Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Press On

Camp Venango for Jesus -- Devotionals 2012

Day 1 – Get in the Race
Read Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  (NIV)

There’s your memory verse for camp. That’s how it reads in the NIV Bible. Eons ago God inspired the author to write it down. It was written in a totally foreign language. But in 1611 it was translated into the English language  – The King’s English, with lots of ‘thee’s and ‘thou’s and ‘thus sayeth’s. If God had given this message to someone like you, here and now, it would probably come down something like this:

Hey bros and sisters in the Lord, maybe I don’t fully get it and I don’t have a complete handle on things, but that’s because I haven’t arrived yet. I’m on my way though, and I’ve left all the bad stuff behind. What is in the past is past. I’m going forward! I’m pressing on, going for the gold.  I’m going to cross that finish line like a champ. That’s what God called me for, to run the course of my life as if there’s a prize at the end. And there is – there’s an everlasting heavenly reward in Jesus Christ.

At least that’s how I imagine it would sound today. Either way, it’s pretty clear that Paul was stoked about running the race the very best he could.

Life in Christ is like running a race. So let me ask you, are you in the race? If you’ve already asked Jesus to be part of your life, you’re in it. And on the day you got in it the angels rejoiced. They take notice every time a new runner enters the race, and they celebrate like crazy.

Have the angels thrown a party for you yet? If you’re not sure, talk to one of the CVFJ counselors about it. They will tell you some things you may already know, like: God loves you, and he wants to have a good relationship with you. You’re a sinner. Sorry to break that to you if you didn’t know, but it’s true. You’re a sinner just like the rest of us human beings. And that’s a big problem because God can’t stand sin, yet he loves you, and me. So he sent his son, Jesus, to die for our sins, to cover for us. That’s grace. Claim it. Confess your sins an ask God to forgive you. He will. The Bible says so –  

·         1st John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

God nails that down with a bigger hammer in the next verse…If we claim we have not sinned, we make God out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

So make sure you have that sin business all taken care of… and then...you’re in the race. Now run for the prize.


Prayer Time: Heavenly Father, thanks for inviting me to take part in the race. Thanks for forgiving my sins even before I asked. And thanks for holding out a prize. I don’t have it all together yet, but I’m not looking back. I know there’s a finish line, and I’m going for it. Help me God. I want to do you proud.

In Jesus name and for His sake, Amen