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All Posts By

Mark Roberts

Each Week of the Hope Cycle is on the Podcast

By Nehemiah, FP Tools

This year’s Hope writing is fantastic. We want to thank Joel, Natalie, and Phillip for their time and passion for the gospel. I love all of the help week tools and can’t wait to see how God uses them to see thousands of students come to Christ this school year. If you are a part of First Priority you know the feeling we get every day knowing that the gospel is being shared and students are giving their lives to Christ. Bam!! If you don’t love that you are in the wrong ministry. There are 4 podcasts this month that deal with each week of the hope cycle. Please take some time this week to check them out and send them to your campus coaches. Have a great week and remember someone somewhere in a FP club just gave their life to Christ!

You can find the podcasts here or you can listen on itunes, google play, or spotify.

The Salvation Bracelet Tool

By FP Tools No Comments

Are you willing to push past your fears, doubts, and insecurities so that someone else can get a glimpse of Jesus?

This week we are highlighting another Help Week Tool from our Hope Weekly Guides. This tool can be found in week 1 of the Conversation with Best Friends. We share these tools so that students can move past their fears and have something tangible they can use to share the gospel.

In week 1 of the the Conversation with Best Friends it tells the story of Jesus healing the paralytic. Here is Jesus’ response in Mark 2 verse 5: “And when Jesus saw THEIR faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” It wasn’t their faith in each other that Jesus saw, it was their faith in Him that forgave their friend’s sin.

Wow! Friends telling friends about Jesus! That’s exactly what we want students to be doing in their schools. The salvation bracelet is a tool students can use to do just that. 

Here are some instructions to get them started. Start with a piece of string. Tie a knot 2 inches away from the end and begin building your bracelet starting with the yellow bead. Follow along with the instructions and make it conversational as you add each bead.

Meet Zac!

By Local FP Communities No Comments

The kids of First Priority at one of the middle schools in South Florida were excited to share their faith but they didn’t really know how to get out there and do it. Once they were given a Club Impact Kit things changed.

They spent their week outside in the hustle and bustle of the bus loop and pick up area. They used a speaker to play music and they passed out candy to other kids running for their rides.

The excitement caught the attention of Zac, a 7th grader who rides the bus. He went over to the crowd and asked what was going on. The students from the FP club explained that they were having a FP club party next week and he should come.

The next week, Zac came to the club. The excitement in the courtyard was the initial thing that caught his eye but the Gospel penetrated his heart and he turned his life over to Jesus!

A few weeks later, Zac asked his club mentor about youth group and she invited him to attend church that Friday. Ever since, Zac has been faithfully attending church and he has never come alone! 

God truly used a speaker, some candy and a bus loop to meet Zac where he was.

Are you a disturbed sinner?

By Nehemiah No Comments

“While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by.   When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. ‘You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,’ she said.

But he denied it. ‘I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,’ he said, and went out into the entryway. When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, ‘This fellow is one of them.’ Again he denied it.

After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, ‘Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.’

He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know this man you’re talking about.’

Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.’ And he broke down and wept.” Mark 14:66 – 72

If you can relate to this story, you qualify as a disturbed sinner. I will confess that I have denied my relationship with Jesus several times. Then reacted just like Peter. I once heard the best description of a Christian from a talk show host in Atlanta. Some lady, Mrs. I’m Better Than You, was arguing with the talk show host and said to him that he did not even know what a Christian was. To which he replied, “Mrs., I know exactly what a Christian is…a Christian is a disturbed sinner.”  Wow, now that is good.  I know I belong to Him because when I sin or deny Him, I am disturbed about it.  

I have learned a couple things from these moments.  I think sometimes we deny Jesus because we cannot adequately defend our faith.  We know so little about the Bible that we cannot make a solid argument.  I have also learned that when faced with these moments, no one can take my faith story away… I was blind but now I see. The more time you and I spend with God, reading His word and talking to Him, the more we build that relationship and become more confident in who we are and whose we are.

2019 First Priority Fall Conference

By Events No Comments

The countdown is on. There is only one week left to get the Early Bird price of $199 for our 2019 National First Priority Conference in Orlando, FL. Register and pay before August 1st in order to take advantage of this pricing. The price will increase to $250 on August 1st so register today!

Take 5 and Pray for 5 Tool

By FP Tools

With the school year quickly approaching, we want you to take a peak into one of the tools you can use to train students to share Jesus. This tool is included this year in month 7 ‘The Conversation with Enemies’ of the new Hope Weekly Guides. You can (soon – we are updating) access all of these tools online for free at firstpriority.club/Hope or via the First Priority of America app. Here is the sneak peek.

Who would you say your enemies are? This can bring up different kinds of feelings, from betrayal to gossip. As you think of who these people are, start praying that God will give you a heart to love them. Let’s read what Jesus says we should do with our enemies in Matthew chapter 5 verses 43 & 44. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ BUT I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Why should we pray for our enemies? Because Jesus did. He prayed for those who opposed Him, for those who betrayed Him, and as He was hung on the cross, He asked God to forgive them. Jesus modeled how we should pray for our enemies and commanded us to do the same. Our hearts should desire for our enemies to have a relationship with Jesus and their presence in Heaven. So we pray like the apostle Paul did in Romans chapter 10 verse 1, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” This can be something as simple as a card to remind us to Take 5 and Pray for 5.

Think of 5 people you would consider your enemy and commit to take 5 minutes a day and pray for their salvation and for God to give you an opportunity to share Jesus with them.

 

 

 

This tool is here to remind us to take the time to pray for those who may be really hard to pray for. But if you take this simple step, it can truly change your life and the lives of those you are praying for.

Do Something!

By Nehemiah No Comments

Has God called you to do something that you have not done because of fear?

Paul said to King Agrippa in Acts 26:19, “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.”

Paul was in prison for years because he was obedient to the vision from heaven. Wow, look where obedience gets us; locked up!

No wonder we get scared to really jump out there and do something that God has told us to do, like start a campus ministry, go to the mission field, etc. We are scared of the unknown, the uncertainty of money and stability and the fear of failure. All of these things and many more keep most Christians on the sidelines of life, watching everyone else play. We wait for the players in the game to write a book or a song on how exciting it was for them to play in the game. Then we run to the next conference to hear them speak and leave like we did at summer camp, ready to charge hell with a water pistol. Once we get back home, we get caught up in business as usual and we sit and watch.

Life, real life, abundant life, is a life of obedience. If God told you to do something, then do it. Paul, like Nehemiah, was right where God put him. He was speaking to a king and proclaiming the good news. We believe God put you right where you are to unite your city to reach thousands of students. Do something. Get in the game.

Mark Roberts

Tool: Romans Road to Salvation

By FP Tools No Comments

Some may say they do not believe in God or life after death. I believe they are denying their heart. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, 11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

When God gives you an open door to talk to people about Jesus, use the book of Romans to walk people through the way to salvation. Romans gives us a road map that many call the Romans road to Salvation.

It begins with Romans 3:23, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

What all humans have in common is that none of us are perfect, we have all fallen short. The 2nd verse on this road is: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

We just established that we are all sinners. We find out here that the penalty for our sin is death. Not just physical death but eternal death. The first two verses are depressing but the 3rd verse on this road is where it changes to hope.  Rom. 5:8 says, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Our sin separates us from God and we are hopeless, but Jesus saves the day by dying for us and taking our place. If you were in prison for a crime that sentenced you to death and a friend showed up and took your place, you would be free. That is what Jesus did for you and me.

Romans goes on to say in verses 9 and 10, 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Your heart is your totality of being. It is the person you are when you lay in bed and can’t sleep, it is who you are when you are alone with yourself. If I confess Jesus as Lord and believe in my heart I can live eternally.

The next verse is the best verse in the Bible. Rom. 10:13,For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Whoever! That is all of us. All we have to do is ask. Salvation is simple and God desires all of us to know Him. When you share this with people, ask them if they would like to call upon the name of the Lord and ask God to save them. You can lead them though a prayer that goes like this:

Dear God, I admit that I am a sinner and deserve death. I thank you Jesus for dying for me and taking my place on the cross. I believe you rose from the grave 3 days later and I put my faith in you and invite you to be Lord of my life and to dwell in me. I confess you are Lord of heaven and earth and you are now my Lord. Amen.

Now go right down the date you prayed this prayer and get involved in a church and be baptized to show the world that you are a new creation in Christ. 2 Cor. 5:17

Open up spiritual eyes

By Nehemiah No Comments

1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” I hear a lot of people say the Bible never really made sense to them until they gave their lives to Christ. Well, there you go.

If you have ever been around non-believers and they think you’re crazy, welcome to the party. God has changed your heart because you heard the gospel and the Holy Spirit of God convicted you. Then, a real conversion happened in you. Your mind became re-wired to hear the Holy Spirit. You also were given a new heart. You and I were influenced by somebody, but make no mistake, we play only a small role in the salvation department of God. However, it is a huge part of God’s plan. Our job is to love God and love people. I pray today that you will play your part. Pray for those around you. Ask God to give you the opportunity to partner with Him to influence the lives of people so that they too may understand the Spirit of God.

We are aliens of this world, strangers passing through. Our great goal is to take as many people with us on our way to our real home.

Pray God opens the spiritual eyes of those around you, and be ready to help guide them through that process.

Keep Fishing,

Mark Roberts