We kicked off the New Year with a wild game called “Rush Hour”. The group was split into two teams and placed on opposite sides of the room. When the teams heard the word “GO”, they had to run to the other side of the room at the same time as the other team to try to get in a chair before everyone else on the team. Make sure you check out some of the action below!
We then moved into our worship time followed by the message titled, “Letting Go”.
This, as we all know, is the time of year when many people make New Year’s Resolutions. A resolution is basically as change or solution to a problem. While there is nothing wrong with making these resolutions, as we need to make goals to work towards in life, the youth were encouraged to make sure they make the right goals for the right reasons. We often look at what we need to add to our routines to improve our life, but sometimes the best thing we can do is to let go. It’s only after we let go of control of our lives that we can take ahold of what God has for us.
Phillippians 3:12-14NIV says,
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prizefor which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
We talked about three things that are important to do as we move forward into another year.
1. Letting Go of the Past Paul says in verse 13— “Forgetting what is behind”. We need to let go of our past failures, mistakes, wounds, and even our past successes. Letting go or “forgetting” does not mean that we act like it never happened, it simply means that we don’t dwell on it. Even dwelling on the positive things from our past can keep us from seeing what God has laid out in front of us.
2. Letting Go of the Present After Paul talks about forgetting what is behind he tells us what he is doing in the present. He is straining towards what is ahead and pressing toward the goal. Why do we need to let go of the present? We all have stresses in life— school, work, family, friends, getting into college, circumstances that are out of our control, etc. When we become consumed with the worries of everyday life, we become blind to what lies ahead of us.
3 Letting Go of the Future Paul says that he is pressing toward the goal that he has been called heavenward in Christ Jesus (vs. 14). What was Paul called to? Paul, like believers today, was called to live in the freedom, victory, and truth that comes only through a relationship with Jesus and living a life surrendered to him. Paul, like us, didn’t fully achieve this in his lifetime on earth. Becoming like Christ is an ongoing process that will not be completed until we enter into eternity with him.
We can also become consumed with our future— Where am I going to college? What is going to happen to my family? What if I never find someone to be with? What if I fail and let everyone down? Like our past and present, we need to let go and trust in God to lead and guide us through our future.
The truth is that we cannot take hold of what God has for us until we let go and quit trying to control everything. Unfortunately, we can’t always control what happens in life, but we can control how we respond. Will we hold on and try to figure out life on our own, or will we let go and take hold of God and his plan for our lives.
Romans 12:1-2 says,
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Paul encourages us to us to surrender our lives to Christ in view of his mercy (what he did for us on the cross), and encourages us to not conform (or be in agreement with) the ways of the world. THEN, we will be able to walk in God’s perfect will for our lives.
Like we asked the youth last night, what areas of your life are you currently conforming to the world in? It doesn’t have to be an obvious sin. We are simply referring to anything you are holding on to instead of surrendering it to God. What areas of your life do you need to let go of in order to take hold of God’s plan for your life?
As we make our goals and resolutions for the new year, take a look at the two pictures below.
We hope you have a BLESSED 2016 and remember to let go and take hold of all that God has in store for you!
Be Blessed! -Pastor Dustin