The Spirit moved among Ridgecrest Fuge on June 13-17, 2022. The theme was “Matchless One,” and I was honored to preach for the camp.
Below are some notes I made for the students and leaders. I also included some ways to connect after camp.
- June 17-21, 2023 – Ridgecrest
- July 10-15, 2023 – North Greenville University
Bible Reading Post-Camp
If your life has been changed at camp, it has been the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Good thing both of those are following you home!
If you need a Bible reading plan after camp, I want to suggest two options for you:
- Matthew. Read through the Book of Matthew. It’s 28 chapters of Jesus’ life and helps you connect the Old Testament to the life of Jesus like this week’s lessons did at camp. Read 1 chapter a day until you finish it.
- Word. Read through the 100-Day Bible Reading Plan. This plan provides 50 key OT passages and 50 key NT passages.
- Distinctive Discipleship. Prepare a Distinctive Discipleship plan. This is a simple process to identify 6 key areas to work on in your life for the next few months.
I’m the pastor at Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. You can check out what God is doing there or connect with plenty of sermons and other resources.
- Rocky Creek Sermons – Weekly messages from our church
- The 2nd Mile Podcast – Weekly episodes on how to reject mediocre Christianity
- The Equip Podcast – Weekly course from our church
John 4:4-30 – 4th gospel, Jesus’ best friend wrote this
- When Jesus encountered a woman with inaccurate beliefs and immoral behavior, He sought to help her find peace in both areas.
- Jesus is not afraid to address the critical areas until His role in our lives is unmatched.
Crossing Barriers (4:4-9)
Your ethnicity, gender, status, or past will not redirect Jesus from pursuing you.
Changing Sources (4:10-15)
You will wear yourself out trying to find happiness in things that cannot satisfy.
Confronting Sin (4:16-19)
Jesus’ immense love for us never hinders His commitment to confront us in our sin.
Clarifying Devotion (4:20-24)
You cannot isolate following Jesus to temporal times and particular places.
Challenging Expectations (4:25-30)
Don’t sideline Jesus to the fringes of your life.
If Jesus truly is the matchless one, why are you allowing lesser things to rival Him?
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
- Authentic spiritual devotion cannot be forced by an outside influence.
- Give Jesus what He asks since He didn’t give you what you deserve.
- Whose acceptance you consistently pursue is the one you ultimately worship.
- In light of Jesus’ matchless sacrifice, what are you willing to give up?
- Pilate – Some people make all their decisions to gain the crowd’s approval (15:6, 8).
- Barabbas – Some people attempt to rid themselves of unwanted authority (15:7).
- Crowd – Some people’s envy causes them to wish harm to others (15:10).
- Acceptance / Authority / Advantage
- Jesus – The matchless one was willing to take the place of the condemned sinner.
- Isaac & Jesus Parallels
- Jesus took the place of a man whose name means “Son of the Father.”
- The One who did no wrong took the place of one who had done all wrong.
- Pilate’s question is the most appropriate to ask: “Why, what evil has He done?” (15:14).
- Jesus never attempted to secure His release because He came for our redemption.
- Barabbas is a physical representation of a spiritual reality for every one of us.
- Jesus was willing to take your place.
I am Barabbas
The true son of my father, Adam if you care to bother
I was born into original sin
Steeped in the ways of the devil, all my life I’ve been a rebel
My greatest enemy always lurked within
I am Barabbas
I’ll do whatever I decide, casting authority aside
No one has the right to rule over one like me
There’s a price you must pay, if you stand in my way
Challenging my will requires audacity
I am Barabbas
Guilty due to my sin, rightfully charged and condemned
My punishment is unfortunate yet just
There seems to be no other way, I have no chance to escape
My penalty will send me back to the dust
I am Barabbas
Who is this man next to me, he is not a common thief
What could he have done to deserve this sinner’s cross?
Defend yourself and speak, this is no time to stand by meek
Why does it seem to me that you have accepted this loss?
I am Barabbas
They will set one of us free, there’s no chance it could be me
But this man refused to make a case of his own
Decision made by the crowd, it’s my shackles that fall down
And the innocent is left there alone
I am Barabbas
The guilty freed on a whim, hearing echoes of crucify him
It seems unfair that the sinless took my place
He’s completely at peace, he came securing my release
There’s no reason outside of his grace
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
- If we grasp that the Almighty God wants people like us, no request of His can be too outlandish.
- When you can’t love people easily, bear with them anyway.
- Jesus’ standard of forgiveness is to be our standard for inspiration and imitation.
- In light of Jesus’ matchless forgiveness, who are you willing to forgive?
THE SECONDARY ISSUES WITH PRIMARY IMPACTS
- Too often in life, we miss opportunities to do the primary thing because we have neglected the secondary things.
- They dealt with the secondary issues so that they could focus on the primary issue.
- By claiming I am only focusing on the primary issues, I might sound godly and wise, but sometimes I am being negligent and lazy.
- Don’t miss out on the great opportunities for which you were primarily called because you neglect the secondary issues for which you are still responsible.
What would you do if you found someone that you thought had died was still alive?
- Mary Magdalene – The fact that the first missionary from the empty tomb was a formerly demon-possessed woman with a shady past means God can still use you.
- Disciples – Jesus still graciously pursued those who were oblivious to His repeated warnings.
- Angels – Even the heavenly beings struggled to communicate the depth of Jesus’ love for this ragtag group of misfits (cf. Mt. 28:7, 10).
- Jesus – Jesus was never let down by His disciples because they were never holding Him up in the first place.
- Joseph – beloved by his father, stripped of his coat; Jesus
- Joseph – tempted by Potiphar’s wife, didn’t sin, but punished for doing the right thing; Jesus
- Joseph – imprisoned wrongly met a baker and a cupbearer in prison that was supposed to provide a meal for the King; Jesus
- Joseph – could have killed his brothers for their lies, betrayal, and desertion, but Jesus…
- The Ark of Covenant – two angels; Jesus – one at the foot and and head
- Gen. 2:15 – took the man and put him in the garden to work it…Jesus thought to be the gardener (John 20:15)
- You cannot follow a risen Savior and simply go back to a normal life.
- Jesus didn’t rise from the grave so that you can still linger in your tomb.
- If even death has been defeated, then peace should be assured.
- Jesus doesn’t see you as failures but as family.
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
- You find the will of God within the Word of God.
- The love of Jesus is the only force powerful enough to motivate our obedience.
- Just because we are incapable of perfection doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for progression.
- In light of Jesus’ matchless obedience, how do you need to obey?
- Appetite (4:3-4) – Satan knows where, when, and how to attack us in vulnerable areas of weakness.
- Authority (4:5-8) – Sin is the audacious claim that I have the right to determine what is right.
- Acknowledgment (4:9-12) – In an effort to obtain validation from others, we can tend to take sinful shortcuts.
- Luke 3:38 – Adam, son of God – Are you sure God said?
- Adam; Jesus – Second Adam
- Adam – plenty of food; Jesus – no food
- Adam – not alone; Jesus – alone
- Adam – surrounded by peaceful animals; Jesus – surrounded by wild animals
- Israel – wandering 40 years – manna, struggle over commandments, struggle with alliances
- Your standard will be inside you (feelings), beside you (culture), behind you (tradition), or above you (Scripture).
- God has not left us without clear standards in His Word for belief and behavior.
- Don’t expect to win temptation’s battle if you are not armed with God’s Word memorized.
- Don’t go to the devil for the things your Father has promised to provide.
- You have an enemy with a personalized plan to tempt you into sin (Luke 4:13) and then accuse you into irrelevance (Rev. 12:10-11).
- Jesus withstood temptation so He could take the place of those who could not (cf. Hebrews 4:15).
- Jesus’ victory over sin doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep up the fight (cf. 1 Cor. 10:13).
2 Corinthians 5:13-21
- Be the type of Christian who refuses to get over what Jesus has done for you.
- Let your past stay in the past, and walk like the new creation Christ has called you to be.
- Jesus has entrusted you with the privilege of bragging about Him.
- Jesus has given us too much for us to offer Him the bare minimum.