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April 11, 2021 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
As Youth Encounter 2019 drew to a close, this past weekend we heard from Fort Lauderdale campus HSM leader Javan Shashaty as he shared a powerful and inspiring word from John 6 and explained how we as adults can rise up and fight for a generation that needs Jesus!
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
FOR THE NOTE TAKERS
Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Javan's message this weekend:
Do I follow Jesus because I want Jesus, or what Jesus gives me? The people in John 6 all wanted what Jesus could offer them, but they didn't necessarily care to have a relationship with Him. And sometimes, we can be just like that, can't we? Sometimes, it seems that we are seeking after the things that Jesus promises us, the benefits and blessings of a relationship with Jesus, just without having to actually have a real, intentional, growing, intimate relationship with Him. But following Jesus is about more than just enjoying what Jesus gives . . .
Following Jesus is about knowing who Jesus is! It's possible that we can enjoy the gifts and completely miss out on truly knowing the Giver. But that's not how it's supposed to be. Jesus isn't a stranger or anonymous benefactor, He is the Savior of the world, and He wants to have a real, vibrant, active, and deep relationship with you! He IS the gift! Everything else that comes with knowing Jesus, all the blessings and benefits, they're all secondary to the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Himself. May we never forget this. May we never take for granted the greatest gift and the most prized treasure we have . . . our Lord and Savior!
God’s can accomplish miracles and complete His work of redemption without us, but He chooses to invite us into the work! Javan shared a story about how his two-year-old son helps him take out the garbage. Truthfully, he doesn't need his son to help him. He could easily take out the garbage by himself and accomplish the task more efficiently and quickly, right? But it fills his son's heart with joy, accomplishment, and purpose, it brings him joy to be part of what his dad is doing. And Javan loves his son so much that he invites him into the work. It is the same with our God! We are His beloved children, and He invites us into this work of redemption and salvation, to bring the lost to Jesus, to be part of life change and soul saving. When we get to be part of that work, we are filled with joy, accomplisment, and purpose. We are blessed to be part of it, and filled by knowing that God used us to SAVE SOMEONE FROM HELL!
It's truly a holy honor and privilege to get to be part of this work, and our Father is calling us into it daily, all around us, everywhere we go. We have such a wonderful and unique opportunity as Christ followers. Let us walk in it and allow ourselves to be used by Him!
Why are so many young people walking away from faith in Christ? In our world today, we face an epidemic where the statistics are not in our favor:
And the question we must ask is Why are so many young people walking away? Why are they abandoning Jesus in favor of the world? Well, there isn't one reason in particular, but what the research has told us is interesting. The majority aren’t angry or intellectually at odds with the gospel. They simply don’t believe that a life with Jesus matters. They’re disinterested. They abandon faith in Christ because they don’t think it’s important.
So, what do we do? How do we reach this generation? As a church, we have studied this topic of youth leaving their faith relentlessly, and we’ve found some patterns that give us hope for this generation . . .
When adults follow Jesus and encourage young people to do the same, their likelihood of continuing in the faith increases dramatically!
Three things this generation needs from the adults of the church:
1. Example: If we don’t take Jesus seriously, they never will.
2. Empathy: Willingness to understand before being understood.
3. Empowerment: We believe in them and what they have to offer!
This generation coming up, Generation Z, they don’t know a world without the iPhone, Uber, or Instagram. Many are convinced that they are the world’s next great social media influencer! But here's the thing: They're passionate and innovative, they're excited and energetic. They're looking for clarity in a world of confusion and chaos.
Sadly, though, as they scroll through social media, they can’t escape the sound of, "YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!" And more and more young people are saying, “I can’t take it anymore!” Many find themselves hopeless and alone, contemplating ending their own life. More and more young people are deciding that there is no hope for living.
But here's what we know: The hope for this and every generation is the gospel of Jesus Christ! We have that hope, and we have the ability to share it with them.
What if the adults of this church chose to rise up and fight for the next generation? What if we saw the statistics and said, “Not on our watch!” What if we believed Jesus can do anything, no matter the numbers say? We believe that REVIVAL is coming for this generation of young people! We believe that God is doing something, He is moving and stirring young hearts, and He is inviting us to be part of this amazing work.
Quote to Remember: The hope for this and every generation is the gospel of Jesus Christ! —Javan Shashaty
Imagine a city filled with the hope of Jesus . . . Imagine schools, businesses, neighborhoods, families, entire communities walking with Jesus, loving one another, living generously, and radiating the truth of the gospel. Imagine South Florida full of people who are connected to God, one another, and to those in need! That’s what Vision 2023 is all about! It’s a city-changing, five-year vision to make 60,000 new, passionate, fully-devoted disciples by 2023. We believe as God’s people saturate the region with the gospel, generosity grows, stronger families are formed, the elderly are cared for, orphans, addicts, and widows find lasting hope, and true social changes happens. Do you want to see South Florida changed for Christ?
Click here to get in the story today!
Join us this Wednesday as we take a deeper look at Genesis 22 and the sovereignty of the Lord.
Then on the weekend, we'll continue our "Origins: The Promise" series through the life of Abraham as Pastor Doug shares a powerful word from Genesis 22. In this message, we'll break down one of the most fascinating and profound stories in the entire Bible: the binding of Isaac. Be here as Pastor Doug explains how this story points to Jesus and how we can walk in faith as Abraham did.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.