I know I talked a lot about camp yesterday & how much fun it was & all the good side... & bad side... lets not forget all the hurling going on. Total bad side...
But the weekend had a topic we focused on all weekend.
When I heard that, I was so excited because I relate to Peter.
Peter, the one who dropped his nets to follow Jesus & wanted to learn all he could from this man who was teaching new truths on God... & the man who turned away from God, heart broken that he did just as he told Jesus he wouldn't do - deny him. & the man who got to see his friend in a risen body after they witnessed his crucifixion & tell him he loved him. & the man who Jesus told that His church would be built through him... even after his failures.
I get Peter. I understand Peter.
So I was excited for the kids to learn about Peter & how his story could tap into their own lives.
Each night, we talked about a word the represented Peter's Story....
DROP / WALK / SPEAK / LIVE
Peter dropped his nets to go to Jesus. Left everything behind. His career as a fisherman. His family. Everything he knew & was comfortable with. ... & we were reminded how we need to DROP our concerns that hold us back. The things that we dont want to do for Jesus because we may be uncomfortable. The worries that we can come up with. They will always keep us in a place of comfort that isn't helping anyone. DROP our own nets as fast as we can.....dont let them hold us back.
We were reminded how in the middle of a storm, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. Took that step of faith to stand on the un-standable, keeping his focus on the One who would give him the power to stand. .... & we were reminded that in the storms of our life, because there will always be storms, that Peter showed us that its better to be in the middle of a storm WITH Jesus, than safe in the boat without Him. Jesus will protect us, get us through those rough times - we just have to stay near him & trust in Him until the winds calm down.
We looked at what people were saying about Jesus & Jesus looked at Peter & said, "Who do you say that I am?"... & Peter replied, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God". Peter spoke loudly what he knew to be true. Even if it wasn't something others agreed with. ... & we were reminded that we need to speak up, voice our belief in Jesus to others. Share His word. Share who He is. & we took it a step further in our group & I asked the kids "Who would people say YOU are?"... & we got a lot of words - a lot not so flattering. It was eye opening I think for the kids to voice how they thought many saw them. We want to change that. We want others to say about us, "Who is so & so?... Oh, they're a Christian. Oh, they are a Jesus Freak. Oh, they are a Kingdom Worker. Oh, they are the kindest, giving, generous, loving person.".
WHO WE SAY JESUS IS... We proclaim it
This was a powerful one. We got to see how Peter failed Jesus. Denied him. 3 times.
Failure at its finest. But we saw that in the end, Jesus had Peter proclaim that he loved Him... & Peter's world was turned around. Failure doesnt have to hold us back. Jesus forgives us. & failures are going to happen. We asked about failures in our small group & the girls asked me what one of my failures were - & I said, "Are we just talking about today or all time?... because failures DO happen every day. We aren't perfect... but we were reminded that Peter made an impact in God's Kingdom & in our own lives & failures, we are called to be Kingdom Workers. We are to take our own talents & abilities God has given us & we are to LIVE FOR HIM by using these talents & grow the Kingdom of God however we can. We can take the story of our failures & put an "AND THEN" on it & finish the story in a glorious way!
It was an amazing lesson to take to heart... every single day....every single message
& I love going to these events for Middle School kids because as you can tell, all of these points are things that even the "old folk" like me needs to be reminded of.
It's what makes the Bible so cool ... its timeless... ageless... eternal.