Days before our church’s camp which falls every Holy Week, I was loaded with a week’s worth of work to finish and at the same time, preparations to lead a small group and assist in registration of campers. Other than that, I knew I had to say YES to sharing to Grade 10 students in my previous school. I also had to insert a few things, make sure I myself would be prepared spiritually, pay in full for registration in camp and prepare an anniversary gift. 😊
Imagine just days before camp and I already lacked sleep, but I knew I had to prepare, I had to be ready, I had to set aside things that are distracting me.
I was about to back out on sharing to my school since there still was a lot to do, but then I remembered that I had already said YES, I had already committed, no turning back, so I continued.
First time and last time on stage hahaha!!!
I prayed for wisdom and was amazed at how I was able to compose a message quickly just two days before I was about to speak in our school. It felt very nostalgic, I remembered perfectly that in our high school retreat, I received the Lord there. I got baptized in water right there, I received His direction for my life as well.
Come day 1 of camp, I found it a bit messy in the registration part, but The highlight I was looking forward to was meeting ladies whom I would be serving for three days.
Most are first timers and during plugged-session, we each learned our names. I wanted to orient them of what will happen in camp itself so I shared chapters from the bible about the Work of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 and 1 Corinthians 12:1-11.
My devotional group 😍
I was even amazed how I became profound in explaining it, because I never, never actually thought my bible reading and journaling can be translated into actually sharing the Word in a level that anyone can understand. (Fingers-crossed, I hope they did!) It was the Holy Spirit leading me to turn to chapters and explain what God had told us.
I remember way back, asking for the gift of prophecy, as mentioned in the letter of Paul to the Corinthians. It was referred to as the gift that edifies the church. So Paul said in 1 Cor. 14:1 to “desire gifts of the Spirit especially prophecy.” In. Verse 3 it said that “the one who prophesies speaks to people for strengthening, encouraging and comfort.”
That night, I felt everyone’s hunger for the Lord. As Pastor Ru preached, the Holy Spirit just stirred up each one, some in surrender of all the burdens in their lives and some received spiritual gifts according to what had been given to them and a few were tense while some remained calm.
There I told God, “Lord I’m tired, are you pleased with that?” He replied, “YES” and there He comforted me.
Day 2 came and we studied Mark 2:1-12. I shared my burden of being one of the volunteers handling a lot of tasks, getting tired and asking God for committed people to run with the church. Quite similar to the story in Mark of 4 friends trying to help a paralyzed man get to Jesus. I challenged the group that if only we could be the 4 friends to some people we meet who really committed to bring the man to Jesus in order to be healed. Just a very interesting thought, before Jesus healed the man, He said, “your sins are forgiven.” What faith Jesus saw that He interceded with the Father and forgave his sin!
Same thing He did for us!
The man didn’t even ask for forgiveness, but he knew he had to go to Jesus. He believed there was something Jesus had that was bigger than what he was experiencing, and with the help of his friends, he saw Jesus face to face.
Whatever you are going through, good or bad, COME CLOSER to Jesus.
Grab every opportunity to see Jesus, but remember to take some friends who will walk in faith with you, so you will be successful in coming to Him. No one can do it alone.
Church was meant for people even to the most broken one, to come to God. Spiritual gifts were meant to glorify God, let people know of the second chance God gave us. The new life He promised us that “those who believed in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
In our last devotional, Luke 13:1-9, it spoke of repentance. That those who do not repent shall perish.
What did repentance mean in that story?
Repentance is coming closer to God in faith, believing He will forgive us, heal us, restore us, and with that faith working in us, the Holy Spirit will He himself bless us with all strength, power and wisdom to change our way of thinking, make our ways pure, if only we allow Him to. If we removed unforgiveness, doubt, fear, worry, hurt, bitterness, wrath and malice in our lives, then the Holy Spirit can work in us, day by day. Putting His righteousness in us is a process, and He said that those that persevere in faith will have complete joy.
So when you sin, come closer to God, when you are troubled, come closer to God, when you feel like a hypocrite, come closer to God. Walk towards obedience in His call for your life. Love Him, please Him, because He loved you first. ❤️ ✝️
📸 Credits to Jessa Taleon for the photos!