YM Quotes:

YM Quotes:

Youth ministry is always a challenge. Youth ministry is consistently changing. Youth ministry is regularly surprising. Youth ministry is fresh all the time. (Mark Oestreicher)

Although students need guidance from good leaders, we often take on too much of the responsibility for their knowledge about God. We want them to blindly adopt our opinions rather than work out their own understanding. Instead we must help young people learn how to think for themselves with God’s perspective as their foundation and the Word of God as their rule. (Sean Dunn)

(You'll find more YM Quotes below the posts)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Article 5: This is LOVE…

I know that Valentine's Day is the past (for this year at least). But it still keeps me thinking...people took value in the worldly idea of love. Schools, Clubs and even youth groups tackled the theme with nice fun evenings. But as I reflect on it I get the feeling that it seems to be a total misunderstanding or a bubble concept floating in the air waiting to be destroyed. Especially if you ask young people about love it has to do mainly with a feeling (affection) between a boy and a girl (movies encourage this idea).
People who had some experience would often refer to it as a lost dream, something that will never be real (as they were disappointed of love many times). This does not stop in front of the church. I think the problem is that we look at the wrong places for the answers.

Lets read 1 John 4:7-21

God is Love
7 Dear friends, let us continually love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God. 8 The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
If we know and belong to God our love for him and for others will be evident. This does not mean that we love and care for others 24/7. It would be great if we can, but in reality it is difficult, especially if love is not returned or even rejected. The encouragement is that God give his love to us endlessly and unconditionally.

God loved first
9 This is how God's love was revealed among us: God sent his unique Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Our love for God is a response to his love. His ultimate sign of love to us was given through his one and only Son- Jesus. Watch “The passion of Christ” to get a better understanding of how precious this sacrifice is.

Action needs response
11 Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love one another. This sacrifice of love is the greatest act of kindness done in history of humankind, so it call for a respond. There are only to options, do you embrace Christ or reject him.

Response needs action
12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 This is how we know that we abide in him and he in us: he has given us his Spirit. 14 We have seen for ourselves and can testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 19 We love because he first loved us.
Once you received this love, you belong to God and his love will shine through you. Are you willing to be a vessel of love. How do you show love around you? God’s love is not dependent on your emotional or physical status, therefore love others.

Here a little story:
Once after a soccer training I still had plenty of food left (it was not enough to hand out another round to all the Kids, but too much for me to eat) in my car. So I was driving home, when I had to stop for a red light. Suddenly a lady came up to me begging for money. Quick with an answer I said "no", but somehow it made me sad and then (just when the lights turned into green) I realised that I have some food in the boot. So I waved her, stopped on the side and gave her what I had. With a smile on her face and shining eyes she said: "Thank you so much!" Immediately I was filled with joy, I was not proud of myself...I was just happy that I shared God's love in this way.

Abide within each other
15 God abides in the one who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, and he abides in God. 16 We have come to know and believe in the love that God has for us. God is love, and the person who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
There are several interesting meanings in the term abide: to wait, stay, dwell, remain, endure submit and to answer for (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/abide). Love is seen through waiting when others get impatient, staying when others leave, endure while others give up and answer while others keep silent. The challenge is to dwell in God (stay connected constantly).

Confidence rather than fear
17 This is how love has been perfected among us: we will have confidence on the day of judgment because, while we are in this world, we are just like him. 18 There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love.
Now this is not selfish confidence in your own abilities, but confidence that through me God’s love will find a way. There is no space for fear as well, God won the war through his love every battle can be won as well. Think about it, you cannot love someone if your heart is filled with fear.

It will be evident…
20 Whoever says, "I love God," but hates his brother is a liar. The one who does not love the brother whom he has seen cannot love a God whom he has not seen. 21 And this is the commandment that we have from him: the person who loves God must also love his brother.
It will show if you love others with the sacrificial, unconditional love we receive from God. I see so many struggles, fights and personal problems in the church that it hurts. If I cannot love my brother, how on earth do I want to show love to God (or a stranger on the street)?

So, think again. What is LOVE?

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