MONTHLY ARCHIVES: November 2015

The Throne of Grace

Posted on November 24, 2015 by Karah

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Begin today with prayer, asking God to help you experience His power as you spend time in His Word.

In the incarnation, Jesus was both God and man. How exactly that worked is something our finite minds have trouble comprehending. Knowing Jesus is divine, it’s tempting to think that life on earth was somehow easier for Him or that He doesn’t really know what it’s like to be us. But the fact of His humanity and Scripture tell us otherwise. Read Hebrews 4:14-16 in your Bible.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” —Hebrews 4:15-16

How does this passage acknowledge Jesus’ divinity? How does it point to His humanity?

Why is it important that Jesus faced temptation, just as you do? Explain.

Jesus faced temptation, yet didn’t sin. As a Christian, why is that important? How does this affect the way you respond to temptation? Explain.

Because Jesus sympathizes with our weakness, we can approach His throne of grace. How do we do that?

Respond

Believers have the power to resist temptation and flee from sin in Jesus.

Identify the recurring temptations in your life. Maybe it relates to lust or pornography; lying to your parents or cheating at school. Maybe it involves failing to stand for Christ in front of your friends. Write a commitment in your journal: When I face ____________, I will ask Jesus for the strength to overcome.

You probably have Christian friends who are currently struggling with temptations. Who needs to be reminded of the power he or she has in Christ to resist? What steps will you take to do so this week? Jot down two in your journal.

For further study of temptation, read Luke 4:1-13 and James 1.

Behind the Story

The author of Hebrews may have written this passage to answer questions people of his day were asking: If Jesus is God, how can He understand my temptations? How can Someone so great understand the problems I face? Because Jesus took on flesh and became like one of us, He faced all of the temptations we face. He had the same appetites, desires, and needs we have. The difference is Jesus never gave in to sin.

The Point

Because of Jesus’ victory over sin, we can trust Him when we face temptation.


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Empowered for Righteousness

Posted on November 17, 2015 by Karah

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Smartphones can be great, but they can be death to your time with God. Turn off your apps or your phone, and everything else that keeps you connected to the world. In prayer, ask God to meet with you today as you study His Word.

How do people describe you? Jot down a few ideas below.

So, what did people say about Jesus? Peter was one of Jesus’ closest followers. Read how Peter described Jesus in 1 Peter 2:21-25. Then, focus your attention on verse 24.

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds.” —1 Peter 2:24

Ponder these questions:

Underline the phrase “bore our sins” in verse 24. How would you explain this idea in your own words?

Jesus took the consequences of our sin upon Himself and died in our place to make atonement for our sin. Because of this, sin no longer has power over those who have a relationship with Jesus. According to verse 24, how should that change the way we live?
As Christians, sin should no longer define our lives. Righteousness should characterize our lives as believers. Does it characterize your life? Why or why not?

Respond

Think about how well you are reflecting Christ’s life of righteousness. If you are known more for your athletic accomplishments, academic achievements, or anything else than for your walk with Christ, pray that Jesus would empower you to live for righteousness.

Look at your calendar or write down the highlights of your schedule for the rest of this week. Where will you go? Who will you see? What will you do? List ways you will choose to live in righteousness as you go about your daily routine

For further study, read “Walking in the Power of God,” by George Fox from Devotional Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and James Bryan Smith.

Behind the Story

The word righteousness involves right living. Jesus is the example of righteous living—He endured suffering and derision without sin. While we will never lead sinless lives as Jesus did, the power of Christ at work in us will allow us to lead lives that are characterized by righteousness.

Righteousness n.= Right living according to God’s standard; matching your life with God’s commands, love, and purposes

Atonement n.= To cancel of cover one’s sins; theological doctrine that God has reconciled sinners to Himself through Jesus.

The Point

Because Jesus made atonement for our sins, we can live for righteousness.


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Crestridge in the Fall

Posted on November 16, 2015 by Karah

Wow! We love this new fall view of the Ridge stairs! What other things at camp would you like to see during the fall and winter?

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Jesus Frees Us From Sin

Posted on November 10, 2015 by Karah

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Begin your time with God with honest confession. What sins have you committed? Ask God for His forgiveness for each sin and thank Him for His mercy and grace.

Consider the definition of condemnation below. What words come to mind when you think about the word condemned?

Condemnation n. -To be declared guilty or wrong; to experience censure or punishment

The truth is, we’re all condemned. We have all broken God’s laws, and the law condemns us of our sin. But the story doesn’t end there. Read Romans 8:1-11 in your Bible. Underline any form of the word condemned when you read it.

“For God has done what the law, weakened by flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” —Romans 8:3-4

The law reveals the kind of life that pleases God, but it can’t empower us to live that way. The law can do nothing about our sin, and we are incapable of living a life that pleases God in our own strength.

Read verses 3 and 4 again. How has God condemned sin? Explain.

What’s the difference between following a bunch of rules to earn God’s favor and trusting Jesus to make you pleasing to God?

Which of those understandings best describes you? Why?

Respond

The only way you can have victory over sin and live to please God is through a relationship with the One who has already conquered sin: Jesus.

Even as believers, it’s easy for us to make following Christ about a bunch of rules, good things we strive to do in our own strength to earn God’s favor. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any way you are trying to do that today. Confess these things and choose once again to rest in Jesus’ finished work.

Memorize Romans 8:1. Any time you feel condemned by your sin, speak the verse aloud, remembering what Jesus has done for you.

Behind the Story

In Romans, Paul wrote to Jewish believers who had been taught they could be righteous by following the law. While the law can help us to know when we have failed to live up to God’s standards, it cannot make us righteous. Only Christ can do that. People cannot make themselves holy by their own effort; we will always fail. It is only by the work of Christ in our lives that we can live in victory over sin.

The Point

In Jesus, God has done what the law could not: defeated sin.


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Jesus Conquered Death

Posted on November 3, 2015 by Karah

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As you begin your time with God, turn down the noise of your own thoughts. If a distracting thought comes to mind, intentionally set it aside. Choose to focus your mind on Christ and His Word.

The Bible teaches that death is a consequence of sin (Rom. 6:23). But Jesus’ incarnation even has an effect on death. Read Hebrews 2:5-18 in your Bible to learn more. Underline what Jesus’ death accomplished when you read it.

” . . . and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.” —Hebrews 2:15

Answer these questions:

What do these verses help you better understand about Jesus, His divinity, superiority, or the reason He came?

Reread verses 14-15. In your own words, outline the reasons Jesus came to live among us.

In His sinless life, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection, Jesus has defeated sin’s power over us and abolished the fear of death. While death still occurs, believers no longer have to live in fear of it.

Why? What hope do we have that non-Christians don’t? Explain.

Jesus became a man. He suffered and died on the cross. His death paid the penalty of sin, and His resurrection provided a way for eternal life. Those who follow Jesus will still face an earthly death, but will spend eternity with Him.

Respond

Many people list death among their greatest fears. Consider your own thoughts on death. How does the promise of eternal life affect those fears? Be honest with God about your fears as you list them in your journal. To close your prayer and express your trust in Him, write Jesus in large letters on top of the list.

Scripture teaches that sin and the fear of its consequences can enslave us. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sin you are allowing to have control over you. Boldly confess these sins, seeking forgiveness and placing your trust in what Jesus has already done to set you free.

For further study of Jesus’ power over death, read John 11 and 1 Corinthians 15.

Behind the Story

One of the main themes of the Book of Hebrews is Jesus’ superiority and unique role as the only Mediator between God and humanity. In Hebrews 2, the author carefully explained that Jesus is greater than the angels. Angels often spoke for God, but Jesus revealed God most clearly. Angels were created beings; Jesus was the divine Creator. In later chapters of Hebrews, the author outlined how Jesus is superior to the high priest and the prophets. In fact, Jesus is exalted over everything. Knowing this is true, how should it affect our daily lives?

Incarnation n. =Theological term used to describe God taking on human flesh and living on earth

The Point

Jesus became like us so that He could set us free from slavery to sin and destroy death’s power over us.


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A letter from Janie

Posted on November 2, 2015 by Sharon

Dear Crestridge family,
Thirty four years ago when I arrived at Camp Crestridge, I had no idea what God’s plan was for me then.  All I knew was that this place is where I was supposed to be.  I did not know in 1981 when I drove into camp and met another girl named Marva Rawlings that God’s plan was for me and for her to be a huge part of this “holy ground” for 34 years.  I am blessed that I have been allowed to be a servant for Him. My sweet mom, Lucille, always told me that it was the greatest mission field that anyone could have the honor to serve in.  I agree totally.

So, I write this to share that a hard and prayerful decision has been made that I need to do as Marva has done and let go of my duties at Camp Crestridge.  I knew this day would inevitably come.  Camp has been my security and my love.  I have met thousands of campers, parents, and staff.  Each one of you has made a difference in my life.  The part He wrote for me led me down a path of service, sacrifice, sweet and special moments and people that I will cherish forever.  The connections that I have made because of Camp Crestridge and Camp Ridgecrest have affected every part of my life.  The Godly women and men that were part of His plan for me have become lifelong friends and family.

There are so many of you that if I start naming names, then I will forget someone.  Each of you knows who you are and I will cherish you always. I hope we can still have those moments.  I am still here, just not at camp.  I will name Johnnie Armstrong, Judye MacMillan, and Marva Rawlings.  I have learned so much from each of you…lessons that I have used in the “real world” of my life.  You were and are great friends, mentors, and role models that will never be duplicated.  And, for all of those wonderful Chehoapek opportunities, thank you!  I wish all of you many more.

Please be in touch.  I am still here.  I have also discovered that God’s plan for me does not stop at camp.  There are new adventures and opportunities that have been presented and offered to me.  I am excited to see His continued plan.  Thank you God for such an incredible part that you have written and continue to write for me.

GLYSDI, (for those that do not speak camp, that is God loves you and so do I)
Janie
Janie-JohnnieJanie-Marva


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