Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Growing in God Apologetic

I do believe that one of the greatest defenses for the Christian faith, one of the best ways for Christians to prepare to be ready to defend the faith is by growing spiritually and maturing in Christ.  This growth comes through worship!

The following is a high school devotion which my wife shared with me today: 

Laugh Out Loud
And nine other ways to worship all summer long.
by Chris Lutes

1) Help and serve others. Play ball with the neighbor kid. Help out with your church's summer VBS or a neighborhood Bible club. Mow an elderly neighbor's lawn for free. And whenever possible, do your serving in secret so that God gets the glory (1 Peter 4:11). Just look around you and you're sure to discover simple, everyday ways to worship through serving others.

2) Sit down in your yard with your Bible and pick a blade of grass. Turn to Isaiah 40:7-8, which says: "The grass withers and the flowers fall. … Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever" (NIV). Read the passage a few times, then think about what it means to you. Use the blade of grass to bookmark the passage. Read the passage periodically throughout the summer, watching as the blade of grass withers.

3) Take a walk in a park or forest with a friend. Look around at all of the things God has created. Take turns pointing out how God's creation gives you glimpses into his character and nature. For example: "God is like this oak tree because he's sturdy and strong."

4) Take pictures on your family vacation that remind you of your Creator and his awesome creation. Place these pictures on your blog or in a scrapbook, and label each one with a passage that fits the picture. Throughout the summer, look at the pictures and praise God for the beauty of creation he showed you during your vacation. Here are some passages to get you started: Genesis 1:11-12, Psalm 19:1, Psalm 29:3, Psalm 65:9, Psalm 84:3, Psalm 93:3-4, Psalm 96:11-12, Psalm 97:2, Psalm 98:8, Psalm 104:7-8, Psalm 104:10-11, Psalm 104:12, Psalm 104:20, Psalm 104:25, Psalm 147:4, Psalm 148:3, Psalm 148:7, Romans 8:19, Colossians 3:16.

5) Toss a rock into a lake on a still, windless day. Watch the ripples roll outward. Try to count them. Now think about God's love. How is it like those ripples? How can you be a "ripple of God's love" today?

6) Laugh. Whether you're at an amusement park, forest preserve, city park, miniature golf course or the beach, listen for joyous laughter. Each time you hear someone laugh, take a moment to silently thank God for the gift of laughter. And be sure to celebrate by laughing often just like the writer of Psalm 126:2.

7) Find a quiet place to watch the sunset. As you watch the sun sink beneath the horizon, sit very still and think about your day. Recall the good and the bad moments. Thank God for being with you throughout everything that happened that day. Thank God for being present with you during these quiet moments.

8) Thank God and praise him for the ability to run, throw, kick, swim—or whatever it is you do to work out or participate in a summer sport. Try to stay aware of his presence with you each time you play or exercise.

9) Start each day of your summer job right with this verse: "Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men" (Colossians 3:23, NLV). Memorize this verse and then recite it before you begin your shift, repeating it during times of frustration, and repeat it again at that end of your shift.

10) Plan small group worship services around a backyard fire pit. Sing praise songs, read Scripture, pray and share stories about Christ working in your life. This is a great and informal way to keep your Christian friendships tight, even if your youth group doesn't meet during the summer.
This devotion comes from Christianity Today.

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