Whilst I had been invited to join the camp as the “Speaker” I was not planning to simply stand up and tell the guys a load of my ideas and stories. But rather I wanted to share and model some of the tools and foundations which would help people to go and be who God wants them to be and do what He wants them to do…..
The whole aim of our time together, I felt, was to be reminded from scripture that Father God is not looking for religious experts who simply gather information about Jesus. But that God is looking for people who passionately worship Him through obedience to His Word and love for others.
We kept going back to Luke 7:36-50 to remind ourselves that passion for Jesus may often cause us to break protocol, tradition, religion and will lead us beyond gathering information to knowing the person and work of Jesus.
We began by looking at Jesus Christ…Why did He come…?What did He do….?What did He say…? We saw afresh from the scriptures that Jesus came to complete the Father’s will. He had a purpose which guided Him. He came to those who were physically and Spiritually sick and who knew they had a problem. He expressed everything about Father God in what He said, what He did and how He treated people. We saw again how He came not only to offer Himself as a sacrifice for people’s sins – but also to model a life completely surrendered to the Holy Spirit.
Then we read in scripture what Jesus asked people to do. We asked ourselves what a disciple of Jesus is and what one looks like! We found in scripture that a disciple of Jesus is someone who hears and does what Jesus says. A disciple is obedient to Jesus and His word. A disciple is also a “Fisher of men” so sharing our faith in Jesus is a central part of following Jesus. A disciple is someone who follows the example of Jesus in giving His life away for the sake of others. A disciple is someone who has the Spirit of Jesus (Holy Spirit) living inside them. We looked at Romans 6-8 and asked ourselves what it means to be “led by the Spirit” and talked about what this might practically look like….
Finally we looked at what Jesus said about following Him in community….We thought about how a part of being a disciple is encouraging and loving others. We read in Ephesians and in John 13-17 about how God desires to be revealed through groups of disciples who love each other, serve each other and wash each other’s feet. We finished our time together in small groups…washing each other’s feet, sharing what God had been saying to us and what we were going to do about it and finally praying for each other.
I came away feeling chuffed that God had spoken to us all through simply letting scripture speak for itself and through giving people the tools to do things themselves!
All we did was look again at:
1) Who Jesus was/is and what He did and said
2) What our personal response should be if we desire to be a disciple of Jesus Christ
3) How our discipleship will lead us to serve and love others
In doing these simple things we were reminded about the love of the Father for us through Jesus Christ and how much we need to rely on and respond to the work of the Spirit in us. We were reminded about what God’s purpose is for us as the family of God and how a discipleship, foot washing shaped Church could spread to the ends of the earth….