Teens Together In Christ- 6th to 8th graders
Brothers And Sisters In Christ- 9th to 12 graders
For the purpose of meeting new people, hanging out with friends, and learning more about Jesus.
We meet each Saturday during the academic year at Chinese Baptist Church, 5801 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, 98108. Our meetings begin at 7:00 pm and end by 9:00 pm.
Daily Devotional #80
What's your passion? That’s a question I’ve always struggled with in terms of school. My teachers and parents have always said to “find your passion” and you’ll be set for success. As long as you pursue something you’re passionate about, you’ll have the drive to get through school, enjoy your job, etc etc. My problem is I don’t have many things I’m passionate about, unlike a lot of my friends who have interest in becoming a nurse, a biotech researcher, a linguist, or something else. The world would describe them as passionate, aka having deep interest in something. On the other hand, the closest thing I’ve had to a passion like that is binging TV shows over the summer with dedicated discipline.
This struggle of mine is what made me appreciate the message in the quiet time devo from retreat. I was reminded of the real definition of passion: anything you are willing to *suffer* for, not mere interest in a subject like engineering or art. As I said before, I’m certainly not passionate about much in school. And yet, looking at how I lived my life, I was suffering more for school and all the things I didn't enjoy than I was suffering or sacrificing for God. Isn't that ironic? By definition, I was more passionate about something that I hated, something that was getting me down, getting me sick, and getting me depressed. And the God that gives us life-- both literally and figuratively? I didn’t suffer for Him, because I didn’t give Him enough time in my life in the first place, and rarely did I show that I loved Jesus through actions or the way I used my time.
Is there anything in your life that reveals your love for Jesus? It can be revealed in parts of your daily life that people see, or parts that only God sees. Paul’s passion for serving Christ both revealed his love for Jesus and glorified God. Paul clearly put the Lord first, and was willing to suffer for Him. The change I’m focusing on right now is setting aside one hour of each day to read 3 chapters from the Bible, write down key takeaways, and pray. So far this has come at the expense of study time (I went back to school today) or Netflix time, but even if I’m not fulfilled by the standards of school, binging, or any other worldly parts of my life, I feel more content and reassured knowing that I definitely used my time wisely in at least one thing. I also felt more in touch with the Holy Spirit inside me, a feeling I was used to getting only when I was immersed in praise. You can never go wrong with offering up your time to God.
My ideas in this devo may seem a bit scattered, and that’s probably because I’ve gotten so much out of the past retreat that I want to share it all with you guys too. But basically out of my devo I want you to get this:
1. Passion means being willing to suffer for something, and as Christians we should be willing to suffer for Jesus.
2. Is there anything in your life that reveals your love and passion for Jesus? If not, you can change that by giving up a little bit of your day for one-on-one time with God, reading the Bible, or something else. See if it make you feel any different.
3. Having passion for Jesus fulfills us, makes us complete. After all, our purpose of living is to love and praise God.
Maybe you guys are going through the same dilemma as me, and you don’t feel like you enjoy anything in life right now, or that you’re going through motions that the world requires of you for school, social lives, and all that jazz. If that is you, try putting some more purpose in your life by trying out some more God-time. It can relieve stress, focus your life, but most importantly, please God.
Daily Devotional #79 - His Great Love
The worship songs that we sang at retreat were truly amazing. As I belted out each and every song, I could feel God's presence not only among myself but the entire room. One song that I haven't been able to get out of my head is "What a Beautiful Name."
The second verse sings "You didn't want heaven without us, so Jesus you brought heaven down. My sin was great. Your love was greater. What could separate us now?" These lyrics have been echoing nonstop in my head for the past couple of days after the retreat. These lyrics are so powerful because they begin to reveal God's love for us. He sent Jesus down to save us from our sins. He sent Jesus down to save the broken and sinful people. He sent Jesus down to save all of us.
Mark 2:15-17 reads, "And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, 'Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?' And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.'"
Jesus came down to save the sinners and broken people. He came to save those who were despised of. It is easy to think that you are too sinful to deserve God's love and forgiveness. It is easy to get caught up in all the sin you have created and the shame it possesses. But Jesus tells us that He came down to earth, specifically to heal the sick and to wash away our sins. His love and grace are not conditional. There are no rules or standards that you have pass to be loved by God. God sent His son down to save all of us, regardless of the sin we have committed.
Devotional #78 - Reviewing Faith
Hi everyone, I’m back from retreat as well as everyone else who went. We had an amazing weekend spent with God, learning about evangelism and how it can affect not only those who we interact with, but ourselves as well. We spent many hours there sitting in chapel, listening to sermons, feeling emotions, praying hard, and deepening our faith in God. But what tends to happen after retreat is that we forget the lessons we learned and the amount of effort we should be putting into spending with God. Quite often we make empty promises with God, saying we’ll devote time to Him every day and after two days we’ve completely forgotten. It’s sort of like New Year’s resolutions. So what can we do to really try to be with God more?
Well, the NIV of Colossians 2:7 says, “rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” which I don’t think completely covers what it means. So I ended up looked up different versions and found the New Living Translation, “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” I liked this version much more because it’s more like instructions on how to become closer with Him. For some people, they might not have grown up with Christ in their life, so they don’t know about His power, but other may have had Him in their lives since birth. Either way, we have to grow within Him, growing our faith and building a greater foundation of our lives with Jesus.
The speaker at retreat, Pastor Ryan Kim, was saying we don’t need to take really big steps in our faith like attempting to use an hour of time for quiet time each day. Just a few minutes a day or half an hour a week is just fine, as long as we keep it consistent. We can remove distractions from God from our lives a little bit at a time, like social media or electronics or anything like that that keeps us away from spending time with Him. The verse James 2:26 says, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead” We must work to keep our faith strong, spending time with God and doing works for Him.
So as mid-winter break starts for some and ends for others, let’s all try to spend a little bit more time with God. Also, in two weeks, there’s post-rally, a review of all the things we did at retreat, so be there! It’ll be lots of fun!
Daily Devotion #76
For those of you who don't know, I got a bone graft done on Friday for my front tooth in preparation of an implant since it's been gone. Recently thinking about the surgery reminded me of the whole accident again and the boy who ran into me. It reminded me of how how much trouble,pain I have to go through because of what he did. Losing my front tooth has impacted me in so many ways and affected my appearance. But I have also learned more about myself and my friends through these things. I've learned about myself that it makes me who I am today as well as learning to forgive and not hold grudges. What I've learned about my friends is that they will still love me for who I am and that it doesn't matter what I look like. It's the inside that matters more than what's on the outside. The last thing I'm reminded of is how God still loves me and he lets everything happen for a reason because it's part of his plan for our lives.
Takeaway from this devotion is:
1.You are special and unique as this makes you, you.
2.Your friends will be your friends no matter what as inside>outside
3.God created you and loves you and has a plan for your life.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Devo #75-- Get Shrekt
If you think being a Christian is easy, you’re doing it wrong. Sure, there will be some things that make it seem like life is easier: that feeling of satisfaction when you know the Lord is with you, and all the tasty refreshments because apparently Baptists are always eating (Source: Memes for Jesus, probably). But if you think that you’re 110% saturated with the Holy Spirit, try again. Check yourself before you Shrek yourself. Sure, maybe you didn’t lie, murder, or steal today, that’s great! Some sin you avoided. However, did you read the Bible today? I bet you finished all of those AP assignments, or had a great shift at work or whatever. Did you remember to make room for God though? If the answer is no...AHA! BEING A CHRISTIAN IS TRICKY. Sucker.
I feel like people say “Grades don’t really matter” all the time. It gets pretty hard to believe that sometimes, I totally get it! There’s pressure coming from all sides to do well and secure that golden future, and I certainly don’t want to end up having to live as a bum or something later on. When you’re struggling to make room for God though, then maybe it’s time to take a step back and re-prioritise.
Deuteronomy 5:8-9 says “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God...”
It’s a pretty clear cut statement from the Bible, and to boot, that also matches with one of the Ten Commandments in Exodus (20:3). “I’m not WORSHIPPING my grades, they’re just really important!” Yeah, I tell myself that all the time to try and justify it, but just because I say it a lot doesn’t make it true. Let me try to clarify: if we are to call ourselves Christians, then God should be our number one priority. If He is our number one priority, then shouldn’t we be trying to schedule things AROUND time with God? If you’re going to put God first, then ACTUALLY put Him first.
Okay, maybe it still doesn’t make sense. You know how a solar system works, right? All the cute little planets go around the Sun because gravity. The Sun is the biggest celestial object in this group, so it has the gravitational power to pull in all the little chunks of rock and gas. Say God is the Sun, and your life is composed of all the little planets and asteroids that orbit God. Makes sense right? Everything is in order Now imagine if Planet School was placed in the centre, and the Sun (aka God) had to go around it. Wouldn’t work so well, right? The solar system would probably just be a jumble of *physics doesn’t work like this*.
TL;DR, take a step back, make sure your solar system works properly. Deuteronomy 5:8-9. Memes.
P.S. if you had trouble understanding how the solar system works, Bill Nye the Science Guy is making a comeback!!
Daily Devotional #74 - Loving Who You Are
At Garfield, every year we have senior polls. There are twenty or so categories of "most likely"s, "biggest ___", and "best ____". All the seniors vote for four of their fellow classmates to win each category. Upon tallying up the results and finding out who won what, some people were a little frustrated and upset. Most of the categories can be a little mean. Some categories like "most likely to be confused as a freshmen" or "best kept secret" are ones you don't really want to win. You don't want to go down as being this or that. But at the same time, you have to learn to laugh at yourself and to enjoy every aspect of who you are.
For the senior polls, I won biggest princess. And at a glance it's not the best one or the one that is the most attractive. But it's also who I am. I'm happy that I won biggest princess. I'm not upset, ashamed or frustrated because I love who I am. I enjoy being who I am, and I don't try to fit in with the cool kids.
In Psalm 139:13-14 it says, "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." We need to remind ourselves that we are God's creation. God created each and every one of us, unique, and in His image. We were wonderfully made. Every part of us is wonderful. Remember to love yourself. Love your talents, skills, passions and flaws. Love all of yourself.
Devotional #73 - Perseverance is Key
I hope everyone in the Seattle/Bellevue area had a great time playing around in the snow today! I know I enjoyed it cause I made a super big snowman and then knocked it over. I put quite a bit of effort into it, but it was all worth it. Sometimes, God gives us tasks to do like this. Sometimes they’re necessary like a project for work or school, and sometimes they’re making a large snowman during a day off. Proverbs 12:24 says, “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.” We have to persevere through these problems by working hard, even if it’s not something fun. While I was making the snowman, I couldn’t think of a good way to get the snowballs on top of each other because they were so large. But I really wanted to get it done, so I persevered through and eventually made it. I was so proud of my work. So whether it be an essay for school, project for work, or just a fun thing at home, working hard will pay off eventually. It may not be immediately, but perseverance is key.
So have fun with whatever snow is left and have a good rest of your day!
72-- Cash me ousside, how bow dat
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” --1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
I heavily disliked this verse when I first read it. At first read, it might seem like this is telling you to be thankful for everything. Like, excuse me God? Thankful for everything? I’m certainly not thankful for the awful metro system in/around Seattle, the virus that has been spreading around church and school, or people who make my life suck. Ew. Life can come and cash me ousside.
Look at the wording carefully though-- “give thanks in all circumstances”. The Bible isn’t saying that you should be thankful for every bad situation that comes up. It’s telling you to be thankful in every situation. Why? Look at it this way: no matter what you are going through, there’s something positive. No, I’m not just saying this because I’m a little ray of sunshine (lol get it). Every single trial is something that God has allowed Satan to put us through (see Job for reference). He does not want us to suffer, but He has a plan in the end. Every trial is being allowed for SOME reason, even if we may not know what it is right now. Even during the trial, there will be some ups and downs. It’s not a straight downward slope, because there are people praying and cheering for you the whole way. You’re not alone in this at all, because you have God as well as your Christian family. “Rejoice always”.
Giving thanks in all circumstances is totally hard, I get it! Waiting for God’s reasons for doing things seems to take an impossible amount of patience. Personally, it can get very hard to stop myself from doubting God’s goodness and his reasons. But I try to keep myself in check by asking this: who am I to doubt God like that? I’m sure you’ve heard this hundreds of times, but God has a plan. “...pray continually”. That’s honestly the best way to go. Don’t do anything irrational, don’t just rely on advice from others. Listen to what advice God is offering to you. And don’t get irritated if you don’t hear anything! GOD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU. You are worth the death of Jesus, and you are so precious to Him. Always remember that God’s love for you is immeasurable. When life gets you down and you don’t know what to do, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances”.
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