Tuesday, May 6, 2008

so what do you think of the new "fuel"

here is a link to this week's fuel

i am hoping to get some feedback from students letting me know what they think of the new fuel devotional. here is a little back story on how fuel began. it actually didn't start at the vineyard but rather at a church i worked at before coming here, ginghamsburg church in tipp city, ohio.

the executive pastor there sue nilson had the vision of everyone being on the "same page" buy doing the same devotions everyday. this effort was called the transformation journal (and is now available through abingdon press). i wanted middle school student to be doing something with the same goal... and fuel was born.

here is what i know... students who spend time with god on a consistent, and weekly basis will be transformed by it. among my highest goals is for students to develop this important life-long discipline.

so for today's reading... i'm pasting it in from biblegateway.com:

Luke 18

The Story of the Persistent Widow
Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He said, "There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. A widow in that city kept after him: 'My rights are being violated. Protect me!'

"He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, 'I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think. But because this widow won't quit badgering me, I'd better do something and see that she gets justice—otherwise I'm going to end up beaten black-and-blue by her pounding.'"

Then the Master said, "Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? So what makes you think God won't step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won't he stick up for them? I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?"

-this is why i love the message version of the bible. there is much debate on wether or not it's a legitimate version of the bible but i think i've read this passage several times throughout my life... but the message helps me see it from a fresh perspective.

-the judge doesn't care for his people and is basically unfair. my wife is one who always seeks justice. i think i lean much more to the grace side, but i can imagine this "old widow" is very much like my wife is when she feels she's been wronged. (not that i'm saying my wife is like and old cranky widow... just i think i can envision it... he he.

-you know what they say, the "squeaky wheel gets the grease". this woman's case was finally heard and delt with because of her persistence.

-jesus does this a lot in his stories (or parables), flips the 'care' factor. remember the judge is unfair and corrupt, not caring for his people... then jesus flips it. if this jerk responds to persistence... how much more will god.

-i think the only thing i am super consistent about praying for is my wife and my son (or sons as is the case now :) there are friends that i have that are far from god but i wouldn't say that i'm consistent when it comes to praying for them. as believers, when we want god to act... we need to keep knocking on the door.

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