Youth News - June 2011
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YOUTH NEWS
June 2011
by Matt Kay

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When we put our trust in Jesus, we have the promise of life in the age to come! But what is life about from now until then?

I remember when I was asked to play guitar in a rock band with my friend Raleigh. He was setting his sights on the goal of playing for an event in New York City and needed to put a band together to fill out his sound. So between him, our friends Ben and Chris, and me, we began to work out rehearsals, schedules, songs, and other plans around this one goal. By the time we reached the city, the band was well rehearsed and confident to play before the audience that was before us, and not only that; we were prepared for other upcoming opportunities to perform as well.

The joy of playing these gigs, in fact, depended largely upon the preparation that was necessary to truly enjoy the stage. If we had fumbled over our chords, timing, and vocals, I believe we would have experienced high levels of embarrassment instead of having memorable experiences.

Goals and preparations are indeed an important part of our lives. Whether it‟s education for the next level, or training for a job, or practicing for a performance, we all have situations where preparation is necessary to become the kind of person who is ready and able to meet and enjoy a particular goal. This principle can be found in our spiritua

l journey as well. When we put our trust in Christ, we are made right with God because of what He has done at the cross, not because of what we‟ve done – that‟s a gift of grace that the Bible calls being justified. God‟s grace also moves us forward from there towards another goal. Romans 8:29 describes this goal as being conformed to the image of Christ: a process of being made more like Christ in heart, mind, and action (also described as being sanctified). And this is yet another gift of God‟s grace and not a work that we do on our own!

That process comes, however, as we surrender our will (our choices and desires) to God and His power in our everyday lives. From the time our journey of following Jesus began until the time that we live in the fullness of His coming Kingdom, we are being made ready for that new world! Like practicing an instrument for an upcoming performance, we are “practicing” or “rehearsing” for the day when God will wipe away tears, and remove sorrow, and pain, and death forever.

Another way to say it is that we are called to trust, pray, and act today for the Kingdom to come and God‟s will to be done on earth as is in heaven. How will we live our lives today in anticipation of God‟s future? What will we say „yes‟ or „no‟ to? Will we reject those things in our lives that ultimately will have no place in God‟s Kingdom? And what are the things that we‟ll choose today that will have a lasting impact for eternity?

May you live in God‟s grace, in preparation for God‟s future, and in a way that leads others to want to join in!

Grace & Peace, Matt

 
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