Daily Devotional – 10/22/18 “Our youth is in trouble!”

Our youth is in trouble and here is a sad reality, most of them don’t have a relationship with God. I don’t care if they’ve been in the church since they were in diapers, if nobody is teaching them how to build a relationship with God, they don’t have one. And it is more than just dragging them to worship on Sunday morning, forcing them to sit in the back of the church during bible study because you didn’t have time to drop them off or telling them, when they face trouble, to pray. With the plight of our youth and young adults, prayer meetings need to start with them. Traditions, if they are no longer sufficient to handle the growing need of the church, throw them out because we need to get back to pure worship. The kind when deacons could pray and it sets the tone of service. When a Dr. Watts could slay the house long before some of these preachers started “slaying” service. When an altar call prayer could turn into an hour of worship and weeping. When the spirit was so heavy, no preaching was done because all folk wanted was to be under the Holy Spirit. Y’all our youth is in trouble and they are running from the church because so many Christians are worried about their rip jeans than their ripped relationship with God. They are being judged because of their tattoos and the turmoil they’re facing is being overlooked. Church folk are more concerned with their sexual orientation than whether they know what it means to be saved.

We are pushing our youth away due to the lack of sound doctrine and then get mad when they question about it. We are consistently having revivals but nobody is leaving restored or resuscitated let alone revived. Yet we’ll open up the door of the church at the funeral of another youth that has been gunned down, take in fifty youth who were driven to the altar by emotion but won’t take the time to follow-up with them, the next day. Our youth are in trouble. They are dying without knowing God, committing suicide because the weight of the world is heavy, being bullied and afraid to speak, being abused and thinking it’s loved, being sexually molested and covering up and facing mental illness, chalked up to acting out. Understand something, as a parent, I am not perfect and I know how hard it is to get and keep the youth in church yet I talk about Jesus, whether they want to hear it or not. I pray over their pillows and I walk around their rooms and I pray around their cars. I even pray about their friends, jobs and relationships. Even with me being the Asst. Pastor of a church, I don’t obligate them to that church because I want them to be connected to a place of worship that meets their needs. And my children are not perfect or all the way righteous but I will not stop praying because my grandma and momma didn’t stop praying for me. This is why we’ve got to intercede for them. They are facing more trouble than we ever did. So, will you take time today to pray for a youth/young adult? Will you call the name of a youth/young adult today? And if you want me too, send me their name and I shall go in prayer for them tonight at midnight. “In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness; My soul refused to be comforted.” Psalm 77:2

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Daily Devotional – 10/16/18 “Who are you?”

I watched the movie “Nappily Ever After,” on Netflix last night. Good movie. I absolutely loved the fact, the ending (without giving the movie away) wasn’t like all movies that ends unrealistically. I say this because not every reality ends happily ever after. For those of you who have never heard of this movie, it’s about Violet who has been raised to believe she needs to always be perfect, especially when it comes to her hair. She’s get up extra early to make sure her boyfriend woke up to her being “perfect.” She thought she was giving him what he wanted until he told her, being with her felt like they’d been on their first date for two years. The movie showed how men would stop and look at her when she was perfect but didn’t even bat an eye when she was going through an identity crisis. Reality hit her in the face and it made her take a step back. Won’t life do you like this? But here is what I got from the movie. It wasn’t that men were looking at when she was “perfect” and ignoring her when she wasn’t. They were looking because when she was “perfect” she was bold yet imperfect, she walked as if life was dragging her. In her pursuit for perfection, she was unapologetic and she walked with her head held high but at the first sign of crisis, she folded.

You want to know why? Because she didn’t know the person behind the hair and makeup and when she removed those things, she was forced to come face to face with who she really was. And because she didn’t know her, she didn’t know how to love and embrace her. And for some of us, we are in the same shoes. You’ve had the façade up for so long, pretending to be strong but if the right gust of wind come, it will knock you clean over. You jump from relationship to relationship because you don’t know your identity of singleness to even cuddle it. You walk around smiling, inwardly broken. Helpful to everybody else because you’re afraid of admitting you need help too. You accept every invitation, go to every party, dressing up and playing the part because truth is, you’re afraid of the voices when you’re by yourself and it’s quiet. You don’t know you and that’s dangerous. You don’t know you and that’s detrimental to who you can become. Who are you? No, I mean for real, who are you? When the wig and makeup is off, who are you? When the suit is thrown across the bed, who are you? When the lights are off, who are you? When the church doors are closed, who are you? Without social media, who are you? Without your title, awards and accolades who are you? Do you even know? Bible shares in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”