A few words to describe WINTER CAMP 2010 = girls that I love, beanies amazing worship, Luke Simmons, cabin time, kosher food (always skip the meat), the Mark and Matt show, Dan’s tight pants and suspender action, the Gospel of John, fresh air, warm cabins, Mrs. Langdon’s puppy chow, great discussion, encouraging staff meetings, “who wants to be a hundred-aire” flying squid, long hikes, Ninja, Madelyn’s dance for the Adam’s family, too much candy, R’Ted horse races, lots of laughter, late nights, re-visiting Kirstee’s cliff, pterodactyl, karaoke, SNOW, chicken’s up, chicken’s down, card games, driving through the thickest fog EVER, undistracted time, communion, and incredible sessions in God’s Word.
Luke led us through 5 of the 25 “Truly, truly” statements in the Gospel of John. It was AWESOME (below I’ve highlighted a few of his key points)!
#1. John 3: 1-8 (about needing new life in Christ)
John 3:5 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
In this excerpt Jesus is talking to the equivalent of the Pope… His words to Nicodemus are also, in the same way, a reality for us. We need NEW LIFE! Not a new religion, not an improvement of the old self, but rather the creation of a new self.
“New birth” = experiencing the supernatural in yourself (a reorientation of our entire life), not just affirming the supernatural in Jesus
Ez. 36: 25-28 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances…. So you will be my people and I will be your God.”
Being born again is absolutely essential, entirely a work of God, and the experience of a radical transformation BY GRACE!
2 Cor. 5: 17-21 “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ… we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
#2. John 6:22-40 (about loving the giver more than His gifts)
Here’s a great question: “If you could have heaven (no pain, no suffering, great food, awesome friendships, natural wonders) without Christ, would you be satisfied? Not an easy question to answer… (Though we do know that any heaven without Christ would be hell)
John “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.”
Luke’s observations from this text:
- You will do what you want to do. The question is “Do you want Jesus?”
- We are tempted to seek Jesus for His Gifts.
- We are often satisfied with things that don’t satisfy. Our hunger for God is crippled not by poison, but by apple-pie… the nibbling at the pleasures of earth and the world’s substitutes for God.
- We NEED Jesus Himself. He is worthy of everything!
The day after Jesus fed the 5,000 many walked away still seeking bread… Jesus asks His disciples if they too want to leave. Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” (Vv. 68-69).
Do you love the gifts more than the giver?
#3. John 8:31-38 (about sin)
John “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
The nature of sin is to suppress that knowledge of God and serve our own selves.
Rom “For they have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator…”
Remedy: (John ) “The Son shall make you free, and you shall be free indeed.”
It’s not something we can do, we need an outside source. The Gospel can set us free.
6 ways we minimize sin:
1. Defending (justifying)
2. Faking (not many people know the real me)
3. Hiding (conceal)
4. Exaggerating (drama)
5. Blaming (refuse to own our sin)
6. Downplaying (little weight to sin).
#4. John 13:1-7 (Jesus washes the disciple’s feet)
I loved RADDICAL LOVE OF CHRIST in verse one “…knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, HE LOVED THEM TO THE END.”
How true it is that no one else will love you like Christ? (As is captured the courtroom scene of Zachariah chapter 3. Joshua stands guilty, in his own dirty clothes, with Satan (the accuser) hurling charges before the Judge. Then God (“being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us”) intercedes, and declares Joshua His own.)
We forget that God rejoices over His people and that God actually LIKES his kids.
John “Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither is the one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.”
So what does the call to follow Jesus mean? It’s a call to become not that important… like John the Baptist proclaimed, “He must increase and I must decrease.” It’s a call to servant-hood; to voluntarily enslave yourself to another for THEIR GOOD.
1. Pride (above this). We can measure our servants’ heart by the way we respond when others treat us like a servant.
2. Selfishness (don’t see other people’s needs because can’t see past myself). The opposite of loves is NOT HATE, but selfishness.
3. Losing focus (we forget we are serving Christ)
4. Bitterness (you WON’T forgive)
John 13:17, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
#5. John 12:20-26 (dying to self)
John 12:24-26 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.
Verse 26 says “If anyone serves Me, let him follow me….”
In Jesus there is abundant life, but there is also a cost. We are called to follow him; Jesus Christ went to
Is 55:1-3 “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good and delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live…”