This week at FUEL, our message is entitled “Principles + Priorities”, and we’ll be taking a look at common principles that the early church used to evangelize a fallen world. Also, we’ll be talking with our students about how these believes and use of these principles showed that the early church had their priorities in check and were putting “first things first” on a daily basis.
Our main text will be Acts 16:25-34 – the story of the Philippian jailer. Here we find Paul and Silas in the stocks for casting a demon out of a woman and their testimony of the Gospel – and yet, verse 25 says: “About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God…” What an incredible thought! Paul and Silas were so committed to the worship of God that they couldn’t help themselves from praying and singing, even in the midst of one of the darkest places that the world had to offer.
The Bible tells us in Romans 12:1-2 that our true and proper worship is the complete and total giving over of ourselves to God as a living sacrifice of worship. When this happens, we are renewed by the transformation of our minds (12:2) so that we can discern what the will of God is, and be obedient to it. I believe Paul and Silas were embodiments of these verses, and this was displayed in their speech and also in the manner in which they lived. As Christians, we are all called to live this way, and it’s my prayer that our students would feel called to passionate living for Jesus in the same manner.
As parents, you can encourage your students to think this way by always pointing them back to the Word of God and what it says is true and good for our lives. Encourage them to memorize scriptural passages about prioritizing God first in their life. Nothing helps us to focus our mind more on God’s will than by memorizing his commands in scripture!
But in addition to all of this, please remember that all teenagers will reflect the lifestyle of their parents in one shape or another. I believe the most effective way for any leader (whether it be a parent, an older sibling, a teacher, etc.) to encourage someone to live in a certain way is to do it as the leader and expect them to follow. Why would we ever expect our students to prioritize Christ first in their life if we ourselves are not doing that? Students will always follow the example of influential people in their lives, and we should not take that for granted. Let’s lead and disciple our students together this week by living passionate lives for Christ in the same way that we hope they will!
As always, please feel free to email/call me if there is everything I can do for you and your family. God Bless!
Youth Pastor – FBC Elberton