Monday, January 26, 2009

Frostbitten...

This past weekend we had "FROSTBITE", a winter retreat for Senior Highers from all over the Gateway Conference of the Free Methodist Church. It went awesome. Here's a quick recap:

We had over 130 people from over 10 different churches. We brought in Jeremiah Bolich as our speaker, and hired BREAM as our worship band for the weekend. We had carpetball, football, counselor hunts in freezing temperatures, and the other expected youth-oriented activities. But our preparation, fancy bells and whistles, and amazingly un-camplike food were not the source of what made the weekend.

Jesus was.

From registration on Friday evening, through the various activities/services/meals/etc., into clean-up time on Saturday - Christ was praught/taught/proclaimed and studied. The reminder that we can easily become someone who is following Christ, and yet still not a Christian, was an appropriate message for the teens AND we adults. Especially those of us involved regularly in church-ish things.

When Jesus fed a crowd following him (John 6), he realized these people were following him for the wrong reasons. They wanted to make Jesus King of the Jews, and associated Him/His power with political potential. He wanted nothing to do with them, and escaped.

How often in our own lives, are we "following Jesus", and yet being someone he would look at and want nothing to do with? Do our ministries reflect Jesus, or our desires? So what does a life transformed by the Spirit of God look like?

For that, we have examples throughout the word of God, or people/disciples who lived out their faith. The New Testament is filled with stories of a spirit-empowered life under the new covenant. People who's lives were guided by, and wrapped around not who they wanted Jesus to be - but who Jesus revealed He was - and how He revealed His Kingdom to be.

I'm thankful for a God who says -
"you no longer follow the ten commandments, you follow me..."

May we understand better daily what that really means...

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