What Picture Illustrates Your Walk with Jesus -- Right Now?
Note: Our devotion today highlights the creativity and ingenuity of our Christian camp leaders and volunteers, who this week, are hosting their first-ever virtual camp, “Survivors,” at Front Range Camp. ABCRM Ministry and Mission Coach Mike Oldham and Minister to Future Leaders Lauren Parliament have invested incalculable hours preparing for this unprecedented event (due to the restrictions and closures caused by the COVID-19 virus).
Furthermore, Mike Oldham and Pastor Dave DeMott created the below activity for the High School Camp in order to help fulfill the camp’s mission “to love kids one step closer to Jesus.” As DeMott had said, before teen-agers can move further into a relationship with Jesus Christ, they need to know the current status of their faith. Intended as a conversation-starter for campers, however, this activity can be beneficial for experienced Christians who are faced with the struggles and uncertainties of our present world.
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found" (Luke 15:31-32, NIV).
Where are you?
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see your imperfections and blemishes? Do you see your talents and gifts that you bring to this world? Are you critical? Are you hopeful? Are you confident? Are you timid?
We have to be careful what voices we are listening to. If we listen to the wrong voices, we can start believing that we are inadequate, rejected, not smart enough, not good enough.
The Bible tells us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” When God looked at creation, God said, “I do good work.” When God looks at you, God says, “I do good work.”
You are God’s Beloved Child!
Beyond being “fearfully and wonderfully made,” you are God’s beloved child. In the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), Jesus tells the story of how the father waits to receive his child back home again. Rembrandt painted the Return of the Prodigal (shown to the left). What do you see in this picture? It is easy to pick out the father and the prodigal. What do you see when you look at the younger son? What do you see when you see the father? Who is the older son?
Have you ever imagined God the Father holding you as a “beloved child” who has come home?
A Life-long Journey with Jesus
Our journey with Jesus is a lifetime. The first disciples met Jesus in Galilee and Jerusalem. When they said yes to following Jesus, they could not imagine where their walk with Jesus would take them.
You are also on a life-long journey. Sometimes you will be close to God. Sometimes you will struggle to hear and feel God’s presence. You might walk away from God. Like Peter, you might even deny knowing Jesus. Rest assured, Jesus will never walk away from you. God will be the loving father waiting for you to return.
Where Are You Right Now?
Where is your relationship with Jesus? Where would you put yourself on the line below?
What are three or four images that you could use to share where your relationship is with God? Take your phone and try to take pictures that tell your story. Go online and find images that reflect how you feel about your relationship with God. (What do the images below say to you?)
Obviously, this spiritual activity was designed for high school students. But, its reflective questions can touch even the most experienced and mature Christian heart. We're walking through one of the most anxious and uncertain time periods of our lives -- and so, what images capture our spiritual journey at this particular moment?
What images will illustrate our journey next week? Next month? What images do we hope will reflect our journey next year?
Rev. Mike Oldham
Ministry & Mission Coach
Northern Front Range, Wyoming, and Southeastern New Mexico