Spiritual Reality Check For Teens

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

MAKING A PRESENCE vs. BEING PRESENT

Do you attend church every Sunday morning? Are you a regular at midweek youth praise and worship service? Have you joined a small group or Bible study cohort? 

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, that’s great! 

Or, at least, it might be great. It really depends on what you’re doing at those events and why you’re attending in the first place. 

Too often, teens only come to church on Sunday mornings because their parents make them. They go to midweek activities not for the youth minister’s message so much as to see their friends. And if they are involved with a small group at all, it is because it’s expected of them – not because they actually want to be there.

Just going through the motions isn’t enough, not as far as your Heavenly Father is concerned. There is, in fact, a right way and a wrong way to attend church-related functions. There’s a big difference between “making a presence” in God’s house and actually “being present” in God’s house. (John 4:23-24)

Someone who is “present” in church on Sunday morning pays attention to the message, whereas the one “making a presence” is more interested in writing messages during the sermon (texting and social media.)

Someone who is “present” for midweek youth events comes to praise God and minister to the needs of their friends, while the one “making a presence” comes to see their friends and be praised by them; God is glorified only as an afterthought. 

Someone who is “present” in a small group can’t wait to see what God has in store for them, but the one “making a presence” is merely there to be seen.

Which one are you? Are you “present” or have you merely been “making a presence”? God can spot the difference. 

| SPIRITUAL REALITY CHECK | God doesn’t care about the outward appearance of your faith. He sees what’s really going on deep down inside you – what’s motivating you to be where you are, say what you say, do what you do, etc.  And if it’s not all about Him, if it’s more about obligation or socializing rather than growing in His Word and in service to His Kingdom, then it’s not at all what He wants. (Psalm 51:16-17)