this chapter a lot of people have related to the lost son but a lot of times I feel like the older brother of the parable. Once the younger brother came back, the father rejoiced and gave him a feast with a fattened calf, dressed him with the best robes and gave him jewelry. However the older brother did not rejoice that his younger brother has returned but was very jealous and envious of how the younger brother committed all these sins to his father and was rewarded when he came back while he was a good son and did not receive anything. A lot of the times in my life I feel as if I was a failure and seeing other people succeed in many other ways, even my own friends, made me feel resentment towards life. This resentment makes me forget all the good things that Jesus has done for me and that he has a future that he has set up with me yet I become so anxious. I should learn to put more trust in god and to be more thankful and joyful when my brothers and sisters have something good happen to their lives.

Prayer Request:
To just trust God with my future and to be content with it
School, Church, Friends, Family

Songs:
Remembrance, the lyrics "you've been so so good to me" really reminds me of all the blessings that God has given to me in my life
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Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

on Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:26 am
Matthew 20: 1-16
Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

Jesus tells this parable in response to Peter's belief that he and the disciples should be given better rewards than just ordinary believes since they have given everything they had in order to follow Jesus. In this parable, an owner of a vineyard needs workers, so he goes and hires a group of unemployed workers in the morning. In the afternoon, the owner still needs more workers so he hires another group of people, and at around evening he hires even more workers to work at his vineyard. At the end of the day, the workers who started working in the morning expected to be paid more than the workers who were hired in the evening, however the owner gives everyone just one denarius. This causes the first group of workers to be furious because they believed that they should have earned more for working longer hours. But the reality is is that no worker should be treated better than other workers. The vineyard represents the kingdom of heaven, and Jesus is trying to prove that everyone in his kingdom is treated equally and fairly. Even though we may think that working harder will come with greater rewards, this is not true since God's grace and mercy work equally in everyone. The first group of workers were wrong to think it was up to their own actions and how hard they worked to determine their prize, when in reality it was the owner's love for the workers that earned them the prize. Instead of being grateful that the owner welcomed them to the vineyard in the first place, the workers were greedy and wanted to obtain more worldly things (money). I feel as if a lot of us (including me) are just like these workers. Because a lot of us have been going to church for all of our lives and have become believers of God at such a young age, we feel that God should provide us with additional worldly possessions and satisfactions in our lives. However this parable is telling us that instead of focusing so much on what God hasn't given us, we should learn to be more grateful and appreciative for being chosen by God to be a part of his "vineyard," which is the greatest thing we could ever ask for.

Prayer Requests:
-to be more thankful that God has chosen me to have the opportunity to serve in his kingdom
-pray that during the Lock-in we will be able to grow both spiritually and with other people
-have a better attitude when doing devotionals/reading the books

Song: What a Beautiful Name & Break Every Chain (mashup)



Although mashups for the most part don't really work out, I really enjoyed this particular one because it basically describes God and what he has done for us from the very beginning of time up until now.
Verse 1: talks about his beautiful creation of the world and us humans.
Verse 2: talks about how even though people in the Old Testament were very disobedient and unfaithful, he still loved us and decided to send Jesus down to Earth so that we could have a chance at eternal life.
Bridge: talks about the day Jesus was crucified, and how he was able to successfully defeat sin and overcome the grave.
Break Every Chain: talks about how after Jesus died for us on the cross and forgave all our sins, we now have the ability to break every chain (overcome all our flaws) and live a renewed and more purified life that is centered around God.
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:27 am
10/31/18
Romans 6 - Dead to Sin, Alive in Chirst; Slaves to Righteousness

Romans 6 acts as a direct continuation of Romans 5. The last chapter ends by correlating the increase of sin with the increase of grace through the righteousness of God. Chapter 6 begins by addressing questions that are tied to this connection. It clarifies that although grace increases with sin, you should not sin with the intention to increase grace. We can't live in sin because our lives of sins died with Jesus on the cross. We've been saved from this life by Jesus's sacrifice and we have been united in both his death and resurrection. In this way, we're dead in our lives of sin, but we live in Jesus's righteousness. We are no longer slaves of sin, but of righteousness. The most applicable part of this chapter was within verses 12-13. It said, "Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness". This verse in particular was one that stuck out to me because it had a direct call to action and was extremely blunt about what we should do. It was easy to note the importance of these verses to me because there aren't many verses that are extremely clear about what to do. This impacted me specifically because it made me realize that if I was living in my worldly desires, that would mean that I'm still a slave to sin instead of righteousness. I should be more conscious about what I'm doing with my life and what I really value in the world. In this separation, I hope to become a slave to righteousness and reap the benefits of holiness and eternal life, rather than shame and death. Another verse that stuck out to me was verse 23, which said "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord". I found this interesting because it compared sin's "benefits" to wages, and contrasted this by saying the benefits of righteousness was a gift. We may work to serve our sin, but the pay/wage of sin is ultimately death. No matter how hard you work, death is the final wage that you gain from slaving under sin. On the other hand, a gift implies that it's something that was given out of grace and not something we deserve. This specific verse made me realize that eternal life isn't something that we can earn, but is a gift from God because we have died and resurrected with Jesus as slaves of righteousness.

Prayer Requests:
- even though it's hard, to continue with devotionals and do them throughout the week/not at the end
- live for God and in his word instead of relying on worldly desires
- lots of tests this week... please pray for my motivation level and mental state
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This is Living - God's Love

on Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:56 pm
10/31/18 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
"17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

These verses talk about a gift from God, Christ Jesus who has brought us back to God. When anyone is in Christ, they become a new person. Their old lives have passed, and they begin a new life. God gives us a task of reconciling people to him, because God, in Christ, has reconciled the world to himself. He gave us the message of reconciliation, so we are Christ's ambassadors. God is making an appeal through us. God made Christ who was perfect so that we might be right with God through Christ.

God has a dream for this world and we are all invited to be a part of it.
God's dream is that we would live each second of our lives with confidence that God passionately loves us. In this, his dream is also that we would risk loving others because we know God risked everything in loving us. The final part of this journey of finding your way back to God is the awakening to life. When we sincerely awaken to the new life God offers, we see the new possibilities for our new future completely different. We now say "This is living" but we realize that "living" is different. "Living" is different as it means a life that is better, bigger, and more meaningful than ever before. Your new life has a new, lifelong walk. This journey is a journey that we never need to travel alone because we will never need to live apart from our heavenly Father again. If we find ourselves looking for substitutes, drifting into complacency, thinking we have all the answers we need for ourselves. We know what to do and what the real answer is. We come back to the life that full of living. We know the way back home, and home is where we truly belong. Be prepared, for the future ahead, for a kind of life that's different from anything we thought possible when you choose to follow God and ask the Father for help. The awakening to life brings with it unexpected opportunities and influences because Christ is alive in us, and that changes everything. Now we can bring hope where there has been discouragement. We can bring hope to the people of our daily lives where we see at school, clubs, and church. We can show them the way to freedom, and we can be the lights in the darkness. This is living. We, the church, can work together alongside one another in order to make a difference in the community around us. Let's help one another to find our way back to God.

Prayer Requests:
I need help to see that studying is a way to worship the Lord. Prayer request that I would worship God through everything I do.
Prayer request that I would be more loving to my little brother.
Prayer request that I would be a light in my school.
Prayer request that I would have the confidence and the heart to reconcile people to God.



"We found our hope in you. We found our hope in you. You make all things new, new life found in you. You restore the years that we have wasted. You make all things new, your love breaking through.  There's healing in your wake and we are changed"
I love this song because it reminds me of how God is working through our lives and how he is changing us.


Last edited by Eddy Ji on Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:13 am
Proverbs 16
The key takeaway for this chapter is to fully rely on God and have full faith in His ultimate authority and justice for those who are wicked. In beginning verses it says that while people may make their own plans solely based on where their "heart" leads them, only the LORD has the final, proper word and answer. Also, while people may have confidence in their own ways, the true judge for the righteousness in their motives is the LORD. All of these develop the idea that only through God a person can have absolute certainty of whether their actions are truly righteous or in fact a sin in disguise. For this reason, it is critical that we are always relying on God and His wisdom and understanding over our own, which is often distorted and creating the false reality that we are always right. So not only should we be growing closer to God and applying the lessons from Scripture in our daily lives, but be actively seeking his assistance and direct intervention so that He could provide us with the true answers. In the following verses, we are called to "commit to the LORD" and he will both establish our plans and fairly punish/reward people based on the lives they led. The first part gives the explicit command to "commit" to God, which has the connotation of unconditional loyalty. This shows that a faith that is solely based on something such as the visible results and developments that God provided is not genuine and true. Rather, our faith should be stable and consistant and shouldn't become weaker or completely absent under certain circumstances. The second part reassures us of an important topic. It may seem like a no-brainer that the good are rewarded and the evil punished. However, there are many cases where the wicked individual seems to be better off and more successful. Despite these instances where it seems as though God is tolerating these people's evil ways, we should be reassured that God has a plan through everything and that he will consider their wicked past for the day of their final judgement.

Prayer Requests:
- To help me to be more reliant on God and His power and authority over my own.
- For me to try to live out a life that will make me as close to blameless on the day of judgement.
- The ability to guide my sisters towards God through their times of confusion and chaos



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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:49 am
1 Corinthians 2:1-16;

I think this passage sums up the basis as to how we can come to know and understand the character of our God and the Gospel. The introduction of this chapter, consisting from verses 1 through 5 explicitly shares that Paul did not come with great advanced vocabulary or rhetoric, yet he came with a simple message - Christ and him crucified. Paul shares that he completely yielded to the Holy Spirit's power, recognizing that it is the only source of understanding the cross and this is not through the wisdom of one's empirical senses/understanding (v.9).

Isaiah 64:4 says, "From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him."
-No means of human perception, rationalization, or reason can perceive or discover this wisdom that is revealed about Christ's death and resurrecting power. In light of the question I asked myself in my last devo, there is much more to build on this, is that there is no other means to know God and Him crucified apart from the Holy Spirit. It is through His power, and indwelling within us that reveals to us who Jesus is. The Spirit of God is the only source capable and qualified to disclose this wisdom, the depths of God. And those that do not have His spirit is not able to understand them and will consider them foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18).

I felt like chapter 2 really revealed to me that there is no bible study curriculum, sermon series, or teaching methodology that can reveal Jesus better than just yielding to the Holy Spirit's power. Often times I feel as if there is a certain passage that should be studied, or a particular verse in Scripture that we should look at. Rather it is the wisdom of the Holy Spirit that I need to constantly rely upon, for He can provide so much more than just a man made curriculum/teaching. It is ultimately God revealing Himself then, and this is always how it should be.
The question is then, "Are we willing to listen?" Often times we're so set in our ways that we become unteachable, defensive, and arrogant - so cocky in our ways. I need God to help break me apart, to destroy my pride at times in order that I may draw near to listen.

Please pray that I can exemplify more humility in my character, and that everything may flow from a proper examining of my relationship with God.



Listened to Shane and Shane's version of 'He Will Hold Me Fast'. Praise God for them, they're amazing haha
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:08 am
For this week's devotional and starting now, I want to start doing my devo's on the book of John. I'm going to start with John 1:1-18. The first verses talk of how God has been in the beginning since the start of time, and how he was the word in the bible. This topic about God is probably one I struggle with the most. I always doubt God, saying was he really here? How was he here forever? Did anything make God or was he just here? I still struggle with these doubts but I pray to keep my faith straight to learning more about God and how I can interpret his messages for my own benefit. The next verse talks of John, and how he was a witness to testify the light coming to the dark world. That light is Jesus. The book says that John only came as a witness for Jesus, which raises questions for me. Was John in the same situation as Mary? Was John conceived from a virgin, since God himself sent John for Jesus? Anyway, the next few verses are kind of confusing and a little hard to understand in my opinion because it has alot of repetition. Yet, I think it talks of how Jesus came to this world, his world that he created with God, since they are the holy trinity. Jesus came to the world he created, yet the world didn't recognize Jesus as the creator. However, whoever did accept him become children of God, not human but born strictly from God. I think this is a very early version of what the gospel is. The Gospel to us is that if we believe that Jesus is our savior, then we become the children of God and in being that we are saved. The passage in John is saying the same thing, that whoever accepts Jesus into their lives becomes a child of God. The next few verses speak of Jesus' glory. The word of the Bible became flesh and walks the same Earth as us. The next verses say that Jesus came to the world, only showing God's grace and truth to us, but that is just a fraction of what God really is. The Bible says that no one has really seen God, except for Jesus who is God. I think this is hard to understand because if Jesus is so great and does all these amazing things, the Bible is saying that the things Jesus does is just a little bit of what God can do, and this really emphasize ho God's glory and power over all of us.
Prayer Requests: There's been a ton of stuff happening, a lot of it is with stress. I just pray that God can give me the strength to keep going and that the stress on us can just be lifted so we can glorify God.
Again school and time management, that I can just be more responsible
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:19 am
Matthew 19:1-12 Divorce

Summary: Jesus is preaching to the people of Judea and some Pharisees came to test him. They asked, “is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” Jesus responded that when a husband and wife marry, they become one flesh which cannot be separated. Then the Pharisees quested, “Why did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus then responds with,” Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.”

Application: Jesus’ second response to the Pharisees really hit me hard. It made me wonder how many things that changed in our church just because people were hard-hearted and we spiritually dead. Jesus goes on in the later verse to talk about how this message isn’t for everyone and the ones who can accept it should. The first thing that came to mind about the word of God changing because of our dead hearts is the Gospel that is preached by Christians. I feel like a lot of churches had adjusted to society’s desires and only preach about the parts that people want to hear about the Bible, which is the gospel. People want to hear that they have been saved and anything they do, Jesus has died for. However, they don’t want to hear the rest of the Bible. Just to name one example of that we can all relate to is trying to fit Christianity into our lives. We try to live our lives during the week and become Christian during the weekend. We bend God to our needs instead of fully living for him.

Prayer Requests:
- Question whether we are trying to be Christian or fit Christianity into our lives
- Pray that we stay strong in our devotionals
- Pray for Lock in
- Pray for Winter Retreat

Song of the Day:
“This is prophetic, I can feel it in the air
We lift our praise and You change the atmosphere
With hearts open now everybody singing out
I am free”



Last edited by Euntak Jang on Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:02 pm
Acts 2:42-47 (Fellowship of the Believers)

When I was looking for a passage for my devotional, this passage popped up. The title caught my eyes, “Fellowship of the Believers.” When I think of “fellowship,” I think of our church members hanging out in the lounge and going out to eat good food. In this particular passage, it describes fellowship as a time to gather around with “fellow” believers of Christ to break bread and to pray to the Lord. At this point, they bring their possessions and goods to give to people who needs them. Everyday they continue to do this with sincere heart while praising God. And finally, the Lord rewarded them. Although the times have changed, I think we forget that our time of fellowship at church is for God and the well-being of our relationship with fellow members of church. We just like to have fun. I am not saying that having fun is a bad thing, but we should put God first and thank him for giving us the opportunity to have these moments. One question that rang up in my head while reading this message was, “Do we have sincere hearts when we have fellowship time?” By roasting or swearing, I think, it deteriorates our hearts a bit. Many people have not shown their hurt emotions, but people do get hurt from roasting, including me. I think we should love each other more and really do put God above all else.

Prayer Request
- Everything
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:16 pm
Matthew 18 Smile)
I loved the lessons in this chapter. God told me through these passages that my love for Him must be like an innocent child’s love, that I need to throw away the things in my life that cause me to sin, and I need to be a loving and forgiving sister that can help my fellow brothers and sisters grow spiritually.
The verses that stuck out to me:
v. 8-9: My hands, feet, and eyes are important parts of my body, but Jesus is saying that it’s not as important if it causes us to sin. He says we can live without it. He’d rather have us be crippled or blind then keep sinning and stumbling. I like how he uses important parts of our body to exaggerate his point. I want to pray to God and ask him to help and give me strength to cut off all the things that are causing me to sin whether it may seem important to me like: watching Netflix instead of reading the Bible. Netflix seems like it’s important, but I need to realize it isn’t.
v. 33-35: I think this is my favorite parable, because I start criticizing how stupid and rude the first servant is and then I realize I’m just like that. It’s a constant reminder to me especially when I’m with my brother. My parents forgave me for lots of things, and sometimes I can’t forgive my own brother for even one thing. Just like the first servant, I don’t show mercy to my brother at times. God is telling me that I need to be able to forgive. He forgives me all the time for my sins, and his endless mercy is amazing. Reading this made me tear up, because He’s always there. It motivates me to be a more forgiving sister. So I pray that I could be merciful to all(mostly in school because people stress me out there).

Prayer requests:
-help me to be forgiving towards all
-help me be loving and a blessing to all
-strengthen me as I cut off all that stumbles me
-lock in will not only be fun, but a blessing(I hope that it would open up our eyes)

Song: Reckless Love
I love this song, and, coincidentally, as I was reading the passage about how the shepherd left the 99 to find the one this song came on(btw it was on shuffle on Spotify, how cool is that hehe).
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:24 pm
Proverbs 17
God spoke to me through certain key points in this chapter that describe the traits of those who are wise. In verse 22 it says how a cheerful heart is good medicine while a crushed spirit "dries up the bones". I interpreted this as saying that in times of hardship and strife, it is important that we try to be happy rather than simply being defeated which only saps our motivation and makes us less able to resolve the conflict at hand. Knowing that God is always supporting us and has a plan through every trial in our lives means that we shouldn't feel disheartened in the first place, our God is the almighty God who does everything for our benefit. Although we may be struggling at the moment, we should keep in mind that God will use that experience to help us grow as Christians and become closer to Him. And this is something that anyone can delight over. To conclude the chapter, verse 27 describes traits specific to those with knowledge and understanding. The two mentioned are that these people use their words carefully and are even-tempered. I think these are especially important when it comes to leading as well. Being in a position to influence people, there are certain factors which dictate whether people will be led positively or negatively. First, using one's words carefully is something that cannot be ignored. Many other chapters in proverbs stress this same point, Scripture teaches that words hold a lot of power. As a leader, openly speaking in a negative or wicked way will have an impression on the rest of the youth group. For this reason, it is especially critical that a leader is careful not to spread this negativity and wickedness to the rest of the congregation. Instead of this, as leaders we should become a channel of blessing for the rest of congregation by choosing our words wisely; words hold power, but can be used positively to uplift or spread God's love and teachings to others. Secondly, it is important for a leader to be even-tempered. It is inevitable for people to become angry from certain unforeseen circumstances that aren't ideal. However, despite this a leader must not let their frustration be exposed or unfairly put on somebody else. This can severely damage relationships and cause you to lose credibility or respect in the eyes of the people one is serving. For this reason, being able to control one's emotions in order to think rationally is extremely useful.

Prayer Requests:
- For me to be able to implement God's teachings in a way that allows me to lead others to the righteous path.
- For me to be careful with my words and even-tempered

A song that spoke to me today was So Will I
"I can see your heart in everything you say
Every painted sky a canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I"

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John 7:16-24

on Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:45 pm
Currently I'm still on the book of John, and looking more into Jesus' lessons then the plethora of miracles in this book. This segment of the book starts off with Jesus teaching at the temple courts at the festival. He was teaching so well that the Jews brought up the question of who had taught him if he can speak this well? Jesus answers that his teaching come from God. He keep's going on saying that whoever does what God asks them to do will find out whether Jesus' teaching come from God or man. I think that Jesus here is trying to motivate others to walk a more Christ-like life, in order to seek God's teachings. Jesus further says that whoever talks for himself is to glorify himself, but it is not real glory. Instead, he says the man who seeks glory from God, who sent him is a man of truth. He is saying that in testifying for God, we get to seek our own glory from God himself, and that that should be our main focus of where to gain glory instead of gaining glory by talking of ourselves. The crowd then thinks Jesus is possessed, as what he is saying is very wrong. Yet, Jesus pulls an example from Moses. Jesus says that people are amazed by his miracles, and at the same time people want him dead because of those miracles. Yet, he pulls up Moses and how he circumcises a boy on the Sabbath, when that is the day for no work. Jesus then compares himself to Moses, asking why he gets hate for performing miracles on the Sabbath, and those who circumcise don't. This is pretty interesting because imo, Jesus performing miracles has got to be way better than circumcision, but yet people freak out over Jesus performing miracles because it isn't allowed? At the end of this, Jesus has his mic drop moment of saying to not judge by appearance but judge correctly. I think Jesus here is saying to look beyond appearances, and look at the person's actions and motives to see what he really is like.

Prayer Requests
- To stay active in school and in our church, that we can just be focused on both
- No stress on any of us, whether that by family or school
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Devotional

on Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:31 am
I did my devotional on Psalms 45. As I am continuously going through my journey in Psalms, a lot of things stick out to me. A lot of times, I see myself failing and not fighting back against the wickedness amongst my own peers, however it says here that I should love the righteous and hate the ones whom are sinning amongst me. "You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy." (7). This is something that really stuck out to myself because it seems to be a reoccurring theme in many of my devotional a where I should hate the ones who sin around me, but love the ones who are praising God. Even though I fail countless numbers of times with this, I know that God will always help me fight this fight. In verses 5-6 it says, "Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom." Fighting my own fight with God always by my side. Letting him and giving him all the glory amongst what I do. Letting him get all the praise because I did nothing and am only a vessel for this fight for him. This is something I always forget to do because of my oddly boastful nature. This is specifically for music because I feel many times that I accomplished this, but it wouldn't have been possible if I didn't have his strength constantly watching over me. Constantly trying to spread his kingdom and pour out his glory and love amongst people around me. Letting his kingdom take hold upon everything that I may do is something that I dreadfully need.
Without him, I am nothing but just a normal person. However, with him I am a son of Jesus. With him, I am able to fight the good fight in which we should always be trying to pursue to try and spread out his love and kindness he has shown us. Even if I fall, I know to get right back up and keep fight with him because I am able to do everything with him and through him. Without him, I am nothing and will constantly fail. Even if I may win a battle, I know that the satisfaction I get will only be temporary and not for eternity, but if I have God with me, it is for eternity.

Prayer Request
- Throughout this journey I am able to fight with God
- Giving him all the glory, honor, and praise in whatever I do.
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:57 am
Romans 8 - God’s Everlasting Love

For those who are in Christ Jesus shall see no condemnation because for the law of the spirit of life has set us free in Christ Jesus from the judgement of sin and death. This is the greatest example of God’s everlasting love to be able to sacrifice the most important thing in his life to save our broken lives without any hesitation. Romans chapter eight stems well together with Romans chapter six when I talked about the reckless love of God, to leave the ninety nine to find the one. This chapter also touches back and dives deeper on the topic of receiving the love God in our own lives. Verses 6-11 it says “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Living your life without God and following the path of earthy needs will lead you to death after death. But living your life in the spirit of the law you’ll live in eternal life after death even though the body is dead with sin because the spirit of life is righteous. This is also stated in verses 13-14 “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” But if God is for us, who will be against us? He who did not spare his one and only son but gave him up for the sake of our lives, how can he graciously give up all things for the broken? I feel this questions is something a lot of people stump on because as sinner it hard for us to give up our desire and wants for people who don’t deserve. Even in CCYG as leader, its hard for us to give up our comfort and time to reach out to the members who are not that included and this something I struggle with as well. If we’re not able to do something that small, do we even deserve to be saved by God’s sacrifice? Verse 36 shares “As it is written, For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” As sinners we shouldn’t have been saved, we should of been left to rot in hell for the crime we committed. But in the end of the chapter verses 37-39 shares truth of the word. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Through the grace of God were saved, giving up everything he had to save our broken lives because nothing can separate us from the love fo God. As leaders we need to share that unbreakable love with the youth members who are falling away from this ministry. No matter what title or position we hold in this youth group we’re all sinner but more importantly we’re all childern’s God.

Prayer Request
- To be able to reach out to the member who are falling away from this youth group
- Winter Retreat

Song of the Day
- Where the love last forever
- None but Jesus
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:13 am
Matthew 20:1-16 The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

Summary: Jesus tells of a parable where a landowner or a vineyard goes to hire some workers for the day. The owner goes out early in the morning to hire his first group of workers and then in the afternoon, hires another group of workers. He pays them all one denarius, which is a fair wage for a day or work. The group of workers hired early in the day expected to be paid more because they worked longer and was upset to find out they got paid the same. The owner responded to them, “Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous? So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Application: This wasn’t the first time that I read this passage but reading it again, I saw another angle to how we can apply this passage to our lives. Being hired is a metaphorical representation of being saved and becoming Christian. The worker believed that they should have earned more because they worked longer. (Side note: Christianity is not a religion where you can earn your salvation through your works) The workers’ pride got in the way of them being grateful for being hired in the first place. I think that this can easily be applied to us. Instead of us being grateful of God every day, we always look to see how God can serve our needs. Furthermore, when God doesn’t answer to what we want, we question his existence and lose faith in him. Just like the workers that were hired first, we need to lose our pride and be grateful that Jesus died for us on the cross.

Prayer Request:
- Pray that we may be more grateful of God
- Pray that the Lock-in will be a blessing
- Pray that the Winter Retreat will revive our souls

Song of the Day:
“Released from my chains I'm a prisoner no more
My shame was a ransom He faithfully bore
He canceled my debt and He called me His friend
When death was arrested and my life began”

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Devotional

on Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:06 pm
Psalms 49 i my devotional. As things go by, there are things which come and go. Especially in my life, I get to experience a lot more being at school and coming back every weekend. Hearing things around me, and seeing people grow older, it is hard sometimes to see how people around me take different paths. Back when I was a freshman in school, I remember myself rarely attending church and really seeking out to further my faith. However, that has changed for the better of myself and the people around me. It wasn't really until I got invited to a retreat for ccyg where I got my first opportunity to serve and really just show and share what I have learned in the past. I am very grateful for that. In verse 3 it says, "My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding." This is something that I have been focusing on for a while now and it really helped me see this coming back every weekend this semester so far. I am constantly watching what I am saying and wanting to really tame my own tongue. Trying to speak wisdom to people around me and just dwelling upon the Lord for more of him. As things come and go, I came to the realization that a lot of myself has changed this semester specifically, as I am trying to reach out to people more and more and have never regretted coming back on any weekend. Wanting to really specify how much of the Lord that I needed really helped me this semester as I am still a student. Even through the hardest times, I am still trying to really meditate upon him and continuously ask him for strength because that is something I am in deep need of.
Growing up with two parents whom constantly went to church and both were pastors, I wasn't the richest person around. While growing up I was jealous of those around me who had better things around them while I only had a couple while sharing with my brother. However, growing up and looking back at it now, I was extremely spoiled even when my parents were not making much. There are things I regret doing when I was younger, but I realized that money does not buy you happiness. Where money may buy you happiness temporarily, but will not be sufficient enough for you to always be happy. Going through everything I came upon verse 6, which says, "They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches." As people around me work and living at home has been a constant feature, I realized how much I really did care about my money and how much of it was necessary. It wasn't until recently talking to one of my friends where I told him, it shouldn't matter how much money you get through your major, but what does matter is your happiness and if you can continuously glorify God with that. I told him the same thing I wrote above, where money doesn't and can't buy you happiness. He agreed to that and said to me that, "At the end of the day all I wanna be is a blessing." That specifically stood out to me because that's the same reason on why I switched my major as well. Even through everything I believe God has a plan for whatever I may do.

Prayer Request:
- Tonight's lock in will be a blessing for everyone
- A pure heart
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Luke 18:9-14

on Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:43 pm
This part of the chapter, Jesus is telling the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector. I'm pretty sure alot of people know about this. The parable begins with a tax collector and a pharisee coming up to the temple. During their prayer time, the pharisee talks of all the good things he has done. He says he's fast and thanks God for not being sinful like the tax collector. The pharisee here is acting like he is a perfect human being and that nothing can harm him. However, the tax collector on the other hand is repenting out loud, beating his chest and yelling "God, have mercy on me, a sinner". The difference between the two are pretty obvious, one is telling God, not even praying, but telling God that he has done so many good things in his life and doesn't mention a single bad thing. The tax collector though speaks of the sins he's committed out loud to God. Jesus then says that the tax collector was justified before God rather than the pharisee. The tax collector admitted his wrongs in front of God and asked for forgiveness, and went home humbled, and vice versa for the pharisee. I think Jesus here is trying to tell us that it is ok not to be perfect like the pharisee is here. Besides, no one is perfect but God. Also, Jesus is encouraging us here to open up to God and admit our sins. If we do, in God's eyes we are humbled. Jesus says that it is better to admit your wrongs rather than hide it from everyone, even God. If we open up to God, we can have favor in God's eyes as we ask for forgiveness, which we shall receive. \

Prayer Requests:
- Really hope this lock in goes well!
- Feeling kind of under the weather, but not too bad. Hope I can get better
- Prayer for church, family and school. That we can balance out that time and not be stressed out.
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Mark 1 - Beginning Mark

on Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:38 pm
11/2/18 Mark 1
Temptation - Jesus's Power
In Mark chapter 1, a great chapter, it states in verse 11-13, "'And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you, I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him."
In this verse, instead of celebrating, Jesus was sent to the wilderness to be tempted by Satan just after Jesus was baptized. Even though it may seem anticlimactic, I really love this verse because of how focused Jesus is. Jesus came here to die for our sins so that we may be forgiven of our sins. I just pray that I may focus on God as Jesus did and to always have faith in his plans. I pray that God is working through all of us. These verses show how Jesus was being tempted by Satan, but he did not fall into it but instead focused on God. This is something that I think I have to focus on. I want to be more like Jesus, but I often fail as I am tempted by the worldly things around me. As I went through this passage, I prayed to God to help me be like him that I may not fall into temptation and that he would give me strength. We can all rely on God to help us because he is our loving Heavenly Father.

Prayer Requests:
Prayer that I would not fall to the worldly things around me.
Prayer that I would be placed in an uncomfortable setting at school for God but I would glorify God through the situation.
Prayer that I would love Jesus more than anything in my life.
Prayer that I would be more like Jesus.

Song recommendation:


"If more of You. Means less of me. Take everything. Yes, all of You. Is all I need. Take everything."
This is pretty short devotional because I wanted to prepare my heart for lock-in so not a lot of time. I just began the book of Mark and hope to get through it by next month. Take all of me, Jesus.



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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:12 pm
11/3/18
Romans 7 - Released From the Law, Bound to Christ; The Law and Sin

Continuing on the trend of analyzing the relationship of the law and to our growth with God, Romans 7 defines sin from the law and analyzes the relationship of the laws and our actions.
The first section of the chapter talks specifically about how the law is a binding entity that citizens must follow. However, it gives a situation in which the law can release its bindings from the person. This situation is death. It talks about how our relationship with Jesus has in turn, caused our death in relation to the law. In this way, the law is no longer binding to us; we are bound to and by the Spirit, and not to the old written laws. The next section is an analysis of how the law should still be followed and on why we continue to sin, even though we know that it's wrong. The law is by no means sinful, and that it actually helps us recognize what is sin and what isn't. Something I found interesting is that Paul makes a distinction of the law and from commandments. Verse 9-12 says, "Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good". These verses were probably the most confusing in the chapter, but I thought they were also one of the most impactful set of verses. During the first read of this, it almost seemed as if Paul was contradicting himself through the talk of how the commandment was death, but also holy, righteous, and good. However, I realized that this was not the case. Because of the commandment, I find death in Christ and unbind myself from the law. Because of this death, the commandment, which sets me free in Christ, is good, holy, and righteous.
Another set of verses that I found impactful were verses 18-20. It says, "For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do -- this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin living in me that does it". I found this to be somewhat encouraging, knowing that even someone who is as spiritually high and holy as Paul struggles with the same thing that I do as well. However, his reactions to it and how he was disgusted with his actions of sin served as a lesson to me. Even though he does the same as me, his reactions are completely different from mine. Yes, everyone sins, but I realized that I should be more repulsed by my sinful actions than simply just brushing it off like I usually do. I should give thanks to God for delivering us from the law that bound us, and I should follow his commandments for all the days of my life.

Prayer requests:
- Keep God at the center throughout my week
- physical and mental health
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:40 pm
Romans 9 - God’s Sovereign Choice

Looking back these past two years God has been so good to this youth group even through some hardships. Putting us in difficult situations like finding our youth group identity or finding a youth pastor to help grow our ministry. For me personally its definitely been its up hit battle questioning if God’s plan for me was the correct one or if I was the right person to fill this role. If I was worthy enough to lead these kids into the right direction that God sent me here to do. But this past weekend during our lock-in the path God had sent me to be on for CCYG became full circle. When I was leading worship seeing everyone pour theirs hearts out and during our prayer sections feeling everyones prayers filled my heart. This feeling wasn’t just another spirit high or a in the moment feelings, no it was a genuine feeling I had. These past two years of doubt, hardships, pain, and hurt all became worth it in that one moment, knowing that this was all part of God plan for me and CCYG. This was reassuring because as broken as we are God’s always had room for us to be in his house. Romans 9:8 says “This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.” No matter how long our youth group was falling astray from God, he still brought us back to him with open arms. Its easy for us not believe in the plan God has for us, especially when all the odds the are against us. But I promise if you have faith in God and his plan, great things will happen. CCYG is great example of this, our long term youth pastor and worship team leader setting down for youth ministry, having a dumb clueless college student taking over youth group, and having four youth pastors coming and going. But through the faith you guys had as a youth group in God’s plan brought us great things like a fully renovated chapel/lounge space, having more college leaders set up, and especially bring Pastor James to CCYG. Romans 9:33 “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” I want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart, for believing in me and not giving on this youth ministry. I’m excited to see where God has in-stored for us and the journey we’ll be taking together, I love you guys and CCYG.

Pray Requests
- The this lock-In wouldn’t just be another spiritual high for us but a stepping stone for us to keep grow as a youth ministry.
Song of the Day
- Great are you lord by Casting Crown
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Parable of the Two Sons

on Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:53 pm
Matthew 21: 28-32
Parable of the Two Sons

I think for this parable the context is very important. Right before this parable, a bunch of the Jewish priests and elders came up to Jesus and were questioning his authority. In response to the lack of faith displayed by these Jewish leaders, Jesus basically decides to roast them with this parable. In the parable there is man who owns a vineyard and has his two sons working on it. He commands his first son to work on the vineyard, but he refuses. However eventually, he ends up choosing to work in the field. The father then commands his second son to work on the field, and he complies. But he ends up not working on the field at all. Jesus then asks the Pharisees which of the two sons his father would be more proud of, and they say the first one. The Pharisees are represented by the second son - the people who claim that they are obedient believers of God, but in reality live a life of disobedience and sin. Although these types of people seem holy and faithful on the outside, their heart suggests otherwise. Jesus is condemning the Pharisees because they act as if they are the most righteous people, even though they lack faith in Jesus. He is arguing that even the tax collectors and the prostitutes (the first son) who were initially sinners are more pleasing to God since they at least know what it means to live an obedient life. This may seem very shocking that God sometimes chooses the sinners over the righteous, however it is the heart that God truly cares about, not the external actions.
I think this parable is very applicable to this youth group. The reason is because I feel like a lot of us including me believe that being a Christian is only about following certain rituals and repeating them week after week after week. There are numerous times where we are just doing things just to do them, and our attitudes towards the things we do is to just get them over with. For example, when we do Communion, do we just eat the bread and drink the wine to seem as if we're Christian, when in reality we don't think about his death on the cross? Or whenever we pray, do we just bow our heads and close our eyes to seem as if we're praying, when in reality we're just spacing out? We need to realize that God doesn't really care what we do externally; he cares mainly about our hearts and our obedience to Him. If our motivation to come to church is just to pretend that we are Christian, then we shouldn't be coming to church at all and claiming that we are believers of Christ.

Prayer Requests:
-to not be like the Pharisees and pretend that I am holy, but actually live out a life that is holy
-be more committed to serving this church

Song: Elohim - Hillsong



Lyrics:
He is Almighty God Elohim
Maker of the earth, He is the Lord of hosts, Heaven’s King
God of endless worth, His kingdom stands above Every power
Every living soul, His love is like the sun
Ever true, shining over all
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:04 pm
Ephesians 4:29-32
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

This passage stood out to me because it talks about how we should not try to bring each other down but to bring each other up. You should say things that will encourage them to grow instead of falling back down. And for those who listen to you we the people that will grow and soar because of your words that is bringing them up. Do not grieve for God because we are going to be saved by the Holy Spirit. Then it adds we shall forget about every negative thoughts and emotions and replace them with positive ones. We should forgive each other no matter the situations because God has, and still is, forgiving us for all the sins we are committing and we should do the same to those who have betrayed us or someone else.

Prayer Request:
Please pray for my studies because I’m falling behind
Thank you!


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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:22 pm
Proverbs 18
The central idea of this chapter was describing a person who would be classified as a "fool" in God's eyes. The beginning verses present a variety of characteristics of a fool: one who selfishly pursues their desires, starts fights against common sense, finds no pleasure in understanding, and instead enjoys speaking their opinion. I grouped these four into two categories, being self-centered and close-minded. The first category includes selfishly pursuing their own desires and enjoying to speak their own opinion. With these two traits, it's clearly shown that the quality of being selfish and self-centered is displeasing to God who calls for us to serve and care for others. This characteristic also has the potential to cause a person to believe that they are in fact in charge of their own life and God's involvement/influence is inferior compared to theirs due to the belief that they are above others and always right. This is without a doubt a very flawed mindset which will be looked upon poorly by God. The second category is being close-minded includes starting conflict against common sense and finding no pleasure in understanding. This trait is inherently linked to the previous one, as a person is more self-centered they rely less on the knowledge and understanding of others but instead begin to rely solely on their own. Fools are shown to be ignorant to true understanding and people who will continue to hold to their beliefs/opinions despite the absence of sound judgement. Through this, God is demonstrating how one who is wise will be open to receiving suggestions for change and having their opinions disproved without being ignorant and stubborn as the fools are. This is a key concept to really consider because if a person is too conceited and self righteous, they will not be willing to change their lifestyle from one that is sinful due to the fact that they're too blinded by their perfect image of themselves. Therefore, it is important that as Christians we are always open to change in our lives in order to be more aligned with the life that God wants us to live. Another application to prevent ourselves from becoming "fools" is to serve others. Because these traits are based on complete focus on oneself, putting oneself in a serving position forces one to begin to prioritize others over themselves, which will allow them to become less selfish and more open-minded.

Prayer Requests:
- For me to not be selfish or close-minded in my actions as well as my intentions.
- For me to be fully devoted to any serving position that I may take up, meaning that I will prioritize the wellbeing of those who I serve over my own
- For God to provide me with the strength and motivation in order to overcome the laziness that's controlling me

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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:19 pm
Hebrews 11:6
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”

This specific verse stood out to me because for a little bit now, I have felt distant from God and didn’t know how to reach out to him in the best way. I wasn’t “earnestly seeking him”. However, this Friday night, during prayer time, I began reflecting on God’s love and how he’s shown me love and how I never truly realized it until that night. I want to be someone that lives life continuously trying to please God, but I can’t do that if I don’t strive to know him more. If I don’t give in the effort to please him and believe in him, then he won’t know I am aware of him and his doings. This verse was just a little snippet of how I have been feeling lately and how I’ve become more educated on what to do to please God and how to better my spiritual life.

Prayer topics:
-For my faith to become stronger
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:39 pm
11/3/18
Romans 8:1-17  -  Life Through the Spirit

Romans 8 focuses on the difference between the life we live based on our flesh versus the life we live based on our spiritual faith. The chapter talks about how through the Spirit, we are alive in Christ Jesus and that we should follow him instead of our fleshly desires. It clarifies that the reason the law is not adequate to prevent us from sin is due to the worldly desires that our flesh pushes us to desire. We can only find salvation through the Spirit and through Christ, and this is done by allowing the Spirit to dwell within us. Paul strictly determines the divide flesh and in spirit in verses 6-8. It says, "The mind is governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God". These specific verses stuck out to me because it clearly established the limitations that our fleshly desires imposes on our growth with God. I found these verses helpful to determining my status with God. It led to the questions: am I governed as a whole by flesh or by Spirit? And if I think that my mind is governed by the Spirit, how easily am I swayed back to the flesh? It allowed for a deep analysis of where I stood with God and how I could grow in faith. Another thing I enjoyed about this chapter is that it addressed a way to apply this to our lives. Verse 12 -13 say, "Therefore, brothers and sister, we have an obligation -- but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live". I liked how it was clearly enunciated that we should do this so that we may live in the Spirit and not die to the flesh. It was obvious that I should live in a way that is clear that I am alive through the Spirit, and that my fleshly desires aren't the ones that are controlling my body.

Prayer Requests:
- seriously to do my devos throughout the week, and not do most of it during the weekend
- to serve with the right heart and be open to change/criticisms
- to fix my super messed up sleep schedule
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Parable of the Tenants

on Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:40 pm
Matthew 21: 33-46
Parable of the Tenants

This parable is also directed towards the Jewish priests and elders. In this parable, there was a landowner who built a vineyard. After awhile the landowner allowed a group of tenants to rent his vineyard until it was time to harvest. When harvest time came around, the landowner sent a group of servants to collect everything that was produced in the vineyard. However when the servants got there, the tenants beat up and killed them. Hearing what happened, the landowner sent even more servants, but the tenants once again decided to kill off the servants. Finally, the landowner sent his own son to collect the fruit, however the tenants still beat him up and killed him. When the landowner found out what the tenants had done to his servants and his son, he removed them from his vineyard and allowed other tenants to take over. In this parable, the landowner represents God, and the tenants represent the Pharisees. God initially gave the Pharisees the job of looking over the vineyard (God's kingdom), but they proved to be disobedient. Every time God would send a prophet (servant) to try and change their hearts, the Pharisees would constantly reject their message out of their own arrogance. Even when God sent his very own son Jesus down to Earth, the Pharisees still denied his teachings and believed that they were superior to everyone else. Although the constant rejecting allowed the Pharisees to stay in power, they would eventually be kicked out of God's kingdom and be sent to hell. I think the reason this parable is significant is because it pretty much shows the shift between the Jews being God's chosen people and the Christians becoming the saved people. Even though God was initially with Israel, after years and years of disobedience and lack of faith God decided to send Jesus to try and save the nation. However many of the Jews had their hears hardened and denied Jesus as the Savior, which is why Jews will end up not being saved, as shown through this parable.

Prayer Requests:
-pray that God will soon enough show me what he wants me to do in life
-pray that I can depend more on prayer

Song: Praise Him Forever - Chris Tomlin

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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:13 am
The leadership axioms chapters 26 and 74 seemed to reflect more on the flaws of the leaders and how we can learn from them. In 26 i believe it goes with a lot of people where we always try to act as if we are always fine when we really are not. So many emotions and feelings are bottled up and we never share with others because they may judge or look down on us. However, I believe that with a lack on intimacy there is no way for us to truly grow together. To share our struggles and problems and working our way through them together will help us grow as a community way more than bottling these feelings or pushing them aside. There is a lot of us who are serving on worship team and leadership team that are here for each other to grow in Christ. In 74 it goes into the subject of admitting mistakes. No matter how stupid a mistake or problem may be, a lot of the time I find it very difficult to admit to making them. To keep my sense of pride and to blame it on others or factors so that you do not always get the blame is always the easy way out. But yet again if we do not admit to our mistakes, how can we learn from them so that we may be more prepared the next time. Both these chapters show the flaws in our lives, we are all sinner so we can't help it but that is why we have Christ who made up for these mistakes. So through Christ may we grow as leaders through our flaws and troubles so that we may learn through these trials of life.

Prayer requests:
To be more open and to be more intimate
To be better at doing these devotionals, slacked off a lot this week
School, church, family, friends
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:43 am
Psalm 23

Psalm 23 was a passage I have known since I was young. In this passage, it reflects and summarizes how the Lord is always good to us. The burden of not being the best Christian I has been lingering through my mind. As I was looking through my journal I came across this passage once more, and this has opened my eyes. The first verse states, "The lord is my Shepard, I lack nothing." In any case, with God constantly watching and guiding us we will never lack anything. Although we may feel that we may lack many things such as love, this verse proves us wrong. If someone has the Lord apart of their life, they may lack no more. The Lord will be apart of you forever. Verse 4 would probably be the most applicable for me, a verse that I should keep in mind forever. It reassures that even though we walk through complete darkness, we always have the Lord to guide us. Many people, including myself, get lost in the darkness and may even doubt that God is always there, but this verse opens up our eyes to see that he is truly always there. It tells us that we should no longer fear. Another verse that caught my eye was verse 6. It reminds us that his goodness and love will always follow is through anything, always. It tells us because of that we shall dwell in the house of the Lord FOREVER. If we are with him, we can never get lost, and we will always be guided by him. I personally use this passage in my daily life. I would try to keep it on my mind and when the times come, I will not get lost, and I shall always be reminded that the Lord is always with me and any condition.

Prayer Requests:
- My studies in school
- Being able to become the best version of myself
- I am able to be strong

Praise Song:
Still by Hillsong Worship

A verse of the song,
"When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father, You are King over the flood
I will be still and know You are God"
also contributes to the idea of the Lord leading us and trusting him. Also to always follow him, and dwell in him and in his house forever.
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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

on Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:22 am
Matthew 21:33-45 The Parable of the Tenants

Summary: Jesus tells of a parable where a landowner builds a vineyard and he rents it out tenants. When harvest time approached, he sent servants to collect his fruit. The tenants seized and killed his servants. The owner sent more servants however the tenants treated them the same. Finally, he sent his own son thinking that they will respect his son. The tenants saw the son and they maliciously decide to kill the heir to collect the inheritance. Jesus then asks the crowd what they think the owner would do when he goes to the vineyard. The crowd responded that the owner would bring and end to it and rent the vineyard to other people. Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’ Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” (v.42-43)

Application: I had a hard time understanding how to apply this parable but here is my best interpretation of the passage. The vineyard is Earth and we are the tenants that He has entrusted us to bear fruits. However, people who are spiritually dead can’t bear fruit. God send his servants and we reject them until he sent his one and only son, Jesus. Jesus died for us and we save been saved. When Jesus refers to the Scriptures, we are the builders and Jesus is the Cornerstone. At the end of the passage, it talks about how the Pharisees knew that Jesus was talking about them and they were plotting on killing Jesus. As brutal as this sounds, I see some parallels between us and the Pharisees. Sure we aren’t planning on killing Jesus, but we consistently down play his death by sinning. We sure know a lot about the Bible and can recite passages but we don’t take up our daily cross. As Jesus says, if we don’t bare fruit, God will be taken away from us and given to the people who can. This is a message that Jesus says on numerous occasions and is something that shows the severity of the situation. Our souls and eternal lives are at stake, which is something we don’t always think about. This passage really opened my eyes because we always see the Phareese as these evil people but we share some characteristics with them.

Prayer Request:
Live out what we read in the Bible
Thank God that the Lock in was a success
Pray that our Winter Retreat will also be successful

Song of the Day:
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But holy trust in Jesus' name
Christ alone, Cornerstone”

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Re: October 28th to 3rd (Suggested Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:31)

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