Well, we made it! We just ate dinner & now we are settling in before the first session tonight. Thanks for all your prayers today, keep it up! We will post pictures tomorrow.
The shepherd was a common figure for Jesus’ original audience. They would have immediately recognized all that this metaphor suggested. We miss a lot of this because we are not 1st Century shepherds. But John 10:10 is pretty hard to miss.
Do you know Christ-followers who seem to live in a constant state of anger, misery, and/or bitterness? They tend to make their faith all about rules… what to do, what not to do. These rules become their God. They seem to suck the life out of a room as well as giving Christ-followers a bad reputation.
God’s intent is not for our lives to be stale and boring. John 10:10 is only one piece of support for that, but there are plenty more. God desires us to live a full life, a life that’s purpose is something BIGGER than ourselves. If we surrender to His greater purpose, we will always have purpose, mission, adventure, and passion. Passion is the heart set free to pursue that which is truly worthy.
Persecution is a reality for nearly two hundred million Christians around the world. Daily, they risk their lives simply because they believe in Jesus. They could surrender, or convert, or quit but the love of Jesus is worth the sacrifice. For many of them, this road leads to death.
This summer, MOVE invites us on a journey around the world. From the jungles of Colombia to the war-torn streets of Baghdad, LOVE COSTS EVERY THING tells the real-life stories of Christians standing firm in the face of death. Though persecution is severe, the faithful continue to rise. The church is advancing. God’s people are risking it all in the name of love. And it is worth it, because love costs every thing.
Here’s a short preview of the film our students got to see this past week at MOVE.
We’re packing up tonight, coming home tomorrow, but this is only the beginning! Many of our students have made commitments for this coming year. . . to surround themselves with other Christians, bring breakfast to their teachers once a month, adopt a single mom and their family for the year, lead a middle school small group, memorize Matthew 5-7, do the Daniel Fast for 10 days, I could go on and on! And the best part is, we’re in this together. If nothing else, we learned this week that our lives are about SOMETHING BIGGER than us. As we studied John the Baptist, we saw that everything in his life pointed to SOMETHING BIGGER. Everything in his life was about Jesus… he never took the attention for himself, but always pointed it back to Christ.
God will use our life, and if we really want our lives to matter, they will always point back to Him! Our students are not coming home the same. My request to you… if you know one of these students well, or you are his/her parent, ask them what they’ve committed to and create a way to help them out. We’re not in this alone.
See you tomorrow!
So it’s dodgeball day, but it was a little shortlived. So we are making the most of it and playing ultimate frisbee instead.
We’re getting ready this morning to head into our last day. Yesterday, we looked at Daniel 1-3 and studied through the testimony of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego. Our speaker, Josh Howard, led us to 3:16-17,
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Then he said this statement, “Did you catch that? Even if. Even if. Even if. Even if God didn’t do what they wanted, they still would not serve other gods. Even if. We live in a world of only if. God, I will worship you only if…
- My parents stay together
- I can still be popular
- I can wear whatever I want
- I like my minister
- I don’t have to sacrifice anything
- No one close to my dies
- My friends still love me
- I don’t have to give up anything
- I can still have the standard of living I want.”
What are some of your “even ifs?” Even if ____________, I will serve my God. Even if ________, I will remain faithful. Josh challenged us with that very thought last night. And as the night closed out, this phrase ran across the screen, “Speak, for Your servant is STANDING.” As we head into today, we are getting ready to study the life of John the Baptist. In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist says that he is not even worthy to carry the sandals of Christ. If John the Baptist isn’t worthy, what does that make us? Please be in prayer for us today as we close out the day strong. Also, feel free to leave comments and tell us some of your “even ifs,” as well.
And here are some photos for your enjoyment. 🙂