TAWG After Camp: You are Loved

It’s now been over a week since we were all at camp together. School is about to start back up again for many of us. Others have work. Our old routines are beginning to settle back in, and what we learned at camp may be feeling a bit foggy by now.

So much can change even in a week. You know what doesn’t change? God loves you, and He is with you.

He wants to see you succeed.

He wants to help you grow.

He never gives up on you.

He is walking with you through every situation, no matter how difficult.

 

Have you ever felt abandoned or alone? Have you ever felt like someone who is very close to you had pulled away from or forgotten you? Even our most cherished human relationships can include pain and difficulty. But let’s look at Isaiah 49:15-16 and consider how our relationship with God goes even deeper.

Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

There is no other human relationship quite like that of a mother and a child. Yet even that relationship does not compare to the love and tenderness of God. Look at the verses again. God tells us that He will never forget us. Never, no matter what we do.

Take comfort in that today. As you seek to move forward and continue in the things you learned at camp, be aware that you might slip up. But God still loves you. As you go back to school, friendships and circumstances may change. But God hasn’t forgotten you. As you live with and love your family, there may be bumps along the road. But God is always with you.

You are loved. You are cherished. You matter. God has not forgotten you, and he never will.

Want More?

  • Romans 8:38-39
  • Psalm 27:9-14
  • Jeremiah 29:11-13
  • 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
  • Psalm 34:8
  • Psalm 31:19
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Rule of Life Series: Serving with Compassion

1 John 4:19-21

1 Peter 4:10-11

Matthew 20:26-28

Galatians 5:13-14

John 13:1-20

Matthew 25:31-46

Romans 12:9-13

Luke 10:25-37

Serving others is a major part of following Christ.  If you study and analyze the life of Christ you will begin to recognize that he served others with his life.  Christ demonstrated and spoke about the importance of serving others with compassion.  It should be obvious that those who say they are following Christ should also be serving others.  They must not just be serving them, but serving them with a type of love that desires nothing in return. This type of love is not about what will happen to me, but what will happen to others.  It is a love that focuses not on our glory, but God’s alone.

This week take some time to read through each of these passages and spend time reflecting on each one.  Spend time praying each day asking him how you can better serve those around you.  Listen and obey.  Serving other with compassion, with a love that has no conditions, can be extremely challenging.  It is hard not to want something in return, even if that something is as small as a good work, or thank you.  This type of service is about expecting nothing except for God to be glorified.  Be still and know that he is God of all.

Rest in God’s presence this week and allow the Spirit to restore you.  As we bring this series to a close think about all of the commitments and changes you have decided to make in your life.  How are you doing?  What is changing?  What still needs to change?  Allow God to move.  Be present, accepting grace, and be transformed.

Week 9: Compassion

Matthew 5:38-48

Over the past few weeks there have been many challenges presented to us through the Sermon on the Mount.  Many of the ideas we have looked at will take some time to fully understand and to live out.  It is important for us to revisit these passages on a regular basis so as to not forget how Jesus calls us to live our lives as his disciples.  As we continue to walk through these teachings together I pray that you stay patient and persistent.  At times it can be overwhelming to see what it takes to follow Christ but I would encourage you to keep pushing forward, not letting anything stand in the way of your learning and growth.  We all make mistakes and fall short, but God’s grace surrounds us, and He is waiting for us to return to his presence.

This week we are looking at some difficult passages to comprehend.  Both look at what it means to be compassionate and loving.  As you read through these verses be attentive to what God may be saying to you personally, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in you.

I read a book a few years ago during Lent that was filled with a variety of essays by famous authors discussing temptation, passion, crucifixion, and resurrection.  Today as I reflect on the idea of compassion and loving your enemies I am reminded of a story that I read.  Read through this short parable and reflect on what exactly is trying to be said:

There is a story of an old man who used to meditate early every morning under a big tree on the banks of the Ganges River.  One morning, after he had finished his meditation, the old man opened his eyes and saw a scorpion floating helplessly in the water.  As the scorpion washed closer to the tree, the old man quickly stretched himself out on one of the long roots that branched out into the river and reached out to rescue the drowning creature.  As soon as he touched it, the scorpion stung him.  Instinctively the man withdrew his hand.  A minute later, after he had regained his balance, he stretched himself out again on the roots to save the scorpion.  This time the scorpion stung him so badly with its poisonous tail that his hand became swollen and his face contorted with pain.

At that moment, a passerby saw the old man stretched out on the roots struggling with the scorpion and shouted, “Hey, stupid old man, what’s wrong with you?  Only a fool would risk his life for the sake of an ugly, evil creature. Don’t you know you could kill yourself trying to save that ungrateful scorpion?”

The old man turned his head.  Looking into the stranger’s eyes he said calmly, “My friend, just because it is the scorpion’s nature to sting, that does not change my nature to save.”  The scorpion he had tried to save finally killed him.

This story reminds of us the compassion that God has for us.  Even though we constantly are rejecting him, hurting him, and not acknowledging his grace, he still sent Jesus Christ to save us.  He continues to pursue us every day, never giving up.  This is a perfect image of compassion.

This week spend a lot of time thinking about what it truly means to love your enemies, to show them compassion.  Try to make sense of how we are to do this in our world today.  What needs to change in your life?  How can we become better at demonstrating compassion to those around us?

Finally, read this quote from Mother Teresa and think about what this means for you and our world today:

“If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”