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Some things are just hard to know, and when dealing with mystery, it's easy to get lost in the questions.

God is mystery; we will never completely understand.

But there are times, sometimes only moments, when we see God better than we have before.

Such a moment may occur for us at any time - even in the moments just ahead of you.

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Listen

"Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?" Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

Isaiah 58:3-5

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Think

I asked my youth group what they thought these verses meant, and their simple answer blew me away: Don’t be a “Sunday-only” Christian.

Teens are sharp. They can spot a fake quicker than anyone, and they agreed: “Don’t show up on Sundays dressed in your best new clothes, wearing a phony grin, and giving hugs to everybody when you were out partying like crazy on Friday night after the game. You’re not fooling your friends at church and you’re certainly not fooling God. The only person you’re fooling is yourself.”

These teens understand that God wants more than nice clothes and fake smiles, and God certainly wants to be with the ones God loves more than one day a week. When we understand that we don’t have to pretend with God, we can finally stop pretending with ourselves and with others and start becoming who God created us to be!

Steve Cothran

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Pray

God, help me today to stop pretending who others want me to be so that I might start becoming who you made me to be. Amen.

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Go

God sent Christ into the world,
Giving life abundant and free.
God sends us like Christ before us
Sharing love with all those in need.

Shine your light into the darkness
So the lost can finally say:
Never ceasing, life increasing,
Christ, our life, our truth, our way!

Steve Cothran

Steve Cothran has been working with youth since his youth, and the last 20 years he has served church staffs in Florida, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Steve enjoys relating life to Seinfeld and a weekly discussion of The Walking Dead, and his office smells of leather-bound books and rich mahogany. His wife Nancy is also a minister, and they have three semi-adult children: Marina, Raleigh, and Robyn.

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Mark Hayes

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