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Sunday in Underground we talked about the Holy Spirit. We learned that he is the part of God that lives inside us when we become  a Christian. The gospel of Luke showed us the part the HS played in Jesus' early ministry-his baptism, time in the desert, and first public sermon. The students used three ingredients to make putty and after learning key roles the Spirit plays in our lives, formed their putty to represent a role that stood out to them.

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                How often did you talk about Jesus in the past week?  Did he ever show up as an intentional part of your conversations in every-day life?  I am not talking about inside the walls of a building on Sunday morning.  This is about how we interact with people at work, school and in our homes.  Does Jesus show up in our lives more than once a week and if so, what does that look like?

                Paul’s letter to the Colossians is a challenging one because it really puts emphasis on the most important aspect of the Gospel:  the formation of our identity in Jesus.  For the past month, we have been working through the book of Colossians at RISE.  Challenging our students to compare the standards God is calling the Colossians to with the standard of Faith in their own lives.  What does it mean to root our identity in Jesus and live that out to the people we encounter every day?

                This week at RISE we looked into Colossians 4 where Paul clearly defines what such living looks like.  In this, he talks of 2 types of people:  Those gifted and called to preach and evangelize boldly and publically to many and those who are called to evangelize through their everyday lives.  No matter which category you fall under, we are called to share the Gospel.  There is no escaping this mission and no excuse good enough too not fulfill it whole-heartedly.  We challenged our students at RISE to identify which one they were and identify clear and specific ways they could live out this mission every day.

                For many students it is at School, but how do we know we are living this out?  How do we know our lives are the testimony that Paul has called us to?  We must live different and questionable lives as compared to the world lives.  This means we must live in such a way that causes people to ask questions.  For example, let’s say many of your friends are using their Friday nights to party and drink.  It is not good enough to simply not attend the party, there must be something more to cause those who have become addicted to that culture to see why your way of Jesus living is better or different.  Now imagine your friends invite you to a huge party and you tell them you can’t go because you use your Friday nights to mentor struggling younger students.  This will no doubt raise the question:  Why are you doing that?  In this moment we must be prepared to give JESUS as our answer; however, there are a number of steps that must be followed to get to this point.

1.       You must be rooted and dedicated to Jesus and his mission.  The love and lordship of Jesus is what compels us to love and help others.

2.       You must know hurting and struggling people and begin to reach out to them.

3.       You must be prepared to give an answer to when people ask why you spend your time helping others.


So ask yourself:  “Am I living out the mission of Jesus so boldly that people take notice?” 


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   We do not just study the Bible to memorize information or to simply know the stories of biblical characters like Noah or Abraham.  We study God’s Word because it is HIS NARRATIVE of the World.  In this narrative we know as the Bible, we will find story after story that teach principles for which we can apply to our lives as Disciples of Jesus.  It can seem a daunting task to learn and know everything contained in scripture.  With so much to read and into two sections we know as the Old Testament and New Testament how do we know what to focus on?


This week at NAVS students worked through two stories and both dealt with pride. In the Old Testament (2 Chronicles) students learned about how King David decided to take count of his army despite that we was warned against doing so. It wasn’t David’s skill as a leader or the power of his army that won him battles, but rather is was his Faith in God’s and HIS power that was the cause of their success. In the New Testament (Mark 10) students learned how James and John came to Jesus asking to sit at his right and left hand when they are in Heaven. When the other Disciples heard this they became upset and began arguing. Jesus rebuked them and reminded the importance of humility. Pride is not only something that can puff us up and think too highly of ourselves, it can also tear us down very easily when others achieve more than us or if we fail. We must remember that our worth and value is not attached to the tangible achievements of this world. Our worth and value is found in the Christ, whose image we were created in. Whether we get a good grade on a test or get cut from a team, it is so important that we understand that our value does not go up or down because of these things. We are children of God and we born with worth and value!

Jacob Marino