Blog Posts by Mike Meyers

TRAIL GUIDE: Loving Your Family

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Unit 2, Section 1, Lesson 3: Loving Your Family as Christ Loves the Church

As we started this section on loving our neighbor in the family, or “Family Ties”, we focused on how, in His wisdom, God created for us a physical picture of the spiritual family He had in mind for all who would call on the name of Christ. We’ve also looked at
 how that earthly family, whether biological or adopted, is a training and proving ground – bettering God’s children for life with our spiritual brothers and sisters.

This week, we’ll discuss caring for our earthly family, placing priority on them, and setting them before ourselves. This is yet another mirror image of what we’ll discuss in our next section, loving your neighbor in the church… God’s family. I pray that as you prepare this week you will take time to consider the relationships you maintain with your siblings and other relatives. How is Christ reflected in those relationships? For me, these questions have been convicting, comforting, and inspiring at the same time. Hopefully you will be challenged by God’s word as well.

What do you value? 
Read this “Dear Abby” letter and then replace “Mom & Dad” with other family relations.

Dear Abby: I am the most heartbroken person in the world. I could always find the time to go everywhere else, but never the time to go visit Mom and Dad. They sat at home alone and loved me just the same. It’s too late now to give them those few hours of happiness. I was too selfish and too busy to give. Now when I go to their graves and see the green grass above them, I wonder if God will ever forgive me for the heartaches I must have caused them when they were still alive. I pray to God that those who still have their parents to visit, do so, and show their love and respect while there is still time, for it’s later than you think. — TOO LATE.

 

 

“Everyone should provide for his own relatives. Most of all, everyone should take care of his own family. If he doesn’t, he has left the faith. He is worse than someone who doesn’t believe.” – 1 Timothy 5:8

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Matthew 15:4-6
Matthew 25:39-40

 

TRAIL GUIDE: Honor Your Parents

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Unit 2, Section 1, Lesson 2: Honor Your Parents (The Bridge)

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12.

‘Honor’ is a word that has fallen out of favor in our modern western culture. This is particularly the case when it comes to the giving of honor to parents by children, whether grown or still at home. The fifth command is the first of six commands that God gives concerning our behavior towards our fellow man. It is the “bridge” between the commands about loving God and those about loving our neighbor. So it is fitting that in our study we will begin here. This week, we will look at what it means to “honor” our parents. We’ll consider how this is a picture for how children relate to their Heavenly Father. As you prepare this week take some time to consider how you “honor” your own parents, even if they may not be very “honorable.”

As you prepare your heart and mind for this week’s lesson, take a fresh look at some of these verses and make a mental note of the ways in which we can honor our parents, our elders, and everyone else. God puts much value – or weight, as the root of the Hebrew word for “honor” indicates – on age and the elderly. Scripture is clear that special deference and care must be given to our parents and elders, especially those within our own family. Consider the ancient Chinese culture, which places great value on honoring parents, and their longevity as a civilization when you read anew this “command with a promise.”

 

“Everyone should provide for his own relatives. Most of all, everyone should take care of his own family. If he doesn’t, he has left the faith. He is worse than someone who doesn’t believe.” – 1 Timothy 5:8

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Lev 19:3 | Eph 6:1-4 | Prov 1:8
Prov 23:22 | Matt 15:4-6
1 Tim 5:8 | Lev 19:32 | Deut 5:16

 

TRAIL GUIDE: God’s Family & Mine

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Unit 2, Section 1, Lesson 1: God’s Family & Mine

God uses many metaphors (parallels) in the Bible to describe how He relates to us, how He relates to the church, and how we relate to one another. One of these is the metaphor of “God’s family.” In this picture, God is the parent and we the children. Jesus is our brother, and we the church, saved by grace through faith, are the adopted brothers and sisters in this family (Ephesians 1:5, Galatians 3:26, John 1:12-13). How does the Father want us to love our family? To answer this question we must first look to how He has loved us and also how the Son, our adopted brother, has loved us. Jesus said, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” It is at the source of divine love that we must begin and end our quest.

As you prepare your heart and mind for this week’s lesson, take a fresh look at some of these verses and make mental note of the ways in which our family life parallels our life in God’s family. What can we learn about how we relate to God and what insights might we gain about how God views us as His children, through the lens of the human family? We as individuals were created in the image of God. We as families reflect that likeness to an even greater degree.

“Everyone should provide for his own relatives. Most of all, everyone should take care of his own family. If he doesn’t, he has left the faith. He is worse than someone who doesn’t believe.” – 2 Timothy 5:8

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Jn 19:25-27 | Eph.1:5| Mal 4:5-6
Galatians 3:26 | John 1:12-13
1 Tim 5:4-8 | Eph.6:1-4

 

TRAIL GUIDE: The Purpose of Strengths

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Section 4, Lesson 3: The Purpose of Strengths

Remembering back to our first lesson on strength we said that, “First, He is the fountainhead of our strength. Second, He stands ready to renew our strength if we will seek Him, trust Him, and wait on Him. Third, God gives us strength not for our own selfish interests or nonsense but to glorify Him and do the good works of the Kingdom that He has prepared in advance for us to walk in.”

Let’s talk this week about that last point. The Bible teaches that as followers of Christ we have been given the right to be called “children” of God. It goes on to teach us to imitate God, “as dearly loved children.” In what ways can we imitate God? The Living God is in His essence a savior and defender. Psalm 68 says He is a “Father to the fatherless and defender of widows.”

Psalm 34 tells us that He is “close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 82 extends these duties to us. “Stand up for those who are weak and for those whose fathers have died. See to it that those who are poor and those who are beaten down are treated fairly. Save the weak and those who are in need.”

Do not make the mistake of thinking that this only applies to physical oppression either. Jesus says of himself (and by extension his followers), “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”

The Spirit of the Lord is upon all of His children now and in His strength we are to be imitators of our Heavenly Father. The fact that Jesus immediately moved from loving God to loving our neighbor isn’t coincidence. This makeover isn’t to be kept to ourselves. God saved us, but left us in the world for a reason. We are being made over for a purpose! Let’s get to it!

“The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.” -Psalm 28:7a

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Heb 13:16 | Phil 2:4 | Lk 6:38 | 1 Jn 3:17
Gal 6:2 | Rom 15:1 | Eph. 2:10

 

TRAIL GUIDE: Know Your Strengths

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Section 4, Lesson 2: Know Your Strengths

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” There are many wonderful theological messages to be gleaned from the account of David’s defeat of Goliath. One message that should not be taken from it, however, is that David was a skinny kid, unprepared for battle, who despite his overconfidence was used by God to miraculously defeat an experienced warrior. Many times, the way we teach this to children leaves them with the idea that they to can face the metaphorical “giants” in their lives if they just believe. Let’s take a closer look at the account before we get the children in our care metaphorically body slammed by their giants.

The key to this account is not knowledge of God and His covenant promises to Israel. We know that King Saul and the soldiers of Israel would have known well these promises. So David’s advantage was not superior knowledge. What David had that set him apart was experience with God. David makes the case to Saul when he says, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” David had high confidence of victory because his experience with God had shown him that God was with him. But it should not be missed that David had significant skills and strengths. We know that David was a shepherd, and from our understanding of the Ancient Near East, we know that one tool of a shepherd for protecting his flock was the sling. We also know from scripture and other sources that a skilled slinger could be deadly accurate at distances of 250 meters (nearly 3 football field lengths!) Here is the math. David had been given strength and skill by God plus David knew God’s promises plus David had experienced God’s faithfulness equals one headless Philistine warrior.

Our children need to know God, know and develop the strengths He has given them, and put those into action to experience God’s faithfulness. Strength that comes from God can be trusted absolutely. That is a formula for changing the world for Christ.

Just for fun: Watch this Israeli sling demonstration on YouTube. You will never read David and Goliath the same
way again. http://youtu.be/xwlZJ5IlN68

 

“The Lord is my strength and my shield. My
heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.””   
-Psalm 28:7a

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Matt 25:14-30 | Eph 6:10
Ps.139:14 | 1 Cor 10:31
Col 3:17,23 | 1 Samuel 17

 

TRAIL GUIDE: Strength Training

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Section 4, Lesson 1: Strength Training

What is strength? How is the word used in scripture? It can mean our physical strength or energy, strength of character, strength of the will, perseverance, capacity or ability to perform work, or emotional strength. These are all different aspects of strength, but they all have two things in common: their source and their purpose.

“You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18)

“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides” (1 Peter 4:11)

So what is it that God teaches us about strength? First, He is the fountainhead of our strength. Second, He stands ready to renew our strength if we will seek Him, trust Him, and wait on Him. Third, God gives us strength not for our own selfish interests or nonsense but to glorify Him and do the good works of the Kingdom that He has prepared in advance for us to walk in. In the coming weeks, let us help the children to understand that God, and only God, deserves all of our strength.

 

“The Lord is my strength and my shield. My
heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.””   
-Psalm 28:7a

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Deut 8:17 |1 Chron. 29:12
Phil 4:13 | Is. 41:10
2 Thess 3:3 | Is.40:27-31

 

TRAIL GUIDE: Remember When?

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Section 3, Lesson 3: Remember When?

Why is it that God spends so much time in the Bible telling His children to “remember” Him? I’d like to venture four reasons I believe are grounded in scripture. When we fail to remember God we risk…
1. …Falling into idolatry/trusting ourselves or our possessions (Deut. 8:13-14)
2. …Never growing in trust of/faith in God (Isa. 40:20-21)
3. …Stumbling into sin and suffering the Father’s discipline (Deut. 8:19)
4. …Forfeiting a generation to the enemy (Judges 2:10-11)

So how can we use our minds to remember God? Here are five ways, listed below, that God has ordained for us to remember Him, who He is, and all that He has done. Help your kids use their memory to love God this week.

1. In His Word – God’s Word is our primary means of remembering who He is and all that He has done throughout history. As adults our most important duty in the kingdom is to take the words of God and, “Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home. Talk about them when you walk along the road. Speak about them when you go to bed. And speak about them when you get up” (Deuteronomy 11:19).
2. In song – Remembering God in song is a theme we see in scripture over and over again. How wonderful it is that our Creator gave us music, knowing the power it has to help us remember as well as to connect our heads to our hearts and emotions.
3. In prayer – Prayer should not only be about asking for help but about remembering to God all that He has done. When we thank God in our prayers we are “remembering” that God alone is responsible for providing our every need. (Nehemiah 9)
4. In true Christian fellowship – Fellowship is much more than potluck dinners or bowling night. It is about gathering together to remember God to one another. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
5. In traditions and memorials – Traditions and memorials are things that we, in the bible church movement have largely banished from the life of the church. While a healthy dose of caution about tradition becoming idolatry is warranted, the Bible is also clear that God has given us tradition and memorial to help us “remember” who He is and all that He has done. (Joshua 4:4-7, Luke 22:19)
I hope that these will serve you well in helping the children in your group apply their minds to remembering God for who He is and what He’s done.

 

“Don’t live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely  changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect.”    -Romans 12:2

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Josh 4:21-24 | Prov 22:6
Psalm 103:1-5 | Jn 14:26
Deut 11:19 | Prov 3:1-6
Deut 8:1-5 | Deut 24:9

 

TRAIL GUIDE: Teach Well

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Section 3, Lesson 2: Teach the Children Well

When we think of Daniel we think bravery, good looks, government leader, survivor of the lion’s den, prisoner of war, advisor to kings, child… What? Where did child come in? Let’s think about it for a moment. We know from Scripture that Daniel was a youth, probably about 14 years old (think 8th grader), when he was taken from his home in Israel and into captivity in Babylon. Upon his arrival he was offered the best food and wine in the palace, but thought of a plan to keep himself kosher.

Already as a young teenager, Daniel was knowledgeable about his God and his faith. I’m fairly sure that the King of Babylon didn’t have any Hebrew schools at the palace. So Daniel had to have had a very solid understanding of his faith, the food laws, the teachings regarding the worship of Yahweh alone, and most importantly a deep respect for the Lord BEFORE arriving in Babylon. When he came to Babylon he then was taught about, “all kinds of literature and learning,” but what he knew about his faith was already so ingrained that he held steadfast to the God of his fathers.

There are two important lessons for us here. 1.) The mind of a child is more than capable of taking in and assimilating deep truths about God, and 2.) What we believe about God and the world around us, our “worldview” and morality, are pretty well set in stone by the age of 14 and will not easily be changed. In short, we are working with young people in the most crucial time of life for the mind. Let’s help the children this week understand the aspects and power of the mind in our lives. How can each be renewed by the power of Christ?

“Don’t live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely  changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect.”    -Romans 12:2

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Dan 5:12 & 14 | Col 3:2 ! 1 Sam.3 | Ecc.7:25 ! 2 Corinthians 10:5

 

TRAIL GUIDE: Mind Marinade

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Section 3, Lesson 1: Mind Marinade

When we talk about our mind, what exactly do we mean? What are the functions of the mind? When we talk about the mind in the Bible we are talking thoughts, attitudes, imagination, will, purposes, convictions, intelligence, understanding, and memory. In the Bible, the mind and the
heart are closely tied together. Many times they are used interchangeably. They communicate and work together to influence our actions.

What would the mind of a Jesus follower increasingly look like? The transformed and renewed mind of the Christian will love God, seeking Him with the intellect, meditating on His Word in prayer, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ, deciding to fix its thoughts on Christ and the things of heaven, serving with the will, remembering who God is and what He has done, and employing all its power of imagination and creativity to glorify God. Worshiping God with the mind will have repercussions in the heart and soul.

Help the children understand that the life of a follower of Jesus is more than good works and nice words. It is a life of integrity that includes your way of thinking. This renewal happens as we marinate our minds in the Word of God.

 

“Don’t live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely  changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect.”    -Romans 12:2

 

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

2 Corinthians 10:5 | Numbers 15:40 | Col 3:2 | 1 Chron. 28:9

 

TRAIL GUIDE: The Goal of the Soul

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Section 2, Lesson 3: The Goal of the Soul

What is the goal of the soul? Our souls were built for relationship with God. That relationship, once founded in Christ, can either be cultivated or neglected. Remember back to your childhood for a moment. When you learned to turn cartwheels or dive headfirst into the pool, did you shout, “Daddy! Look at me”? How about when you got good grades, your first job, or got engaged? In a healthy father-child  relationship it is natural to want to please Dad.

How much more so our perfect heavenly Father? Cultivating our relationship with God means aiming to please Him out of love, not obligation. When we love God with our soul, we are pleased to please Him. Take a nice slow read of the following two passages and then prayerfully reflect on how we can help the kids cultivate their soul relationship with the Father.

“And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” – Jesus (John 8:29)

“I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” – David (Psalm 40:8)

“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress – I will never be shaken.”    -Psalm 62:1-2

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

John 8:29| Ps. 40:8 | 1 Peter 2:25 | Ps. 35:9-10

 

TRAIL GUIDE: Soul Mate

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Section 2, Lesson 2: Soul Mate

Who is your favorite person to be with? Who is your soul mate? If you could, would you spend every free moment with that person? I have often asked my children, usually when I am frustrated by their lack of time in the Word, if they truly love God. Of course their answer is “yes.” I usually follow up that question with something like this, “Do you find it strange that you spend so little time with someone who you claim to love above all others?” It’s a great question, but one that rightly should be turned back on myself. David wrote, “My soul thirsts for you, the living God.” Wow! What makes David different from many of us? Is it that we don’t thirst? I don’t believe so. Our souls do thirst and so do the souls of the children we minister to. What made David a man after God’s own heart was that he recognized what – or better, Who – would quench his thirst.

Our problem is that often we don’t recognize what we are thirsting for, so we try to quench our thirst with other things. It could be work, relationships, recreation, television, or video games. Does my soul thirst for God as the deer pants for streams of water? It sure does. The question is whether I choose to go to the Source of living water or something else. This isn’t a guilt trip, but it should be a call to each of us to examine our souls and ask the hard questions, then cry out to God for a soul makeover. Let’s try to help the children understand the depths of God’s love, that by Jesus’ death He purchased for us a front row seat in the Father’s presence now and forever. God wants to be our soul mate and Jesus died to make that possible. Don’t miss out on the gift of the gospel, God’s presence, which is living water for our soul.

 

“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress – I will never be shaken.”    -Psalm 62:1-2

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Psalm 63 | Psalm 143 | Psalm 42:2 | Psalm 23:1-3 | Psalm 107:9 | Luke 1:46-47

 

TRAIL GUIDE: With All Your Soul

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Section 2, Lesson 1: With All Your Soul

When we talked about loving God with our heart, we referenced our personality and passions. That’s pretty deep. When we talk about loving God with our soul, that’s deeper still because our soul is the innermost part of who we are. It is used as a synonym for life, our life, our  essence. It’s the part God created to last for eternity. Sadly, sin introduced death into the world, and that includes the human soul. We are eternally dissatisfied until our soul finds rest in Him. Why? Because before we accepted Christ, our soul was dead in its trespasses and sins. We were longing for Him, for a perfect leader in this quest called life. After we know Jesus, our souls can rest because we have “returned to the shepherd and guardian of our souls”. (I Peter 2:25)

King David was Israel’s Poet King. He often spoke about His soul, “my soul is greatly dismayed…I will lift up my soul…my soul may sing praise…my soul will rejoice…” King David knew there was more to him than his mind and body. My soul is my immaterial essence. It is the eternal part of me that worships God best and also the part that can be separated from Him if I choose to put myself on the throne of my own life. As a Christian, I desire a makeover that will reform my soul so that I can love and put God at the center of everything. God has promised this makeover in Romans 8:29. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Everyday God is reshaping me to resemble Jesus – and that includes my soul.

“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress – I will never be shaken.”    -Psalm 62:1-2

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Psalm 63:1-5 |Matt 10:28 | Ecc.12:7 | Ezk.18:4 |Luke 16:19-31 |Mark 8:36 | Matt 16:26 | 3 John 1:2

 

TRAIL GUIDE: My Gift of Love

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Section 1, Lesson 3: My Gift of Love

“So what’s on your heart this week?” Hopefully you have taken some time during our study to reflect on how to use your interests and passions for God. But what about when you see things in yourself that fall short of God’s standard? Do we assume we’re a lost cause and of no use to God? We cannot hide our good qualities or our failures from Him. He “alone knows every human heart.” (1 Kings 8:39). But be of good cheer, the ungodly things I find in my heart bring me to Him in a special way, a humble way. I wish I could bring to Him a Great Commandment Christian, fully assembled and ready to serve. But I came broken, and though I’m not a slave to sin, my flesh still fights against my makeover. When I recognize this and grieve my sin, then I am in a position for God to transform my heart. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but the Lord promises that He is near to the brokenhearted.

In Psalm 147 we are reminded that it is fitting to praise God. The best way to praise God is to think about His actions and his attributes. The Psalm tells us:

God heals the brokenhearted. He names the stars.
He sends rain to the earth.
He delights in those who fear him.
He has unfailing love.
He sends us his protection.
He shares his commands with us.
He controls all nature.
He communicates his word to Israel and eventually to us!
Praise the Lord.

Loving God has many facets, praising Him for all He has done is one of them. Aligning our lifestyles with His word is another. What kind of heart does God want me to have? A pure heart, a clean heart, a kind heart and of course a heart that loves Him above all else. The kind of heart that Jesus displayed for us.

 

“Above all else, guard your heart, for
everything you do flows from it.”   
-Proverbs 4:23

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

1 Kings 8:61 | Joshua 22:5
Psalm 37:4 | Psalm 57:7!
Luke 6:45 | Psalm 51:10

 

TRAIL GUIDE: Start With Your Heart

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Section 1, Lesson 1: Start With Your Heart

When Jesus gave the greatest commandment, He was responding to a scribe who was asking the most important question for someone who believes in the all-powerful God of the Bible. “What does God want from me?” Jesus was glad to answer. He quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5. The answer was simple but profound… if you want to know what God really wants from you, the answer is love – practical, everything-I-have-and-am love. And it starts with your heart.

God has created each of our hearts differently, with different passions, different likes and dislikes. He intended each of these to be used in love for serving Him and others. But our hearts are not a closed-loop system. Things come in and out of our heart. Jesus teaches us in Luke 6:45 that, “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” The abundance of the heart includes both the good things that God has placed there as well as the things, either good or evil, that we have “stored up” there. This is why it is so important to both know what is in our hearts already (Psalm 139:23), so we can ask God to remove anything that doesn’t glorify Him and store up good things there instead, but also to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) from letting in those things we don’t want to store up.

In order to keep our hearts in tune for loving God, we should do this check-up regularly in prayer and in the Word. How is your heart this week? Let’s do a self-check first and then we can help the children to do the same. David was man after God’s own heart. This doesn’t mean he was sinless, but that he had a heart fully devoted to God. Let’s ask with him this week, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:10)

“Above all else, guard your heart, for
everything you do flows from it.” 
-Proverbs 4:23

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

1 Kings 8:61 | Joshua 22:5 !
Psalm 37:4 | Psalm 57:7!
Luke 6:45 | Psalm 51:10

 

TRAIL GUIDE: A Really Big Idea

QUEST Trail Guide DevoThe “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend.  We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.

EXTREME MAKEOVER, Introduction: The Great Commandment

Thanks for joining us in this quest to educate and challenge the children of our church. We want to give you a preview for the upcoming lesson. Any hiker worth his Gatorade looks over the map before he heads out. Our ‘Trail Guide Devotional’ gives you an opportunity during the week to think about the Big Idea and to look for ways that God is using these lessons in your own life.

What would you say is the most important thing in life? Jesus was asked that very question. He answered that it was to love God with all one’s heart, soul, mind and strength. Now that’s a big idea! His answer is now known as the Great Commandment, and we would like to be known as Great Commandment Christians.

By the end of this unit, we want our students to know what it’s like to live as a ‘Great Commandment Kid.’ Here is the good news – children all over Reston Bible Church will be hearing about becoming a Great Commandment Kid. The bad news, however, is that none of us can do it on our own. How can we love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength when we spend most of our time loving ourselves? We need a makeover.

Over the next several months, the kids will learn how to use all the faculties, resources, and power that God has given us to live the Christian life. No one does a makeover on anything that is fine the way it is. Makeovers are caused by a need, a deficiency or some kind of flaw that needs to be remedied. Let’s show our students that they can go to God and get cleansing for their hearts, growth for their souls, truth for their minds and purpose for their strength. We don’t need a little sprucing up – we need an extreme makeover!

 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new
creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 
-2 Corinthians 5:15

MEDITATING ON THE WORD:

Rom 8:28 | Eph 4:23-24
Col 3:9-10 | Rev 21:5
Phil 1:6 | Rom 12:2
Eze 36:26 | Matt 7:24-26