In Matthew 22:37, after being asked which is the greatest commandment, Jesus responds by telling the people to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (ESV). I think the Church does a good job of trying to reach people's hearts to love God with all their soul, but in today's culture I feel it is ever important to love God with all our minds. We live in an age that compromises for popular belief, that sacrifices core values to appease the masses, and that allows opinion to reign supreme over truth. I strive to teach the youth of our church to love God with all their minds, and beware the false teaching of this world. To stand firm in Christ's teaching, and to understand why compromise is not only dangerous, but not an option. It's important for our youth to have a strong base of knowledge on which to stand, so when the world tries to lead them astray they have an answer, they have mind full of love for God that can keep them on the right path.
One of the ways we're doing this with our youth is by helping them tackle the concept of Jesus Christ being both man and God at the same time. We've been reading through a book titled “Next Door Savior” by Max Lucado, which wrestles with the divinity of Jesus, as well as his humanity. It looks at different instances of Jesus' ministry with people to showcase his human nature, to show that in fact, he was a man, but following it up with a divine act of grace or healing that demonstrates, oh yeah, he's definitely God too. Jesus is not some kind of demi-god situation (half man, half god) but that he is 100% man, and 100% God. It's a great book, one that I read early on in my faith and that really helped me wrestle with this seemingly impossible reality of Jesus Christ. We're only four chapters in, so, maybe now is a good time to pick up a copy and read along with your students. Loving the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind is certainly a family activity!
Call or email me if you have any questions or if you want to talk more about youth ministry.
Mike Sanders, Director of Youth