The Good Shepherd

Posted on November 21, 2017 by Karah

Pause

Read Psalm 23 in your Bible. Allow these verses to prepare your heart for today’s devotion about Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

Reread John 10:1-5 from last week’s devotion.

The shepherd in this passage knew his sheep, called them, and lead them. Notice that the shepherd didn’t just call his sheep with a command to follow, but he called them by name—pointing to the intimacy of the relationship between shepherd and sheep. Biblical scholars suggest this metaphor demonstrates the relationship between Jesus and His people.

“I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep.”

—John 10:14-15

Now, read John 10:11-21 and ask yourself these questions:

Read verses 11-15 again. List some characteristics of a good shepherd in your journal.

 

Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd and believers are referred to as His sheep. Look at the characteristics you listed above. How would you describe Jesus’ relationship with us? Explain.

 

Read verse 11 again. Underline the words “I lay down my life for the sheep.” How does this show Jesus’ love for you? How does it point to Jesus’ death on the cross?

 

Respond

Jesus wants a personal relationship with you—He wants to know you. You are so important to Jesus that He died for you to have the chance to know Him. He invites you to an intimate relationship built on love and trust.

Relationships provide you with many good things, but usually require things of you as well. In your journal, draw a line down the middle of a clean page. At the top of the page, write the headings Given and Required. Under the appropriate heading, jot down some things God provides for us and some things He requires of us.

Jesus loves us enough to die for us. He takes care of us. Is there someone in your life today who needs to hear this? Pray that the Holy Spirit would help you discern how to share the truth with them.

For further study on Jesus’ sacrifice, read Hebrews 9:12; 1 John 2:2; and 1 John 3:16.

Behind the Story

The Jewish belief system rests on the Mosaic law, given by God through Moses in the Old Testament. The Jews already knew God as the “Shepherd of Israel” (Ezek. 34; Isa. 40:11). When Jesus claimed the title, He was identifying Himself as one with God in a way they would specifically understand.

The Point

Jesus laid down His life for us because He loves us. By trusting Him as Savior, we can know God personally.


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The Door

Posted on November 14, 2017 by Karah

Pause

Take a minute and talk to God about what’s on your mind-—the good, the bad, and everything in between. Ask God to prepare your heart to study His Word.

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.” —John 10:9

Read John 10:1-10.

In Jesus’ day, people would have understood that the gate to the sheepfold was a shepherd or watchman lying across the opening in the wall. As you will study more next week, Jesus was also known as the Good Shepherd. Put simply: Jesus is the leader and protector of His people.

Think through these questions and write the answer in your journal:

Circle the phrase “the door” throughout the passage. What does Jesus’ identity as the door tell you about the way to eternal life? About your salvation? Explain.

Jesus is the only way to enter eternal life. He provides salvation to all who place their trust in Him. When you trust Jesus as Savior, you become His. Your salvation and your place with Him in eternity is secure.

-In verse 9, Jesus promises three things to those who enter through Him. List them in the margin of your Bible.

-Read verse 10 again. What did Jesus promise here? Write His promise in your own words.

-What does Jesus’ promise in verse 10 reveal about His character?

Respond

Jesus didn’t only promise life after we die. He also promised abundant life while we’re here on the earth. How has He provided abundant life to you? Journal a prayer of thanks to God for all He has done for you.

Doors let things in and keep things out. For further study on the function of doors in Scripture, read Genesis 4:7; Psalm 141:3; Colossians 4:2-3; and Revelation 3:20.

Behind the Story

A sheepfold was a secure enclosure surrounded by a high wall or fence. The entrance was the only opening and would have been protected by a watchman or guard. The guard served as the protector of the sheep and the gate to the sheepfold. The only way to get to the sheep was to climb the wall or confront the guard. [1]

The Point

Jesus is the only way to be saved. Anyone who comes to Him in faith can know the security of His salvation.

 

 

[1] Kenneth Gangel, Holman New Testament Commentary – John, ed. Max Anders, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2000), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “John 10 – The Good Shepherd”. Accessed July 23, 2015, LifeWay devotional outline.


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The Light of the World

Posted on November 7, 2017 by Karah

Pause

Before you dig into God’s Word today, check out “The Light in Me” by Brandon Heath (Leaving Eden, 2011). Think about what it means to have the light of the world.

Read John 1:1-5;3:19-21. Ask yourself:

Who is the Light and who sent that light to men?

Why did the people like darkness (v. 19b–20)? Are people still this way today?

According to verse 21, those who live by the truth ______________ ______    __________

“Then Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life’.”

—John 8:12

Read John 8:12-20.

Jesus wasn’t saying He provided light or enlightenment; He was the Light. Since God was the light that guided the Israelites through the desert, the religious leaders would have immediately understood that Jesus was also claiming divinity.

When the Jews questioned Jesus’ claim of divinity, what was His response (v. 19)? Write it in your own words.

Respond

When you need to do something well, you find a place with good lighting. The same should be true in your walk with Christ—when you want to live well, draw close to Him. Are you seeking Christ in all you do? Talk honestly about this with God and ask Him to help you draw near to Him.

For further study on walking in the light, check out John 11:10; James 4:8; and 1 John 1:7.

Behind the Story

Jesus spoke these words during the Festival of the Tabernacles, in which special golden lamps were lit to remind the people of God’s faithfulness when He led them through the desert with a pillar of fire (Lev. 23). At the end of the feast, the lights would be extinguished.

The Point

God has revealed Himself to the world in Jesus. When we place our faith in Him and follow Him, we can know God.


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Singspiration aka PURE WORSHIP

Posted on November 3, 2017 by Becky Haltiwanger

 

Time to talk about one of the best events that occurs at camp every Sunday. Oh, you know what I’m talking about… SINGSPIRATION!!

For those of you who have never experienced Singspiration, let me paint you a picture…

A chapel filled to the brim with kids. Jumping, shouting, excitement out the wazoo! Kids dancing wildly! Counselors singing at the top of their lungs! It’s like being at a concert!

“Who’s got a favorite song?”

“Dive!”

“Oh boy let’s go!”

One of the best parts of this activity is that the campers get to pick what songs are sung, so they are truly creating the atmosphere! They have a variety of songs to pick from! Here’s some to name a few (you know, if you ever want to create your own Singspiration at home):

-“King of the Jungle” by Steven Curtis Chapman

-“Dive” by Steven Curtis Chapman

-“Live Out Loud” by, again, Steven Curtis Chapman

-“The Great Adventure” by, you guessed it, Steven Curtis Chapman!

-“Jesus, You Are My Best Friend” by Hillsong

-“Rooftops” by Shout Praise Kids

-“Firm Foundation” by John Chisum

-“Me Without You” by tobyMac”God’s Not Dead” by Newsboys”Movements” by Rend Collective”Burn Like A Star” by Rend Collective

There are also silly choreographed dances that you can follow along too or if you’re feeling the music move you, you can dance however you’d like! You have complete freedom to be your wacky self at Singspiration. Whether you’ve been dancing since birth or if you have no rhythm at all, EVERYONE is welcome!  Each year a new song is added to the list so we can continue evolving this celebratory tradition!

Now people can think Singspiration is just a time where we come together to sing really loudly, jump around and dance like crazy people, but it is SO MUCH MORE.

It’s a time where we can truly rejoice our Father in Heaven. The bible shares many times about how we should praise our Lord through joyful dancing and singing and THAT’S what Singspiration is about.

“Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.” Psalm 149:3

“And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might.” 2 Samuel 6:14

“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:1-5

When I am at Singspiration, I feel like this is how we were meant to celebrate our Lord, rejoicing Him in everything He is and and everything He has blessed us with. Campers sing and dance without a care in the world, experiencing a freedom that you can’t quite find anywhere else.

Whether that be listening to an old Steven Curtis Chapman throwback or jamming out to a new Rend Collective song, we are truly praising and celebrating our Lord in a way that gives us a little taste of what Heaven is going to be like.


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The Bread of Life

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Karah

Pause

Find somewhere quiet where you can be alone with the Lord. Place your cell phone out of reach and spend the next few minutes free of distraction.

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.” —John 6:35

Read John 6:22-40. Think through these questions:

In verses 26–27, notice the two different types of hunger mentioned.

-Where does “the food that lasts for eternal life” come from? Explain.

-Circle the two required responses (v. 35) to Jesus as the Bread of Life. What does this mean? Explain in your own words.

The people were amazed by the signs Jesus performed, but still refused to believe He was the Son of God (v. 36).

Read verses 39-40. Jesus mentions two things that are God’s will. Highlight those two things. What does this teach you about salvation? Eternal life?

Jot down a few things, other than Jesus, that people often look to for meaning and purpose.

Respond

Bread is necessary for survival. Just like God provided manna to satisfy the Israelites’ hunger in the wilderness, He gave Jesus to sustain us spiritually. Faith in Jesus is necessary for eternal life.

Do you think of Jesus as necessary to your everyday life? Why or why not? Journal your response.

The good news of Christ affects us in practical and spiritual ways. How can you share Christ’s love today to meet someone’s physical and spiritual needs? Jot down some ideas in the margin.

Behind the Story

After God rescued the Israelites from Egypt in the Old Testament, He provided bread for them during the forty years they wandered in the desert. This bread was called manna (Ex. 16:1-7; 16:31). Years later Jesus referred to Himself as the Bread of Life—He would not only fulfill their physical hunger, but their spiritual hunger as well.

The Point

Just as bread is necessary for sustaining physical life, Jesus is necessary for eternal life. He knows our needs and will satisfy us.


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