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Aug 19

Wow did I mess up!

Wow, did I mess up! What do I do now?

Well, you basically only have three options:

Conceal – This does not solve anything.  It is an attempt to cover up and hide the sin that we have committed.  Adam and Eve even tried this in the Garden of Eden, and we still do it today.  Well, the fig leaves didn’t work for them, and no amount of camouflage can hide our sin from the one who knows all of our thoughts, words, motives, and actions. 

Deny – This is when we but you try to go on as if you have not.  Ignoring conviction by the Holy Spirit, and guilt leads to continuing the sin, and becoming more calloused to our sin.  This leads to forming a habit of sinful behavior.  It also creates an unfruitful Christian life. 

Confess – Ahhhh!   This is the right answer.  The word we get confess from literally means to “same speak.” This means that we see our sin as truly sinful, and we think of it and speak of it as God does. We “fess-up” and take full ownership for our wrong behavior.  This is the opposite of concealing and denying our sins.

Here are some key points to remember about confession:

1.      Confession leads to turning away from our sin, and relying on God for help.

2.      Confessing leads to healing, maturing, and obedience to God.

3.      Confession leads to brokenness.  Brokenness leads to restoration.

4.      Confess regularly.  Immediately. Daily. If not, you become immune to conviction.

5.      Confess it completely, no excuses. Own up to it.  Admit your error. 

6.      Details, Details, Details.   No blanket statements like, “Please forgive me for all my sins.”

7.      The more sin you confess the more sensitive you become to sin.

8.      The closer you get to God, the more sin you see in your life.  Not that you are becoming worse, but because the light is brighter, and exposes more darkness.

A great example of how not to deal with your sin, and how to correctly deal with your sin is found in  2 Samuel 11-12.  David had sinned horribly.  He was taking every effort to hide his sin.  In doing go he was a miserable man.  Finally he realized that there was no hiding from God.  In the end he fully confessed his sins, and God restored him.  Here are a few words from David during this time of confession:

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the
Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin (Psalm 32:5).

Here we see the misery that denial and concealing bring, but the restoration and peace that follows confession.  What do you need to confess right now?  Take a moment and “same speak” of your sins to God.  It is difficult, but the reward is great!


Oct 30

What do you, light, and salt have in common?

You were all created to make a difference. Salt makes food better and keeps food from rotting. Light vanquishes darkness. You are supposed to do the same, accept on a spiritual level. Let’s take a quick look at salt, light, and you.

Put salt on a nice steak and it comes alive. The flavor becomes so much more intense. It improves and changes food for the better. Salt, especially during the time of the Bible, was also used to preserve food. It has the ability to stop food from decaying. Do you see why Jesus would tell the believers that they were the salt of the earth? We should be making a positive change in peoples’ lives, enriching them, making them better, and preventing moral decay.

Then he also tells them if salt loses its saltiness it becomes useless. Have you ever allowed this to happen to you? Where there is nothing “salty” about your life, you just blend into the crowd, and don’t do anything to bring about a positive change in others. You are the salt of the earth! You were created by God to make a difference!

Now take a look at light. What a difference it makes! And what a difference the “Light of the World” makes in our lives. If you have been saved by Christ, sins forgiven, on your way to heaven, a child of God, and now a new-creation, then let your light shine! Don’t hide it, but shine let others see, and hear about, Christ in your life!

Schools can be some of the darkest places on earth. I’m not talking about a lack of light bulbs, but a spiritual darkness. Invade the darkness by being a great example, and most importantly telling people about Christ. Share with them the good news of the gospel, that by trusting in Jesus they can be saved from the penalty of their sins. Don’t be afraid to shine, be as bright as possible!

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt 5:13-16).

Now compare yourself to the salt and light analogy Jesus uses:

1. Are you enriching the lives of everyone you are in contact with?

2. Are you acting like to prevent the decay of the people around you?

3. Are you setting a high moral standard for your life, and encouraging others to do the same?

4. What about the light of Christ that should be bright in your heart, life, and speech?

5. Is your light shining, or are you keeping it hidden?

If your answer was “No” to any of the questions, then stop and pray that you will be a brighter, saltier Christian starting today! Go make a difference!
—Trey Talley


Jun 27

A summer of “just” fun can be spiritually dangerous!

What are you going to do this summer? I’m sure your plans will include: having as much fun as possible, hanging out with friends more, sleeping late, staying up late, and trying your best not to think about Algebra, Chemistry, or anything else pertaining to school. But just because your mind is taking a break from all school related thoughts, don’t let your mind go to rest regarding spiritual matters.

What do I mean? Well, sometimes we check out of any worthwhile thinking just because it is summer. Did you know that most church youth groups go down by almost 50% during the summer? Church attendance also drops tremendously. Why? Well, it is summer, and for the typical teenager that means becoming less plugged into anything that involves structure. Your life has been so structured at school for the past 9 months that now you just want to concentrate on you. This is very understandable, and to some degree, well deserved.

But some students take such a break spiritually during the summer, that they find themselves spiritually anemic and weak. Many teens have made some of their worst choices during these summer months, and have given into temptations that they had previously been able to resist. I want to encourage you not to check out spiritually just because it is summer time.

Stay active in your church, hang out with Christian friends, pray daily, and read God’s Word this summer. I know I just said the words “read” and “summer” in the same sentence. But the Bible is a book that we should never, no matter what the season of the year is, take a break from. Your need for God and the power of His Word in your life are always there.

Take a look at this verse in Timothy, and see just how important the Bible is in our lives:

"All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (ESV 2 Timothy 3:16)

The Bible:

  1. Teaches- God’s Word (the Bible) is the primary tool that God has given us to gain knowledge of who we are, who God is, and how we should live.

  2. Reproofs – Errors in false beliefs and in behavior are pointed out by using the clear teaching of the Bible.

  3. Corrects – The Bible is not only used to warn us to get off the wrong path, but to show us the right way to live.

  4. Trains in righteousness - Just as you need training for sports, instruments, singing, and etc…, you need training on how to live right. That training is found in the Bible.

  5. Equips us – By studying God’s Word, we are equipped for work God has for us.

As you can see, just from this one verse, we need God’s word in our lives all of the time. So, let me encourage you, this summer don’t totally go brain dead. Make a point to pick up your Bible and read it. Why not today? Pick up your Bible and start reading. I suggest starting in a small book like Galatians. You don’t have to read for hours, but start somewhere. Even five minutes a day could radically change your life. And don’t stop after today, keep on reading a little every day. This is one habit that you will never regret.


—Trey Talley


Apr 4

Consistency leads to success

Success is not achieved overnight.  But over the course of many nights and days.  Success comes by consistenly making the right choices in life.


Feb 14

Just do the right thing!

A disciplined life leads to great rewards. Don’t go with the flow! Go where you ought to go! Do what’s right, and you will never regret it.


Dec 12

God in a Manger!

Christmas is a time when we often see images of Jesus as a newborn baby. When we do, it is kind of hard to imagine all that Jesus was and is. Yes, Jesus was born to Mary in Bethlehem, but that was not the beginning of the second person of the Trinity. He is eternal. He has no beginning and no end. He was never created for He is self-existent. In the book of Isaiah, Isaiah tries to describe when he saw the Lord, which was at least 700 years before Jesus was ever in a manger scene.

“I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’”

Wow! This same Jesus, who we sometimes picture as in a manger, is seen here in His glory. It is such a powerful and amazing event that Isaiah is dumfounded and comes apart at the seams as he beholds the magnificence and glory of God!

That is what makes Jesus such a big deal. Because He is not just a baby, or even just a man, He is also God! The very one who spoke and created the whole universe! However, He humbled himself to be born as one of us, and to live as one of us. Why? So that He could pay the price, which we could never pay, for our sin. Jesus was God and man, who lived a perfect sinless life. He died on the cross to take on the punishment that we deserve, and pay the price for our sin.

So, next time you see baby Jesus in a manger, remember there is a whole lot more to the story. That little baby is our one and only way to be saved from our sins!

“And they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” Mathew 1:21


Oct 17

Don’t be a Zombie!

The living dead are amongst us! You might even be one! Someone you know might be a Zombie!
Well, something can always be said of shock value.

The living dead are amongst us! You might even be one! Someone you know might be a Zombie!

Well, something can always be said of shock value.

So how are we in any way like zombies that are part dead and part alive? Well, it’s like this, even though you or someone close to you might be walking around looking quite alive, spiritually they could be absolutely dead. At this point you might be thinking that I have roped you in with the zombie hype just for shock value. While, that is partly true, I want you to know that the reality of what I am sharing here is far worse news than becoming a zombie or having zombies attacking you.

You see, the Bible tells us that we are born sinners, that we continue to sin, and that we are spiritually dead. Kind of like the zombies who are somewhat alive, yet dead. We may look pretty good and alive to others, but God sees us as we truly are. The book of Ephesians lets us know that we are dead; Paul, in Romans, says that when we open our mouth, it even smells like death. Jesus told a group of people that they were like nicely painted graves.

The Bible tells us “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death.” In a natural state, humans live their lives dead to God and dead to true spirituality. We might appear very alive to others, but we know that things aren’t right on the inside.

So what do you do if you don’t want to be a zombie? First realize that you can’t overcome the state you are in on your own. You need help! The good news is that God provided that help through Jesus Christ. Jesus was God and man, never sinned, lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. In doing so he took the sins of all of those who would ever call on him and gives them eternal life. When we realize that we are sinners, that Jesus is the only cure, and believe in Him, we become truly alive, not dead men walking, but truly alive! Our sins are forgiven! God supernaturally, as only God can, saves us from that dead, sinful, state.

Here is what Paul says about this in the second chapter of Ephesians:

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:1-9)

Don’t be a zombie! Turn to Christ and be cured today!


Sep 25

Do you need advice?

I need to talk to someone!

If you were in need of life saving surgery, would you go to a first year medical student and ask him to perform the surgery? Of course not, you would prefer a doctor who has completed many years of school and has many years of experience.  But why? I’m sure both men would do try their hardest.  However, while both men would do the best job they could do, one would clearly have more knowledge and experience to draw from.    

Though the answer is obvious in the case just mentioned, sometimes we do something very similar with serious life issues.  Whether it is about dating, drugs, friends, depression, school, career choices, temptations, or other issues, at some point you will reach a spot in your life where you seek someone else’s advice.  Where do you turn?  Who do you seek out?  Who do you trust? Where can the best advice be found?

Many young people turn to their best friend.  That is what friends are for right? Well, who wouldn’t, your best friend knows you quite well and should want the best for you. I’m sure they will give you the best answer, based on the knowledge they have, as they possibly can.

However, I would like to suggest, that even though there motive may be right, you could also draw from someone who has more life education and life experience.  Who would be able to give you better advice, someone in the same position you are in life, or someone who has been through it, seen many others go through it, and who knows exactly how to get through it the right way?

Who is this person? Well, it could be your parents, grandparents, a teacher, pastor, youth director, a coach or a close family friend.  You might even seek out advice from several experienced sources. 

  Look around at the people that are in your life.  Who can you go to for Godly advice?  Don’t discredit someone just because they are older or because they are your parent.  They may very well be an incredible source of knowledge and experience for you to draw from.  Who better to ask for advice than the one who has already traveled the course you are on. 


Aug 17

Who should I date?

In the 11th grade, my youth director told me something really deep. He told me that I was going to marry someone I dated.


 

Wow, ground breaking news! Well “of course”, I thought. Congratulations on stating the obvious Mr. Youth Director!


 

Actually, his point was that you shouldn’t go out with a person that you would not marry. The qualities you desire in your eventual spouse should be the same qualities that you look for in a person that you date. Some people have lower standards for dating than they do for marriage, but in actuality they should be one in the same. Never have a girlfriend or boyfriend just to have one, but make sure they are of marriage quality. I don’t mean just how cute they are, but what about their character, integrity, purity, trustworthiness. Think about how they treat others, and who have they dated before you. It is extremely important to take this part of your life seriously!


 

If you can’t find anyone that meets those standards, don’t lower your standards. Just wait! There is no rush. Often times teenagers feel that they have to be with someone. However, it is far better to be with no one than to settle for someone that you know you would never want to marry.


Don’t go out just to go out. Don’t have a relationship just to have one. Wait!

If you lower your standards for dating,
then eventually you will do
the same when it comes time to marry.


 

Keep your standards high until you find a person that fulfills them. The people who meet your standards may not be in your classroom, your school, or even your town right now. But they are out there, and you have a whole lifetime to find them.


 

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)


 

—Trey Talley


 


Jul 4

Guys, train your eyes to look at females from the shoulders up. Summertime is a dangerous time for guys’ eyes. Temptations are all around! Be careful! It’s easy for guys to want to give girls the “up down” (looking them up and down as one student put it), but do your best to avoid concentrating on the girls’ bodies. If you continue to do so it only leads to more lustful looks and more lustful thoughts, which the Bible calls a sin.

Girls, don’t give them so much to look at! Yes it is summer, but you don’t have to wear the most revealing clothing to get noticed. Trends come and go, but often times the trend for girls is to show as much of themselves as possible. It’s usually one or more of the following: the lowest and tightest jeans, the shortest shorts, the lowest cut tops, or the tightest shirts. Do you really want guys to like you just for your sexiness? Is that what you want to be known for? How you dress speaks volumes about who you are.

Dressing sexy or revealing means a whole lot more to a guy than it does to you. Guys, almost always, interpret revealing dress as a sign, a bill board with neon lights that screams “She is dressing sexy because she is sexual!” Yes, you may get their attention, but all attention is not good attention.

Yesterday, I put fly bait up outside my house. It is a sticky strip of paper with a fly attractant on it so that flies will smell it, land on it, and die. Well, guess what happened after about a day of being hung up? There were two squirrels, a raccoon, three doves, and a Chihuahua stuck to it! No, just kidding, there were flies stuck to it, of course. Though, the prior does make for a funny visual.

The point is you are attracting certain types of guys to yourself as well. If you want a good catch, then be careful what you’re using to attract them. If it is your body, then get ready to catch a real looser. Instead, be known for your character, your personality, and your kind spirit. Let your Christ-like behavior shine through, and that will eventually draw in the type of guy that you truly need.

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” (Job 31:1)

—Trey Talley


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