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FC Kids Leadership Uncategorized

Speak the Truth

Elijah and the Prophets of Baal

Elijah vs Prophets of Baal (1 Kings 17-18)

“The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.” Psalm 37:30 (NLT)

Other than cats, probably the most popular videos on the internet are fail videos. These are usually humorous, sometimes scary videos where someone is usually trying to do something either dangerous, stupid, or both, and it often goes predictably and horribly wrong. As we watch the video, many times we see and realize what is about to happen and we either laugh or cringe, knowing that there is nothing we can do to change the outcome. But in real life, instead of watching a fail happen and being glad it wasn’t us, we need to realize that we have the chance to step in and stop it from happening.

As Christians we understand that God’s Word gives us guidelines that will help us avoid many things in life that will cause us to fail. We also understand that we have an opportunity to share those guidelines with others. But unfortunately, many times we don’t speak up and warn our friends when we see them about to fail. Then, sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly, we watch their lives fall apart.

It is increasingly difficult to stand up for the truth that is in God’s Word without being called a radical, a bigot, or troublemaker. It happened to Elijah and it most certainly will happen to us. In today’s story, the king was angry with Elijah for being a messenger of God’s word. Ahab called Elijah a troublemaker. But Elijah didn’t back down. He continued to speak the truth even though many of the people didn’t listen. It’s not our job to convince people, but it is our responsibility to speak out. Leave the convincing to God’s Holy Spirit. Just speak the truth simply and lovingly and challenge people to try it God’s way. When you do, you might just save a friend from a life-changing fail.

Leadership Uncategorized

Are You Ready For God’s Great Plans For You?

David and Goliath - Elevate's Epic Kids series

The story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17 (NLT)

Have you had conversations like these?

“Are you ready to go?”
“Yes.”
“Good. Let’s go.”
“First I have to find my shoes and go to the bathroom.”

Or…

“Are you ready for dinner?”
“Yes.”
“Let’s eat.”
“Okay, but let me go and get something out of the car first.”

If you recognize yourself in any of these lines, you and/or someone close to you does not know the definition of the word, “ready.” When you are ready, there is nothing left that needs to be done “first” because you have already done all of those things ahead of time. But the question for today is: “How can we be ready for things that we don’t know are coming?” I have found that there is really only one way to prepare for the unknown. You prepare for the unknown by making sure you are doing all of the basics with intensity and focus. For example, a team preparing for a playoff game when the opponent has not yet been determined will not slack off in practice, instead it will focus with intensity on the basics of the game.

In our Christian life we need to buckle down on the basics. One of the most “basic” of the basics is church attendance. You need to commit to be at church. Don’t miss. But, you also need to focus on the basics outside of church as well. You need to study the Bible at home, pray, read the Bible with your children or family, and share what you have learned with others.

We get ready for what God has for us in the future by doing what God has for us now. In the Bible, David worked and excelled at what God had for him when he was younger. He worked at the basics of being a shepherd. He may have dreamed about one day doing something else, but he didn’t use that dream for the future as an excuse for slacking off in the present.  He stuck to the basics and those basics one day helped him defeat Goliath.

When you do the basics of the faith with intensity, you will be ready for anything that God asks you to do, which, is a very good thing.

After all, when God says it’s time to go and do something great, you don’t want to have to be looking for your shoes…

Children’s Ministry Leadership Parenting Uncategorized

Slaves to a Schedule

slaves to a schedule

“You must worship only the Lord your God. He is the one who will rescue you from all your enemies.” 2 Kings 17:39 (NLT)

The Exodus is such an inspiring story that it is known across the entire world, even by those who have no connection to the Christian or Jewish faith. What is interesting, is that many of the details of the story could apply to us in our modern culture. Here is one such example. The Israelites were enslaved by the nation of Egypt. They were laborers, and their sweat and toil was nearly unbearable. Moses came and requested that they would be able to leave and worship God, but Pharaoh responded by impossibly increasing their work schedule and cutting their supplies. It is possible that Pharaoh believed the Israelites would abandon their thoughts of worship with the crushing demands of a new schedule.

This should sound familiar. Think about it. We too are weighed down with impossible schedules and dwindling supplies of time and energy. When we attempt to set aside time for worship, the world looks at us as time wasters, telling us that we are missing out on the important things of life. In response, we become our own taskmasters. We fill our schedules and calendars with every extracurricular activity, every club, every sport, every trip, every concert, every outing. However, we must realize that this type of schedule does not make us free. It makes us slaves. Many believers have allowed their families to become slaves to a schedule that keeps them from making God and His Church the center of their lives as it should be.

One thing that you need to do is set yourself free from the tyrannical forces that want you to give up the ONE day that God asks you to worship each week. Walk away from anyone or anything that pushes you to constantly give up worshiping God at church. If you do, God will walk with you, and I promise that walking with God and worshiping Him will lead you to a new kind of life – just like it did for the people of Israel.

Leadership Uncategorized

People Of Integrity

Proverbs 10:9 “People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.” (NLT)

Read 1 Samuel 17.

Opportunities to be dishonest occur every day, and dishonesty isn’t always about verbally telling lies. Dishonesty can be taking credit for work you didn’t do, not following through on a promise you made, or even something as simple as not completely obeying traffic signs while driving. Choosing to be honest with your words and your actions is a struggle you will have every day and even multiple times a day. But living your life with that kind of honesty is what sets you apart as a person of integrity and a follower of God. And that’s what set David apart in this Bible Story. David saw a problem and presented his solution. He said he would fight Goliath. And even though there were ample opportunities to back out or run away from the fight, David was a man of his word. He fought Goliath and won. It was qualities like integrity which caused God to see David as more than a simple shepherd boy. God saw David as the next king of Israel!

Read Proverbs 10:9. Spend time this week paying close attention to your words and your actions. Are you speaking and acting honestly? Do people know you to be a person of integrity? Pray that God will show you how you can improve.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Children’s Ministry Leadership Uncategorized

Respect For Everyone

1 Peter 2:17a “Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters.” (NLT)

Read 2 Kings 2:19-25.

When is a joke not a joke? How far is too far? When does saying, “I’m just kidding,” become an excuse for saying whatever we want?
It comes down to respect. What happened to Elisha was not a simple case of name-calling. Read 2 Kings 2:25 again. There were at least forty-two boys in this gang, maybe more! Can you imagine being stalked and yelled at by more than forty people? This was a threatening situation that had everything to do with respect. These boys were not just showing disrespect for a balding man, they were showing disrespect for the representative of God. The SAME God that had used this man to save their city from a poisonous water supply!
These boys were showing disrespect to God when they showed disrespect to Elisha and we do the same thing when we disrespect others. In 1 Peter 2:17 we are commanded to respect everyone. Our family. Our friends. Our church leaders. Our employers. Even politicians whom we disagree with. Yes, even the one you are thinking of right now! Everyone.

So regardless of who someone is, what they have done, or if we agree with them, as followers of Christ we should treat all people with respect. Don’t cause God to call out a bear out on you!

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Children’s Ministry Leadership Uncategorized

Excuses, Excuses

1 Peter 4:19 “So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.” (NLT)

Read Acts 14:8-20.

Before starting any task, most people will decide on some limits. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we decide how many problems we are willing to deal with before we will give up.
“I’ll work until I feel tired. I’m sorry, I didn’t expect it to be so hot today. I need to take a break. Oh, it looks like it’s about to rain, I guess I need to quit working for the day.”
It’s easy to invent excuses the moment something becomes a little bit difficult. However, when it comes to doing what is right, excuses and quitting should be the last thing on our minds. In this Bible Story, Paul had what most would call a legitimate reason for giving up, the people had tried to kill him! But bloody and bruised, Paul got up and went back into the city. He continued telling others about Jesus and no excuse would make him give up. We should have that same attitude. We have the same mission that Paul had: To tell others about Jesus herbal slimming tablets. And we should never choose to give up on that mission.

Read 1 Peter 4:19. What are some things you feel like giving up on as you strive to do what is right? Spend time in prayer this week asking God to help you to endure. Pray for the strength and patience you will need to continue. Put your life into His hands knowing He will never fail you.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Current Affairs Uncategorized

Prisoner To Our Fast Food Culture?

1 Corinthians 6:19 & 20 “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (NLT)

Read Daniel 1

“It’s just too hard to find healthy food.” “I just don’t have time to cook.” “I’m on a see food diet – everything I see, I eat.” Many of us treat food and eating as if we are held prisoner to the fast food culture around us. But Daniel actually was held prisoner! And he managed to find a way to honor God with what he ate. Scripture doesn’t fill us in on the details of why Daniel found the food “unacceptable” (verse eight). It could be that the food had been sacrificed to idols and used in the worship of Babylonian gods. It could be that it violated Jewish dietary laws Visit Website. It could be that it was simply unhealthy. The point is that Daniel knew that by eating the food, he would be defiled and dishonor God. Today we live in a shifting sea of fitness guidelines. The super-food of one decade, is the health-risk of another. Daniel wasn’t concerned with following the dietary fads of the world, but he was concerned with honoring God with what he ate. We should follow Daniel’s example.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Children’s Ministry Leadership Parenting Uncategorized

Keeping Your Commitments

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (NLT)

Read 1 Samuel 14.

Making commitments is easy. However, being loyal and keeping those commitments can be much harder than we anticipated. Maybe you get tired, run out of time, or something else comes along that sounds more enjoyable. The important thing to remember during these times is that if we don’t honor our commitments, we will never experience some of the great things God has planned for us. In the story, Jonathan’s armor bear could have refused to go with Jonathan. Two men against an entire Philistine outpost? They wouldn’t even have the element of surprise. The plan sounded foolish and there was no guarantee of success. But the armor bearer had made a commitment to Jonathan and he chose to be loyal. As a result Jonathan and his armor bearer set something in motion that would become an incredible victory of the Israelites over the Philistines.
What victories does God have planned for you? Whether it’s your job, school, family, friendships, or your church, you’ll miss out on those victories if you don’t choose loyalty. A commitment that isn’t honored is useless.
Read Proverbs 17:17. Take a few moments to think about the people and things in your life that you have made commitments to. Spend time in prayer that God will help you to remain loyal by honoring those commitments.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.

Leadership Uncategorized

Exercise Your Faith

1 Corinthians 9:25 “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” (NLT)

Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Running is simple. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You can run barefoot, or in high-tech footgear. You can run indoors or in the elements. You can run on a path or across the wilderness. The size of your stride may be short or long. The tempo of your steps may be quick or relaxed. The speed of your progress may be slow and steady, or an all out sprint. These are just variables in technique. The basic discipline of running is just putting one foot in front of the other, over and over. Our spiritual life is not that different. The basic disciplines are reading the Bible daily, praying, worshiping together as a church, and telling others about Jesus. When we stop doing that, we have stopped running the race and started observing the sport. Don’t be an observer, be a runner! Putting one foot in front of the other is not always easy. It is not supposed to be easy. Some days your faith may be so strong that it is like an all out sprint and you feel like you are flying high on spiritual adrenaline. But other days will feel like the end of a hundred mile run in the desert where your body is exhausted and your feet are swollen and blistered. But no matter how it feels, runners run. And no matter how we feel, as disciples, we must discipline ourselves to read, pray, and worship regularly. Keep putting one foot in front of the other toward the prize of heaven.

Note: This devotional is taken from the Elevate series, Dojo Kids.