January 24, 2020
Friday Evening Youth Focus
The first youth focus session of 2020 started with a dinner of fresh salads and tasty chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A, followed by triple-layer chocolate cream pie for dessert. Once everyone had finished the meal, the group moved to the general seating area for a time of singing led by Caleb Copko and several musicians. There was also a time to share prayer requests before Ryan Erdmann led the group in prayer.
The speaker for the evening was Jeff Downey, the pastor of the Apostolic Faith Church in Van Buren, Arkansas. He opened with an object lesson in which he took one of his favorite treats—chocolate pudding—and mixed in “a little bit” of yard debris, making the point that “a little bit” of something bad can ruin something good. He proceeded to then speak of a person’s character and explained that “a little bit” of ungodly behavior is unacceptable to God.
Brother Jeff used 2 Peter 1:1-11 as his key text for the evening, which gives a list of several godly qualities—faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. He emphasized that once a person is saved, it will take real effort to develop those qualities, but it is possible for everyone to do. He gave specific advice for cultivating the attributes, such as: 1) remain in contact with God’s Word; 2) die to self and past sins; and 2) be open to God’s correction and abide in Christ. Brother Jeff encouraged the group to read their Bibles every day, do their weekly Sunday school lessons, be in church as often as possible, support each other, and be guarded against the tactics of their spiritual enemy. The evening closed with a time of prayer.