I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  -Romans 12:1-2
Welcome to Transform Youth, the ministry to middle and high school students at Pilot Knob.
Our goal – for students to be transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ into disciples who make disciples with a passionate love for Jesus.  
 
 
Sunday School:  9:30 am
Wednesday evening youth – 7:00
We meet in the youth building behind the church
 
 
Apologetics Resources
 
We have been studying apologetics (giving a verbal defense of the faith) in Transform Youth.  Some resources mentioned during Wednesday night lessons are listed below. 
Of course our main resourse is the Holy Bible – know it, understand, teach it!
 
Books: 
  • CSB Apologetics Study Bible
  • “I dont have enough faith to be an atheist” -Frank Turek / Norman Geisler
  • “Mere Christianity”  -C.S. Lewis
  • “A Case for Christ”  -Lee Strobel
  • “A Case for a Creator”  -Lee Strobel
 
Podcasts: 
  • The Universe Next Door 
  • Unashamed – Phil and Jase Roberson 
 
Websites: 
 
 
 
This list will be updated as we go through our series.  Feel free to suggest any other resources during our lessons on Wednesdays at Transform Youth.
 
Devotionals:

HOPE

Hope
Luke 2:29-32, John 1:45-46

Hope.  We all desire it.  We all need it.  Most of all, the good news is, we can all have it.  I have heard the word ‘hope’ many times in this year of 2020, a year when many people feel all hope is lost.  I have heard folks speak of a hope in a better year to come, hope that a COVID-19 vaccination comes out, hope that they can be with family and friends again in a non-socially distanced atmosphere, hope that things might return to “normal.”  We seem to most need hope when things feel uncertain, unstable. 

All through the Old Testament in Scripture we hear of the hope that a Messiah, a Redeemer, a Rescuer would come and save his people Israel – and even the entire human race.  Isaiah speaks with such assurance that he writes as if the Christ child has already been born…” for to us a child IS born, to us a son IS given… (Isaiah 9:6, emphasis added).  In fact, the child did come and was given, and he carried the name “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” As I read through what we typically refer to as the “Christmas Story” in the gospels of Luke and Matthew, I realize the Christmas story started long before, even back to the Garden of Eden when God foretold that the seed of Eve would crush Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15).  After the recording of the birth of Christ in the gospel of Luke, we read on in chapter two to see the encounter of Jesus being taken to the temple to be dedicated, purified, as was custom.  Here we meet a man named Simeon who had been told by the Holy Spirit “that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” (Luke 2:26) The promise made to Simeon was fulfilled and he was able to hold the Christ child in his arms and worship Him. 

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)

Simeon knew that the hope he had and now saw fulfilled would be passed on to the rest of the world over time.  We read on in the gospel of John, some 30 years later, when Jesus calls his first disciples.  Jesus calls a man named Phillip to follow him, and Phillip runs to tell his friend Nathanael, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (John 1:45) Nathanael responds in doubt and asks, “can anything good come out of Nazareth?”  Philip simply responds, “come and see.”  And see he did. 

The same hope that Simeon had in the Old Testament and that Philip and Nathanael had during Jesus’ time here on earth is the same hope we can have today.  The question is, where are you looking for hope?  These men in the bible knew where to look for their hope — from the promise of God that He would send a Messiah.  God gives the same promises today.  Romans 10:9-10 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  Our hope is in Christ, the one who came to rescue us from our life of sin.  The One who nailed our sins to the cross through His perfect sacrifice and conquered death by raising from the grave.  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Put your faith, your steadfast hope, in the assurance of Jesus’ gift of salvation and promise of eternal life.


Read more...

Uncomfortable flesh

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.   John 14:6

 

Most of us do not like to be uncomfortable.  Being in an unfamiliar setting, being too hot or cold, wearing uncomfortable clothing – none of these situations really appeal to us.  In fact, we try to avoid them.  John 14:6 tells us that the Word – Jesus Christ himself, came to the Earth that he created and became one of us.  That should make us shrink in shame when we complain about being “uncomfortable.”  Jesus willingly left the perfection of Heaven, left the throne seated beside his Father, and came to us.  To our smelly, sinful, uncomfortable world.  He chose to come to the itchiness and discomfort of the manger after being born from a woman.  He chose to grow up as a boy under the authority of a human mom and dad.  He chose the discomfort of growing pains, puberty, and sweating from hard labor in a carpenter’s shop.  He chose to come to a world that would reject and despise him despite his message of hope.  Yet being in this uncomfortable sinful and sin-filled world, he lived flawlessly, committing no sin whatsoever.  Jesus did not live a sinless life to prove that it could be done so that we could try it.  No, he lived a sinless life to prove that he was worthy to be our substitute, the perfect atoning Lamb of God.  He would pay a price we could not afford to give us a position we could not earn – children of God (John 1:12). 

Jesus chose to take on flesh and live with us because his focus was on the cross.  He was full of “grace and truth.”  The truth was that we are all sinners separated from God because of our unholiness.  Jesus, however, showed us grace by being willing to pay our sin debt for us.  2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  He experienced all the horrific discomfort, rather agony, of our sin on the cross so that we could experience the eternal comfort of salvation, peace, and joy.  I am sure the tomb was not comfortable either when he arose on the third day after being crucified, but praise Jesus that he conquered death and the grave to free us from eternal death!  The truth is we needed a Savior, and by his grace we can be saved by faith in his sacrifice and resurrection.

Next time you are not comfortable, think of Jesus.  Think of the one that looked beyond the discomfort of this world, the discomfort of the cross, to the joy set before him, the salvation of our souls.  (Hebrews 12:2).    


Read more...

Thankfulness to the Giver

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” -Matthew 6:33

Happy Thanksgiving!  Isn’t it great that here in our nation we have a holiday set aside to focus on being thankful and having gratitude?  Personally, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, right up there with Easter…no stress on buying gifts or getting caught in commercialization, just being thankful for who God is and what He has done for us.  I get to spend time with family and just “be”.  That especially means to “be” thankful, grateful, content, and focus on the blessings from God. 

Many folks will be asked this Thanksgiving holiday, “what are you thankful for?”


Read more...