Sunday, February 21, 2010

YMCA Camp Cullen Devotional Notes

Below are the notes from what I shared with the dads and daughters at Camp Cullen this morning. The idea to talk about this came from my personal devotional on February 2.


  • We all have a sinful nature.
    • How many of you girls or fathers are always good and never do anything wrong? I know I’ve done plenty of things wrong. And when I try to do things right, I still mess up and do things wrong sometimes.
    • Most people don’t have much trouble realizing they have a sinful nature, but if you think you may be a good person, think for a moment if you have ever…
      • Said or done something that was hurtful – talking about someone, or making a joke at someone else’s expense, left someone out
      • Said something that was a lie or perhaps wasn’t the whole truth
      • Taken something that wasn’t yours – maybe you kept something that belongs to a friend, or at a store you realized you didn’t get charged for something or you got more money back than you should have but you kept it
      • Chosen not to share something, or didn’t want to help someone when you had an opportunity because it would take time out of your day or because you wanted to keep money or things to yourself
      • Really wanted something that wasn’t yours and kept thinking about it over and over again, maybe enough to even want to do something you are not supposed to just to get it
      • Cheated on a test
      • Eaten or drank too much
      • Dads--Driven faster than you were supposed to or didn’t stop all the way at a stop sign
    • The Bible agrees: Romans 3:23: For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.
    • Romans 6:23 (read first part only): For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
    • Definitions
      • Sin: any disobedience against what God said we should or should not do. It can be something deliberate, or behavior or inaction that you regret.
      • Nature: your instincts or the typical ways you tend to be.
  • But there is good news: (read all of Romans 6:23) If we accept Jesus’ death as payment for our sins and turn to God, He makes us right with Him and gives us the Holy Spirit.
    • Romans 3:22: We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.
    • Romans 3:25a: For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.
    • Romans 10:9-10: For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
    • Illustration: taking a shower at camp after several days of being outside—after feeling dirty and gross, you are made clean.
    • If you have never accepted Jesus into your heart and chosen to start living for God instead of for yourself, you can make this choice today! If you want help or more information, you can talk with your dad, your leader, me, or another adult that loves Jesus and you trust.
    • John 14:16-17a: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.
  • Guess what: The war is won, but the battles are not over. After we’ve turned to Jesus, our sinful nature and the Holy Spirit are now both sending competing desires inside our mind.
    • Galatians 5:17: The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.
    • Even God told Cain in Genesis 4:7: “Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it.”
    • But again there is great news: 1 John 4:4: But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won your fight with these false prophets, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
    • Illustration: my selfishness/laziness at home if there is dog poop, dishwasher ready to be emptied, bed needing to be made. My sinful nature wants to leave it, but the Holy Spirit is encouraging me to take action and do my part.
  • What are we supposed to do? Listen and choose to follow the desires that come from the Holy Spirit.
    • Galatians 5:16: So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.
    • Galatians 5:25: If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.
  • How do we tell which desires are from the Holy Spirit? (ask everyone)
    • Know what it looks like - Galatians 5:22-23: But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.
    • Pray and listen for God to speak to you. Get to know Him.
    • Read the Bible regularly in a translation you can understand. (e.g., International Children’s Version, New Living Translation).
    • Use the SOAP method to journal what you are learning.
    • Go to a good church, where you can learn and grow in your faith.
  • Why?
    • John 10:10b (Today’s International Reader’s Version): I have come so [you] can have life. I want [you] to have it in the fullest possible way.
    • Psalm 4:7 (Today’s International Reader’s Version): You have filled my heart with great joy. It is greater than the joy of people who have lots of grain and fresh wine.
    • Bottom line: God wants to know you and me personally, and He wants what is best for each of us.

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