so this is what i wrote out, and used it as an outline. it went pretty good i felt like.
btw this is a catholic school with kids who have prety much been beaten with God talk their whole lives. thats what one teacher told me.
Missing the point
Where I Come from/ My background how I got here.
I grew up in a small town, grew up playing football, basketball, baseball, soccer whatnot. I grew up going to church, camps, and youth group. I am actually a farm boy. I know I probably don’t fit the part now, but I actually grew up with cows and pigs in my back yard. I was pretty much on a tractor everyday after school and practice.
My church background
I went to church, because my parents made me. I believed in God, but church was boring. I grew up believing in Christ, I knew that he was real. When I was really young I gave my life to Christ. Basically because I knew that, that was what I was supposed to do. Throughout high school I got a better understanding of who Jesus is and what he had done for me.
I grew up going to church camp. Every year at church camp I felt like I would grow closer to Jesus.. I’d go to camp, come home, read my bible, for a week or two… then forget about it really.. go back to camp, same thing. Over and over again. There was no passion in my heart for Jesus.. except for those couple of weeks during the summer.
Living by the rules
I couldn’t figure it out.. I was living by the rules, being a good kid.. never getting in trouble never drinking doing drugs, I rarely cussed and only talked back to my parents and teachers half the time. I made good grades and was always respectful with yes maams and yes sirs. I was missing the point.
I was totally missing the point…. And I think a lot of the time that’s what happens to us when we are in high school.
Why do we go to church? (following paths already walked)
We grow up going to church, believing what our parents believe, because, well that’s what is supposed to happen. We believe because our parents believe, we go to church because that’s what is happening around us. Our friends are going to church, our parents take us, they believe in God, so we by association believe in God. And if we take a step back we might realize, that is pretty shallow.
We live life following the paths that have been beaten for us… and this is a dangerous thing to fall into.
My church back home (country club church)
my hometown is a pretty small town. A couple of red lights, one high school, with about 500 people in it. I graduated with about 150 people. If you get a speeding ticket in town, your parents know about it before you get home. That’s how small it is. We don’t have any country clubs or golf courses or anything like that. - Back home there are probably 400 people who go to my home church. And these people are committed to church. They are there all the time, every time the doors are open they are there, hanging out, cooking stuff, planning stuff, eating stuff, whatever. But what sucks is that, for some people (not all of course), Church is their country club. They go to church, because, well that’s what they are “supposed to do” that’s what their parents did, and that’s what they do. Some of these people only go to church, because, that is the culture. Friday, football games, Saturday grill out, Sunday go to church. It’s a place for them to go and put on a façade and their best suit, and be “good”. And they are missing the point too.
Some of them are, and I was stuck in the rut of trying to be good live by the rules
I was stuck in this rut of trying to live up to these rules and standards that I kept hearing about in church. This is all I heard – “believe in Jesus and read your bible, and be good and you’ll go to heaven”
So that’s what I was doing, I was trying to be good enough to get into heaven. I was trying to live up to these rules and make sure that I didn’t really break many of them so that I would be good enough.
This is why it is dangerous. Because we could live our whole life in this rut, thinking, well I believe that Jesus died for me, so there’s my ticket.. I have my ticket to heaven because I believe and because I try to live by the rules.
We have to stop trying to live by the rules, and thinking that this is what Christianity is about. We have to get out this rut of believing if we live up to the standards that we are okay.
No, we need to realize that Christianity has so little to do with rules, and so much to do with Christ.
Christ, wants to know you, he wants to experience life with you. Christ cares FIRST AND FOREMOST about your heart and your life.
It blows my mind that we fall into these dangerous places and believe that it is about following rules, and not about falling in love.
Christianity is completely about falling in love with Jesus. And man, we miss it, we miss it so much. This a good verse.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. In accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he has lavishly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding”
When I read this verse it puts Christ’s actions in much more perspective than I have ever been taught.
I was never taught about Christianity from this perspective. I never knew that God “lavishly poured out his grace on me”. I
John 10:10 – jesus came that we could have life and life it more abundantly.
There are a ton of verses about eternal life that we get to be apart of when we go on to heaven but too many times do we tend to just focus on that.
Do you think that God has lavished his grace on us so that when we die we are able to live with him? No that’s so shallow. God lavished his grace on us so that we could come in contact with him now today all the time.
So here is what needs to happen.
There are two different groups of people in here.
one: those of you who have fallen into “Christianity” because that is the thing to do. Your parents do it, your friends, your community, so you do it. You’re a Christian by association. You might not even really know if Jesus is real, or if God is actually who everyone says he is. This is what you need to do, because I was in the same place. I begged the people around me to prove to me that God was real, I asked my dad to give me some evidence that Jesus wasn’t just some story. I was desperate to know the truth. So I spent like two or three weeks struggling with this. I spent my nights asking God to prove himself to me, to convince me to believe in him.
Two: Those of you who know what Jesus has done for you but you never really thought of him any more than a ticket to heaven.
You need to go home and stop trying to live by the rules, stop trying to live up to this standard, and start falling in love with Jesus. Spend time thanking God for who he is, and asking to know him more, instead of filling your prayers with requests like it is a check list.