Monday, March 23, 2009

Devotion for the Wyld Life Leaders at Woodleaf Winter Camp Feb 2009

Thanks for being Jesus to the kids you have brought.  I want to recognize all the work you have done thus far and for your continued work.  All the contact work, the going to pizza or bowling , answering the phone when you don't feel like it etc. etc.!

I'd like to hear from some of you High School leaders, why are you hear?  

Answers - 

Because when I was a kid some people did the same for me.

Because I want to share the love of Jesus.

Because I want to help kids.

All of these answers are GREAT.  I'm sure we could all agree that the reason we bring kids to camp, the reason we do contact work, pray for kids, listen to them, play games with them... is to get them saved.  Right? That is to say that we are interested in sharing with them the Gospel, the Good News, that Jesus lived a vicarious expiatory life and died a substitutionary death for the propitiation of our sins right? LOL  Let's maybe look at salvation from a different perspective, not so much from the theological but from the practical.   Salvation is knowing God.  I'm reading a book by A. W. Tozer called "The Pursuit of God"  The 4th chapter "Apprehending God"  starts out talking about the inferential character of the average man's faith in God.  God is an inference.  You see Tozer suggests that most people don't know God personally but rather the view God as simply a principle or an ideal, another name for goodness, truth or beauty.  The scripture on the other hand insists that God is to be known personally and apprehended just as the person sitting next to you can be known.  God is just as real or more than the chair or table, He is a person that wants to be known.  Salvation is moving God from being a Principle to a Principal.  Nod your head if you are with me!  

We have been given faculties to apprehend our surroundings.  We have our 5 sense, hearing, taste, touch, smell, and feel.... excerpt from "The Pursuit of God"

The Bible assumes as a self-evident fact that men can know God with at least the same degree of immediacy as they know any other person or thing that comes within the field of their experience. The same terms are used to express the knowledge of God as are used to express knowledge of physical things. "O taste and see that the Lord is good." "All thy garments smell Of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces." "My sheep hear my voice." "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." These are but four of countless such passages from the Word of God. And more important than any proof text is the fact that the whole import of the Scripture is toward this belief.

Now I'm not saying that you're going to take a bite out of God necessarily but you have been given spiritual faculties to apprehend God and these need to be developed and then taught to your kids.  So how do you get there?  How do you convey to a non-believing set of Wyld Life kids that Jesus is worth trying to know?  Here's a far fetched example.  Let's just say for instance that you have never tasted chocolate ice cream.  How would I try to get you to fall in love with chocolate ice cream?  Would I get a carton of chocolate ice cream and read to you the ingredients?  Would I tell you how sugar is metabolized by your brain and therefore you will love it? OR  would I simply get a spoon out of the kitchen drawer, open the carton of ice cream and slowly scoop from around the edge of the carton and let you see the creamy smooth delectable confection curl up on the spoon... then place it on my tongue and let you see the expression on my face that reflects delight.  Yeah baby... thats how you do it.  

Let me tell you a story about 2 men.  These men are diamond salesmen.  They import diamonds from Israel and they sell them wholesale to jewelry stores like in the mall and such.  Now one of the men is young and full of knowledge.  He knows diamonds and the diamond industry inside and out.  He knows and could tell you about the 4 c's Color Cut Clarity and Weight (carats). He knows everything there is to know about diamonds.  Well one day he takes a diamond into a store and tries to sell it to the shop keeper.  After about an hour he comes out without having sold the diamond.  He gives the diamond to the older guy to give it a try.  The old guy goes in to the shop and an hour later he has a sale.  The young guy is flabbergasted and says "I know everything there is to know about diamonds.  I know the history of diamonds, I know the future of diamonds!  I've been to Israel and have seen where they are cut into perfection. How is it that you were able to sell the diamond?  

The older gentleman replied "You do indeed know everything there is to know about diamonds but... I LOVE THEM.  I think they are beautiful.  I love the way they make me feel."

You see you don't need to tell your kids that Jesus is worth getting to know, you need to BE Jesus to them.  Continue loving kids unconditionally and caring for them as you have been.  Keep loving them for who they are and where they are.  Don't worry about getting them "saved" per se but rather teach them who Jesus is, let them get to know who Jesus is, by being Jesus to them.

Thanks again for all your work!  Keep it up!

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