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Monumental Moments In Life

I got home yesterday from preaching a 3-night rally in Colorado. I like the emphasis on kicking off the school year right—with Bible preaching! Today, I’ll be re-preaching all three sermons (not all in Sunday school!) as we think about starting the year strong. Each day is a new beginning […]

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Your Message Means More Than You will Ever Know

November 25th, 2016


I felt like an ultra-special youth pastor last week. My wife and I spoke at the Youth Conference at Heartland, and they treated us royally. We had a hotel suite, a gift basket with candy and a Starbucks gift card, a nice car to drive, paid activities like a water park and arcade, restaurant meals and super nice and helpful people everywhere. 

But when I got that text with your welcome message, that made me feel as special as anything else. I loved it. You’re an incredible crowd, and I wish you could have come to the YouthCon with us. Maybe someday. Maybe next year..?? We’ll see. Robbie, Rose, Caroline and Jacob got to be there and experience the conference. Ask THEM how cool it was! 

As with everything at Heartland, the preaching of God’s Word was the highlight of the week. Of the 1300 people, there were 20 saved, and scores of decisions made. Bro. Michael Jones, who preached our DO SOMETHING Preaching Rally, was incredible as ever. And our next year’s camp preacher, Pastor Park Sutton, whetted MY appetite for camp. Too bad I have to wait like 361 more days! Bro. Park is hilarious, and I can’t wait for you to hear him preach. 

We have tried to make PREACHING the WORD a mainstay here in the Teens of Faith. I view it as the MOST important thing I can do for you weekly, and it just seems like the highlights of each year are focused around some trip or event that includes a bunch of preaching. I think that’s incredible. And I’m honored to be associated with such a wonderful youth group. 

Thank you for texting. Thank you for praying. Love you all very much. 

-Bro. Ryan

Bro. Michael’s Note

It is obvious that, from God’s Word, God is not some mean, vindictive bully waiting for people to mess up so that he can punish them. Rather, God is the God of redos. He’s the God of second, third, and twenty-seventh chances. When we, like foolish little dogs, go back to our own vomit (Prov. 26:11) and re-immerse ourselves in some sin we thought we had conquered, He still gives grace. The psalmist said that His mercy endures forever. Psalm 103:8 says, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” It is plain to see that God is very gracious; for that, we should be thankful! But is it possible that we can misuse God’s grace? The apostle Paul thinks so.

There have been times in my past where I just felt absolutely powerless to my sin, to the point where it somehow made better sense to me just give in to the temptation, and ask for grace later. In fact, that was a common cycle in my life. Really, it’s a common cycle in most Christians. We get into the habit of misusing God’s grace when we forget that we are dead…   “Say whaaaat?” Exactly. Listen to Paul when he says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” If you’ve read Romans 6 before, you should know the answer. “God Forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” It doesn’t make sense for people who are DEAD to sin to LIVE in sin. If your old man has been crucified with Christ, or you have been saved, than you are dead to sin. Well, you’re not a zombie. Rather than misuse God’s grace, we should reckon ourselves to be dead INDEED unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you are alive unto God, then you realize that you don’t have to sin in the midst of temptation. You realize that you have been quickened, or made alive, unto God to serve Him and not your sin.




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