Teens Together In Christ- 6th to 8th graders
Brothers And Sisters In Christ- 9th to 12 graders
For the purpose of meeting new people, hanging out with friends, and learning more about Jesus.
We meet each Saturday during the academic year at Chinese Baptist Church, 5801 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, 98108. Our meetings begin at 7:00 pm and end by 9:00 pm.
Devotional #108 - Given to Anger
I found this devotional online and thought it was good. Gotta give credit to where it’s due.
Most of us are well aware that “bad company corrupts good morals” (I Corinthians 15:33) and we become who we are consistently with. When we come across verses such as these in Scripture, people’s faces flash through our mind’s eye. A name pops into our head, or we recall and replay a situation where we were wronged. However, the person’s face that rarely comes to mind is our own! Are you that man or woman “given to anger”? When you’ve had a bad day at work or school, is it your coworkers or friends who share in the day’s suffering because you lash out at them?
Don’t be fooled, being “given to anger” is undoubtedly a snare, but so too is constantly seeing others as the ones who need the fixing or the change. Don’t be a hypocrite, judge yourself by the same standard with which you judge others. It is easy to put the blame on others, when you might be the one with the short fuse. Don’t be known as another angry Christian to the world around you.
Devotional #107 - Staying Calm
Hi everyone, day 15 of May which means we’re onto Proverbs 15! I really enjoyed this chapter because the whole point of it is telling people how to act in rough situations. When I was in middle school, anytime anyone used to get angry at me for doing something I stayed calm and thought to myself, “If I do anything to them, I’ll get in trouble. But if they do something to me, they will” So I didn’t touch anyone or retaliate with anything violent. That was partially a dumb move on my part cause getting hurt is also not a fun way to go, but I figured it was better than getting in trouble with the school. That’s what this whole chapter is about. Proverbs 15 starts off with, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” and it continues with multiple verses stating similar things. We must take this advice to heart, staying calm and thinking rationally for both our own sake and everyone around us’. Later, Proverbs 15:17 says, “Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred” To be more like Jesus, we should give what we can happily instead of what would be preferred with hate. This reminds me of how tithes and offering work, because the tithes is ten percent of our income, and the offering is whatever we else we want to give gladly. We give because we want to, not because we are required to. Let this lesson and a half get stuck in your mind, because it is worth keeping hold of in the future.
I hope you all have a great week!
Devotional #103 - God’s Warnings
Proverbs 6:16 says, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him” If you read further into the passage, it lists those seven detestable things. To put them simply, God detests arrogant people, liars, violence, intentionally evil people, people who choose violence first, and people who create conflict with each other. I only listed six because it says, “a lying tongue” and “a false witness who pours out lies” and they both fall under liars. Now these are very simplified terms in comparison to what is actually written, but for the sake of time and effort I chose to write them this way. All throughout Proverbs 6-8, God warns us of things such as adulterous women and folly so we can be more like Him. This is because He detests those sort of people since they do not follow His word. Proverbs 8:32 says, “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways” We are God’s children and He takes care of us while we are with Him. God gives us warnings like, “Do not let your heart turn to her ways…Her house is a highway to the grave” and “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes” We must stay strong in God so we don’t fall into sin.
Devo 102 - Positive Verbs 5
Most of this chapter warns against adultery. It tells the story of this guy who falls for a married woman. He doesn't think about any consequences of his actions and just thinks about her. Proverbs 5 tells us though that the consequence of a sin like this is death. Sound familiar? (for the wages of sin is death... aaahhhhaaaaa?!)
It goes on to basically say to find your own soulmate instead of stealing someone else's, and that even if one tries to hide something like that from the rest of the world, it doesn't matter because God can see everything.
I'm pretty sure that adultery isn't particularly a big problem for us youth (or at least I definitely hope that's the case). However, all of this is applicable to any sin. It doesn't matter how small or big the sin may seem-- they are all as bad as adultery in God's book (aka the Bible... haha). Something that the principal at school kept telling me whenever I got in trouble was that my actions would always have more consequences than I expected. That's true whether you believe in God or not, but as Christians, we know that unchecked sins will lead to death, rather than the eternal life that we were granted.
You may be the best secret keeper ever and not reveal a sin to the rest of the world, but God is like Santa Claus on steroids. He knows everything, not just whether you're sleeping or awake. There's no point in trying to hide a sin. Rather, admit to it and do your duty as a follower of Christ and abstain from it, whether that sin is lying, gossiping, being envious, or murdering people (Hopefully not that last one).
Have a fantastic weekend!
Devo 101 (Dalmations?!)
Proverbs 3 and 4
If you were in Sunday School this most recent Sunday and were partially awake, you'll remember that Uncle Daniel asked "what are some things that we may attribute to God that non-believers may not?"
Here's an answer: there are some things that non-believers think they fully understand, but Christians will say only God knows all. Pr. 3:5 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding..." Your wisdom isn't anything like God's wisdom. We are all born with a sin nature. As babies, we have no idea what right and wrong means. We have no idea what sinning is, even as we sin. As we grow up, we learn what society says is right and wrong, and hopefully we also learn what God says is right and wrong.
That Biblical wisdom is very important to living a good life. Sure, getting my paycheck every two weeks is fantastic (TOMORROW IS PAY DAY, YOU KNOW I'M READY TO REAP THE REWARDS), but the wisdom I've gained from knowing God is incomparable. The rest of Proverbs 3 basically tells you to wise up, and stress less. There are many problems that arise because we simply have no idea what to do. "What are all of the things I have to do tomorrow? What am I going to wear? What am I going to eat? What time are my classes? Will I ever finish school? Will I ever make a good impact in the world?" Those are some of the things that are part of my daily stress build ups. But Proverbs 3 tells us to stop worrying about trivial things, and that the more we know about God, the less those stressors will matter.
There are some straightforward things at the end of Pr 3 that are pretty interesting, but I'll let you read those yourself.
On to Proverbs 4! "Get Wisdom at Any Cost." A lot of this chapter compares and contrasts the paths of those who are righteous v. those who are sinners: Pr 4:18-19 "The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble." TL;DR, it's a whole bunch of reasons that you really really want to seek out wisdom. It's very motivating, and if you're looking for inspiration to get you hungry/thirsty for some Holy Spirit, I highly recommend this chapter. You're practically going to get drunk on these (Holy) Spirit(s).
Stay tuned for episode 5 of Proverbs!
Proverbs 2 is a pretty cool chapter. It mostly focuses on wisdom, which makes sense if you remember that Solomon was the guy who asked God for wisdom, and only wisdom as his reward *insert AHA! moment*
I'm great at memorising song lyrics. My head is filled with a giant library of them, and I can sing along to every single song on my Spotify and YouTube playlists. But when it comes to things like schoolwork, I struggle a bit sometimes trying to remembering things like what Streptococcus is, exactly how much ATP is produced in all of the different types of pathways, or the exact structure of aspirin and how to synthesise it (DM me if you actually want to know the above). Another thing that I struggle a bit with is fully absorbing the Bible. Solomon is over here saying "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you...then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God" (Proverbs 2:1,5). Basically, he's urging us to really put in effort to seek God's Word, to keep it with us at all times, and to apply what we learn. Why? Because you can't go wrong when you know the Bible. Let your actions be based on the wisdom that you gain from God: "Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous" (Proverbs 2:20)
Here's something else I struggle with: I'm seeking that knowledge, but sometimes I read the same few passages over and over again and I have zero clue what it means. I don't feel like I'm gaining any wisdom. Your boi Solomon has you covered! Proverbs 2:3 tells you to "cry aloud for understanding". In other words, just ask God if you feel completely clueless. He has your back: "For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding" (Pr. 2:6).
Devotional #98 - Proper Guidance
Hi everyone! During the month of May, us authors of these devotionals are going to be based on the book of Proverbs. There are 31 chapters of Proverbs and 31 days of May, so each day will be matched up with the chapter of the book, so make sure to check in every day for these! Now onto the actual devotional.
In our lives, we are led and influenced by many people, from our family and friends to teachers and counselors. But can we say that all these influences are good for us and will make us better people? No, we can’t, but luckily, we have a choice in this matter. We choose who to follow and the decisions we make. As Christians, we follow God and His word so that they may guide us to the right place. We are taught not to stray from this path, otherwise we will lead a sinful life. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 1:10 and 16, “My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them…for their feet rush into evil, they are swift to shed blood” Now this doesn’t literally mean that all bad people are going to shed others’ blood, but it can be just as bad. If we are taught poorly, we could be spreading incorrect information. If we befriend the wrong people, we could be participating in activities that defy what God says. If we are led by the wrong people, we could develop bad habits from them. So what can we do about this? We follow God’s word. Proverbs 1:33 says, “But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm” As long as we listen to God and follow His path, we can live without worry of poor guidance.
Sorry for the short devotional, but make sure to look out for the others! I’m sure they’ll be great.
אלוהים -97 # Devotional
Some of you may be wondering, what does the title of this devo mean? Well, that is if you read it. Anyway, that text is pronounced “Elohim” which translates to Strong One from Hebrew to English. This word is used for the name God in the Hebrew Bible, so it has many meanings to it such as The Son of God, My God, God of my Kindness, The God of gods, etc. We will be focusing on the first translation, Strong One, in this devotional though.
What do you think of when you hear the name God? Actually think about it for a moment. A lot of people’s minds go to a gentle, caring, loving god. This isn’t always true, as we can read how God drowned the entire world in a flood, He wanted to kill the Israelites because they were worshipping other gods, and He made the Israelites suffer in the desert for 40 years because they didn’t believe in Him. We must remember that God is an all powerful god who controls everything. Ezekiel 30:6, 9, and 13 say, “This is what the LORD says: “ ‘The allies of Egypt will fall and her proud strength will fail. From Migdol to Aswan they will fall by the sword within her, declares the Sovereign LORD. On that day messengers will go out from me in ships to frighten Cush out of her complacency. Anguish will take hold of them on the day of Egypt’s doom, for it is sure to come.’ This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “ ‘I will destroy the idols and put an end to the images in Memphis. No longer will there be a prince in Egypt, and I will spread fear throughout the land.’” These few verses show how unrelenting God can be. He can be caring and compassionate towards us, but He is also all powerful.
I'm sure I've said this many times, but I'll say it again for effect: I am not a patient person. To try to calm myself down when I'm impatient, sometimes I think about Abraham, how he waited a lifetime for a kid. Sometimes it drives me nuts-- I'm the kind of person who would rather everything happen sooner rather than later, and that I had more hours in a day so I could do everything that I wanted to do.
BUT for some reason, people never seem to direct me to Noah and his ark (Do you need an ark? Cuz I Noah guy) (lol) This guy was trapped on a giant boat with a bunch of animals FOR FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS. If you hate Seattle rain, imagine being on that disgusting boat. I'm pretty sure not all of the animals on that ark were potty trained, so you probably have a real poop deck going on over there. And it's not like there were a ton of things to do. You could probably jump off the boat and drown for a few minutes every day, or play with baby animals, etc. My point is: it probably wasn't the greatest place to be stuck. Noah didn't know how long that flood was going to last. Heck, he didn't know if that rain was ever going to stop. WE know it lasted forty days and forty nights, but Noah and his squad didn't. Still, he waited, and God came through. The rain eventually stopped, and the waters receded to show off A Whole New World (cue Aladdin).
Likewise, I know very well what it's like to feel like you're stuck in one place for an indefinite period of time. Perhaps you're feeling pretty down, upset, etc. Maybe you're wondering "WHEN ARE THESE RAINS GOING TO STOP, GOD WYA??" I can assure you that God has not forgotten about you. He won't let you stay on that poop deck forever. Stay strong through those storms. Hang on for dear life to your ark if you must, but don't you ever forget that all storms will clear up eventually.
Devotional #95 - Standing Firm in God
We, as Christians, are put to the test when we face trials God sends our way. These trials could be a load of homework, a project for work or school, family or friend issues, or something else, but they all have something in common. They all slow us down from being with God. Last week I was on spring break, as were many others, and I got so distracted with video games and hanging out with friends I forgot to write this devotional. It’s a responsibility I’ve taken on as a BASIC intern and I should have stuck to it, but unfortunately, I forgot. So how can we create a firm foundation in Him so that even when we waver, we still stand strong?
Jesus tells us in the Bible in Matthew 7:24-27, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock…” Sometimes we forget these instructions and how to build our houses on rocks, so we much read the Bible daily and be obedient to what it says and to God. If we read the Bible and do what God says, we will definitely receive wisdom from Him and will be prepared for the trials that come our way.
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