How exciting it is to part of God's mission of adopting children into his family! How exciting it is to see Jesus rescue children from the evil one and his plans and into Jesus' hands and his plans!
Children, children and more children had a wonderful time at VBS: Sports Camp. As I have been talking with the adults and teens who volunteered to make it happen, they too had a wonderful time. Thanks everyone for all your time, energy and love you poured into these children!
Can you picture 50-60 kids in the Sports Camp decorated sanctuary, singing, doing hand motions to child-focused worship songs? Can you picture these kids clearly listening to five short messages based on God's Word: Created For A Purpose, Rules to Play The Game, The Gift to Overcome Breaking The Rules, Being Filled with the Holy Spirit and Walking with Jesus every day.
Then can you picture them out at 4 different stations; learning 3 different sports and having a team-building snack time? A lot of running, walking, playing, laughing, drinking water out of their cool new individualized water bottles, making new friends and growing in Christ.
On Wednesday, I had the privilege to share about The Gift, the gift of Jesus paying the price for us breaking the rules of life. I asked the kids to reach up high in the air to receive the gift of Jesus' forgiveness and adoption into His family. As I opened my eyes to see who was raising their hands, between 15-20 kids had their hands raised asking Jesus for the gift of salvation. Praise God! Only God can adopt people into His family. Only God can forgive sins. Only God can open up peoples' hearts and minds to the truth of the gift of Jesus.
Jesus explained, "There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!" Luke 15:7
What does heaven's celebration of all these children being adopted into God's kingdom do to your heart and soul? What does hell being depopulated do to your heart and your soul?
Every day Jesus invites you to join Him in His mission.
How do you respond?
"I'm a little busy today Jesus?"
"How about another time, Jesus?"
"Yes, let's do this!"
Seeking to say "Yes" every day,
When is the first time you can remember someone giving you good advice?
Can you think back to when you were marked by hearing and learning something really important?
When I was really young, I remember my dad saying, "Thinking is really important."
I remember my mom saying, "Listening is really important."
I remember a friend from elementary school saying, "Dirty magazines are really cool."
Do you remember people giving you advice?
Listening to advice. Giving advice.
Which is more important?
God says to us in Proverbs 1:8-9, "Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck."
We can see that both giving advice and receiving advice is extremely important. How can we have one with out the other?
As we are in the middle of VBS: Sports Camp week, it is crucial that we know what advice we are giving to these elementary children. God reminds us that we need to wisely share His wisdom with these children. Jesus even warns us that there are severe consequences if we share advice that is the opposite of Jesus' teaching.
With this in mind, what wisdom are you sharing?
Remember, we all share verbally and we all share with our actions. Do our actions, words and attitude reflect and demonstrate Jesus' teaching?
What wisdom are you passing on to every person you come into contact with?
Praying Jesus' wisdom is clearly communicated through our actions, our attitudes and our words.
VBS, what does it mean to you?
Joy. Great Memories. Hard Work. Laughter. Fear. Calming. Craziness. Friendship. Singing. Crafting. Learning. Experiencing Jesus. Adoption.
As we have been preparing for VBS, let's take a look at Jesus' love for children.
"People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms,placed his hands on them and blessed them." Mark 10:13-16
How often are children pushed aside? How often are children an after thought? How often are children a pain?
In the midst of an incredibly busy schedule and while Jesus was on a mission to help people, Jesus stops His life rescuing mission to spend time with children. Jesus invested in children. How valuable are children to Jesus? How valuable is each child to Jesus? How valuable are children to you? How valuable is each child to you? Do you schedule time throughout your calendar to invest in children?
Mark records Jesus speaking up for children. Who is a voice for children these days? Children do not fully understand all of their needs so much so that the only way to try and communicate them is by crying. How can a child or any child be a spokes person for children? Thank God that the Creator of the Universe, the God who became a man, the only Savior, Jesus is the spokesman for children. Are you listening to Him? Is the world listening to Him?
Then Jesus picks up the children. Plays with the children. Places His hands on the children. Blesses and prays for the children.
This next week, we have the awesome privilege to be the hands, feet and mouth of Jesus to love children at VBS.
Will you join us even if it is for just one evening?
Will you invite the children you know to join us?
Will you pray for the children?
Will you seek to make one child feel the way Jesus feels about them?
Will you follow the Holy Spirit's guidance to care for any child?
Praying for Jesus to love over 100 children through Southtowners,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.