I will be speaking to anywhere from 150-200 7th-12th graders at a youth retreat in Indiana this week. Specifically, I will be interviewed in one session (testimony, my life, etc.) to let the young people get to know me (I hope I’m not too boring!), and then I will preach once on Thursday night, and twice on Friday. The theme is “Jesus, The Great One,” which is actually quite fitting since so many people have nicknamed President Obama “The Great One.” He is a special individual, for sure, and we should rejoice that certain sinful barriers have been broken down with his presidency, but he is no Jesus. 

At the retreat, I will preach Luke 1:31-33, “Defining the Great One,” Luke 23:33-43, “Responding to the Great One,” and Luke 9:26, “The Return of the Great One.” I’m also really looking forward to getting to know and converse with the youth. The retreat ends Saturday morning, and then I will preach two messages for Edgewood Baptist Church on Sunday, where one of my college golf teammates, Andy Lutz, serves as one of the pastors.

Concerning this retreat, I was moved recently by a prayer of one of the men of our church, Rod McDonald. He said something like, “Father, we know that you have given Steve a certain amount of natural ability in speaking, but if that is all that he has when he preaches to those teens in Indiana, he will fail miserably. He needs your presence; he needs your Spirit to accompany him and come powerfully behind the truth that he proclaims.” Amen. Please make that your prayer.