Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vacation Bible School Devotional Day 1

For my usual readers: I'm posting the devotionals up here for easy access by the VBS participants. Please feel free to join us in this journey this week and keep the participants in your prayers as we set out to make positive changes in the lives of families in our community. I also encurage everyone to post comments, and I promise to check at least once a day to respond if needed.

Day 1:
Bible Point: Jesus gives us the power to be thankful.
Power Verse: “Always be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
Bible Story: Jesus heals the lepers. Luke 17:11-19
Colossians 3:12-17 (New King James Version)
Character of the New Man 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

When I went to look up the Power Verse for today I did what I always do, read the text around it. As I read the whole section I got to thinking about how this applies to those of us serving at Vacation Bible School this year. Sometimes we think of the “elect of God” as being those who are in a paid or called position at the church – pastors, ministers, directors. It’s easy to forget that God chose us to be part of his family, and that he gave us a mission in His service. For this week God chose us in our various roles to work cooperatively to bring a living presence of Him into the lives of the children, parents, and others we come in contact with through VBS. Only through a united presence of the characteristics listed in the passage above do we truly represent God. Each individual, young or old, rich or poor, brings a special gift or talent that another may or may not have. Without that special gift we would not be able to act as a community for these children to immolate, and these families to want to be part of. Nowhere does God say that one type of servant is greater than the other, but that we were all designed for His purpose. In God’s own words we are Holy and Beloved.
Middle English, from Old English hālig; akin to Old English hāl whole — more at whole
before 12th century
1: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness2: divine 3: devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity 4 a: having a divine quality b: venerated as or as if sacred 5—used as an intensive ; often used in combination as a mild oath
Merriam Webster On-line Dictionary

Look at these entries for the definition of holy. It’s just as God says we were made in His image to be a likeness of Him on earth. We are more whole because we have him in our hearts, we are part of Him.

Main Entry:
Middle English, from past participle of beloven to love, from be- + loven to love
14th century
: dearly loved : dear to the heart
— beloved noun
God also says that we are “beloved” that we are loved by Him. That He holds us in His heart. What a powerful gift this is from God – to be filled with Him and to be loved by Him. This combined with the mission of being His presence on Earth we were chosen by his to use our gifts and talents in His service. Each person contributing their part to present wholeness in Him. There is so much more in this passage, but we’ll have to save that for another time. Thank you for all your hard work at VBS, and know that you were chosen as God’s representative in this mission. He wants you to know your act of service is cherished by Him. Thank you for giving of yourself today.
Today the kids were asked to write a note thanking someone that has helped them through a hard time. In one of the groups I participate in we spoke about Life Giving Water and that some days we just need someone to fill our cup. I encourage you to take a moment to write a note to someone who has helped you at some time thanking them for helping you. Pull water from the well of life and share Jesus’ love by putting a few drops in their cup. You never know how wonderful that little act of kindness will feel when you just take a second to drop someone a note. You can leave a comment about how it made you feel or their response to receiving the note.

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