While I’m gone at Kids Camp these few days (and there are people still at home while I am gone. I am the only one out of town, for all the potential thieves out there. thankyouverymuch. DON’T ROB MY HOUSE. Kthanks.) I thought I would share with you the devotions I wrote for Kids Camp. You may remember me asking for your advice on the topics a few days ago. These are written for the high school group that goes. We do chapel skits, chapel games, are in charge of all the rec games and free time. The kids have their own separate devotions. The themes for Kids Camp this year were: Live LOUD, Love LOUD, Lead LOUD. Focusing on the LOUD, obviously. :) Enjoy!
A life of love is obedience to Christ.
We’ve all heard it a hundred times. “The most important commandment is to love God. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself.” We know love is important, and we’ve read 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter) many times. But I’m going to ask that you listen once more instead of zoning out. Really think about love for the next 15 minutes. How love has impacted you, and how you hope to impact others with that same love. Or perhaps I should say, Love.
“A healthy definition of love is crucial to understanding the central message of the Bible. The Bible teaches that love is a commitment. As a commitment, love is not dependent on good feelings, but rather on a consistent and courageous decision to extend oneself for the well-being of another. The commitment then produces good feelings, not the other way around.”
Pause for just a moment and think over 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love never ends.
Love IS. It’s easy to skip over that and think, “Well I’m good at almost all that. I just need to work on being more patient.” Or less irritable or less prideful. We each have our own thing or two that we need to work on. But when it comes down to it we don’t need to learn about patience or not being jealous. We need to learn about love. Because love is patient. Love is not jealous. If we love, we are those things.
Sometimes it’s easy to love people. You don’t have to think twice about loving your best friend, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. You just simply love them. But what about the people that say mean things about you? The guy that betrayed you? The girl that, for whatever reason, you just can’t stand being around? What about the people that are hard to love?
We know we’re called to love them, but how? Read back over the quote at the beginning of the devotion. “Love is not dependent on good feelings… The commitment produces good feelings, not the other way around. When, for whatever reason, we don’t like someone, we still must love them. Even when it isn’t easy and there aren’t good feelings there. Love doesn’t rely on good feelings. It actually produces good feelings. So how do you love them? You just do. You listen or you smile at them. You speak in a kind tone and you don’t ignore them. You do whatever you can to be friendly and nice.
The hardest part is that even when you love them, things may not change. People may still say mean things. The guy might not apologize and you might still dislike being around that girl. But the commitment of love produces good feelings in YOU by producing patience, kindness, etc. Whether other people reciprocate that love is up to them. You’re responsible for your own actions. Loving LOUD means that a life of love is obedience to Christ. Loving whoever, whenever, wherever. “Love does not mean that you will necessarily feel affection for all people, but that you are committed to the way of valuing others as they are valued by God.”
· What keeps you from loving others (which is obeying God)?
· Read over 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. What do you struggle with most? What needs the most work? Keep in mind that love will produce those qualities in you.
· Who is hard for you to love, and how can you go out of your way to love them in the coming days or weeks?
Copyright, OneGirl, 6/8/11
Copyright, OneGirl, 6/8/11