Posted by Melissa

Read This Passage: Colossians 1:3-6

campcrestridge_11For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. —Colossians 1:4-5a

RESERVATIONS. That word probably makes you think of some fine dining experience. But there are many other reasons people make reservations, including vacations, concerts, and plays. Reservations are a guarantee that a place will be held for you at the event.

Someone had to make a reservation for you to attend camp last summer. The only way you can come next summer is if someone makes another reservation under your name.

Similarly, reservations have been made for believers in heaven in the name of Jesus who said, “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus also said that He knows His sheep (John 10:27), referring to those who believe in Him. No one will be allowed into heaven without the right reservations.

A final connection of this example is the banquet. in Revelation 19. Here, Jesus is compared to a groom returning to get his bride, which is the church. It was common in biblical times that a feast or banquet was prepared as part of the wedding celebration. When Jesus returns for His church, all believers will be allowed to attend the marriage feast.

On most wedding invitations that include a reception, there are four special letters at the bottom: R.S.V.P. The letters come from the French expression répondez s’il vous plaît, meaning “please respond.” Jesus has invited you to eternal life through a relationship with Him. Have you responded?

Real Choices
If you have not accepted Jesus’ invitation, will you please respond today? If you have already responded to Jesus’ invitation, share it with a friend today.

Digging Deeper
Another banquet story is found in Luke 14:15-24. What are some of the excuses people had for not attending the banquet? Are these similar to excuses people use today to reject God’s invitation?

Thank You, Lord, that as a believer my reservation is guaranteed! Help me to be courageous and bold to share Your invitation with others.

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Posted by admin

Read This Passage: Colossians 3:12-17
And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. —Colossians 3:17

As Christians, we should be the most thankful people in the world. After all, we personally know the Creator of the universe and have received all of the benefits that come with knowing Christ. We have received forgiveness. Every sin that we have ever committed has been entirely forgiven. We should have an attitude of gratitude considering all God has done for us.

Unfortunately, most of us do not. I must confess that, far too often, I find myself complaining rather than expressing thanksgiving. Even when I’m here at camp, I find myself looking at the problems to fix, rather than the incredible life Jesus has given me… I mean after all, I basically live at camp!

Today’s Scripture passage shows three elements of our Christian walk: the peace of Christ, the words of Christ, and the name of Christ. Applying the truth about these three will result in a thankful heart.
First, the Lord’s peace guides us. The presence of His peace indicates that we are moving in the right direction. When we want to know His will, we wait for His peace.

Second, the Word of God must transform the way we act and think. Having a Bible beside your bed does not mean that you have any of it in your heart or mind. God’s Word should dwell in us and saturate every part of our lives. It becomes a part of who you are!

Third, the way we live our lives—what we “do, in word or in deed”—should point others to God. God’s call on our lives as Christians is all-encompassing. It isn’t just going to church or being active in a youth group, or coming to camp in the summer. It’s living out our faith every day, when it’s easy and when it’s not. We are called to do all things in the “name of the Lord,” even in the very grit of life. You belong to God. Live like it!

Real Choices
How has today’s devotion challenged your ideas about what it means to be a person of faith? Does your faith make any difference in your daily life? Why or why not?

Digging Deeper
Read Colossians 3:1-11, the prelude to the passage you just studied. Carefully observe the differences between living to please yourself versus living to please the Spirit.

Ask the Lord to help you avoid living a mediocre life. Pray that in everything you do and say, in every part of your life, you might honor His name.

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Read This Passage: Colossians 1:15-20
For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross—whether things on earth or things in heaven.
—Colossians 1:19-20

From Genesis 3 onward, sin stands as a barrier between us and God. Sin enslaves us and devastates our relationship with God. Sin is deadly. It is the power of sin that we must grasp in order to fully value what Christ has done for us.

God took a look at this hopeless situation and created a plan through Jesus Christ. In Colossians 1, Paul said that God “was pleased” to reconcile all things to Himself with the work of the cross. That extraordinary act of God at Calvary was His deliberate choice because of His great love for us. It was His decision to start a process of reconciliation that would remove that barrier of sin and restore our relationships with Him.
In other words, because of Christ’s death and resurrection, sin can no longer stand as a fence between us and God. He’s taken care of our sin, once and for all.

But that’s not all. God has not only pardoned our sins; He wants us to live in relationship with Him. In our sin, we were helpless to restore our relationship with the Creator. God chose to reconcile that relationship through Christ’s blood. Jesus took on our sin and died so that we might live each day in relationship with His Father.

We don’t often like to recognize that we had any role in Christ’s death, but we did because of sin. God deliberately set up a plan to bring us back into full relationship with Him through Christ. Don’t miss that!

Real Choices
If God is convicting you of areas of sin in your life, find a quiet place to get alone with Him. Search the Scriptures for relevant verses and spend uninterrupted time in prayer. Humbly admit your sin to the Lord and watch as He once again reconciles you to Himself.

Digging Deeper
The English word reconciliation is from the Latin reconciliare: re means “again” and conciliare means “to bring together, to unite.” For further study on reconciliation, check out Ephesians 1:7-8.

Thank God for His deep love for us. Thank Jesus for His willingness to give His life for yours. Ask the Lord to reveal your sin. Confess it as He reveals it.

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