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 About the LEFC Youth Group:

He changes everything is affiliated with the LEFC Youth Group. For more information about who we are check out our youth page and other social media pages at LEFC Youth

 About this Blog:

He Changes Everything is a blog designed to equip parents and students alike. It will equip parents with resources and tools to help disciple their teens in their love for Jesus Christ, and it will challenge teens to be transformational leaders and kingdom builders within their homes, schools, and communities.  

What We Have Been Given By Christ

Ephesians 1:3

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,”
 

Blessed in Christ

As I was spending time reading God’s Word this morning I came across the third verse of the book of Ephesians. As I read it I was reminded that God the Father, through Christ, has blessed his people in immense and profound ways. But then the question came up in my mind. How? According to scripture what are all the blessings that we, as Christians, have received in Christ. Below is a list, albeit not exhaustive, of the ways that scriptures tells us that we have been blessed by God.
 

Ephesians

1. We are chosen through Christ (Eph 1:4)
2. He is making us holy and blameless (Eph 1:4)
3. We are adopted as sons and daughters through Christ (Eph. 1:5)
4. We have redemption through the blood of Christ (Eph 1:7)
5. Our sins and wrongs are forgiven (1:7)
6. He has poured all of his grace and kindness upon us (Eph 1:7-8)
7. We have obtained an inheritance through Christ (Eph. 1:11)
8. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13)
9. God has given us a spirit of wisdom and revelation (Eph 1:17)
10. His power is working for us (Eph 1:19)
11. We were made alive in Christ (Eph 2:5)
12. He created us, as his people, for good works (Eph 2:10)
13. We are saints and citizens of the household of God (Eph 2:19)
 

Other Scriptures

14. Because of Christ God is working for our good (Rom 8:28)
15. We have the fullness of life (Jn 10:10)
16. We have a right standing with God (Phil 3:9)
17. We have full and complete joy (Jn 15:11)
18. We can give all our fear and worry to God (Phil 3:6-7)
19. We are infinitely loved by God (Rom 8:37-39)
 
 
This are but a few of the ways that we have received the blessings of God, our Father, through Christ. But they are reminders that he loves us, he cares about us, he has made us his own, and one day he will bring us to be with him forever. And until that day he has empowered us to live for him and to find our greatest fulfillment and joy in serving him. Remember, you are infinitely blessed by God.


Being Religious Can’t Save You

Our church and youth group exist within a very conservative small town in southern Minnesota. For the most part the town is made up of people who still think family values, serving the community, being a good person, and going to church are important. All of these things are good and we would desire each person in our church to want to do the same, but there is a danger.
 
The danger is that this kind of community can begin to think that they are Christians just because they are good, moral, and go to church.
 

But the truth is these things don’t make you a Christian and can’t save you.

 
 
Jesus says in John 3:16, which is one of the most famous Bible verses:
 
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
 
Jesus is driving at a couple things here. One, that being a Christian and having eternal life is all about Jesus, and in particular it is all about what we believe about Jesus.
 
This means Christianity first and foremost is not about going to church, taking communion, being baptized, or even being a good person. All of these things are good and we should do them, but they do not save you, nor do they make you a Christian.
 

I repeat, they do not save you, nor do they make you a Christian.

 
 
Christianity and spending our eternity with Jesus hinges on what we believe to be true about Jesus. We must believe that he is God, the only son of God. That he was also fully man on earth and that he lived the perfect life that we couldn’t. We must believe that he died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, and that he rose again three days later, defeated death, and now is with the Father in heaven until the day he returns.
 
Now you might say, “well, I believe in Jesus.” But the question is, do you believe in Jesus the way he calls you to believe in him?
 
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30:
 
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
 
Jesus’ words are calling us to more than an intellectual affirmation of who he is. Instead, he is calling each person to come, put their hope and trust in him, and to follow him. This means that believe implies that we will now trust and follow Jesus.
 

If you say you believe Jesus than you will naturally trust him and do what he says.

 
 
Now are we saved because we do things for Jesus? No. But a real belief in Jesus, one that puts our full hope in his finished work on the cross, means that we will also follow him and do what he says.
 
So let’s not believe that we are Christians just because we are good, go to church, take communion or are baptized. But let’s ask ourselves the all important questions. Do I really believe and trust in what Jesus did for me on the cross? Am I willing to come to him? Do I desire to follow him and live for him?
 
And if we are willing to radically put our full trust and hope in Jesus alone he tells us that we will find real and everlasting life and rest for our souls.
 

So stop being religious and come to Jesus, believe him, and find everlasting life and rest.



Don’t Forget The Story

As we continue on in our youth year we want to continually point ourselves back to the reason we gather. To learn about and proclaim the name of Jesus. We do this because we are created by our triune God for his glory, but we rebelled against the creator and the whole of creation was plunged into sin and death. In response he sent his son Jesus Christ to earth to pay the penalty for our sins and rescue us, and one day he will return to make his creation and his people completely new.

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Teens & Kavanaugh

Below is a link to an article written by Joe Pinsker of the Atlantic called “What Teens think about the Kavanaugh accusations.” Though we as a church are not picking a side in this issue this article is good for all parents of teens to read.
 
It points to the fact that many people have responded to these allegations with the following response,
“He was in high school…boys will be boys.”  Again, we are not taking sides as a church and are not saying whether or not we believe he should be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice. But inside this statement is hidden the idea that somehow high schoolers, and really teenagers as a whole, are somehow exempt from making wise choices just because they are teens.

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Identity Part 1: Child of God

John 1:12: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,…”
 
Last night our topic was identity. What does identity mean? Where are we putting our identity? What should our identity be? We talked about how easy it is to put our identity in our activities and interests like sports, jobs, hobbies or in our relationships like family, friends, or significant others.
 
We can even try to define who we are based upon our personalities. But do these things really define the core of who we are? Does athlete, pastor, father, friend, really tell the whole story of what I am about? No. Instead we need to turn to the one who formed us and gave us our identity as Christians through Christ.
 
This means that if we believe in Jesus Christ, meaning that we call him our Savior and Lord, and we follow him, than our identity is set and defined by God. And one part of our identity is the reality that we are “Children of God.”

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