Dear parents,

This week we're having a conversation about finding Jesus throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments. As teenagers embrace the adventure of finding Jesus throughout the entire Bible, they’ll experience the joy of drawing closer to him.

To Jesus’ earliest followers, “Scripture” meant the Old Testament—because the New Testament was still happening! As they read the Old Testament, God’s people recognized how prophecies pointed to the Messiah and how Jesus fulfilled those prophecies.

This week, please spend a few minutes talking with your teenager about our lesson. Here are some questions to fuel the conversation:

  • How has reading the Bible pointed you toward Jesus?
  • In what area are you becoming more like Jesus? How is Jesus changing and maturing you?
  • What does it look like to “center” your life around Jesus? How is that different from putting Jesus first in your life?

Thanks for praying for our teenagers and our ministry. Have an incredible week!

Published in Parents
Monday, 24 February 2014 09:57

The Bible | Son of God Tour - March 23rd

WHEN: Sunday, March 23rd @ 5:00PM - 11:00PM

WHERE: Denver First Church of the Nazarene, 3800 E. Hampden Ave. Englewood, CO 80113

COST: $29 (Please bring a check to Kyle Murphy by MARCH 10TH if you are going  so he can purchase the tickets!)

LINK: http://thebibletourexperience.com/

Published in Announcements
Monday, 07 October 2013 12:01

Time to Go Public

These days, one of the clearest signs of a serious, committed relationship is when that Facebook relationship status goes from "single" to "in a relationship" (yeah, laugh laugh laugh...funny...sad...true). Going public with your significant other is a major step in any romantic relationship. From that point on you open yourself up to judgment and criticism, maybe even pain and rejection. But it's worth it, because that other person is worth it.

But what about Jesus? What about your relationship with him? Have you, in fact, taken your relationship with Jesus public?

In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus teaches:

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

If your faith and your trust and your salvation are in Jesus Christ, God's light, His Spirit is in you. But many of us settle for hiding it under a bowl; only lifting the bowl at church or around other Christians. Could it be that our reluctance to "go public" with Jesus is simply a form of denying that we even know him? Are we Peter, denying the one who holds our hearts when things get tough?

Enough's enough.

It's time to let the world know to whom our hearts belong.

So join with us this month in taking your relationship with Jesus "Facebook official". Post this picture as your cover photo to let the world know where you stand. The message is simple: "I LOVE JESUS". Why? Because the most important thing about you is your answer to this question: "Who is Jesus?" Join us in saying that Jesus is our love.

But let's be honest, "Facebook official" isn't enough. You wouldn't update your relationship status on Facebook and then refuse to hold your girlfriend's hand when you're in public! Let this be your first step in reaching a world in desperate need of hope, love, and...Jesus. Whether you're on Facebook, at home, at school, at work, at church, at the mall, at a movie theater, on the football, soccer, or baseball field, wherever you find yourself, it's time to put our light on it's stand.

So, what's it gonna be?

"Who is Jesus?"

The world is asking. How will you answer?

Published in Announcements
Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:23

RESET Movement this Sunday!!! - 9/29/13

WHAT: RESET Movement | Join us for an incredible night of worship and teaching as we join the RESET Movement at Calvary Temple in Denver. For more info check out their website.

WHEN: Sunday, September 29th @ 4:30PM - 11:00PM (There is no end time for the event, but we will be back to BCEFC no later than 11:00PM...we will update parents when we get out)

WHERE: Meet at BCEFC @ 4:30 (988 Delta Dr. Lafayette, CO 80026) to head to Calvary Temple (200 S University Blvd, Denver, CO 80209) for the event.

COST: $15

Published in Announcements
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 09:44

Weekly Reflections: 5.8.13

Matthew 7:15-23

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’"

During our journey to faith, is it possible that at some point along the way we have encountered false prophets? Even more, is it possible that we have allowed those false prophets to shape our beliefs in who God is? At times, these prophets are obvious. We're on guard when we hear a Hollywood celebrity speaking up on how we should believe. We're weary of politicians who push their agenda forward, hoping to bring others to their side. We know that all of these words must be taken with a grain of salt. But these aren't the false prophets Jesus warns us of.

These false prophets come to us in "sheep's clothing". Outwardly they appear harmless, innocent, trustworthy, and...maybe even Christian. We live in a nation where 4 out of every 5 people identify themselves as Christian, and yet of that 80%, less than half believe that the Bible is true and a third believe that Jesus sinned while on Earth. When that faith is tranferred, and it is, then we have a problem.

The truth is that many people who identify themselves as Christian will one day approach Jesus, only to hear Him say, "I never knew you; away from me." I believe that these false teachings will be the cause of much of that. Christianity that requires only a "prayer of salvation" is not Christianity. Jesus never called His disciples to say a prayer, He commanded them to lose their lives. True faith requires life change. It produces fruit.

What we need is a check-up. We need to examine our hearts, our relationships, and our fruit. Are you producing good fruit or bad fruit? Is it possible that somewhere along the way we have been deceived by a tree bearing bad fruit? We must take the time to explore our lives and our faith.

Eternity depends on it.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 13:12

Weekly Reflections: 4.24.13

What is church? This is a question that I've asked many times to many different people. Everyone seems to have their own answer. And so now I ask you, What is church? Not What is church supposed to be? or What does it say about church in the Bible? No. What is church to you? What is its function? What is its purpose? To you. YOU.

Whatever your answer, one of the truths about church that we cannot avoid is that church is not the building, service, or worship. The church is the people. We are the church. In the book of Acts, as Paul is stopped in Miletus on his way to Jerusalem, he sends for the elders of the Ephesian church to give them encouragement and direction (20:28):

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Paul's got the right idea. The church of God is the people, His children. I'm like 90% sure our mortgage company doesn't accept blood offerings as payment. It wasn't our building that Jesus died for. His blood bought your freedom and my freedom. Church is people.

And that is why your answer to the question What is church? is critical. Think about it. If I am the church, then what is its function? Well, its function is whatever I think it is. If I am the church, what is its purpose? Again, its purpose is whatever I think it is. Not to say that this lines up with God's intentions for His church (in many cases it doesn't), but if I view church a certain way, isn't that going to affect the way I 'do church'?

Let me flesh this out a bit. The most honest (and heartbreaking) answer I've ever recieved in response to this question was that "church is the place we learn how to act perfect so that when we go out into the real world, we know how to fake it". Ouch. That's certainly not God's heart behind church (or behind anything for that matter). But if that's truly how this student views church, then guess what church has become to her. With as long as she's been coming to church, my guess is that she's gotten pretty good at faking it. But that's what church is for, right?

This is why our view of church's purpose is so important. The truth is that you determine the function of church in your life. The question then shifts to become Do my beliefs about church match God's intentions for His church? If your answer to that is 'no', I can give you a decent sized list of better places to be on a Sunday morning.

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. - Acts 2:42-47

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 10:42

Weekly Reflections: 4.17.13

My heart breaks for Boston.

My first reaction was to hit my knees and pray for those directly affected by Monday's tragedy at the Boston Marathon. For those wounded. For those who lost family members. For those who saw first-hand the devastation of evil hearts. May the stories of courage and love from Monday's event defeat the images of pain and destruction that this darkness intended. Amen.

While my heart still aches for the men and women whose lives were forever changed on Monday, Longmont, Colorado is a long way from Boston. I know a few people in that area, but none were there. I've seen the images on the news, but I don't know what it was like, not knowing when or where or if there would be another explosion. I wasn't there. And yet...

Friday night, I will sit at a table at Starbucks with five or six middle/high school students. None of them were in Boston on Monday. And yet, from 1,968 miles away, a small piece of shrapnel from that blast has found it's way deep into each of their hearts. That tiny fragment, invisible to all but God, is fear.

As I thought about these events on Monday, I kept wondering why? The more I thought about that, the more I began to realize that there is no good answer to that simple, one-word question. And that is terrifying. We live in a world where lives are taken for no good reason. You cannot plan for something like this. Shrapnel only goes so far, but the fear that something like this causes has a worldwide impact. And that is obvious. The London Marathon being held on Sunday has been placed on high alert. Even the Bolder Boulder (May 27th) is considering a boost to security. In reality, the chances of something similar to what happened in Boston happening at either one of these races is miniscule. And, even more, if someone did intend to cause harm, no amount of security could stop it. The conclusion must then be that we desperately need to place our hope in something more than security guards, and our trust in more than metal detectors.

2,000 miles from tragedy, but daily surrounded by darkness, I have found only one place to turn...

Jesus.

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?"
Psalm 56:3-4

- Kyle Murphy

Published in Blog
Thursday, 11 April 2013 07:23

Weekly Reflections: 4.10.13

Have you ever had a verse stuck in your head for weeks, even months? And I'm not talking a musical verse, like a song that's stuck in your head, but a verse of scripture. For me that's Matthew 28:19.

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

I know you've heard it before. I know you've heard me bring it up before. But it's like God's been telling me that hidden within this single verse, there's still much more truth to be discovered. About discipleship. About mission. About church and about Jesus. So...here we go again.

The problem with the way so many Christians read this verse is that many of us have this idea that "ministry" (however we define it) requires us to go out of our way. While in some cases that may be true, when God calls future missionaries out of their routine for instance, most of the time Matthew's "go" is something we're already doing.

We don't have to go out of our way to go to work or to go to school. As Christians, we need to realize that most of the time, God has taken care of the "go" and the verb we really need to be concerning ourselves with is "make". "Make disciples". God has uniquely created each and every one of us to be able to reach and minister to the context we find ourselves in. Sharing the Gospel is not something reserved for Evangelical meetings or short-term mission trips. Sharing the Gospel and making disciples (if we're really serious about following this Jesus guy) has to be a way of life. Whether you're an engineer, a doctor, a pastor, a missionary, a Starbucks barrista, or a student, we need to learn how to reach the people that God has given to us.

Towards the end of his ministry, Jesus prayed for his disciples, saying, "I have revealed you [God] to those whom you gave me out of this world"(John 17:6).

May we be men and women who reveal God to those whom He has given us.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 13:04

Weekly Reflections: 3.20.13

Jesus wants passion. He wants his disciples to burn with a passion that is visible and contagious. In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus tells the church in Laodicea this:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Jesus doesn't want boring, run-of-the-mill, complacent, lackadaisical Christians. He doesn't want people who believe in him but don't let that truth change them.

But what does passion look like? And then what does it look like to be passionate about Jesus?

Let me ask you a question: What are you passionate about? Seriously. Think about it. For some, coming up with an answer may be easy. For others, it may be difficult to find something you'd consider yourself passionate about. Of course, the Sunday School answer is "Jesus", but I want you to avoid that for now. For me, I'd say I'm passionate about sports. To get even more specific, I'd say I'm most passionate about my favorite basketball team, the San Antonio Spurs. So, for me to say I'm passionate about the Spurs, what does that look like? How does that passion manifest in my life? (Passion ALWAYS manifests itself in your life. If it doesn't, that's not passion.)

Well, I know just about everything there is to know about the Spurs. I know that tonight at 6:30 they're playing the Golden State Warriors. I know one of their best players, Tony Parker, won't be playing because he tweaked his ankle a couple of weeks ago. I also know that the Spurs recently won their 50th game of the season, making it 14 straight seasons with 50+ wins, an NBA record and two years more than the second place LA Lakers' streak of 12 years. But in addition to knowing a lot, I'll also fight for the Spurs. Not physically, or even verbally (sometimes), but my goal is to get everyone else to see how great the Spurs are, and I'll do whatever I can to do so. I'll joyfully face taunts and insults as I walk into the Pepsi Center wearning my silver and black Tim Duncan jersey. I'll vote for the Spurs in online polls asking "What is the greatest NBA franchise?" I'll even debate with strangers who think the Spurs are a boring team with no super-stars. Finally, to top it all of, I'm emotionally tied to the Spurs. When they lose, I grieve. When I see something nasty written about them in a comments section of some article, I get angry. And when they win another NBA Championship this year, it's going to be party time!

You probably don't care about anything I said in that last paragraph. So why write it?

I wrote that last paragraph because I want you to see that PASSION MANIFESTS IN OUR LIFE! My life is different because I am a Spurs fan. But enough of the Spurs. Tell me this: How does your passion for Jesus manifest in your life? How much do you know about Jesus? Would you fight for him; would you put yourself in harm's way for Jesus? And do you celebrate in Jesus' victories; does your heart break for what breaks his? How does your passion for Jesus manifest in your life? If it doesn't, that's not passion. If it doesn't, then Jesus' words for Laodicea may be for you as well.

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 17:05

Weekly Reflections: 3.6.13

Making disciples (followers of Jesus Christ) is a critical part of what it means to be a Christian. In fact, Jesus commands it of us. The great commission is a call for us to "go and make disciples".

But how are we really doing with this?

The question isn't rhetorical. Are we really making disciples? If we're honest, there has been a great failure in Christianity today in that we are not producing Christ-following disciples. There may be a few new faces in church each Sunday, but what about in your school, your workplace, or your neighborhood? Are people coming to know Christ in those places? I hope so. I pray that God has empowered you to bring those who are close to you on a daily basis into His Kingdom. But, for the most part, fear and indifference hold us back from answering Jesus' call to make disciples.

The issue here, I believe, is that somewhere along the way, we've missed a step. Namely, the first one. You see, before we start setting our sights on making disciples, we have to make sure that we are disciples ourselves!

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7:21-23 is kinda scary. To think that many will stand before Jesus, calling Him LORD, and not enter the Kingdom. But see, Jesus isn't interested in filled seats on Sundays or halfhearted songs in His name. Jesus wants DISCIPLES. People who are willing to give up everything for His glory. In Luke 14:26 Jesus paints a piece of a picture of what a disciple looks like:

If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

Our love for Jesus should be so unbelievably great, that any other love would look like hate in comparison! But when you fully realize who Jesus is and what He has saved us from, that's not hard to do. Words can't even begin...

We must ask ourselves, with complete honesty: AM I A DISCIPLE OF JESUS?

Our eternity is at stake.

Published in Blog
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