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

Revolution Series – Josiah

Just because you are young does not mean you can’t make an impact. A boy named Josiah became king when he was only eight years old, and he led Judah through an extremely important change.

Read 2 Kings 22 and 2 Kings 23:21-25

Josiah was only eight years old. EIGHT YEARS OLD! During his time as king, the Book of the Law was found. This was the Word of God to Judah. When they read it, they realized that they had not been following God’s Law for years.

Have you ever done something and realized later that it was wrong? How did you react?

Josiah leads Judah through a revolution of coming back to the Law of God. His heart was so tender that he tore his robes when he heard about how the previous leaders had forsaken God’s commandments.

Ask God if there are areas in your own life where you need to turn back to Him.

You’ll notice also that God does not withhold judgment upon Judah even though Josiah leads them through this revolution. There are still consequences for the earlier sins. But it was because of Josiah that Judah turned back to God. His impact was great, and it was because he had a relationship with God at a young age.

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Rule of Life Series: Community Discipline

Hebrews 12:11-13

Life in community is a common theme in the Bible. “Love your neighbor” and the practices of the church in Acts show us that community is a good thing. We are supposed to live at peace with those around us.

But what happens when our community hurts us?

To live in community is to be vulnerable. We open ourselves up to others. We share life together and help each other through struggles. We encourage and lift up one another. We love each other.

But sometimes communities can be broken by sin. Boundaries must be in place. That’s what today’s passage talks about.

Nobody likes discipline. It isn’t fun. It’s meant to be a deterrent to sinful behavior. But a good community has boundaries in place to protect its members. What’s interesting about our passage is how it distinguishes between the moment of discipline and the after effects.

As we’ve already discussed, the moment of discipline is anything but fun. It hurts. We sometimes feel shame and guilt. Hopefully, it causes us to reconsider whatever action brought on the discipline. But what does our passage have to say about the after effects of discipline?

“Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

True discipline yields peace. Our communities should have boundaries in place that make that possible.

So, what communities are you a part of? Your church, your family and your school are all communities you interact with on a daily or weekly basis. They probably have strong boundaries in place.

But what about your friend group?

Do you and your friends set up boundaries so that you won’t put yourselves in bad situations? You and your friends should be building each other up. That means having rules in place so you won’t fall into temptation.

Pray this week and ask God to help you live in peace with each community you’re a member of.

 

Want more?

Proverbs 19:20

Colossians 3:12-14

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Week 7: Lust

Matthew 5:27-30

By this point in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has flipped the script a couple different times. He’s taking common ideas held by the people of His day and showing them a new way. Our passage for today is no different.

Everyone knows adultery is wrong. That’s not being disputed. In our lingo, that’s called cheating on your husband or wife. Yeah, we all get that’s wrong.

But what if you lust after someone?

“Lusting” is a word we use in church circles. But do we really know what it means? It goes hand-in-hand with the sin of envy. At the root of lust is the idea of wanting something for ourselves to the point where we fixate on it.

Commonly, lust is used as a sexual term. The idea here is that you see someone of the opposite gender and you want them.

Jesus flat out says that’s as bad as cheating on your spouse.

I think it’s a good rule in life that if Jesus puts emphasis on something, we should too. So look at your own life. Give yourself a check-up. How are YOU doing on this?

A lot of times we associate this sin specifically with guys. Certainly it’s a sin many guys struggle with. In our passage, Jesus even frames the discussion around a man struggling with lusting after a woman. But girls aren’t off the hook here.

We ALL need to make sure that we choosing holiness over what feels good.

Just that discussion would make this passage tough enough. Then, Jesus gets into something that sometimes confuses people.

He talks about gouging out your eye and cutting off your hand. So…what’s going on here?

Well, I’ll say this much – I don’t think Jesus literally means you need to mutilate your body if you sin. Really what Jesus is getting at here is nailing down your real priorities.

What’s more important – your relationship with Christ or that hot guy you noticed across the room? Jesus’ point here is that if your relationship with Christ is really your top priority, you are going to do whatever it takes to set up boundaries to keep yourself from sinning.

So let’s get serious about this.

If you know there’s a website that has questionable content, don’t go near it. If all your friends went to see that hot new movie in theaters but you know it shows nudity, don’t go see it. If you see a good-looking girl and you know your mind is starting to wander…

…PRAY!

The bottom line is that none of us can beat lust on our own. Ultimately, we need to give this struggle over to God and acknowledge that we desperately need help.

So pray today and ask God to help you set up boundaries in your life. This stuff was serious to Jesus, I think it should be serious to us.