Day 7 – The Beginning

TRUTH: it’s time to go boldly into the future.

“God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.” -Isaiah 41:28-31

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” -Jeremiah 29:11

“I will give you every place where you set your foot.” -Joshua 1:3

This is it. The end of this part of the journey but the beginning of another. We must march boldly into the future. Fear not because God is with you and the best is yet to come. God has amazing plans for your life. God has amazing plans for this church, for Fuse, for Venue and this CITY. Walk now boldly into the future. Trusting Jesus with your everything, not letting the fire fade away. Carry the torch. Tread on. Tread on. It is now time for a new and brighter future, we Pioneers, securing it thus. We will Go Forth. We will look ahead for those who follow behind and we will make history, fixing our eyes on Jesus the Pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

JOURNAL:  What are your biggest worries going forward? What kind of future are you hoping for? what will you pioneer in fuse and venue? Will you live a life that looks ahead for those who follow behind?

Day 6 – Choose Passion

TRUTH: Passion is not a feeling it’s a choice.

“The judges went along with the mob, had Paul and Silas’s clothes ripped off and ordered a public beating. After beating them black-and-blue, they threw them into jail, telling the jailkeeper to put them under heavy guard so there would be no chance of escape. He did just that—threw them into the maximum security cell in the jail and clamped leg irons on them. Along about midnight, Paul and Silas started praying and singing [loudly] to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.” -Acts 16:22-26

Paul and Silas were 2 men who lived in the time of Jesus, 2,000 years ago.  At the time of the event described above, they were in the city of Philippi which is in modern day Greece. They were there to tell people about Jesus because most of the world at that time had no idea who He was.  Many people in these cities did not always take kindly to Paul and Silas talking about Jesus and that’s exactly what we are witnessing in Acts 16:22-24. They were beaten and thrown into jail for simply being Christians. In verses 25-26 you see their response, in jail, bloody and broken, they start to pray and sing to God. Passion for God is a CHOICE not a feeling. Do you think Paul and Silas felt good about God? They had just been put in jail and beaten because they were trying to tell people about Him.  There will be many times in following Jesus that you wont feel passionAte about God. The fire you felt on Summer Camp will at times be completely gone. Will you choose God then? Will you be the one that fuels your fire and treads on after Jesus when the emotion dwindles? Paul and Silas started praying and singing loudly to God with black eyes, bloody noses, in jail, choosing passion when circumstances don’t line up.  A cool extra part? When they chose passion, everyone else in the prison found freedom too.

JOURNAL:  Are you feeling passionate right now or not? Are you honestly choosing passion for God right now? Who do you think could experience freedom if you choose passion when you aren’t feeling it? Are you really a Christ follower if you only chase after God on Summer Camp?

GO FORTH: Plan a time with friends or family or your life group to do a BONFIRE. Choosing passion for God is a lot like building a fire. FUEL + FLAME = fire. Make memories and get out there!

Day 5- Dream Big

TRUTH: Pioneers have a greater vision for tomorrow. Pioneers DREAM BIG.

“I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.” -Joel 2:28

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” -Proverbs 29:18

“Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” -Proverbs 23:18

Dreaming is not just something you should do when you’re sleeping or bored at school. It’s gaining VISION for your life. Vision is defined in the dictionary as, “the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom” You will never achieve great things with your life or get the life you’ve always wanted without taking time to dream and get vision first. People very rarely stumble into a fantastic life: they planned it out, set goals, worked hard, all towards an end vision of what they want to see happen.  The truest and most beautiful future for your life has Jesus right at the center of it. Drawing close to God to see what His vision for your life is.  Read Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.” Trust God with your dreams. Put them in His hands and you will be blessed, always producing fruit or good things with your life. Pioneers are fueled by dreams and by HOPE for the future, a vision that is greater than now. They don’t sit in old and current, they are ever forging forward. TREAD ON. DREAM ON. At one point Earth and humanity and your story was just a Dream in God’s heart. He is a dreamer so we should be too.  Dreaming isn’t just about thinking it’s about doing and with God’s help you can see your dreams come to reality.

JOURNAL:  What are some dreams I have for my life? What is God’s vision for the next couple years of my life? What could a greater future for my friends, family, school, city, or even NATION look like? Do I truly trust God with my future?

GO FORTH: Make a list of dreams and goal you have for your life. What are some things you want to see happen in your life? What are some things you want to see God do through your life? Once you finish the list, put it up in your room or somewhere you will look at it everyday and then snap a pic and post it! Who knows, you might inspire a bunch of other people to chase their dreams.

 

Day 4 – Secretly Awesome

TRUTH: Pioneers do not seek a spotlight. They do not hunger after attention. We Go Forth to be secretly awesome.

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in [church] and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” -Matthew 6:1-4

One of the quickest ways to burn yourself out is to constantly try and get attention from those around you. We don’t Pioneer so that others will praise us and compliment us. We Go Forth for an audience of One. The Father sees everything we do and His applause and attention is enough, it’s all we truly need. Living off of the approval of others and working hard to get their compliments will never truly satisfy you, so stop! Cast off everything inside you that wants attention and spotlight. It will not benefit you in the long run, and people ultimately don’t want to be around people so desperate for attention.  Not only will it not benefit you but it will block you from receiving God’s reward for taking care of people and building His kingdom. “Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” Rather, do all that you do for an audience of One and trust that God sees and that He will give you the reward you deserve.  “Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Be secretly awesome. Wow people and inspire them with kindness, creativity, generosity. GO FORTH and do things for people that genuinely help them and God will see it all.

JOURNAL:  Do I HONESTLY do things so that others will give me praise? Why is it so tempting to do things in a way that people will notice them? What should my true motivation to do good things be? Why does God want me to do things in private? What are some ways I can be secretly awesome?

GO FORTH:  Do something secretly awesome for someone.  Leave them a note, gift someone a $10 bill, pay for 2 people behind you at Starbucks, clean the house for your mom, mow the law for your dad, give a friend that shirt of yours you know they really love. Spice up your summer and do something for someone else. Pioneers take care of people and make moments.

Day 3 – Extraordinary

TRUTH: When Jesus is at the center of your life it will be EXTRAORDINARY. That’s right, EXTRA-ORDINARY.

“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand” -Luke 9:62

“We pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.” -2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

When you GO FORTH your life will be EXTRA to everyone else’s ORDINARY. You will conquer what crushes others. You will run this race and pass those around you. The same power that raised Christ from the dead, lives inside of you. The question is, will you tap into it? Will you believe that God wants to give you a STANDOUT life? Isn’t that what we want? A life that is beyond random or normal. We want more.  When you Go Forth and fix your eyes on the ULTIMATE PIONEER your life will stand out. Tap into what He is offering you, “pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something.” Take time to put your ideas before Him and get ideas from His heart.  So what do you want your life to look like? Ordinary or extra? It is entirely your choice.

JOURNAL:  Is my life ordinary or extraordinary? What sets ordinary and extraordinary apart? Why is Jesus the key to living a standout life? What must God think of you to want to give you such a great life?

GO FORTH: Take a normal everyday moment and make it special. Making lunch, ordering Starbucks, playing a round of CoD, going to the pool, making s’mores, whatever it is: get creative! It can be simple but start practicing taking normal moments and making them EXTRA ordinary. The ideas are limitless.

Day 2 – Sieze the Day

TRUTH: One day we will all be food for worms. We have but ONE LIFE. Hold nothing back. Pioneers SIEZE THE DAY.

“No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” -Luke 9:62

“Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange For the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one!” -Ecclesiastes 9:7-9

God did not put breath in your lungs today so that you could just get by. Jesus did not die and give us a new life so that we would simply exist. Boredom is not to be the fate of those who follow Christ. We are not just meant to be “good.” Living a righteous, even holy, life is not about playing it safe. We were made to adventure, to run hard, and find the good and beautiful in this life. If you want to stand out in your generation, if you want a better life than all those surrounding you, then SEIZE THE DAY. Read Ecclesiastes 9:7-9 again. Isn’t it clear how much God wants you to have the very best life? God put breath into your lungs today, now find out why.  CARPE DIEM. GO FORTH. SIEZE THE DAY. Make the most of this precious life.  Pioneers live the best life for there is beauty in our marching and we make the most out of every moment.

JOURNAL:  How good is my life right now? Why does it make God happy when I am happy? What would it look like for me to wake up every morning and seize the day, to make the very most of this day? Why are you alive today?

GO FORTH: Take some time today to plan out a day this week that you will do something incredibly awesome and adventurous. Ask a life group leader if you are having a hard time coming up with ideas. Even if you have no $$$ if you stop and plan you can figure out how to SEIZE THE DAY and make the most out of this summer. When you have your adventure make SURE to post about it. LET EM KNOW.

 

Day 1 – Go Forth

TRUTH: GO FORTH, Take the land, live a life of wonder.

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” -Hebrews 12:1-3

Living a life that goes forth is a uncommon. It requires big faith, sacrifice, creativity, and hope for a better future. Over the next 7 days we are going to dive into what it means to GO FORTH. How to live a life, not just a month, of Pioneering. It will starts and ends with fixing our eyes on JESUS. On devoting ourselves to following His footsteps. Amazing things happen when we continue to press on, going the way of the unknown. We will be different but our lives will shine and cause others to ask questions. Going forth will mean FUSE and VENUE will be changed. When Pioneers take charge we will grow. We will see the tired and the weary find hope and guidance. For that is why we march, to see people find hope in Jesus, to find a place to put their burdens down and be free. Who will you be? Not just this summer but in your life? Will you be a leader or a follower? Will you take the road most traveled by or go the unbeaten path?

JOURNAL: Am I still pioneering? What do I want my future to look like? How can I finish strong this summer? Am I fixing my eyes on Jesus or following my own path?

GO FORTH: Call a friend to remind them not to quiet and start doing this with you. Remind them of how awesome they felt at camp and that that same God lives here and now! Be bold. Be brave. Rally the troops!

Day 7 – We’re In This For Eternity

TRUTH: What we do in life echoes in eternity.  This life and this fight is not just about here and now, it’s about Heaven and Hell. We are in this for eternity.

“And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” -Revelation 20:15

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

“When the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power.” -2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

“Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” -Matthew 10:28

Jesus doesn’t just want to improve portions of your life He wants to give you an entirely new and better life. So what does this new and better life offer? Many, many, things that will help you and bless you in your time here on Earth. However, your time here on planet Earth is just the beginning. The Bible is very clear that there is more to life. God made sure to make it obvious in His Word that there is an eternity and that we all either go ONE of TWO places, Heaven or Hell. Re-read the above verses. What decides whether or not people go to Heaven or Hell? Belief in Jesus Christ.   Hell: “those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 Heaven: “everyone who believes in [Jesus] will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Eternity is defined in the dictionary as “infinite or unending time.” So how does this change things? Based off of these verses where would you find yourself if you died right now? What about your family? What about your friends? The people in last year’s math class? How will people know about Jesus unless you tell them? How will they believe unless you GO FORTH and make sure they know? Jesus died so that as many people as possible could believe in Him and spend FOREVER in Heaven, in paradise.  The hard reality is that people who die and don’t believe in Jesus will spend forever in Hell. Pioneers are in it for eternity.

JOURNAL: How often do heaven and hell affect my life? IF I DIED RIGHT NOW, where would i spend eternity? Why does god let us choose Him or not? Who in my life is on a path towards hell? How do I live a life that gets people to heaven?

TREAD ON: Contact a life group leader with questions or thoughts you have about heaven and hell and have a discussion about this really hard topic. If you don’t have a leader to contact, chat with us at FACEBOOK.COM/FV815. Ask questions, share thoughts, and then make a plan to DO SOMETHING about it.

Day 6 – There is Beauty in the Journey

TRUTH: If you want to see God move suddenly you have to trust Him patiently. There is beauty in the journey and there is power in the process.

“No, do not be afraid of those nations, for the Lord your God is among you, and he is a great and awesome God.  The Lord your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once, otherwise the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you.  But the Lord your God will hand them over to you. He will throw them into complete confusion until they are destroyed. He will put their kings in your power, and you will erase their names from the face of the earth. No one will be able to stand against you, and you will destroy them all.” -Deuteronomy 7:21-24

Moses told the Israelites that God would destroy their enemies, but not all at once. God had the power to destroy those nations instantly, but he chose to do it step by step.   In the same way and with his same power, God could miraculously and instantaneously change the situations in your life. Ever wish that? Ever wish you could just fast forward through high school, or through that hard talk you know you need to have with one of your friends, or even zap you to finding “the one”, or even through some difficult things that God is teaching you on your journey with Him? Many times God chooses to help people gradually, teaching them one lesson at a time. Being on a journey is not a teleporting device. It takes time, endurance, & a passion to not give up when the terrain is rough. Are you willing to trust God’s step-by-step process?  There is power in the process and God is trying to make you into the best possible version of yourself if you trust Him. The minute you take trust way and take matters into your own hands you stop God from making you greater. There is protection in the process. God sees everything, even things we don’t and sometimes His slow timing is His way of protecting you from disaster or hurt or chasing the wrong things in life. If you want to see God MOVE suddenly then you must TRUST HIM patiently. He isn’t a microwave God, He wants to walk with you not just pop things into your life. There is beauty in the journey. Tread on.

JOURNAL: What are some things in my life that I wish I could just teleport through? Why do i think these things are happening in my life? What could God teach me through them? Will I trust my plan or God’s plan? What are some beautiful parts about this journey?

TREAD ON: Take a trip somewhere. Get out of the house whether that’s walking, biking, driving, getting a ride, by yourself, with a friend, your parents, a life group leader, or even your dog! Make sure your parents ok the journey and then GET OUT THERE. Facebook and Xbox will be waiting for you when you get back. Find some beauty as you venture forth.

Day 5 – Pioneers Build the Church

TRUTH: Church isn’t meant to be a club for Christians. Church is a place for ANYONE and EVERYONE to call home. Pioneers build the Church.

“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a [poppy] seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” -Matthew 17:20

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” -Philippians 4:6

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” -John 15:7

Church was never supposed to be a boring place known only for rules and religion. The Church of Jesus Christ was founded 2000 years ago to be a place of LOVE, HOPE, POWER, INSPIRATION, TRUTH, CREATIVITY, LAUGHTER, and family. The reality is that many churches and church going people don’t necessarily reflect those things but God still does. Jesus built His church and the gates of boring will not prevail against it. Rockford First is a church that strives to be a place where anyone can feel welcome, putting JESUS in the center of everything and try to represent Him WELL in all that we do. FUSE and VENUE are not places for Christians to just hangout together. We exist to create a place for the broken, hurting, confused, bored, throwaways, popular, lonely, West Side, East Side, believing, non-believing, poor, rich, PEOPLE of the Stateline Area. No matter who they are they belong here and Church is at its BEST when new people are coming and finding their place in this family. We throw parties and strive for creativity so that people who are FAR FROM FAITH can come to a place to FIND FAITH. If you have ever gotten bored of this church or youth group it’s because you aren’t bringing people. Pioneers don’t just TAKE from the church, they BUILD IT. They help it accomplish it’s purpose: 1. To teach Christ followers the best way to live, following Jesus 2. To train and equip Christ followers to do ministry 3. REACH PEOPLE for Jesus Christ, to make His name famous and see people find hope in His love, giving their hearts to Him and being changed for eternity. How can you build the church? You aren’t truly following Jesus if you aren’t PASSIONATELY trying to get people to know Him. No leader or pastor can reach your friend group like you can.  Read the verses again and then pray for God to burden your heart to build His church. Pioneers Build. The. Church.

JOURNAL: What is my part to play in building the Church? What is the hardest part about bringing people to Fuse and Venue? Who are some people I know that really need to know the hope, inspiration, and love of Jesus? What am I going to DO about this?

TREAD ON: Make sure you don’t come to Fuse/Venue alone on Wednesday. Text, call, invite, Instagram so that your friends know they are invited and that YOU are bringing them to Fuse or Venue. You can’t change someone’s life but you can arrange the date. What if because you bring them this Wednesday their life gets changed forever? Or maybe there is someone you feel ready to share about Jesus with, then go ahead and make time to do that! Have a conversation!