MONTHLY ARCHIVES: March 2016

Tempted

Posted on March 30, 2016 by Karah

_MG_1805Pause

Mull over this quote from Francis Chan:

“I have one good reason why you should walk away from temptation right now. One reason: God. Is. Better.”

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much would you say Jesus can really relate to your life and problems? Why? Record a few thoughts below.

Now, read Matthew 4:1-11 in your Bible like you’re reading it for the very first time. Answer the following questions:

What is something from these verses that stands out to you now that you’ve never really noticed before? Why did it stand out?

For what reason would the Holy Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness where He would be tempted by the Devil?

To discover the answer to that question, read Hebrews 2:14-18.

“Therefore, He had to be like His brothers in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tested and has suffered, He is able to help those who are tested.” —Hebrews 2:17-18

Why does it matter that Jesus became like us and was tempted just as we are?

How has Jesus helped you in the midst of temptation?

Respond

Underneath each heading, list ways you’re tempted in those same areas. Now, considering how Jesus responded to temptation, pray about how He wants you to respond to yours.

physical desires (bread):

 

importance (reveal greatness):

 

worldly success (granted kingdoms):

 

For further study, read a parallel account of Jesus’ temptation in Luke 4:1-13.

Behind the Story

The only Person who can serve as a mediator between God and humanity is the One who is both God and man. Because Jesus was tested and suffered as a man and remained faithful, He was able to appease God, turning God’s righteous wrath for our sins away from us. Because Jesus knows what it is like to be us and has been tempted Himself, He also knows how to help us when we face temptation.

The Point

Because Jesus faced temptation, He can help us when we are tempted.


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Transformed

Posted on March 22, 2016 by Karah

_MG_1806Pause

List a few ways you have seen God at work in your life recently. Thank Him for pursuing you and moving in your life.

Read Matthew 3:1-12 in your Bible. John’s message was difficult. He boldly called people to repentance and stressed that those who didn’t follow Christ would face eternal judgment.

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but the One who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove His sandals. He Himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing shovel is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn. But the chaff He will burn up with fire that never goes out.” —Matthew 3:11-12

The Holy Spirit indwells those who believe and repent, making believers holy through inner transformation.

Jesus is the Savior, but also the Judge. Those who do not repent will face divine judgment.

Think through these questions:

After reading these verses, do you think it is possible for someone to be a Christian without anything about their lives or attitudes changing? Why or why not?

Repentance is more than saying you’re sorry. It involves recognizing you have lived in opposition to God, grieving over that, and expressing a desire to live according to God’s standard. Why is this important to understand? Explain.
Respond

Everyone has the same choice: follow Jesus or reject Him. If you reject Him, you will face the eternal consequences of our decision. What decision have you made? How do you know?

If you are a Christian, evaluate your life. How has God transformed not only your actions, but the attitudes and intentions of your heart? Thank Him for the ways He is continuing to transform you to the image of His Son.

For further study, read Matthew 7:15-20; 12:33; and 13:23.

Behind the Story

John’s words toward the religious leaders who came to listen might seem overly harsh. It wasn’t that John didn’t wish for all people to repent, but he knew a few things about these people:

  • Their attention was on worldly power. John’s attention was on Jesus.
  • They had no intention of repenting. As descendants of Abraham, these Jews thought they were guaranteed escape from God’s wrath.
  • Their actions didn’t match their claim to be God’s people. Jesus would preach repentance and baptism as a symbol of inward change, something these men weren’t concerned with.

The Point

Those who follow Jesus will be transformed by the Holy Spirit. Those who reject Him will face eternal judgment.


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Construction around Crestridge

Posted on March 18, 2016 by Sharon

This  year has been a lot quieter compared to last year! There are a few new things you’ll see up on the Ridge to help make it even better!

First we have a Staff Cabin that will be for the Catawba, Choctaw and Cherokee Village Directors along with other Central Staff! They’ll be right in the middle of the action up there. The cabin is located in between Cherokee Hill and the Archery Range.IMG_1146 IMG_1147

You’ll also see a couple new staircases! One is located in between Cherokee Hill and the Giant Swing.

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And the other is located by the Pool House!

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It won’t be long til you’re here with us again! We can’t wait to see you all!


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Lamb of God

Posted on March 15, 2016 by Karah

IMG_8946Pause

Change the location of your quiet time today. Sit silently before God for a few minutes before beginning, focusing your heart and mind on Him alone.

Apart from Luke’s recounting of Jesus’ experience in the temple when He was 12 years old, the Gospels are silent about Jesus’ childhood and teen years. The Gospel writers simply pick up with Jesus’ life when He was about 30 years old and getting ready to begin His ministry.

Read John 1:29-34 to learn about an important moment in Jesus’ life as He was preparing for His public ministry. As you read, underline the names with which John identifies Jesus.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the One I told you about: ‘After me comes a man who has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’” —John 1:29-30

Answer these questions:

At Passover, the priests would sacrifice a lamb to atone for the peoples’ sin. Knowing this, what was John saying about Jesus when He identified Him as the Lamb of God?

Reread verse 30. How did John point to Jesus’ eternal nature? To His superiority? Explain.

John also identified Jesus as the Son of God (v. 34), referencing Jesus’ eternal nature, but also His ability to reveal the true nature and heart of God in a way the people had never experienced before.

How could Jesus—God in the flesh—give the people a clearer understanding of God’s character and purposes than God’s Old Testament interactions had?

Respond

John recognized that Jesus was God in the flesh. He understood that Jesus would be the One who would atone for our sin.

If you aren’t a Christian, sin separates you from God. Your good deeds and your effort cannot atone for that sin; only Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf can do that.

If you are a believer, dwell on what Jesus has done for you. Like John, acknowledge His eternal nature and worship Him as He deserves. Thank Him for becoming the Passover Lamb and praise Him for revealing God’s heart to you.

For further study, read Isaiah 53:7; Revelation 5:6,12; and Revelation 7:17.

Behind the Story

In the Book of Exodus, when God’s people were captives in Egypt, God instructed them to slaughter a lamb without defect and put its blood on the tops and sides of the doorframes. That blood signified God’s people and saved those homes from death that night. After that, the Jewish people remembered the Passover festival each year with a feast where lamb was the main course. John’s listeners would have been familiar with the concept of the Passover lamb and the salvation its shed blood pointed toward. In referring to Jesus as the “Lamb of God,” John identified Jesus as the One who would be the ultimate sacrifice, whose blood applied to sinners’ hearts would cause God’s judgment to pass over them, giving life and providing escape from eternal death.

The Point

John identified Jesus as the One who will atone for sin and attests to His eternal nature.


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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Camp Crestridge

Posted on March 11, 2016 by maddiemichaud

For two years in 1926 and 1927 an attempt to create a girls camp that was similar to Camp Ridgecrest was made. This camp was called Camp Star Note… that sounds a lot different from Camp Crestridge, huh? The camp really didn’t take off for different reasons. A couple of other attempts here and there were made during the summers to create a girls camp, but nothing really seemed to take off. So, how did Camp Crestridge even come about?
As quoted from an article about the start of Camp Crestridge for Girls here is a brief history of the very beginning of camp.
“T.L. Holcomb, executive secretary of the Sunday School Board, received a twenty-five dollar check designated for a girl’s camp. Holcomb planted that seed money immediately and growth began with the formulation of a committee to study the matter and select a site. Holcomb let the Board to allocate one hundred thousand dollars for 1953 and fifty thousand dollars for 1954 to begin the development process.
George Pickering, director of Camp Ridgecrest for Boys, strongly supported the effort for a sister camp. Many of the programming concepts and administrative techniques which he developed in the boys’ camp were shared with the girls’ camp to make the beginning much easier. He suggested that the name of the boys’ camp be used with the syllables reversed as a name for the girls’ camp. Camp Crestridge for Girls was born.”

We have seen a lot of changes in camp over the years. Some of those changes are a big part of what has helped to create the camp that we all know and love today! Here is an inside scoop on a few things that you didn’t know about Camp Crestridge.
1. The dining hall was not finished in the first summer of camp. No, campers didn’t have to make and bring their own food, the Ridgecrest Conference Center provided meals… 3 times a day. That is not the crazy part though. Did you know that for each meal, campers and staff were required to put on their Sunday best and walk to the conference center? Imagine walking to Nibble Nook 3 times a day in your nicest dress. I guess that is why the packing list included 3 Sunday dresses instead of Nike running shorts.

conference CenterMeal time
2. Have you ever noticed the big Camp Crestridge sign right outside of camp when you first come to the fork in the road between the upper and lower gates? It has moved locations over the years to mark the entrance to camp, but it has been around since the start in 1955!

Front Gate
3. One of the best days in camp is when those big yellow buses roll up to take villages off to go on their village trip. Did you know though that Camp Crestridge owned a bus? Today when we go on trips we rent buses from a company, but back in the day Crestridge had its very own monogrammed bus.

Bus
4. We have seen the camp emblem on stickers, we wear it, and it’s probably most noted in the stained glass in the chapel. But what does the emblem even mean? There is a purpose in every little detail of the emblem. The horseshoe stands for the sincere best wishes that we have as each camper comes to camp that she will find her piercing purpose (arrow) in life. As she does this, we believe that completion (circle) comes in the growth of spiritual, mental, physical, and social areas of life (points).

Emblem
And last but not least, #5.
5. This past year was the first time that we had more than one place to swim at Camp Crestridge! Up until last summer, we only had the lake. Did you know that the Crestridge Lake has been said to have first been created in the shape of a heart? Whether or not that is a solid fact is a mystery to us. So, next time you are here, take a look at it and see for yourself if you think that may be true.

Lake
We are excited for the many years of camp to come! Looking back on all the different years of Camp Crestridge and seeing changes that have been made but our God who always stays the same is so neat! We thank our Heavenly Father that He is and always will be the constant in our changing lives.


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Real Life Lessons with Crestridge: To Him be the Glory

Posted on March 4, 2016 by kgreenwell

 

Marva-Katie 2

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This week has been full of reminders of how much God has done through this crazy, wonderful, beautiful place called Crestridge. This is a stretch for me to sort of be personal in the wide open for every one to see kind of a way so bear with me and I hope you see that the best part of this is that it is all about who GOD is and what HE has done through a place we all have grown to love and appreciate. I’m sure you could all write a blog of your own with similar or different things (hey, if you want to share as well please do, we love love love hearing what God has done at Crestridge through Jesus love and provision for you!!!). And if I loose your interest, I hope ya get at least a little bit of Jesus 🙂

For all of you bullet point readers here is the nutshell version of:

“Real Life Lessons with Crestridge: To Him be the Glory”…

Since I’ve been here full time, I’ve seen more of Him. Through the growing of camp, I’ve seen Him literally take down some PAST things (pretty hard to watch), and build up CURRENT things so that He can continue to do the SAME thing for the campers that He wants to know about Him! He’s taught me about how He is the God of “above and beyond” for His own Glory! He pushed us beyond what we could have imagined in the past two years, seeing camp grow physically and deeper in sharing Jesus. What was impossible for us was not impossible for God. I’ve learned that trusting and obeying Him is always better than being afraid or trusting my self. I’ve learned that when He takes away some things, He gives better things to show us more of Himself. I’ve learned how life is not a one man show, He has created the WHOLE body of Christ to work together beautifully with its different personalities and gifts and experiences. I’ve learned that His grace is greater than my sin and weakness. And I’ve also learned that Sharon is, in real life, just as cool and as good a friend as I was thinking and hoping she would be (Scouts pretty cool too)!

If you want the whole story, you’ll need a few minutes and somewhere comfy to sit 😉 God is faithful let me tell you. Enjoy…

Here’s my “Real Life Lessons with Crestridge: To Him be the Glory” story…

How I came to Crestridge? Miss Laurie Cox (the cutest, most coordinated, fun loving PE coach and Music Director there ever was). We worked together in Tallahassee, Fl, and we both tried for several years to get each other to work at each other’s camps. For that season God figured it would be best for us to be at our two different camps, and I wouldn’t have changed those years. But then several years later God was rocking the boat a bit in my heart and life and Laurie won! I applied to Crestridge and was offered the OAP Climbing Instructor Position!! Woah! Nervous? Yes! But after getting in late, missing our first staff get together, walking into a dining hall of super cool staffers that I didn’t know, and then standing in line with Debbye Skaggs (and getting one of those big ole bear hugs), I knew I was home. God poured out so much love on me that summer. And I needed it. The past few years had been pretty tough on my heart. I had felt pretty alone, hurt, confused, worn out, directionless, and not worthy of God or His love. But every morning in Chapel, Allie (the Discipleship Director) wouldn’t stop talking about how much our Father loves us. It was like a strong but persistent waterfall that wouldn’t stop.. He loves me, HE loves me, He LOVES me, He loves ME! I am HIS! It’s a done deal. Jesus died on the cross to FORGIVE my sins (which I was so aware of). He came to adopt me. He is not mad at me or disappointed in me. JESUS was and is everything to me. The theme that summer was “I Am With You”. And God used the people (the list would be too long to list but Marva, Debbye, Choctaws, Ryann Andrews, Katie Correll-just know that God used you and a bunch of others in big ways), His word, His spirit, and my time at this beautiful place to be 100% convinced of His love for me! I would have loved to have been convinced of it sooner in life but in His wisdom and because of His plan, THIS was the perfect time. I can’t tell you how many times, every day, the next year, that I thought about “I am with You”. It was a tough year but He was with me and I knew it!

The morning after I got home from that summer, I woke up and it all hit me like I don’t even know what like. I could probably count on my hands the times I’ve cried that hard. I was so overwhelmed with how sweet God had just been and how much I was gonna miss all the staff and campers and just being at camp (anyone feel me on this one??). It was a good thing my sister Kimberly had just left the room or else I’m sure she’d have thought I’d lost it! I’ve never made a decision to come back to a place so fast in my life (after praying just to make sure God was ok with it;-).

So, the next summer, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better than the last year, it did! That summer the theme was “The Well”. So God added lessons onto the “I Am With You”. Not only was He with me, He has everything He has created me to need! That year He put more and more of a love for what God was doing in and through Crestridge and for YOU in my heart. He showed me more and more how much He loves you as I got to spend time in skills, all around camp, and in cabins at night just hanging out. I even still have a car mirror craft Sara Milgrom made me, its pretty much the best. I think one of the sweetest things that year was getting to watch and appreciate Marva and her love for you all too! She reminds me a lot of my dad and Jesus in that. There was never a moment that there was not a dog and a Chippewa by her side. I’m pretty sure that if people had dogs as pets back then and in the Middle East that Jesus would have had one too. I was blessed, encouraged, and challenged by her in that. Also, it was my secret mission in life to get to know, and be besties with Super Sharon someday. She’s a busy girl ya know, so ya gotta look for those perfect moments, or just make them happen :-). So that year I left with an incredible excitement to see how Jesus was going to be my “Well” the next year at home, at work, and at church. I can’t tell you how many times during the year hard things came up and how many times God used illustrations, or verses, or other things God taught me that summer at Crestridge to keep me encouraged and hopeful that year. I even had (and still have) “post it” notes on my desk at work with the theme logo to remind me!

And that is the beautiful thing about Jesus. When you are His child, He doesn’t just go to camp with you. He comes home with you. It doesn’t always feel the same, and it certainly doesn’t look the same. No nibblenook, no singspiration, no camp buddies in the bunk next to you, no mountains (if you live in FL), lots of hard real life things you want to run away from, no crazy games and endless laugher, no going up to the store and just getting what you want (you gotta pay for it :-(), no late night talks with the people that know you the best. It’s just kind of different. But what IS NOT DIFFERENT is that JESUS is THERE and HE PROVIDES. And I learned that it’s in those HARD times that you get to know JESUS in a way you couldn’t if life was all nibblenook icecream and village activities.

That being said, the next summer I didn’t know quite as fast if I was going to be able to come back, but God knew all along and just took a little longer in filling me in on it;-). Going into the summer I was feeling super unworthy of being able to know Him and share Him with others. I knew He loved me but I was doubting some of the things He was telling me. But right before the summer He worked in my heart through my Pastors wife back in Tally, and said, “Hey Katie, if I say it, its true! You may not get it, but just trust that its true, I’ll fill you in on understanding if and when you need it! I love you and will do the work through you.” So, that’s just what He did! I got to be the Discipleship Director that summer, and I’ve never seen God work and answer so many needs in our camp life. Right before my VERY EYES! He taught me so much through time in His word and getting to share that with you girls. He worked on so many of your hearts even just in a few short minutes that we got to talk and in all of the rest of you that we didn’t get to talk! The theme was “Not My Own”, and boy did we learn a lot. The only thing that is all mine is my sin! To know God we need a righteousness that is “Not Our Own”and JESUS has it!! And then when we know Him as our Savior, Father, Friend we are called to live a life that is “Not Our Own”, we are HIS because HE bought us!! That summer God used camp to teach me those things and to give me several friendships that have been used to change my life and add a whole lotta love. I don’t know if you guys know this 😉 but I love getting to work with and know kids! A long long time ago I remember telling some friends that I was going to have 12 kids. Well, that hasn’t happened, but that summer I was at the overlook and God made me realize that in a way I have more kids than I can even count. I became more and more thankful for you all. I don’t ever get to spend as much one on one time with each of you as I’d like but let me tell you, if Jesus loves you more than I do, then you are VERY VERY VERY loved! And HE CAN spend one on one time with you! And one on one time with Jesus is way better than one on one time with me any day! So know that I’ve prayed for you, but also know that Jesus has prayed for you, and I’d say that He trumps me:-) You are loved.

Also, my mission of getting to know Super Sharon was on the move! She asked me to be the intern! ALL YEAR with my friend SHARON ELIZABETH AYLESTOCK, what a blast! I learned and keep learning so much from her and with her. I also fell more and more in love with what God was doing in and through Crestridge for HIS glory and y’alls good! On the camp side of things we were hard at work praying about the future of camp and what He was wanting to do in making room for more and more of YOU!!! That was exciting to watch. So many details had to be planned and sorted out and God did them all. Because it would show off His greatness and show His love specifically for each of you! During that year, personally, I had some much needed rest that God sweetly gave. He also taught me a whole lot about loving when its hard and when you love so much that it hurts. Some very close and sweet friends of mine had a pretty hard year. It was really hard to not be right with them. It was hard to not know what to say or when to say it or how to show it. But God reminded me that even though I loved these friends so much, they were “Not My Own”. They are His and His love for them and wisdom in their lives is completely enough. He was walking WITH them in the hard places. He was giving them what they needed, even if it didn’t always feel like it or look like it to us. And He promises that He would use these hard times in their lives for their good. So that year I learned that God loves the ones I love even more than I do. For you moms reading this, God gave me the heart of a mother during this year (to clarify I don’t have any children by birth but God has given me several “heart Daughters”). I’ve never felt so much for someone in my life some of those friends became daughters and sisters. I’ve never cared so much. “I” didn’t matter any more. My family was my heart and they mattered more than me in everything. I’ve never sensed the urge to step in and take over for God the role of loving and protecting them so much. But I learned that the Lord is their perfect Father. He loves perfectly, His wisdom and power in their lives is real and His ways and timing is perfect. The peace that came from realizing that and seeing Him be a better father to my sisters and girls were far greater than a superficial temporary peace I would have received if I had taken over for God. It was a painful ride but it has been beautiful to see the fruit of His faithfulness to His girls. So, Moms, you are being prayed for. Cast your hearts (aka, your girls and family on Him), He cares for you.

The following summer I got to live day and and day out with my first family of Village Directors. It was incredible to walk alongside a group of ladies that God had put the same love for their campers as I had in their hearts. I saw the intentionality of God through them. They wanted to lead their staff, plan activities, point the hearts of the staff and campers to Jesus, take care of their safety, and give them the time of their lives! It was also fun to go deeper and deeper with camper and staff friendship that had already been formed as well as ones that were being formed. There is just something about living life on life with people, talking about Jesus, running around and having more fun in one summer than many get in a lifetime, and did I mention talking about Jesus. God gives us TIME at camp to step away from the business (which I’ve learned can sometimes be avoided by a simple “no” to just one more thing to do, oh so hard) of life to just be, and sit, and think, and talk, and let things soak in. “Be still and know that I am God”, it’s a real thing:-) Also, that summer, Ron and Sharon gave me a card, and in that card were two boxes “yes” or “no”. The question was, “Would you please join us year round to be a part of the Ridgecrest Camps Team?” Typical Katie, took a day to pray about it, and then said, “YES, YES, YES!”

With that “Yes” came a lot of official goodbyes back in Tally. I was so excited but at the same time sad and a bit worried about leaving behind a lot of folks I had grown to love. From “my” students, to “my” players, to my friends and family and church. Sometimes I forget that things that are “mine” are really “Not My Own”. I was going to miss out on big things. Those relationships would change. Who was going to take care of and love them if I wasn’t there? Am I quitting something God had called me to? Part of those fears and questions came from love and others just from fear. The answer He gave was “I love them more, trust and follow me Katie. I will lead you and guide you, and I will continue to care for and work in the place and in the people you love. It was ME working in and through you anyways, so I can work in and through others as well.” The lesson there for me was that it is the same with Crestridge. He works in and through Crestridge but He will and does also work in and through so many other places, people, and organizations. God was not just with me when I was in Tally and He is not just here with me now that I live and work at Camp, He is with His children where ever they are. Boy am I thankful for that. I pray you know that too.

Since I’ve been here full time, I’ve seen more of Him. Through the growing of camp, I’ve seen Him literally take down some PAST things (not bad things), and build up CURRENT things so that He can continue to do the SAME thing for the campers that He wants to know about Him! He’s taught me about how He is the God of “above and beyond” for His own Glory! He pushed us beyond what we could have imagined in the past two years, seeing camp grow physically and deeper in sharing Jesus. What was impossible for us was not impossible for God. I’ve learned that trusting and obeying Him is always better than being afraid or trusting my self. I’ve learned that when He takes away some things, He gives better things to show us more of Himself. I’ve learned how life is not a one man show, He has created the WHOLE body of Christ to work together beautifully with its different personalities and gifts and experiences. I’ve walked alongside and learned from some of the most incredible college aged and young women in all the land (”               “)! I’ve learned that His grace is greater than my sin and weakness. And I’ve also learned that Sharon is, in real life, just as cool and as good a friend as I was thinking and hoping she would be (Scouts pretty cool too)!

All that being said, if you are still reading this I hope you’ve seen Jesus and how He works in real life. Because my friends, although camp is just the summer for most of you all, it has been WHERE my life with Jesus has taken place for the past 6 years. Life with Jesus keeps on keeping on and some are highs here at camp and as you’ve seen there are real life with Jesus lows that come with it, no matter where you are. BUT one thing never changes…He is with me. He is the Well flowing with everything I need. I am not my own but I AM HIS! And He will continue to be all of those things no matter where I am, no matter who is or isn’t in my life, and what ever the circumstances around me look like. His Spirit, working through His word, and His people here at Crestridge and other places have shown me more and more of who HE is. And I’m growing to know more and more that “Jesus + Nothing” is indeed more real than the “real” I feel.

This is just one story, from one person at one place. Think about all the stories of all the people at all the places around the world. The stories Jesus is writing to show more and more people who HE is and what HE has done!

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! …

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

Romans 11:33, 36

Feel free to share your God stories from home or while you’ve been at camp!!! We really do love to hear them. You can post them here or email us at rscamps@ridgecrestcamps.com! Also, if there is every anything we can be praying for you we’d love to know and pray with you!


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Priority One

Posted on March 2, 2016 by Karah

IMG_6545Pause

Listen to the song “Draw Near” (Passion: Even So Come, 2015) as a prayer, inviting God to speak to you today.

Jesus’ experience at the temple revealed more than His wisdom and authority. It also revealed His priority and focus. Read Luke 2:48-52 in your Bible.

“Why were you searching for Me?” He asked them. “Didn’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”

—Luke 2:49

Mary and Joseph had known Jesus was no ordinary child since before His birth, but Scripture’s relative silence about His childhood seems to suggest that it was pretty normal. Now after years of normalcy, Jesus’ divine nature broke in again.

Think through these questions:

Why do you think Mary and Joseph were astonished by Jesus? Explain.

Mull over Jesus’ response to His parents in verse 49. How would you write it in your own words?

What does verse 49 teach you about Jesus’ identity and His understanding of His mission?
Respond

Jesus understood that He was God’s Son and that His life should be devoted to the things that mattered to God. As believers, Jesus hasn’t asked us to make Him one of many priorities in our lives. He is to be our priority. He is the lens through which we view everything and the One who shapes our actions, words, relationships—everything in our lives.

Evaluate your life. What are you devoted to? What absorbs most of your thoughts or time? Where do you spend most of your money? What is most important to you? Be honest as you list your thoughts in your journal.

If this examination reveals that something other than God is your primary focus, confess and repent today. Ask God to help you make the necessary changes to center your life on Him.

To learn more about Jesus’ priorities and those of His followers, read Matthew 6:33 and Matthew 22:36-40.

Behind the Story

Jesus’ family didn’t always understand His priorities. In John 7:2-5, His brothers didn’t yet believe in Him or understand what He was about. In Mark 3:21,31-32, His family thought He was crazy and tried to get control of Him. In John 2:1-11, Jesus and His mom didn’t share the same way of thinking.

Regardless of what other people thought, Jesus knew His purpose and would not be distracted from it. What about you? When your priorities revolve around God’s kingdom, even the people closest to you might not understand or agree. What will you do?

The Point

Jesus understood why He had to come and what His priorities were.


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