Being A Disciple
by Pastor Scott
We just returned from another wonderful, faith-building youth mission trip and we had a great time. Seven youth and five adult leaders traveled to western Kentucky for seven days of fun, fellowship, work, and worship.
We began our travels on Sunday morning July 10th, traveling 8-1/2 hours to Le Center, Kentucky where we stayed the week at a church with several other church groups from around the nation. Each morning would begin with breakfast and prayer after which we would load up the van and head off to our work sites. We’d pack our lunches in the morning and eat on site, work a bit longer and then return to the church by 3:30 or so each day for showers.
Each evening we’d all eat together in a gym, have some free time and then gather to worship by 8 pm. Our group would then head off for some ice-cream and reflection on the day with questions from our devotional. Lights out was at 10:30pm.
By Thursday noon we were done with our work and had some free time to go to a trampoline park before our final worship on Thursday evening. On Friday, we drove to St. Louis and enjoyed time at Six Flags and then a visit to the Arch. Saturday we returned home to laundry and our own beds.
The theme of the week was “Being A Disciple” and the goal was to guide everyone through four points: Abiding in God, Loving Others, Bearing Fruit, and Counting the Cost.
Abiding in God taught us that to abide in someone is to act in accordance with them and this is what God truly wants from all of us, to experience Him fully in our lives. We talked about how God calls us to a deeper relationship with Him.
We talked about how loving others is something we often feel we do not need explained to us, but that it is not always that simple; that learning to love others as God loves us is a daily process and with the world pushing so hard for a me, myself and I mentality, loving others over ourselves becomes even more difficult. We learned that the way we show love is a marker for people to see that we are disciples of Jesus.
Bearing fruit was the theme on Wednesday. This is the process of putting off what God wants us to leave behind and putting on what God has called us to. Matthew 7:18 says, “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.” If we put our trust fully in God we can be the person that God intends us to be, a person who is loving, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, joyful and has self-control.
Finally, we talked about counting the cost. This reminded me of the book written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in 1937 entitled “The Cost of Discipleship.” Jesus calls each of us to be His disciples, but what does that really mean? What are the implications of that call? The point Team Effort wanted to make with our young people is that counting the cost is making sure God is at the center of your life and not just fitting around your life. Mark 8:36 says, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” If we fully become disciples of Jesus, it changes our lives. Ask yourself this week, “What areas of your life has Jesus changed? What areas still need changing? And how can you count the cost of the changes and walk more closely with Jesus?”
I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support for our youth and this mission. God has blessed us with a wonderful congregation and I truly believe He is working through each and every one of us for His glory.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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