Pause

Reach.

Reach, stretch.

Reach, stretch, extend.

Reach, stretch, extend, and grow closer to our Living God who is present with you in this very moment!

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Listen

It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already been perfected, but I pursue it, so that I may grab hold of it because Christ grabbed hold of me for just this purpose. Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me. The goal I pursue is the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

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Think

I’m not a fan of competition games in my youth group. I don’t want anyone feeling bad at church if they lose and especially don’t want other youth to make fun of those who lost. If I play any sort of competitive game, I’ll do whatever I can to somehow end the game as a tie. My youth get frustrated when I do this; who likes a tie game, right?

Some people even try to make a competition out of Christianity. “I’m a better Christian than you.” “I bet I pray more than you do.” “God loves me. I’m not sure about you.” “I’m saved…winning!” This isn’t what Paul had in mind in this scripture passage. Bragging rights are not a part of discipleship. Putting ourselves on a “righteous podium” is not the goal. Christ is.

Also, a competition usually comes to an end. But Paul encourages us never to be satisfied with our faith; we always have room to grow. Keep reaching out towards Jesus – there's still time left on the clock!

Jeremy Wilhelmi

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Pray

Lord of All, humble my heart to continue to seek you out, to point towards you, and to never lose my hunger to know you more. Amen.

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Go

God’s hand is always extended towards us. Reach out and grab it! And while you’re at it, since you’ve got another hand too, reach it out towards others, showing them the same love that God has for you!

Jeremy Wilhelmi

Jeremy Wilhelmi is the Associate Pastor for Youth at the Salisbury Presbyterian Church in Midlothian, Virginia. He is currently studying how certain common words in youth ministry such as “study,” “fun,” and “program” (to name a few) can have a negative impact on our ministry and is seeking to find the better words to describe what we do in youth ministry in a more faithful way. In over 10 years of youth ministry Jeremy has yet to grow tired of pizza.

Walking Toward Morning: The Love of God

Ken Medema - kenmedema.com

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