Friday, October 13, 2006

Living All Out for God

Psalm 119:1-2 says, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart.”

Psalm 119 contains 176 verses about the importance and power of the Word of God. Without question the Psalmist loves God’s Holy Word and calls us to know it, love it, and live it. Blessings flow from God to the man who walks according to the law of God. He honors those who know and keep his testimonies.

The last phrase of verse two catches my eye, “who seek him with their whole heart.” God blesses those who seek him with all of their heart. But what does this look like? What does it mean to seek God with your whole heart?

Yesterday I attended a varsity boys soccer game where my school’s unbeaten team was competing against the only other unbeaten team in the league. #1 and #2 were meeting to determine who would be regular season champion and get the #1 seed in the playoffs. They guys on my team, and just about everyone at school, had been talking about the game for almost a week. The players thought about the game, planned for it, practiced for it, and looked forward with great excitement. Then they played with all their heart and strength, battling for every loose ball, jumping for every high cross, sprinting to beat the other team on a break. Despite losing 1 to 2, they prepared and played with their whole heart.

I think this gives us a good picture of what it looks like to seek God with our whole heart. We need to think regularly about him, talk frequently about him, prepare ourselves for his service, and live all out for him. We need to think about his character and ways, we need to talk about his working in our lives with our friends and family, we need to pursue him daily by reading his word, we need to serve those around us who are in need, we need to worship him as Lord over every part of our life and every part of our world.

The varsity guys are already looking forward to the playoffs and an opportunity for a rematch with the #1 team. They’ll be seeking a championship and play with renewed focus.

Let’s commit today to seek God with our whole heart.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Endorsements of Growing Up Christian

"Growing Up Christian is a great book. Karl Graustein gets it! He understands the pitfalls and dangers that track with the rich privilege of growing up in a Christian home. He addresses all the standard temptations; getting ensnared by sin, presuming oneself to be saved, craving for popularity. In winsome, “kid friendly” ways he turns the reader to knowing God, knowing the Bible, solid theology, fellowship with others. This book has a look and feel that young people will appreciate. Much of the teaching is found in engaging interactive text boxes that will make this book a small group leader’s dream. I look forward to seeing this book used in the church I serve."
-Tedd Tripp, pastor, author, conference speaker

"With much attention paid to converts, teens who grow up in the church sometimes feel like second-class citizens in their own home towns. This book can help them to count their blessings and pray for more."
-Marvin Olasky, Editor of World Magazine

"Growing Up Christian will provide a shot of encouragement to those uncounted teens who have grown up immersed in Christianity."
-Ken Smitherman, President of Association of Christian Schools International

"If you've found yourself saying, 'My testimony isn’t very exciting. I grew up in a Christian home,' then Growing Up Christian is just the thing to help you see how your Christian upbringing is an asset not a liability. The book’s wise teachings and compelling stories will affirm your faith, strengthen your resolve, and equip you for culture-shaping leadership."
-Jeff Myers, Ph.D., President, Summit Ministries

"As a 'church kid' myself, I know the dangers that accompany being so familiar with the things of God that you take them for granted. . . .[this] book is one that can shake teenagers and parents out of a false sense of safety and ignite a much-needed spiritual passion."
-Joshua Harris, pastor, author