“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8

The foundation of abundant life is found in simply spending time with the Lord. Allow your devotional time to be a regular place to relax and enjoy the presence of God. The Holy Spirit is calling you deeper in faith and has been pursuing you all your life. You don’t have to force a spiritual feeling; but it is important to be willing to wait. Develop an attitude of expectancy and patience. God is with you. Your thoughts may face many distractions; but that’s okay and perfectly normal. Instead of beating yourself up for your mind wandering, just thank God for each time He makes you aware and brings your thought back into focus. Allow yourself to be who you are; a frail human who is in love with this wonderful Creator who is already so much in love with you!

God is pursuing deaf and hard of hearing teenagers through you. By moving personally into deeper moments of spending time with God, we actually become more effective ministers. Ministry is not about numbers and outcomes; ministry is about faithfulness to follow where God is leading. As we draw into the quiet and enjoy the presence of our best friend Jesus, we recognize that healthy devotional time provides our best model for effective ministry. Our time with God reflects how we are to minister with Deaf teenagers. Show up in their lives. Love them. Listen to them. Respect them. Have fun together. Just be together. And they, too, will begin to draw towards the One within you who pursues them.

Many young people operate under the illusion that knowing something in your head is the same as knowing it in your heart. In reality, personal faith grows by being around people of faith. This is why it is so important that you remain consistent, loving, and present in the lives of Deaf teenagers. You may not think they notice but when all else fails around them, they remember who it was who showed consistency and kindness. We may learn knowledge through instruction but we absorb faith by being with people of faith. That’s why hanging out with a teenager is equally important to instruction. Through your friendship, students experience God’s love and presence.

How awesome it is to serve a God who knows us best and loves us most! Entering the world of Deaf teenagers is daunting and even frightening at times. Relational ministry is about caring, Christian adults pouring their love, patience, time, prayers, and presence into the lives of teenagers. You are creating stability in their unsettled worlds by expressing the truth of Jesus Christ through the gift of your friendship.

Faith is caught; knowledge is taught. Faith is modeled; knowledge follows. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)

Prayer

As the disciples asked, so I request: Lord, teach me to pray. Thank you for already knowing each thought, the good and the bad, the struggles and the heart-felt cries too deep for words. Thank you for being willing to meet with me, anytime, anywhere. You are an awesome God. AMEN

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