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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But even beyond that, I consider everything a loss in comparison with the superior value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have lost everything for him, but what I lost I think of as sewer trash, so that I might gain Christ and be found in him. In Christ I have a righteousness that is not my own and that does not come from the Law but rather from the faithfulness of Christ. It is the righteousness of God that is based on faith.

Philippians 3:8-9

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On a retreat, I once asked my youth group to make a list of the top 10 most valuable things in their lives. I’m sure if you did that right now, you’d probably have similar answers to theirs: family, friends, smartphone, car, Xbox, money, etc. The next step was to imagine only having 5 of those 10 things. (The agony of letting go of certain things was definitely vocalized!) Then we went down to 3 things, then two, then (you guessed it) one. What is the one thing that you value most?

For Paul, the thing he valued most actually wasn’t an object; it was a relationship. Because of his faith in Christ, Paul finds what is most important.

The pressure to have the best clothes, car, phone, grades, the most money, etc., is rampant in the teenage world, but none of those things makes God love you more than God already does. You are valuable to God, just as you are!

Jeremy Wilhelmi

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God of love, thank you for loving me just as I am. Help me find greater value in my faith than the things I possess. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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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 -

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