I’m on the verge of graduating and I constantly get asked, “What’s next?” Many of us even face the constant question, “So, when do you plan to get married?”
What? Seriously? At our age, lots of students are looking for love, in love, or avoiding love. But, how did Paul view love?
Paul prayed for the Ephesians (he could have prayed anything), but look at what he said in Ephesians 3: 17-19:
“...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
He prays they’ll understand the love of the Father, but what does that love look like?
True love sacrifices itself.
Look at these verses: John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave. . .” // John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” // 1 John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
The greatest commandments are to love God and to love others.
Love is obviously much more than just an ooey gooey feeling, it requires we give ourselves for the sake of others. What does that look like in my life and in your life?
If someone were to ask, “How do you know that Kayla (fill in your name) is a follower of Christ?”, would the response be, “Well I know she loves Jesus because she goes to church”, or, “I know because she doesn’t smoke, drink, go to parties, have sex etc”?
So often, as Christians, we are defined by what we do not do. Look at John 13:35: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
What if people began to describe us by our sacrificial love for one another?
What would have to change in my life and your life for that to happen?
Just as Paul prayed for the Ephesians, I pray we’ll understand more and more this love that surpasses all understanding, that sacrifices everything. By this, others will know we are followers of Jesus and be drawn to Him.
-Kayla (The Other Intern)
How will I be remembered? When I’m gone, I hope my life will reflect these three statements:
I loved Jesus.
I remembered my friends.
I took risks.
I can love and seek Jesus comfortably, or I can take a risk that flies in the face of convenience and comfort. I have friends who need Jesus, but I’ve been too selfish to share anything with them.
I should be able to say my love for Jesus allows me to remember my friends. Instead, I come up short. Introducing Jesus is the best gift I can give to anyone, yet sometimes, it’s the hardest one to offer. I’m too worried about what somebody might say to me or think about me. If I love Jesus and remember my friends - taking a risk of faith should come naturally. Eternity is too long not to take risks.
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
-Kyle (The Intern)
“Maybe one day we’ll see the greatest setbacks in our lives were actually the greatest setups to see God’s glory in places we didn’t even know to look.”
I’ve had setbacks, you’ve had setbacks, and chances are more setbacks will come.
I was dead set on accomplishing a few things for my life that didn’t happen - an unexpected circumstance changed things. I can look back now and say what I saw then as a setback was really God ensuring I saw Him in ways I hadn’t seen Him before. Chances are, without my greatest setback, I wouldn’t even be writing this right now. I thought it was about me and what I could do, but in reality, it was never been about me.
Without my setbacks I wouldn’t be where I am today and I’m thankful for each one God put in my path. Am I where I want to be or where Jesus commands me to be? No, but I’m trying. I can look at my setbacks and be angry, or I can ask myself, ‘How is God in this situation?’
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him…”
-Kyle (The Intern)
I had an opportunity to get together with a group of leaders from eight different campus ministries and talk about what Jesus has been doing within each organization. We shared so many stories about God’s glory and how uniquely He intervenes and transforms individual lives.
At one point, someone shared a thought that has stuck with me: Every time we have an event, Heaven will never be the same. What an awesome thought. Every time we share or talk about Jesus, Heaven will never be the same. That’s exciting!
“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10
In my small mind, sometimes I only see God moving at the Walk and through our ministry. It was so humbling and wonderful to hear how big He is. Yes, He has blessed us with an amazing opportunity here to share His Word, but we are only a small part of what He is doing in Knoxville. And Knoxville is just one small city in our state, our nation, our world.
We are all part of the body of Christ and perform different functions. This is also true for the different ministries around campus. We’re all serving a common purpose, to reflect Jesus, but we’re equipped to reach different groups of people. Also, think about it on an individual level for you and me. We are each blessed to be a unique and valuable part of the body.
“But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:18-20
That night I was encouraged by an overwhelming picture of who God is and my role and our role as a unique part of the body. We’re capable of changing eternity forever - will we?
the other intern
Him Through Me
This past week I was sitting in my not so exciting philosophy class when I heard the word “Christianity.” My teacher proceeded to laughingly talk about the high rate of people who call themselves “Christians” but their lives don’t reflect Christ. He thought it was funny how people could actually call themselves “Christians,” but live a life far from Christ. According to him, “Christians” were doing their own thing, rather than pursuing a life for Christ.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Can others see Jesus in my life? I don’t want to be someone my professor sees and thinks, “He’s just like all the other Christians.” I want Jesus to be evident in everything I do.
What, in my life, portrays the fact that I follow Jesus? What doesn’t? Am I really showing everyone the love of Jesus?
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather serve one another in love.”
It’s easy to lose focus of what’s most important, live in the flesh, or follow the crowd. But, I can’t sacrifice reflecting Him for the sake of other people’s approval.
1 Peter 4:16
“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”
My biggest fear is doing something that could drive someone away from Jesus, and in this case, it’s not showing a Spirit-filled life.
If nothing looks different in my life and doesn’t reflect Christ, others will believe Jesus has nothing for them.
After thinking about what my professor said, I realized my obedience isn’t just between the Lord and me, but it can also affect what others perceive about Christ – that’s scary.
Jesus said it best in Luke 11:28:
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
The Idol of Acceptance
I can’t shake some of the things Pete Wilson said when he was at The Walk. In Genesis 29, we see Jacob chasing after acceptance and love from many different sources. He works for so long, only to find himself empty.
No matter what we chase to fulfill ourselves, it can never give us what only God can give us.
One of the most common idols we chase is acceptance, or looking to others to define us. This destines us for mediocrity - that hit me hard. I realized I don’t want to live a mediocre life. I want more - most of us do.
There are some things we can be certain of:
God will call us out of our “comfort zone” to do something remarkable, something more.
People, friends or family, will criticize us and the temptation is to fall back into where we are “accepted.”
We have a choice. Will I choose to listen to the voice of my Creator?
Why do we say no? We worship the idol of acceptance. The only thing we are sure to receive when chasing acceptance is exhaustion.
When I was in Spain, my goal was to pass as a native. I would wear nice clothes, scarves, skinny jeans, and try to speak the best Spanish possible (fail), but I could never fool a Spaniard. It was eviden I was just a little southern girl from America.
It seems ridiculous that I would even try to fit in, but then I realized I so often do that here. I try so hard to control my image, to impress those around me, I can end up doing ridiculous things in pursuit of acceptance.
In the end, I end up weary.
We have all been there. Think of something that you have done to be accepted…
Why look for worth in others when the Creator of the universe knows you – He actually knows your name. You couldn’t possibly be anymore famous than to be known by Him. Quit chasing for fulfillment that is only found in Him.
I am no longer bound by acceptance by others but free to live a remarkable life of obedience.
Just look at Psalm 139.
The Other Intern
His Will > My Will
I was reading last week, and came across this:
Isaiah 45:19 “I have not spoken in secret…”
If we truly desire to know God’s will so that we may do it, God will move heaven and earth, if necessary, to show us what it is. We never have to worry that we might inadvertently miss it.
If I’m willing to let go of what I think is best for me, God’s perfect will and plan for my life will be far greater than anything I could imagine. I know it won’t be the easiest or most popular road to take, but the result will beat out anything else. If I want God’s blessing, I have to seek His will, not my own.
I know in my life I have prayed for things that never happened. I look back at those unanswered prayers and thank Him. I was praying for what I wanted and what I thought was best for me. Now, I’m able to see why those prayers weren’t answered and I realize God has something better than what I had thought up. As I follow Christ, He’ll change my desires more towards His desires for me. What I think is best, in all reality, isn’t always what is best.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
I want for my life what God wants for my life.
Temporary vs. Eternal
My life is filled with temporary things: Food, clothes, homework, money, cars, beauty, Facebook - the list goes on. Jonah’s life speaks to an existence full of temporary things.
In Jonah 4, after the Lord had compassion on the people of Nineveh and they repented from their sin, Jonah was angry.
He said, “I knew you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” In his anger he went out to make a shelter and wait. God provided Jonah with a vine to shade him from the hot sun and he was thrilled. The next morning, when Jonah awoke, he found the vine had been destroyed by worms. God asked him if he had any right to be angry. Jonah replied, “I do; I am angry enough to die.”
How often do I become angry over temporary things? My car gets dented, no one likes my newest Facebook status, I make a bad grade on my homework, my clothes don’t look like what I saw on Pinterest or I don’t have the money to (fill in the blank).
I can become so consumed with these momentary troubles, I lose sight of the eternal. God looks at me and says, ‘My child do you have any right to be angry about these things? I am concerned with eternities, all these temporary things will pass.’
My desire is to concern myself with loving people because their very eternities hang in the balance.
Each time I see the flower I got from the Walk that is now withered and dead, I am reminded of this truth.
This can be a struggle for many whether it’s school, success, money in a job, losing weight, the latest tv series, __________(fill in the blank), so I want to leave you with verses from the Word as a constant reminder of this truth:
“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
1 John 2:17
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
I must concern my self with that which concerns the Lord.
Look At Who?
A couple of weeks ago, I ran across a tweet from Lecrae. He just released a new album and it was selling like crazy (even to the top spot on ITunes). I’m sure he felt on top of the world, but in that moment, when he could have easily soaked up the spotlight, he didn’t:
“Feels like I’m shining like the moon. Tempted to say, ‘Look at me!’ But we all know the moon just reflects the sun’s light.”
I’m tempted to do things to be noticed or even brag about something I’ve done - but that’s not my job.
“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2
I like positive attention just as much as the next guy, but I can’t let my pride step in. God opposes the proud – my life has to be all about Him. In the best and worst times we are commanded to humble ourselves before the Lord.
“God opposed the proud but give grace to the humble.” James 4:6
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:10
Whether a new job, an accomplishment, a good game or an exciting opportunity comes my way – I want to remember to keep the spotlight on Jesus. I don’t want to take it away - or even share it.
“…let him who boast, boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17
-Kyle (...still The Intern)
I live in a whirlwind. I rarely get a full nights rest and I never have a day completely unscheduled. After reading in Deuteronomy, I have a feeling God knew that would happen.
“The LORD commanded us to follow all these statutes and to
fear the LORD our God for our prosperity always and for our
preservation, as it is today.”
We follow God’s commands for our own sake. He gave them because He wants to offer protection and fill our lives with good!
When I went back and read the ten commandments (the ‘statutes’), which I have heard hundreds of times, something stuck out. The LORD spends the most time on the Sabbath. It takes up three verses, where as most of the others have a verse or short line. Yet, this very command is the one I seem to ignore most often. I realize this is the Old Testament and sometimes everything doesn’t relate well, but that doesn’t mean I can push this aside. If I honestly believe the Word of God is true, I would trust honoring the Sabbath, resting, is a command God gives me for my well-being and protection. I need to spend some time reflecting in my own life. What would it look like to dedicate a day to Him? What would I go without?
“I delight to do Your will, my God; Your instruction resides within me.”
I want that to be the cry of my heart. I want doing His will to be a delight.
Life is busy - for everyone. Classes, games, friends, family, homework…the list goes on. But I have to rest, I need to rest. God knew I wouldn’t do it myself, so He commanded it. Will I obey?
I will not sacrifice obedience for the sake of convenience.
-Kayla (a.k.a. Sheila - the other Intern)
What Happens After My Amen
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at what happens After Amen. Most would agree everyone wants some type of progress toward something - school, work, relationships or a specific talent.
Progress is sought after by people of all ages, even individuals seeming to have it all. Looking around the world you see incredibly gifted people, but many have compromised their character for the convenience of progress. Our desire for progress can easily blind us. Occasionally, we’re tempted to cut corners.
Like most students, much of my days are packed full of things to be done. Once my day gets started, there won’t be a break until the day is over. For me, the dilemma of getting a little bit more sleep or waking up and having my quiet time is a challenge I face every week. The convenient thing to do is skip my quite time, fall back to sleep, get up last minute and rush to class. I know a growing relationship with Jesus requires me to spend time with Him in His Word each day.
Too often we find opportunities that might look like a God thing (i.e. He’d want me to sleep so I’m better rested for class), but we forget to weigh it up against God’s Word. We have to remember right is right and wrong is wrong. If it doesn’t line up with the Word of God - it isn’t progress. When praying for true progress, we are simply saying, “I will not sacrifice obedience for the sake of convenience.” So, I won’t sacrifice growing in Him for the pillow on my bed.
In what areas will you choose to practice obedience instead of folding to convenience?
-Kyle a.k.a. The Intern
Sometimes, we just need a reminder. Why not get one every time you go to check your timeline or send a text? Download these free backgrounds for your iPhone or iPad.
Join Our Lead Team
So, you’ve been coming to The Walk for years. Now, you want to help pull it off each week.
Or, maybe you want to do something bigger than yourself. You want to be a part of sparking a movement.
If you’re willing to serve, we’re ready to provide a place for you to do it.
On Thursday, August 23 at 7:00 p.m., meet us at 2913 Alcoa Highway, Knoxville, Tn 37920 (behind the Pilot gas station). It’s an old, abandoned grocery store. Why? You’ll find out when you get there. Just bring a towel or a blanket to sit on.
God’s burdened us with a plan to impact your generation. We want to tell you all about it as you dive into free Chandler’s Deli (featured on ESPN’s Taste of the Town).
You’ll also get an opportunity to sign-up for one of our Lead Teams: Worship, Media, Welcome, Food and/or be a Small Group Leader.
As an added bonus, our free Walk countdown shirts will be available to those who registered. For you guys who didn’t register - dry your tears - we ordered extra. But, they’re available on a first come, first serve basis.
Reflecting the purpose and personality of Jesus to a generation stepping up to take their place in this world requires planning and leadership. You’re capable of both. Will you help?
We hope to see you Thursday, August 23, at 7:00 p.m. Simply MapQuest 2913 Alcoa Highway, Knoxville, Tn 37920. It’s only minutes from The Strip.
Growing Relationships over Getting Results
In the following weeks, we want to give insight into what keeps us up at night. We want to clearly communicate the values God has entrusted us with to shape The Walk. The urgent desire to reflect these values leaves us tossing and turning through the night. Our third week focused on Growing Relationships over Getting Results.
In our relationship with Christ, focusing on results leaves us frustrated. We can’t rely only on results because the walk is too demanding, the enemy is too determined and our flesh is too destructive.
Growing a relationship with Christ isn’t about trying, it’s about trusting. It’s not about determination, it’s about dependence.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
We want to focus on association, not just imitation. Imitation is just trying. Association is dependence. The Walk wants to lead students into a growing, thriving, abiding relationship with Jesus.
What needs to change in our lives to show our focus lies on growing a relationship, not on getting results?
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.” Romans 8:1
I can’t keep doing the things I used to do because I’m not the person I used to be.
We value growing relationships over getting results.
What’s Lost over What’s Found
In the following weeks, we want to give insight into what keeps us up at night. We want to clearly communicate the values God has entrusted us with to shape The Walk. The urgent desire to reflect these values leaves us tossing and turning through the night. Our second week focused on What’s Lost over What’s Found.
It’s simple. Christ came for the lost. Reflecting His purpose and personality requires going after the one. Christ did it, so we’ll do it too.
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15
We value what’s lost over what’s found.
Truth over Trends
In the following weeks, we want to give insight into what keeps us up at night. We want to clearly communicate the values God has entrusted us with to shape The Walk. The urgent desire to reflect these values leaves us tossing and turning through the night. We begin with Truth over Trends.
What Sevier Heights believes, as a church, revolves around principles solidly based in scripture. The Walk desires to reflect those principles in everything we do. While trends are important, and at times help us in effectively reaching Knoxville, truth will always win. God gave us truth to be a bridge, we can’t allow trends to be a barrier. We value truth over trends.
What Keeps Us Up at Night
When the day is over and your head hits the pillow - what keeps you from falling asleep? When it’s just you and your thoughts - what keeps your eyes open until sunrise? Now’s your chance to hear the shouts that fill our hearts and ears as we attempt to nod off each night. Sleepless nights have never mattered so much.
Our new series, “What Keeps Us Up at Night” starts this Wednesday, January 11.
Another semester at The Walk, another semester of watching God use this generation to change our world. He’s raising up leaders, we’re thankful we get to help.
What’d we do this semester? We’ll tell you about it, but you’re better off watching.
• We kicked off at World’s Fair Park with Chandler’s Deli and a look into what The Walk hopes to always do: Reflect the purpose and personality of Jesus Christ.
• After our first Wednesday back at Sevier Heights, students walked out to freshly scrubbed cars. Sevier Heights members wanted to love these students – so they washed every car in the parking lot during The Walk. 700 cars/45 minutes. Check it out.
• Jon Acuff dropped in for a visit.
• In a spur of the moment offering – students gave over $4,000 for the Haitian government to release supplies for the One Vision orphanage.
• A flash mob broke out mid-service to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller.’
• ‘White Lies and Whispers’ taught us what happens when we deceive ourselves, deceive others and attempt to deceive God. Hear more under our ‘Watch and Listen’ tab.
• You filled the empty space beneath the tree and the stockings of 74 orphans in Haiti.
• ‘Tarnished’ traced Moses’ journey to becoming one of the most influential leaders our world has ever seen. Follow that journey under our ‘Watch and Listen’ tab.
• While tons more happened, we love celebrating the most important part of what we do. Our baptism service will always be the highlight of our semester.
Take a few minutes to check out some of our highlights:
Thank you so much to everyone who sent entries for The Walk’s Logo Contest this summer. The creativity and skill shown within each design was incredible. Seeing students use their gifts for The Walk is so encouraging. We can’t thank you enough for choosing to share your gift with us.
We need to apologize for taking so long to make a decision. However, we have chosen a direction to go, which will be launched next year. Any opportunity to move forward is incredibly exciting, so we can’t wait to show everyone what’s next.
The winner chose to take the sum of money required to purchase an iPad2 and donate it to One Vision International. This decision blew us away…who doesn’t want an iPad2? Students at The Walk will never cease to amaze us.
The goal with this contest was to involve students who attend The Walk in actually building The Walk. Thank you for being a part of something bigger than yourselves. And don’t worry…we promise to be a bit more timely in our decision-making next time around.
Baptisms on November 16
In ancient times, slaves were often baptized after they were sold to
announce to the community that they now had a new master. The early
Christians adopted the practice after Jesus commanded it to be done
(Matthew 28:18-20) to symbolize their new life in Him and to identify with His
death, burial, and resurrection. Like a wedding ceremony, it is an outward
demonstration of our inward love and symbolizes our death to the old life
(going under water) and resurrection to a new one (rising up out of it). (1
Corinthians 15:3-4; Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4)
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
According to Scripture, every person who has believed in Jesus Christ
should be baptized after their conversion (Acts 2: 41; Acts 8: 12-13; Acts 9:18).
WHY BE BAPTIZED?
It is an opportunity to obey the Lord Jesus’ command (Matthew 28:18-20), to
imitate His example (Luke 3:21), and to “witness” to others that you are now
a Christian (Acts 2:41).
WHEN SHOULD WE BE BAPTIZED?
The example we see in the New Testament is always as soon as possible
after someone had believed in Christ (Acts 2:41; Acts 8:36-39; Acts 9:18).
HOW SHOULD WE BE BAPTIZED?
The mode was always by immersion (the Greek word “baptizo” is consistently
translated “to dip or immerse”), which demonstrates our death and
burial by going under the water. Rising up out of water is a vivid picture of
our new life in Christ. The practice of sprinkling was a tradition that developed
later on, as was infant baptism, and is not supported anywhere in the
Bible (Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:38-39; Matthew 15:1-6).
IS BAPTISM REQUIRED FOR SALVATION?
No. We are saved by grace alone, through faith, and salvation is a free gift
of God that cannot be earned by any good works. Baptism is symbolic
and simply an act of obedience to Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
WASN’T MY BAPTISM AS A BABY GOOD ENOUGH?
Any “baptism rite” prior to your decision to receive Christ for salvation
wouldn’t be true baptism since you could not reason a choice as an infant.
True baptism always took place after salvation.