This past weekend our youth group went up to Camp Berea and God was waiting for us there! Over the course of the weekend eight students gave themselves to Jesus Christ for the first time and many others prayed to “renew their vows” to Christ; I think it’s safe to say that none of us were left unaffected and untouched.
Sam Bhatt, our speaker, shared out of 1 John 4:19, which says “We love because he first loved us.” God did not wait for us to love him before he chose to love us. God takes the initiative! We are all sinners, desperately lost in our sins and deserving of judgment for rebellion against our Creator. Thankfully, that’s just the bad news…
…the Good News (which is what the word “Gospel” means) is that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so that whoever would believe in him might not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17). God loved us looong before we ever even thought about loving him. He loved us so much that God the Son (the second Person of the Trinity) became a man (named Jesus) and lived among us without ever sinning and died on the cross so that the innocent (Jesus) would suffer and die as the substitute for the guilty (us).
Our love for God is a response, or a reaction, to God’s love. We cannot initiate love for God, because He loved us long before we were even born. Ephesians 1:4-5 says, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
The question we were all confronted with this weekend was this: “How will you react to God’s love?” Students, Graduates, Parents, whoever you are… what’s your reaction? If you are a Christian but love doesn’t play a central role in your daily life then there’s a problem. As I recently read somewhere, “God wants full custody, not a weekend visit.” Will you live your life as a reaction to God’s love?
The Chris Tomlin song below became the unofficial theme-song of the weekend, take a look: