The sun rose and set yesterday without any weather interferences in the camp schedule, which was a blessing. But it seemed like the Lord had so many other interjections for us to focus on instead. It was one of those days where all the out of the ordinary things happened at once, contrasted between extremes of physically challenging and spiritually exciting.
Let us give you a set of examples:
— a toilet in the girls’ dorm overflowing at the most high-occupancy time of day
— staff having a meal with a camper who received faith in Christ during camp
At the end of the day, we would go through all the plumbing and maintenance issues in the world for the sake of these campers. It was such a good but hard day studying Ephesians, as the letter shifted at the beginning of chapter 4 away from doctrinal truths and into their applications.
Our greatest desire was (and still is) for the campers to see, through the Holy Spirit’s teaching, that these applications are not to be done in their own strength (or as our main session speaker said last night, as grabbing “plastic fruit”) but rather as evidence of grace-filled, gospel change.
The speaker, Jeremy Lucarelli, left us with an awesome list to process through:
Gospel, grace driven change:
— is fundamentally a change of desire
— begins with sight (looking at Jesus)
— is a response to grace and not an attempt to earn God’s favor
— is intimately connected to a Person
— is far more powerful than religious change
— is total (“not a square inch of you is unaffected by the gospel”)
The summary and heart of the message can be captured by two statements: “there’s no way you can do that apart from Christ” so “the solution is to look at Jesus.”
In still other ways it was a challenging day, as staff lovingly exercised discipline towards campers in few areas in order to keep the focus on the Lord while we’re at camp. But we knew that, even then God was using us to illustrate the Scriptures we are studying to the campers (speaking the truth in love, and urging one another to walk according to the calling to which we have been called).
But for all the hard truths to swallow, and all the difficult concepts, Day 6 felt like a huge breakthrough on so many levels. We kept hearing about classrooms that had walls of silence broken down, where students expressed their hearts’ fears and questions about the Scripture. And the worship was probably the sweetest it has been all camp, almost shocking in the strength and honesty of its cry. We are a grateful people for all that God has been doing. Thank you so much for your prayers.
Please continue to pray as we move into Ephesians chapter 5. Our deepest desire is for them to see the love of Christ which motivates Paul’s instructions to walk in love. Again, there are hard things to swallow in this chapter, about how we cannot serve two masters and how darkness and light are incompatible.
Trusting His long-suffering and faithful grace,
The Transform Team