A Few Loaves and a Willing Heart

Posted on May 15, 2018 by Karah

PAUSE

Chris Tomlin’s song “Enough” (Not to Us, 2002) speaks to the all-sufficient nature of Jesus. Thank God that we can be eternally satisfied in him.

“Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks He distributed them to those who were seated—so also with the fish, as much as they wanted.” —John 6:11

Read John 6:1-13 in your Bible. Consider the following:

Although Jesus asked the disciples to come up with a solution for feeding a multitude of people (v.5), verse six indicates Jesus already had a solution in mind.
• Read Philip’s reply in verse seven and Andrew’s reply in verses 8-9. Restate each response in your own words.

Philip                                                                                             Andrew

 

Notice both disciples were focused on how impossible the task seemed—they doubted they could find enough food for such a large group of people.
• How would you respond if Jesus asked you for a solution? Explain.

Verse 11 tells us that Jesus gave the people as much bread and fish as they wanted, and verse 13 says the disciples collected 12 baskets of leftovers. They had more than enough to feed the people. The disciples tried to solve the problem with logic, but Jesus has the power to do more than we can imagine.

RESPOND

The young boy offered five loaves and two fish to feed a crowd of about five thousand, but the disciples didn’t see how such a small gift would help their predicament. We all have something to offer to the kingdom of God: time, talents, money, or even a social media platform. Maybe those gifts seem small, but no matter how insignificant you believe they are, God can use them for His kingdom.

• List two gifts you can use for the kingdom of God.
• Look at the list you created. Pray for the faith to give your gifts completely to the Lord and expect Him to multiply them for His glory.
• For further study on God supplying plenty out of a little, read 2 Kings 4:42-44.

BEHIND THE STORY

This particular sign was considered as a link between God’s provision of manna to Israel in the wilderness and Jesus’ provision in the New Testament. In Numbers 11:13, Moses asked God where he could get enough meat to feed the people of Israel. In today’s passage, Jesus asked His disciples where they could buy bread for so many people. In both instances, God provided an overabundance of food for the crowd (John 6:7-9,11-13; Num. 11:22,31-32).

THE POINT

Jesus has the power to do great things through us with what we have to offer, but we must have willing hearts.


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Power and Peace

Posted on May 8, 2018 by Karah

PAUSE

Listen to “Praise You In This Storm” by Casting Crowns (Lifesong, 2005). Thank Jesus that He faithfully helps us in times of need.

“He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Silence! Be still!’ The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?’” —Mark 4:39-40

Read Mark 4:35-41 in your Bible and consider these questions.

• Imagine yourself in the disciples’ predicament: you’re in a boat, the wind starts whipping, the waves are crashing into the boat, the boat is starting to sink, and the One who can save you is asleep. How would you react?

Mark’s gospel account of Jesus calming the storm mentioned Jesus was in the boat, “sleeping on the cushion” (v. 38). Although the disciples had not seen the storm coming, nothing about their situation caught Jesus off guard. He had confidence in His Father’s power and was able to sleep.

• Highlight the question “Don’t You care…?” (v. 38). Consider Jesus’ response in verses 39-40. How does His response indicate His concern for His disciples? How did this situation strengthen their faith? Explain.

Jesus commanding the wind and waves demonstrated His ability to handle anything; even bringing peace to anxious hearts. We have to believe in God’s incredible power and ability to take care of us— there’s nothing He can’t handle. However, we also have to remember that faith in God requires more than simply believing He exists; it requires trusting in Him completely.

RESPOND

• Close your eyes for a minute and think about your life. What tough things are you facing at school or at home, with your friends and your family? List a few in your journal.

• Much like He calmed the storm recounted in Mark’s gospel, Jesus has the power to bring calm and peace to your life. He knows what you’re going through now and what you’ll face ahead. How can you trust Him to be with you during difficult times? What are some ways He’s proven faithful in the past? Journal your thoughts.

• For another perspective on this story, check out Luke 8:22-25.

BEHIND THE STORY

The sea of Galilee has always been prone to sudden, violent storms; it’s waters are shallow and surrounded by mountains. In that day, many of the fishing vessels had low sides, so waves such as
the ones mentioned in this passage could easily fill the boat with water as indicated by Mark’s use of the phrase “the boat was already being swamped” (v. 37).

THE POINT

By calming the wind and the waves, Jesus demonstrated that He controls all things, including nature.


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The First Miracle

Posted on May 1, 2018 by Karah

PAUSE

Pray that you would see God’s glory displayed in the miracles we study this week and His works in your own life.

“Jesus performed this first sign in Cana of Galilee. He displayed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” —John 2:11

Read John 2:1-11 in your Bible. Ask yourself:

• Highlight the phrase “do whatever He tells you” (v.5). How does this show Mary’s faith in Jesus? How does this instruction apply to you today?

• Each jar contained _____ to _____ gallons, and there were ____ jars. These jars were “filled…to the brim” (v. 7). In sum, the amount of water Jesus turned to wine was at least 120 gallons; it wasn’t like Jesus turned a few small pitchers of water to wine. Jesus demonstrated His authority over nature by doing something that seemed impossible—changing water into wine. Biblical scholars suggest that the sign could also be considered a manifestation of His glory.

• Knowing this, what was the point of Jesus turning water into wine at the Cana wedding?

• What was the result of Jesus’ displaying His glory (v. 11)? How does reading this account help you to see His glory? Explain.

RESPOND

• The general definition of glory includes words like magnificentrenown, and honor. In your own words, describe actions that display these characteristics today.

Magnificent                                     Renown                                        Honor

 

• When have you seen God’s glory through something He accomplished in your life? Journal about that experience.

• For further study on the glory of God revealed through Jesus, read Philippians 2:9-11.

BEHIND THE STORY

The word for “glory” in John 1:14 is doxa, from the Old Testament word kabod, “which implies the mighty power of God evidenced in epiphanies or perceived manifestations of that power.”¹ Jesus’ display of glory in turning water into wine demonstrates His deity and the truth that God acted through Him in the New Testament.

THE POINT

Jesus’ works displayed His glory.

 

¹Gerald L. Borchet, New American Commentary – Volume 25A: John, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1996), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, p. 157-158.


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Preparing for Opening Day

Posted on April 27, 2018 by Ashley Genoble

The first Opening Day is only 37 days away!! Are you ready? How do you prepare for camp? The first Crestridge staffer arrives on Monday morning to start working! It’s getting real!

We would love to share some tips with you as you start thinking about Opening Day:

-Campers, ask your parents to fill out all the forms before camp! And, sign up for skills! You can sign up on Opening Day but you may find that some of the skills are already full.

-Start getting your trunk ready! Make sure you have the items listed on our packing list. If this is your first summer, check out our Packing for Camp video.

-Missing home is a very normal feeling and thing to experience. Get a journal (or pre-order one from our store) and make a plan to write down all the awesome memories so you can be sure to share them with your family when you get home.

-The clothing store is almost ready for pre-orders! Pick out some Crestridge gear to rep!

-Get ready for the changes to Opening Day! You’ll get shuttled up to Crestridge as soon as you park to check in at the Tennis Courts. If you come before, you’ll have to hang out at the Tennis Courts/Lower Green until we announce your village. You’ll walk up to your cabin with your village and your counselors! It’s not the Crestridge Stampede! Check-In closes at 12:30PM. Then we’ll get the session started with lunch in the Dining Hall at 1PM!

-Don’t have any expectations! Get ready to have the best summer ever!

If you have any questions about coming to camp this summer, let us know. We would love to make it as easy as possible for you! See you soon!


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Fully Forgiven

Posted on April 24, 2018 by Karah

PAUSE

Find a quiet place—go outside if the weather is nice. Read “The Point” of today’s devotion and meditate on this truth before you begin reading.

As you have seen through your devotions this month, the Pharisees often tried to trap Jesus into blaspheming God. This Scripture is yet another account of the Pharisees asking questions related to the law in hopes of finding a way to accuse Jesus of breaking God’s law.

“When Jesus stood up, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, Lord,’ she answered. ‘Neither do I condemn you,’ said Jesus. ‘Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.’” —John 8:10-11

Read John 8:1-11 in your Bible

This encounter confirms two things about the Gospel. First, no sinner is beyond Jesus’ power to forgive. Second, Jesus wants us to remember our own need for His mercy when we are tempted to judge those who have not yet trusted Him.

• How does Jesus’ response disarm the woman’s accusers?

• Have you ever seen a Christian show love to someone most people would rather not associate with? What happened? How did that experience affect you? Explain.

• Read Romans 3:10-12, 23. How does Jesus’ treatment of this woman demonstrate the truths in these verses? How should you treat those who don’t know Jesus and live differently?

The woman was caught in sin and she deserved the punishment outlined in the law. Jesus is the only One who can claim true perfection, yet He extended grace and forgiveness to the woman while urging her to stop her sinful behaviors. He does the same for us today.

RESPOND

No one is beyond Jesus’ power to redeem and forgive. As Christ-followers, knowing that we are repentant, forgiven sinners we must reach out with compassion and mercy to those living in sin.

• How do you respond to people living sinful lifestyles? Do you tend to lean toward grace or judgment? Talk to God about it honestly and ask Him to help you to view others the way He intended.

• For further study on forgiveness, read Romans 3:9-24.

BEHIND THE STORY

According to Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22-24, anyone who committed adultery was condemned to death by stoning. In their attempts to trap Jesus, the Sanhedrin made a spectacle of this woman in public with what they believed was an air-tight case. They were intentionally trying to catch Jesus publicly denouncing Mosaic Law.

BLASPHEMY (n) = any irreverent speech or action directed toward God.

THE POINT

No one is too sinful to experience Jesus’ forgiveness. Instead of standing in judgment, we should respond with grace and mercy to those who don’t know Him.


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