What’s a Playlist?
A Playlist is a set of activities exploring a topic. The activities might include reading an article or scripture, listening to a podcast or sermon, watching a video or movie clip. Each month we’ll post three Playlists designed for Children, Youth, and Adults. All of us will explore the same topic, but the Playlists will be designed for each age group. You can work your way through the Playlists at your own pace throughout the month.
Remember you can always share your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of this page.
Katelyn Williamson, Director of Youth and Family Ministry
We as humans come with some instincts that I like to call a “Fight or Flight” response. I tend to “fight” in times of crisis. Something happens inside us humans in times of crisis. Our instincts for self-preservation kick in, and we begin to cultivate a scarcity mindset. It becomes very easy to focus on the well-being of ourselves and our family and forget the difficulties of others around us. We are especially prone to this behavior in times of uncertainty.
Jesus of Nazareth was no stranger to this kind of social instability. He grew up in land occupied by a foreign military, and oppressive Roman taxes made life difficult for his family and neighbors. Yet he called his followers to a very different kind of response. He taught that our obsession with self-preservation, not only makes us more miserable and anxious, it actually creates more of the thing that we’re trying to avoid.
“22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!”
Reflection Question – Where do you see the generosity of God in the world, your life, or the story of the Bible? What are you most grateful for?
To me generosity is ultimately not about amounts but attitude. Someone can give a great deal and not be generous, or someone can give only a small amount and be very generous. Often people imagine that if only they had more money, they would give more away. But in reality, if you aren’t generous with a little, you won’t be generous if you have a lot. It’s a heart issue. I think that in our society those who have the most money are less generous (as a percentage of their resources) than people of average or lower income. I encourage you to be generous with what you have now, whatever it might be. Don’t be limited by a percentage. Live with the mindset to be as generous as you can, with your time, money and space in your heart to bless as many people as you can, and to impact eternity.
Check out this video on Generosity from The Bible Project.
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that I do your will.
Katelyn Williamson, Director of Youth and Family Ministry
In our current society, the word faith means a multitude of things. Webster defines it as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” We have faith in the sun and that it will always shine, and we have faith in our instructors that they will teach us everything we need to know. We also have faith in the Lord God and his forgiveness and love.
Story Part One
Every year with my youth students, I give them one simple present as they move on to the next phase of life . . . that gift is a mustard seed inside a small vial. I’m usually met with a confused smile and hug while they wait for me to explain the reasoning behind my odd gift. All I say is, “take this and remember to have faith.”
Read Matthew 17:20
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
“Faith of a Mustard Seed”
Story Part Two
Many of my youth when they graduate, have heard parts of my testimony; a vast amount of my testimony is having the faith of a mustard seed. Sometimes the only thing I had was my faith, the size of a mustard seed. I carried one around with me on my keychain to remind me that He would walk on water and move mountains for me. The one thing I hope my seniors take with them as they move on is to keep faithful, even if it’s the size of a mustard seed.
Read Mark 4:30-32
Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
Question for Thought
Where and to whom are you putting your faith?
Heavenly Father, thank You so much for the hope that we have in the faith that You’ve given us. You’ve told us that without faith it is impossible to please you. But in the story pictured here, our faith does not have to be as big as a mountain. It just must be as tiny as a little mustard seed to move mountains, and nothing will be impossible for us. Thank You for that encouragement in a world that seems so upside down right now that might cause us to lose hope.
Lord, help us to increase our faith by being in Your word, claiming the promises that You’ve already given us, keeping them in our hearts and in our minds to help us live this life down here no matter what happens for Your glory. We will praise You for everything You are, not just for what You do.
In the precious name of Jesus, I pray.