I am so amazed at by what Jesus did at North Greenville University for Fuge 2021. I had the privilege of serving as Camp Pastor from July 13-17, 2021 for a life-changing week.
To the students and leaders that came to camp, thank you for allowing me to share God’s Word with you. I would love to stay connected with you in some way. One conviction I have is that when God teaches me something, I want to teach it to someone else. It’s the way of discipleship.
Whether that is over breakfast with my family, in a sermon to my church, in a book that I write, or through a post to whoever would engage. So, if you’d like to learn along with me, I’d love to connect over one of the following ways.
Weekly Sermons from My Church
Weekly Podcast on Discipleship
Weekly Podcast from Course at Church
I promise not to overload your inbox, but if you want a weekly digest of new material posted on the blog, I will send you a simple summary on Fridays.
A typical week should provide 1 email that will include:
- 1 sermon
- 1 course
- 1 podcast episode
- 2 articles on either theology, ministry, or family
Bible Reading Plan
I pray that God’s Word changed your life while at camp. Guess what? You get to take that home with you. If you don’t have a plan to read, I would love to provide you some options.
I want to encourage you to read through at least one of the gospels.
We learned about Jesus all week. Pick one gospels and read one chapter every day until you are done, and then pick another book in the Bible to read. Here’s how to pick it:
- Matthew – Choose him if you love making connections of how Jesus fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament.
- Mark – Choose him if you love action-packed movement following Jesus into action.
- Luke – Choose him if you are very investigative and like to know the details.
- John – Choose him if you like to think about deep theological truths.
Tell your youth pastor and one friend which one you are going to read, and keep them updated. They can also help you where to go after that.
If you want a little longer one that gives you 100 days in the Bible hitting the main passages, you can check this one out.
I have collected all the sermon notes from the week so you can go back and study the passages. Dig in deep!
Opening – The Eager Connection
The Eager Connection
A corrupt man named Zaccheus was curious about Jesus, yet he didn’t know that Jesus was actually seeking him. It is amazing to realize that not only is Jesus willing to know us, but He is eager to do so.
- Your faith is defined by what you think about Jesus and what you believe that Jesus thinks about you.
- Both the religious and the rebellious can block our view from seeing Jesus.
- Sin encourages us to isolate ourselves from God and others.
- We applaud Zaccheus for climbing the tree, but have you ever considered who planted it in the first place?
- For all the branches you’ve perched to see Jesus, He’s the one who established the roots long ago.
- For all your efforts to see Jesus, He’s the one providing you what’s needed to get the view.
- Jesus knows everything about you and still wants you anyway.
- It’s a shocking thing whenever Jesus wants a relationship with anybody.
- No person in the history of the world has ever deserved Jesus.
- When Jesus initiates a relationship with you, it should make you want to do whatever for Him.
- We are not saved by good works but for good works.
- Jesus is more concerned with you dwelling with Him now than defending why you didn’t in the past.
Day 1 AM – The Daily Priority
The Daily Priority
In the midst of constant interruptions and demanding expectations, Jesus had a daily priority to meet with His Father. We will never learn to dwell with Him if we don’t take the initiative to meet with Him in the first place.
- Jesus’ day was a constant barrage of endless needs and exhausting people.
- Jesus discovered God’s plan by removing Himself from distractions.
- Jesus refused to allow other people’s agendas and comments to deter Him from His Father’s plans.
- If Jesus was this diligent to dwell with the Father, how dependent of that time should we be?
- Something is better than nothing
- Opened Bible before opened phone
- Your soul needs more work than your body
Day 1 PM – The Dangerous Distraction
The Dangerous Distraction
Jesus invited Peter to join Him upon the waves, but the wind distracted and endangered him. Every single follower of Jesus has successful distractions that take our eyes off of Him.
Each of us has dangerous distractions hindering our ability to focus on Jesus.
Jesus Knows About Our Storms (Matthew 14:22-24)
- Jesus has never once been indecisive about the directions for our lives.
- We can find hope in our darkest moments in knowing that Jesus has prayed for us.
- Jesus’ higher perspective gives proper context to our struggles.
Jesus Joins Us in Our Storms (Matthew 14:25-33)
- There is no storm so big that it intimidates Jesus from entering into it with you.
- I’m fully aware of what I am not, yet my confidence comes from who I AM.
- We miss out on incredible experiences simply because we cannot stay focused on Jesus.
- No matter how much we delay our obedience, Jesus doesn’t hesitate with His deliverance.
Jesus Can Even Use Our Storms (Matthew 14:34-36)
- Don’t miss the fact that Jesus will use storms to alter our course of direction.
- Entitled people easily miss the work of Jesus, but desperate people recognize Him easily.
- Jesus can even use your worst moments for the greatest good.
- You will never know Jesus to be your refuge if you are constantly distracted by lesser things.
Day 2 AM – The Graceful Truth
The Graceful Truth
With all that Jesus knows about us, He still desires to be with us. As His disciples, we must be people who display both grace and truth just like Him.
- The greatest promise of God is the presence of God.
- Jesus came full of grace and truth; if we focus on one to the neglect of the other, we do not worship a complete Savior.
- Our culture has wrongfully polarized conviction and compassion against each other.
- We have a major problem in the Church if we stereotype compassion as heresy and conviction as bigotry.
- Don’t be ashamed of what you believe, but don’t be a jerk while you believe it.
- Those dwelling with Jesus exhibit both grace and truth.
Day 2 Adult Bible Study – Distinctive Discipleship
“What’s one thing you’d want to share with leaders at Fuge Camps?”
- If every student is in a unique place surrounded by specific challenges, why do we think that a widespread approach will work for every single one of them?
- We all got to the same place, but we each traveled by different paths.
- Particular people require distinctive discipleship.
Use this passage to help each person create his or her unique Distinctive Discipleship plan.
- Delight – What rival delight must be addressed?
- Disobedience – What persistent sin is tripping me up right now?
- Doctrine – What scriptural concept do I need to learn or deepen?
- Development – What is one key area I need to mature in my faith/service currently?
- Discipline – What is the spiritual discipline I need to improve?
- Dependence – What am I asking God to do?
Get more resources on making your own plan through free downloads, sermons, videos, graphics, and books – check it out here.
Day 2 PM – The Unwelcome Deliverer
When Jesus delivered a man from demonic possession, the people had less acceptance of the deliverer than they had for the demoniac. When Jesus threatens our comfort and convenience, we can seek to rid ourselves of His presence as well.
How welcome is Jesus to inspect every area of your life right now?
- The rebel recognized Jesus more than the religious did.
- The strongest forces of hell can never withstand the power of Jesus.
- Satan’s plan for your life is to drive you off a cliff.
- Some people are more comfortable in the presence of sin than they are the presence of Jesus.
- When Jesus threatens our comfort and convenience, we seek to dismiss Him from our lives.
- Your story should cause others to marvel at the mercy of Jesus.
- Are you currently being influenced more by the world or the Word?
- To release us from sin’s grasp, Jesus had to take our place.
- Every single person will either be separated from Jesus or seated with Jesus.
Day 3 AM – The Willing Healer
The Willing Healer
When Jesus approached a man paralyzed in body and spirit, He inquired if he truly wanted to get better. Jesus is willing to help us, but we must be ready to follow His lead.
- Jesus intentionally went to the types of places that most people would avoid.
- If you only focus on what you can’t do and what others haven’t done, you may never experience what Jesus is willing to do.
- Excuses are pointless in the presence of Jesus.
- Do you want to get better?
Day 3 PM – The Faithful Father
On the way to address an urgent situation, Jesus showed compassion to an inconvenient one that seemed to interrupt a previous agenda. No matter the depth of our circumstances, Jesus is willing and able to meet the needs of His children.
Reject the thinking that you are annoying to God.
The Urgent (5:21-24)
- Some people require a devastating crisis before they will ever make a desperate plea.
- Jesus is consistently eager to respond to humble requests for help.
The Inconvenient (5:25-34)
- Even if your situation isn’t as bad as another’s, years of dealing with it can make it feel overwhelming.
- The proper direction of your faith is more important at first than the full development of it.
- You must address any deterrent that keeps you from viewing God as a loving Father.
- Most of our spiritual problems arise from the fact that we cannot believe God to be a perfect Father.
The Commitment (5:35-43)
- God has always been on time, and He’s not about to start being late now.
- Jesus will never be deterred by anyone’s status, gender, race, or social standing.
- Jesus can conquer demons, disease, doubt, and even death.
- Jesus can save men, women, and even children.
- Jesus embraces our mess and renews our life.
Day 4 AM – The Gentle Savior
The Gentle Savior
This world has a way of exhausting us to the point where we are desperate for relief. Jesus invites us to learn from Him to find the type of rest our soul needs.
- Christianity is not a religion of what you should do but of what Christ has done.
- The gentle and lowly Savior came for the burdened and weary sinner.
- Only with Jesus will your soul find the rest it has been longing to know.
Day 4 PM – The Make-Believer
Plenty of people know religious lingo and practice helpful service, but not all have an actual relationship with Jesus. Make sure that your faith isn’t make-believe.
How confident are you about your salvation?
If Jesus hasn’t changed your life, are you sure that He has saved it?
The Three Options
- When it comes to Jesus, everyone is either a believer, an unbeliever, or a make-believer.
- A believer is willing for the gospel to transform every aspect of his or her life.
- An unbeliever has rejected the gospel and prefers to live as if Jesus did not.
- A make-believer has evidence of religious activity without experiencing a genuine life change.
The Reality Check
- If your position is popular, it probably isn’t biblical.
- The culturally-accepted standards are easy now but devastating later.
- There’s a difference in calling Jesus your Lord and actually meaning it (7:21).
- You can do things for Jesus without ever knowing Jesus.
- You can teach truth, oppose evil, accomplish good, and still go to hell (7:22).
- Salvation is not contingent upon what you know about Jesus but what Jesus knows about you (7:23).
The Personal Evaluation
- Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you fail to meet the test! –2 Corinthians 13:5
- You may never have actually met Jesus if you aren’t still following Him afterward.
- Has there ever been a moment when I personally desired to follow Christ?
- Did I ever make my association with Jesus public?
- Does my life provide any ongoing evidence that Jesus changed me?
- Which better describes me: believer, unbeliever, or make-believer?
Closing – The Wasted Camp
The Wasted Camp
Jesus allowed a few disciples to experience a mountaintop experience that would change their lives, but He wouldn’t let them stay there. The best thing about meeting Jesus in those monumental moments is that He goes with us from them.
- If you experienced life change, it is because you encountered Jesus.
- The point of spiritual highs is not to linger in the moment but to be empowered for the journey.
- I’d rather walk with Jesus in the valley than just have a memory of Him on the mountaintop.
- If you dwell with Jesus, you will be surrounded by those desiring the same thing.
- Jesus doesn’t want you to depend on camp but to dwell with Him.
- June 13-17, 2022 – Ridgecrest
- July 11-16, 2022 – North Greenville
Thanks for allowing me to serve you! I pray that camp serves as a catalyst more than just a monument. Let’s keep dwelling with Jesus!