Monthly Archives: August 2015

Summer Camp Recap for Adults (Part 4)

Boca_culture_003Note: This is the forth in a five part series on devotionals for adults from CentriKid camps. See part one for more information.

 Part 4: A Disciple Engages with God Through Giving

A recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association revealed the highest stressors among Americans as money and time. Because humans view these two aspects of life with such importance, we also have a tendency to attempt to control these assets with an iron fist.

Take a piece of paper and write down the days of the week along the top. Spend a few moments filling out the weekly log with your normal routine. How much of your time is devoted to your job? Your family? Spending time in prayer and Scripture reading? Serving at church?

Flip the sheet of paper over and write down the following words: food, fun, family, church, bills, other. Think about where your money goes. Next to the words, write out the percentage of your money that goes to those areas. Spend a few moments reflecting on how your spending reflects your priorities.

Read the story of the widow’s gift in Mark 12:41-44.

In this passage, the two simple coins given by the poor widow were worth more to Jesus than the large sums put in by the rich. The widow could not give as much as others, but her attitude of giving was more pleasing to Jesus. In this case, it was not so much the amount but the attitude that was of true value.

We try to exercise control over everything to the extent it becomes a stress on our lives. Ultimately, every cent of money that we possess and every second of time we have already belong to God. God commands that we devote our time and money to Him, and when we do not, it is disobedience. Like the widow, He is not focused on the amount we give, but on our attitude. As such, we should give cheerfully and humbly, recognizing that anything we have is already a gift from Him.

Grab a sticky note and list the things or areas of your life you need to give to the Lord. Think about areas of your budget that need to be redistributed to either your church or a ministry that God has put on your mind. Consider areas of your daily schedule that you could better use in service at church or mentoring others.

Give it to God

Take out your wallet, your watch, your planner, or your phone as a representation of your time and money. Hold these items in the palm of your hand as a sign of surrender and giving back to God. Ask God to show you areas of your time and money that you need to surrender to Him. Pray for opportunities to give your time and money to honor Him. Review your sticky note and commit to give those things to the Lord.

Summer Camp Recap for Adults (Part 3)

2334183401_bf5ce504c7_oNote: This is the third in a five part series on devotionals for adults from CentriKid camps. See part one for more information.

Part 3: A Disciple Embraces God Through Prayer

Look up the Lord’s Prayer in your Bible from Matthew 6:9-13.

Have you ever felt like praying to God was difficult or even somewhat unnatural? In this passage, Jesus provides a model prayer or guide on how we should pray, and you can use the elements of this prayer as a template or pattern in your prayers. An easy way to remember this is pattern is with the acronym ACTS.

A- Adoration

“Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Prayer is not about you. You should always enter into prayer with your heart, soul, mind, and strength focused on the wonderful God we serve. God is worthy of all of your praise and adoration, and you should voice that praise to Him.

C- Confession

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” As a follower of Jesus Christ, all your sin has already been paid for and forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice. When you pray, you should confess any sin that is holding you back from loving God and living out His commands.

T- Thanksgiving

“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” Jesus is King. As believers, we would do well to remember that all good things and every blessing come from God alone. As such, you should express gratitude for receiving those blessings. Through thanksgiving, you are giving God the glory He deserves, and admitting God’s power is greater than your own.

S- Supplication

“Give us today our daily bread.” As a child of God, you should feel no hesitation or shame in asking your Father for what you need. Start by expressing to God what is on your heart. Remember these words from Matthew 7:10: “Everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Through prayer, you enter into the presence of the One for whom nothing is impossible, and He alone can supply all your needs.

Spend time listening, and allow God to change you and make your heart more like His. Think about your prayer life and ways you wish to grow closer to God. When ready, spend time in prayer to God, focusing on adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Ask God to help you draw near to Him, and pray for Him to make you more like Him.

Act of Approach – Man’s Great End

 

 

1

 

Lord of all life and being,

There is one thing that deserves my greatest concern,

which calls out my deepest desires,

That is, that I may answer the great purpose for which I was created –

to glorify you, O God, who has given me life,

and to do all the good that I can for my fellow man;

Truly, life is not worth having if it is not improved for this great purpose.

Yet, Lord, how little this thought comes to the minds of men.

Most people seem to live for themselves,

without much or any regard for your glory,

or for the good of others;

They sincerely desire and pursue

the riches, honors, and pleasures of this life,

as if they believe that wealth, greatness, and pleasure

could make their immortal souls happy;

But what a false delusion that is!

And how miserable are those who will sleep in those empty dreams

for all our happiness consists in loving you and being holy as you are holy.

Lord, may I never fall into the vanity and temptations of this life,

the sensuality and foolishness of this present world.

It is a place of inexpressible sorrow; a vast and empty void;

Time is a moment, a vapor

and all the enjoyments of this life are but empty bubbles,

Like fleeting blasts of wind,

from which nothing satisfying can be derived.

Give me grace always to keep covenant with you,

and to reject as a delusion having a great name here or in the hereafter,

which brings with it all the pleasures and profits of the world.

Help me to know continually

that there can be no true happiness,

no fulfillment of your purpose for me,

apart from a life lived in and for Jesus Christ my Savior!

 

Translated from The Valley of Vision, p.22

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Camp Recap for Adults (Part 2)

4098605868_395724c077_oNote: This is the second in a five part series on devotionals for adults from CentriKid camps. See part one for more information.

Part 2: A Disciple Encounters God Through His Word

To grow as a follower of Christ and child of God, you must know His Word intimately. It is vital that you set apart time to read, meditate on, and memorize God’s Word in order to learn more about what He wants to teach you.

Reflect on the following verses:

2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 119:105, Hebrews 4:12

Read

Read Matthew 4:4.

It is important for followers of Christ to hear the verbal proclamation of God’s Word often, but regular, personal study is equally essential. You must take an active role in reading the Bible for yourself and applying it to your life daily.

Choose a Bible verse. It can be one listed above or one God puts on your heart. Read over the scripture once, consider its meaning for your life, and ask God to teach you something through this verse over the next few days.

Meditate
Read Joshua 1:8.
Meditation is one of the most neglected spiritual disciplines in the Christian faith. With our busy schedules, we rarely take time to completely stop and focus on anything. When is the last time you completely stopped and focused solely on a verse or passage from God’s Word?

Look again at the Scripture you pick up a moment ago. Choose one word or phrase from the verse on which to meditate. Try to think only about the verse and nothing else. Ask God to remove any distractions or worries from your mind and to speak to you through His Word.

Memorize

Read Psalm 119:10-11.

As a child, did you memorize any Bible verses in Sunday school or for Bible drill? Do you remember any of them now? Memorizing Scripture is a way to focus on God’s Word through the day. When you memorize Scripture, you can take it with you and meditate on it whenever and wherever you are!

As you go on with your day, write down the Scripture you picked and take it with you. Place it in your Bible, on your bathroom mirror, in your car, or anywhere you will see it often. Make it a goal to memorize this verse by the end of the week. After you have it memorized, make a commitment to choose another verse and memorize it, too.

Spend some time in prayer, thanking God for providing you with easy access to His Word, and make a commitment to read, meditate on, and memorize Scripture to grow closer to Him.

Summer Camp Recap for Adults (Part 1)

Our kids recently returned from CentriKid summer camp, and it was a blast! You can read all about it in my previous blog post. Each day, campers discovered what it means to grow in your faith. And not only did the kids get a chance to dive into God’s Word, so did the adults. Each day, the adults gathered as well for their own Bible study gathering.

I wanted to share with you some of what we covered in our adult gatherings so that you can talk with your kids more about what it means to grow in your faith. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting parts of devotionals from those adult gatherings we had at camp. This way, you can experience just a taste of the great Bible content CentriKid has to offer for adult believers. (Note: If you want to experience the craziness of OMC, you can sign up as an adult chaperone for the 2016 camp today!)

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Part 1: A Disciple is a Follower of Jesus

Take a look at the pictures below.

A popular trend is repurposing and remodeling old and broken items, furniture, and homes. The “before” photos are of condemned homes. These homes were forgotten and unoccupied. The “after” photos are of the same homes after someone spent countless hours transforming them back into something useful and beautiful. In order to restore a house well, you must start on the inside and completely renovate the entire structure. In the end, you might recognize a few of the old features, but it has essentially become a new creation. Before beginning a relationship with Jesus and accepting His gift of salvation, you were like one of the broken, condemned homes.

Think about this verse:

Isaiah 59:2 says “But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.“ This was your state prior to Christ’s intervention.

Take a piece of paper or sticky note and write down “Before & After.” Under the word “before,” write a few adjectives that describe your life before you became a follower of Jesus.

Read and reflect on the following passages:

Romans 6:6-11, John 1:12-13, 1 Peter 2:9-10, 2 Corinthians 5:17

Through a personal relationship, Jesus offers the opportunity for you to be completely transformed. Like a condemned house, putting a coat of paint on the outside does no good. Through the power of the gospel, the sin that separates you from God is completely destroyed, and your entire being is changed from the inside out into something new. If you are a follower of Jesus, you are a new creation!

Pick up your “Before & After” paper again, and under after, list and reflect on the ways your life has changed since becoming a follower of Jesus. Keep this paper as a reminder of the difference Christ has made.