where love is alive 

We recently completed a series of messages on Wednesday nights directed at our youth group entitled “Pivotal Moments in a Teenagers Life.”  This was a series that was developed by our very fine youth intern, Matt Williams, who just finished his bachelor’s degree in what is effectively “Youth Ministry.”  Matt did a good job putting this four-week series together based on what would impact teenagers.  I had the privilege of speaking on the topic of the disciples following Jesus, and how that was a pivotal moment in their young lives.  Here are some takeaways I learned from this lesson:

  1. As adults, we have the benefit of hindsight to recognize pivotal moments, and that gives us the vision to recognize when a pivotal moment is currently happening. When I got married at the age of 29, I was keenly aware that it was a life changing moment and that my life would never be the same.  The opposite of this was the day I graduated high school.  I knew it was a big deal, but I honestly didn’t realize what a pivotal moment it was.  I didn’t have the benefit of very much hindsight as an 18-year-old, while at 29 years old, on my wedding day, I knew that things were changing!
  2. Jesus changes everything! The disciples encountered Jesus and their lives were forever changed.  They followed this man for three years, and at the point when many would have walked away (Jesus’ crucifixion), they doubled down.  These disciples didn’t leave their faith, they went all in with their faith, to the point of death by execution for most of them!  The reality of it is that Jesus changes everything in our lives today.  A true encounter with Christ leads us to a pivotal moment in our life.  One simply cannot stay the same after this moment.  Either you choose to follow Jesus, or you choose to run your own show.  There is truly no in-between. 
  3. Pivotal moments define who we are. When I taught this lesson, I had to think deeply about what my pivotal moments have been, and they all pointed to me being the person I am today.  Without salvation, discipleship moments, the call of God on my life, marriage to a goldy lady and other such events, there is NO WAY I would be where I am today.  The pivotal moments are what made the difference.

      For each of you, you have had pivotal moments and they have put you on the path you are on today.  The Bible tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not into thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”  May we all look back at our pasts to see those pivotal moments so that we can look to the future to see what God’s plan is for our lives.  And when we are in the middle of those pivotal moments, may we see them for that they are – defining moments that point us to our future!                                                            




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