He is Raising Up a New Generation!
Generation Z? Who is Gen Z and what do we need to know about them?
So, last week began a Series called "Not-So-Popular Truth of GENERATION Z" and the response was overwhelming! If you didn't get a chance to listen or read, you will definitely want to start with that one. READ PART ONE HERE! Seriously, you really want to get all the stats & details in that 1st post! Go to INTRODUCTION HERE.
Last week's post includes the introduction & explanation of this series as well as the first of the guest posts by Tanner Starr.
I invited them to share with us how they would answer this question:
and Jesus asked," Who do YOU Say that I Am?"
I am so excited to share this series with you!! I have no doubt God will use these young ladies in great ways for the Kingdom! He already is!
These young ladies have blown me away with the wisdom in these posts! It is so exciting to see them blossom in so many ways! How great it is to see there are young people with a heart so in touch with Jesus, but to then realize that I KNOW these girls! Wow. I am so blessed!
I see God raising up this generation right in front of our eyes!
My heart swell to see them hungry. Asking the hard questions to know Jesus for themselves!
I am going to let Katelynn Bryan take it from here and I will tell you some exciting news about this young lady in a few minutes!
WHO DO I SAY THAT JESUS IS?- KATELYNN BRYAN
I wonder what I would have said back then. Maybe I would have answered and said the same things the disciples said; John the Baptist, maybe Elijah, Jeremiah, or maybe even one of the prophets. But man, what I really hope is that I was like Simon Peter.
Jesus looked at Peter, and asked him, "Who do you think I am?" And I can only imagine the boldness & chill bumps Peter got as he looked at Jesus & said, "YOU ARE THE MESSIAH; THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD."
WHAT???? I bet all the other disciples scratched their head & kicked the dirt, wishing they would have thought of an answer as cool as that one. "As cool as that one." I make myself laugh with that thought.
Because the truth is, I bet the other disciples were perplexed. Where did Peter come up with such a good answer? Peter got it, but he didn't get it. I find myself a lot like Peter. I get it, but I don't get it.
Because yes, Jesus is my Savior, the Messiah for all the lost, the one who came to rescue us from sin, but I'm learning that Jesus is so much more.
Let me go back to my childhood. I started going to church around the age of 7; I had been before but only on special occasion. And my Uncle Carroll is the one who took me. Sitting in that church that day, I didn't necessarily get what the preacher meant when he said that Jesus went through all the hardships I face & would face & still capable of living a perfect life. All I knew then that was difficult was the fact my Mimi made me finish my homework before I could go play or that my friend didn't wanna play with me today but tomorrow she would. Oh, if only I knew then, how much more life throws at you the older you get. And it took me years of napping through church, passing notes to the two girls that were my friends about what we were doing after church, and all the youth trips to go swimming before I got it.
It took me 9 more years. 9 years!!!! It flies by. Maybe in that moment it didn't, but as I look back, it does. Fast forward through some of those 9 years, to when I started going to a different church; the church I go to today. You wanna talk about welcoming?????
Welcoming is an understatement. That's when my curiosity about Jesus began to grow. Sitting through Sunday School & church, without napping!!!!!, I listened & for a few more years, I wanted more but I didn't know how to get it. I was too afraid to ask questions. I just wanted to fit in like all the other Christians around me. Ugh, if only, if only.
Don't get me wrong, I was saved. I got saved every time there was an alter call because every time I messed up I thought I had lost my salvation & Jesus didn't love me anymore.
When I say that I knew Jesus loved me, I knew it because the Bible told me so, not because I was in a relationship with Him yet.
Oh, but He never stopped chasing after my heart.
After my first heart break, we all know that tragedy, where it's like "I lost my everything" "I'll never be happy again"... on & on & on.
I realized that I needed Jesus. I needed that peace He gave everybody else. Man I wanted that. So, I told God I wanted to know Him. And I dove in. And I started reading & getting it a little bit.
Our small town had an X'treme 14 youth rally & every night I was there with all my wonderful friends & I listened.
But on Wednesday March 26, 2014, my life changed for forever!
The man was talking about how we have to know that we know that we know that we know that we got Jesus. And I didn't know. I was scared that all the times I had messed up that I had lost Him somewhere along the way yet again. But I was embarrassed. Here I was, the few people & friends I had thinking I knew Jesus & we were best friends.
Boy, I could have been an actor I surely played the part. But with the help of Jesus, a lot of faith, almost falling over from shaking so bad, & years of unshed tears, I stood up, by myself, & got things right with Him. And I haven't been the same since!
Now in saying all that, Jesus is my Savior. That is who He is but to me, Jesus is SO much more. I'm learning that Jesus is a peace giver; When my Uncle Carroll, the man who watched me grow up & prayed for me for years, died suddenly, I knew with a peace in my heart where he went.
Jesus is patient; He waits for each of us to choose to turn to Him; sometimes He only has to wait a few years, some children get it from that child-like faith; sometimes He has to wait until we are about to meet Him. Either way, the joy He feels when we choose Him is always worth the wait to Him.
Jesus is gracious; I never go without anything that I NEED. I certainly don't get everything I want, but I always have what I need.
Jesus is truth; look at the life He lived. He always kept His word & never strayed away from what He said He would do.
Jesus is forgiveness. Look at the woman who committed adultery & how the people of the town wanted her stoned. But Jesus wrote in the sand & all the townspeople dropped their rocks & left. And He told the woman to go & sin no more. He forgave the disciples, his very best friends, for doubting Him. Sometimes they would really mess up. He even forgave Judas for selling Him for a few coins & Peter & the rest of the disciples for denying Him & not standing up for their faith once He was taken to be crucified.
Jesus is a healer; HE ROSE LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD AFTER 4 DAYS!!!! He healed my Poppie of cancer!!!! He healed me of my sins; though we are still working on that disease daily.
Jesus is a lighthouse in the darkest storms; Jesus is the rock at rock bottom.
Jesus was human, an ordinary man that saw the things that go on in this world. He saw the way people put other people down, how they worried about what they looked like more than life; worried about everything except what mattered most. Jesus ate with the sinners & the people like me. Jesus is humble for that. Jesus is priceless for that.
Jesus got His knees in the Garden of Gethsemane & begged, cried out, pounded the ground for this to be taken off of Him. Sound familiar in your life? I could go on for days about what Jesus is but the two that have come to touch my heart the most is this.
Jesus is LOVE. To all those people, including myself, that longed to be loved; maybe your parents left & didn't love you the way you deserve to be loved; maybe the boy/girl you wanted to spend your life with chose someone else over you; maybe you are lonely & don't have friends.
Jesus is standing there beside you, arms wide open saying, "Come on to my home. I already love you. I've loved you since the beginning of time & I will keep loving you."
Second, Jesus is my FRIEND. We can talk to Him about EVERYTHING & He never butts in or gets tired of listening or tells you to stop. He listens & gives you the advice & answers you need. No matter what you have gone through, are going through, or will go through,
Jesus is EVERYTHING you will ever need all put into one Savior.
So, who do I say Jesus is. HE. IS. MY EVERYTHING!
We NEED a young generation of strong warriors! We NEED a church that is not afraid to stand up and stand out for Jesus. We NEED the guts of this new generation!
And they NEED us! To rally with them & join in. Their ways and insights may be different than past generations, but if Jesus is front and center, that is all that matters.
Will you join me in praying for this young generation as they fight daily against an enemy who wants to destroy them. Will you pray for our generation to step up to encourage, equip and support them as they rally the troops for God’s Kingdom in this crazy time in our world?! Just look back at this one young lady....a local youth rally event with many volunteers is where she found her RELATIONSHIP with Jesus! All among the chaos of teens, food, loud music Jesus showed up and changed lives! Let's never underestimate what Jesus calls us to do!