LIFT Weekly Update

All about the Student Ministries at First Baptist Covington

Hey, everybody!

Spring weather is finally here, and we all survived the time change! It's an exciting time to be a part of our church, and we've got awesome stuff happening in our ministry here. First of all, LIFT this Wednesday will certainly not disappoint! We'll continue our study of Galatians, take a little survey, and finally get to see the incredible Ski Trip Video!!! Don't miss it!

Tomorrow, we've got Prayer Breakfast as usual at 7 & 8am. Sunday Night at LifeLine, our students get to go on another little field trip with food, fun, and a devotional time. Also on Sunday Night, we've got awesome Discipleship Classes for adults from 6-7pm, including the class that I'm teaching about Maintaining Biblical Technology in a Technology-Driven World. If you've missed a session, you can always watch the video. Last week's is below, as well as last week's LIFT video with follow-up questions!

Registration is open on the church website for Student Life Missions Camp @ Myrtle Beach! It will be an amazing week with great missions projects, beach time, and incredible worship services with Kristian Stanfill and David Platt! Space is extremely limited, and there is no option to add spots because the camp is full. So, be sure to pay your $65 deposit early to secure your student's spot! The total cost for this amazing week-long camp is only $215!

Important Dates:

  • Graduate Sunday May 18th
  • Student Life Mission Camp @ Myrtle Beach, June 16-20, 2014
  • LIFToff! August 2-3

Last Week's Message from LIFT

Focus Galatians 2

Follow-Up Questions for Parents

· How does your understanding of yourself as a sinner change the way you see other people?

· Who are the people that you find yourself looking down on the most?

· Are you “better” than them in the eyes of God?

· If Jesus is the only thing that makes us good in God’s eyes, how does that change the way you view others?

· How can people see Jesus living in you?

Tech Class 3

Follow-Up Technology Bible Study

It’s no secret that technology can be addictive. Just the thought of a day without a phone or internet is enough to cause a riot in some homes! But, the truth is that our addiction to technology is something to be taken seriously. The DSM-V (the book psychologists use to diagnose people) now lists Internet Use Disorder as a diagnosable addiction. These are the symptoms they would use to diagnose the addiction. If a patient displayed 3 or more of these symptoms consistently, they may have a serious problem.

· Preoccupation with the internet, pornography, web-relationships, or gaming.

· Withdrawal symptoms when the internet is not available.

· Tolerance – Needing a higher dose to achieve the same “high.” Otherwise known as the “Law of Diminishing Returns.”

· Loss of other interests.

· Unsuccessful attempts to quit (Lent, for example).

· Attempted use of the internet to improve or escape a dysphoric mood.

Some of those likely hit pretty close to home! So, what in the world does this have to do with our spiritual lives? Well, any addiction is something that traps you. It is an action or activity that you have a hard time freeing yourself from. The Bible would rightly define addictions as idolatry or worshiping an idol. Though that may seem extreme, it makes sense. As beings created by God for the purpose of worshiping Him, when we fill ourselves up with anything but Him, we are filling a place inside of us that should belong to Him. In that way, we are worshiping an idol.

But, here is the problem…idols don’t pay off. Because they aren’t what God intended to fill our hearts and minds, they don’t give us the real results and joy that we are really longing for…at least not for long.

Think of the symptoms of Internet Use Disorder listed above. Preoccupation with the internet means you are not occupied with God. Having withdrawal from it means you have broken the 1st commandment. Needing more to be satisfied is a defining factor of sin. Loss of other interests means you are not only pulling away from God but also that you have become impotent as His servant. Being unable to quit means that you are in bondage to sin and don’t believe in or rely on the Spirit’s power to free you. And using technology to escape and to improve any given moment is a missed opportunity to pray and abide in the Lord. And in reality, when we are consumed with idols, because they aren’t God, they lead us to things that are negative.

In Galatians 5:1, it says, ““For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

The first statement seems a little weird. For freedom He set us free. Though it seems obvious, many of us who have Christ do not claim this freedom from sin, particularly with the things we are addicted to. We treat Him as if His forgiveness was given to us so that we could go on doing what we liked, so that we could stay slaves. But, that’s not the truth. Jesus didn’t come and live like us so that He could live in us while we keep going back to the slavemaster and holding out our hands asking to have our hands shackled again! No, His sacrifice brought very real freedom from sin, the freedom to choose differently, the freedom to break the current chains of sin in our lives and no longer live in it! He set us free to stay free, and we are free indeed. It is by His power that we conquer the slavery and addiction of sin.

Galatians goes on to describe the results (or “fruit”) of being consumed and addicted to anything in this world (including technology) compared to the results of a life devoted to and addicted to the Spirit that brings freedom. Galatians 5:19-25, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Think about your time online. How many of the things listed above have you seen as a result of the time you spend on your phone or online? This doesn’t mean that these are the only results…there are certainly benefits and positive things that can be done with technology…but an addiction to anything other than God will always lead to negative things like these.

On the other hand, Galatians describes a life devoted to God looking like this: “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”

Clearly these qualities are things we want to see in our lives! These are things that will truly fill us and satisfy us! Not only that, but these are things that help us to better represent the Savior that gave us freedom from sin and addiction! How can you display these qualities in your life? How can you use technology to promote these good things? How can you have these qualities apart from technology?

Family Homework Assignment: Reclaim a moment this week. At one of those times when everyone is sitting around looking at a different screen, get the whole family to put their phones down and turn off the TV, and go do something together for fun…without any technology. Here are some free (or cheap) options…

· Go explore the Newton County Walking Trail together.

· Drive out to Hard Labor Creek or Charlie Elliot and explore or fish.

· Buy a new Frisbee and go throw it.

· Find a board game and play it as a family. (Apples to Apples, Quelf, Scattergories, Catch Phrase)

· Go to Baby Cakes in Porterdale, get a delicious pastry, and explore the Porterdale Mill Lofts.

· Pull out old pictures of yourself as a teen and let your kids laugh at you.

· Have everyone draw a picture of themselves as a super hero. Let them write or explain their powers and origin story.

· Have a family photography contest and actually get the best pictures printed.

· Let your student teach you something.