Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Camp Venango Devotionals 2012

Camp Venango for Jesus 2012 – Devotions Day 1

Theme: Who Am I?...The Beloved!

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.”     John 15:9

Welcome Camper! It’s Day 1 of CVFJ 2012 and I have to ask…

Who are you?

God’s beloved…that’s who you are. And He’s absolutely crazy about you.

Read: I John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

God loves you. How cool is that? He loves everyone in the whole world. It says so in the Bible: John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

If you believe in God you won’t perish…you won’t die and be separated from God. You’ll live with Him eternally. Forever and ever!

So how can you believe in God and know the awesome love He has for you?

It’s as basic as A-B-C

A – Admit you need a Savior. B – Believe Jesus is God’s Son. C – Confess your sins…and then… Ask God to forgive you, and invite Jesus into your heart. Try it and see…it’ll be the start of a beautiful relationship with God, your Heavenly Father.

If you’ve done that for the first time tell someone. And… Welcome to the family of God! If you’ve done it before, woo-hoo good for you! Either way, have a great time growing strong in your faith at Camp Venango for Jesus.

Pray this:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for loving me so much that you sent Jesus to die for my sins. Please come into my heart, Jesus, and help me follow you. Show me that I am your beloved.


Devotions Day 2

Theme: Who Am I?...The Beloved!

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.”     John 15:9

Welcome to Day 2 of camp…

You are God’s beloved.

WHAT did you say? You’re not good enough to be God’s beloved?  Read Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Do you get that? While we were still big-time into sinning, Christ died for us.

God made you and He knows everything you have ever done. He knows the good stuff and the bad stuff, but – surprise! – He loves you anyway. Read Psalm 139:1-4

1O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.

2You know when I sit and when I rise: you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

4Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.

He knows that you make good choices, and He knows when you make bad choices. He’s calling you to make the very best choices: to believe in Him, to learn more about Him, and to obey Him. When you do good things and act right, God smiles.  When you make poor choices and behave badly, God still loves you. He loves you like a good Dad, and that means there are consequences for wrong behavior. Ouch! When that happens, when you’ve done something wrong and you know it, tell God you’re sorry. Then thank Him for loving you enough to correct you – so you’ll grow stronger in faith.

Pray this:

Dear Lord,

Sometimes I don’t feel worthy of your love. I’m not always good. I’m sorry for that and I want to do better. With Jesus in me I know I can make good choices and obey you. Please help me to stay close to you, learn more about you, and do what you want me to do.


Devotions Day 3

Theme: Who Am I?...The Beloved!

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.”     John 15:9

Dear Beloved,

Welcome to Day 3 of Camp.

You are God’s masterpiece. He formed you exactly like He wants you to be, and He thinks you are just right! Pretty enough or handsome enough – that’s you. Smart enough, athletic enough, funny enough, talkative enough, shy enough, outgoing enough – you are just right. You’re just the way your Creator wants you to be.

Well, except for the sin part…but you already know there’s a solution for sin. It’s Jesus! Read I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

 Perfect. That’s what you are in Jesus.

                                                Clean.  When your sin is confessed and forgiven.

 Pure. You are spotless in God’s eyes.

If anyone tries to tell you different you can read them this scripture: Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…”  You are a child of God. Romans 8:17 says so! “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

Don’t criticize and condemn yourself or you are condemning something God says is wonderfully made. Don’t let others criticize you. Whatever label anyone tries to put on you, test it against this: You are God’s masterpiece. Of course you are still a masterpiece in the making, but a masterpiece nonetheless.  And while your Creator is still working on you, use all of who you are – all of your personality, all of your ability – to serve Him.

God made us all different. Discover who you are. Love the person God made you to be and shine for Jesus in all you do. Because…you are His beloved!

Pray This:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for making me just the way I am. Help me to use my personality, all the gifts, talents, and traits you’ve given me to shine for you. Help me to lead others to you by my actions and words. 


Devotions Day 4

Theme: Who Am I?...The Beloved!

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.”     John 15:9

Dear Beloved Camper,

Are you getting it? God loves you. He doesn’t love you because you’re smart or beautiful, wise or handsome, not even because you are good or bad. He loves you just because. That’s why – just because.

Let me rearrange the words to the song Who Am I by Casting Crowns –

It’s not because of who you are. It’s because of who HE is, a loving, gracious, forgiving Savior.

It’s not because of what you’ve done.  It’s because of what HE did. He died on the cross for your sins.

And from God’s Word: Jesus came to find you and save you. -- Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

If you’ve been saved you’ll be living like you never lived before. You aren’t like you used to be. You are new! -- II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Will there be times that you forget? Probably. Will there be times that you lose your way? Certainly.  Can you get back? Oh, you betcha! Our God is always waiting with open arms to draw us close again, to comfort, to help, to set us back on the right path.

Why would He do that for you? Because you are His beloved, just like Jesus is God’s Beloved! –Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.”     John 15:9

There is no better place to be than in the arms of Jesus, on the lap of your Dad in Heaven. Get there. Stay there. Remain in His love! I’m not going to remind you again, but God will remind you over and over and over… read your Bible, you’ll see.

Pray this:

Dear God,

It’s me, your beloved. Thank you for loving me, saving me, and keeping me close to you. Thank you for giving us your Word, the Bible, where I can find all the help I need to walk close to you and to remain in your love.