MONTHLY ARCHIVES: October 2015

Like Us

Posted on October 27, 2015 by Karah

_MG_8368Pause

Think about someone who knows more about something than you do—a sport, skill, or topic—yet has been willing to come alongside you and teach you at your pace. Thank Jesus for doing the same thing when He came to live among us.

Why would Jesus—the Holy Son of God—humble Himself to come live among us? Read Philippians 2:5-11 in your Bible to discover the answer. As you read, circle the phrases that indicate Jesus’ divine nature. Draw a box around the words that point to His humanity.

“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.” —Philippians 2:5-7c

Ask yourself:

Consider verse 6. What does it mean to say Jesus has equality with God? Write it in your own words.
Think about Jesus’ divinity. What rights, privileges, and glory did He give up to live among us? Explain.
Why is it important that Jesus was both God and man? Explain.
Look at verse 8. What was the reason Jesus took on our humanity and came to live among us? Why is that important?

Respond

Jesus is God. He has the exact nature of God, yet He became like us so that we can have a relationship with the Father.

Jesus emptied Himself to take on the role of a slave. Keep that same attitude yourself. Look for ways you can serve others today. Record two ideas in the margin.

Meditate on verse 8. Jesus willingly laid down His life so that you could have a relationship with the Father, a relationship your sinfulness makes impossible. If you are not a Christian, talk to someone you know about what it means to follow Jesus. If you are a believer, celebrate and thank Jesus for what He has done on your behalf.

For further study, read “The Grace of Humility,” by Jeremy Taylor in Devotional Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and James Bryan Smith.

Behind the Story

When Paul wrote that Jesus “emptied Himself,” he meant that Jesus left behind His position, rank, and privilege to take on human form. Because He became flesh, Jesus faced temptation; experienced hunger, thirst, fatigue, and pain; endured an excruciating death on the cross. Jesus did for us all of this for us.

The Point

Jesus set aside the glories He rightfully deserved to become like us. In doing so, He made a way for us to have a relationship with the Father.


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A letter from Marva

Posted on October 21, 2015 by Sharon

Each year, as the opening of Camp Crestridge has approached, I’ve written a letter to the incoming summer staff introducing myself. Over the years, those introductory letters have helped to ground me before I entered the gates of camp.  This year, I write a different letter. After much prayer and consideration, I recently met with my friend and supervisor, Ron Springs, to let him know that it was time for me to step down as the Summer Director of Camp Crestridge.

As it says in Ecclesiastes 3,
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:
​​a time to be born and a time to die,
​a time to plant and a time to uproot,
​​a time to kill and a time to heal,
​a time to tear down and a time to build,
​​a time to weep and a time to laugh,
​a time to mourn and a time to dance.

A dear friend of mine upon hearing of my decision sent me the following note:
“Odd isn’t it, how important decisions in our lives are unheralded, no trumpets sounding, just the ordinary, familiar cadence of minutes passing.”

She also perfectly described how I felt each year as I arrived at camp:
“I could exhale coming through the gates, knowing that the same faces would greet me, same arms would embrace me, same authority figures would hold me accountable, same Jesus would meet me in that familiar space and place.” 

I will forever love and cherish memories of my time at camp and will be indebted to Coach Peggy Birmingham for introducing me to Camp Crestridge, and to Johnnie Armstrong for mentoring me once I got there.  These women laid the ground work for my 32 life changing summers at Crestridge.

And as Hobo said in one of those introductory letters,
“See you soon and let’s go on a hike”.

With a thankful heart,
Marva

Marva


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Jesus Became Flesh

Posted on October 20, 2015 by Karah

_MG_1805Pause

You have the opportunity to meet with Jesus Christ today. Focus your mind on Him right now. Thank God for His Word and the opportunity to study it.

The Gospel of John uses a variety of names to describe Jesus. One of the names it uses for Jesus is “the Word.” Read John 1:14 below.

“The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” —John 1:14

• Jesus existed at the beginning of time. He is God, the Son. He is full of glory. What does it mean for Him to take up residence among us? Take a moment to journal a few thoughts below.

Now, read John 1:1-18 in your Bible. As you read, circle any words or phrases that were used to describe Jesus. Think through these questions:

• List some of the words that you circled in today’s passage.

• What do these words reveal about Jesus, His character, and His purpose? Explain

• Read verse 18 again. What does it mean to say that Jesus has revealed the Father? How does He do that?

• Look over the words you circled one more time. How do they further illustrate that Jesus reflects the nature of God? Explain.

Because Jesus is God, He was able to reveal God and His character in a way people had never experienced before.

Respond

• Meditate on the nature of Jesus: fully human, yet fully God. What difference does it make in your life today that God became flesh? Record your prayerful response in your journal.

• Ponder this thought: Through Jesus, we received God’s clearest message. In Jesus, we see the very heart of God. Respond in your journal.

• For further study, meditate on John 14:7-11.

Behind the Story

The phrase translated “took up residence among us” in John 1:14 literally means pitched His tent or tabernacled. In  the  time  after the exodus, God commanded Moses to make a tabernacle, a large tent, as a dwelling place for God (Ex. 25:1-8). God is present everywhere, but the tabernacle served as a visual reminder of His presence to the people of Israel. The wording of John 1:14 indicates that Jesus was the visual presence of God among His people.

The Point

Jesus is God in the flesh and came to live among us to make the Father known.


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