Day One: The Wild Thing
2 Corinthians 12:9, "But he said to me, 'my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of christ may rest upon me."
Most of us may ask ourselves some version of: “Do I need God?” Whether or notwe use those exact words, it’s a big question. There is a simple answer to that,and the answer is, “Yes, 100%.” Maybe you are sitting on the deck at Allaso today, and you haven't considered what it means to depend on God.
This week, you will be learning things about who Jesus is. You will hear aboutwhat he said and did more than 2,000 years ago. Listen and consider thesethings closely, because when you come to know Jesus, you come to know the God of the universe. All the deepest mysteries that humans have considered andsearched for, as well as the deepest desires and longings of your heart, can beuncovered by knowing him.
The wild thing to consider is this: God wants you to personally know him. He knows everything about you and cares about you. The God of the universe, whomade the sun and the stars and set time and space in motion, deeply cares for YOU. He gave everything for the chance to have a relationship with you, and hewants to truly know you.
“He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in theirheart, without the possibility that mankind will find out the work which God hasdone from the beginning even to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Underline the phrase: “He has also set eternity in their heart.”
We read this verse and see that God has put a knowledge of himself in our hearts. How cool is it that the God who created the entire universe desires for you to know him? Each of us has a longing to know Jesus. We want to know answers to huge questions like: Who am I? Why am I alive? What is my purpose? This hunger comes from the fact that we are created to know andneed him.
There is a God-shaped hole in each of our hearts that only he can fill. This hole, and the fact that God has set eternity in our hearts, leads us to depend on and look to God for our salvation, forgiveness, identity, purpose, joy, and so
Answering the question, “Do I need God?” can be somewhat elementary since most of us recognize we fall short of the absolute holiness of God. The real question we need to ask once we know that we need God is, “What now?”
- What in your life makes you aware of your need for God?
- Have you seen God come to your rescue? If you haven’t yet, ask him to right now.
- How does it make you feel that God, the One who created the entire world and every-thing in it, wants you to know him?
God, thank you for knowing me and wanting me to know you. I want to know you more and ask that this week you would grow my love for you as I learn more about you. Open my eyes to my need for you and turn that into dependence on you for everything I need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Day Two: Seen & Strong
2 Timothy 1:7, “For the spirit god gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline”
Have you ever felt invisible? Have you ever felt like you could walk into a room and no one would ever notice? When you get left out ofthe group chat, don’t get invited, or someone simply doesn’t understand you, it can be easy to feel alone. The Bible tells us that when we are in the midst of these emotions, he is with us! In scripture it says,“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; Iwill uphold you with my righteous right hand.’’ (Isaiah 41:10)
Jesus wants to hear from you all the time. He wants to help you. The Lord has a plan for your life that can only be fulfilled when you are actively pursuing a relationship with him. You cannot live out his purpose without seeking him. When we feel alone and are looking everywhere for someone who understands us, all we need is to pray and talk to God.
He knows you. He knows what you’re going through. He is not a God who is far away; he is a God who is near and close to the broken-hearted (Psalms 34:18). Being fully man, he understands your pain. And being fully God, he has the power to help you.
We are forever changed when we allow Jesus into our lives. As sons and daughters of the King, we can live boldly without fear, pursuing his purpose for us.
- Where do you find your identity?
- What is something in your life where you don’t feel understood?
- How does it feel to know that God has a perfect plan for your life and knows your heart? How does that encourage you and bring you peace?
God, thank you that when I have a relationship with Jesus, you don't see all my mess-ups and mistakes. Instead, you see me as holy and blameless, because Jesus took my place on the cross. Thank you for loving me enough to give me a perfect purpose in you. Help me to see myself as you see me and to better follow your plan for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Day Three: I Need Help
Psalms 121:1-2, “I lift my eyes to the mountains-where does my help come from? My help comes from the lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”
God fully knows us and is intimately acquainted with our human experience–all the ups and downs, highs and lows, trials, triumphs, temptations and everything in between.
Jesus understands the temptations that you face today; he faced them too. Scripture is clear that he was tested in every way, yet he overcame. This shows us that he understands and sympathizes with our weaknesses and suffering.
The author of Hebrews makes this clear when he writes, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)
Jesus knows our struggle, because he too experienced the trials of life. We don’t need to be ashamed when we are in a season of pain. The Bible reads, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
Jesus sees our struggle and hears us when we call out to him. He wants to bring us peace, and all we have to do is ask!
This is good news! Jesus knows what it's like to be human. Even better, he didn’t leave us to try and figure out how to manage the hard things on our own. He actually wants to be the one we turn to for help.
First, though, we have to get to a place where we recognize that we do need help. Then, we need to ask for help.
The Bible, God’s Word, tells us that we have a helper. He’ll never let you down, will never leave you, goes before you, and is with you wherever you go. All you must do is ask!
- Has there been a time in your life when you looked to God for help? What happened?
- Is it sometimes difficult to ask for help? Why?
- What are some thing that you need God’s help with?
God, thank you for knowing that I need help. Thank you for providing a way for me to get help by sending Jesus to take my place on the cross, so that I could have a relationship with you. Lord, please bring to my mind an area in my life that I need to surrender to you and ask for your help. Thank you for helping me, for saving me, and for understanding me. In Jesus ’ name, Amen.
Day Four: Made For More
Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven. ”
Having a relationship with Jesus is so special, and we are called to share this gift with others! Keeping our faith to ourselves would be like keeping everyone’s mail and never delivering it through the postal service. Faith, like the mail, needs to be passed along. We have received the good news of Jesus, and are called to share it with the world!
This could mean singing on stage at church, serving in FC Kids back home, or even teaching the Bible to others. Perhaps those ways of sharing your faith don't come naturally to you. Maybe Jesus wants to use you to change the hearts of the people in your family, on your sports team, or in your classes at school. God has placed you where you are for a reason. You were created on purpose, and with the purpose to share the good news exactly where you are, and as you are!
The Church is called the body of Christ, because Jesus is at the head of the Church and we are called to do the work of Christ.
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)
We all have different skills and spiritual gifts, yet every believer is equally important to the full functioning mission of the church: to share the love of Jesus. Think about the people in your life. Surely there's someone who needs to hear about Jesus. Think about your talents. Maybe you are a gifted athlete. Maybe you are an amazing actor or a talented musician. Maybe you are compassionate and a great listener. God wants to use the gifts that he has given you to grow His kingdom. If we are devoted to using our gifts to share Jesus with others, he will do more in us and through us than we could ever imagine.
So, what will you choose? Will you shy away from sharing what you stand for or will you be bold in sharing the good news with everyone around you? God calls us to use our gifts, talents, and influence to serve others. Fight the lie that your gifts do not make a difference. Fight the lie that God cannot use you for his kingdom. You were made to serve others with the gifts that the Lord has placed within you.
- What gifts has the Lord given you?
- How could you use those gifts to share your faith?
- In your life back home, what could it look like to “let your light shine before others”?
Dear lord, help me to recognize the gifts you have given me for the sake of serving others. Please remind me that you have given me my talents to point people to you. I pray that you would use me to grow your kingdom and share the gift of Jesus with everyone around me. God, I pray for boldness in sharing the good news. Thank you, Jesus, in your name, Amen.
Day Five: The Best Is Yet To Come
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Mix Camp this week has taught us more about Jesus and who he really is. Since we live in a world that presents many false ideas of Jesus, it is very important that we learn the truth about him in his Word. Carrying our growth back home from Mix Camp may look a bit different for each of us, but there are many ways to keep growing even when we are at home!
Schedule a time and place to daily meet with Jesus in prayer.
Our relationship with Jesus will not automatically grow. We must be intentional about it. In fact, if we do nothing, we will naturally fall farther and farther away from Jesus. Why? Because we are sinful by nature. We will face temptations and opportunities to sin for the rest of our earthly lives. How can we receive God's help and keep our Mix Camp momentum going, even when we are tempted by the world? One way is by being intentional about spending time in prayer each day. Prayer helps us utilize heavenly resources by elevating our hearts and minds from only earthly things. It helps us remember that we have a God who can accomplish far more than we could ever imagine. When we regularly pray, it helps us grow closer to God.
We can pray throughout the day – it is so beneficial to be in constant communication with God. You can even begin a routine and schedule a specific time and place every day to pray. When we do this, we prioritize our prayer and time spent with Jesus, and he is able to work within us.
Learn to study God's word and apply it.
To carry the camp momentum back home with us, we must learn to study God's Word. Even more, we must learn to apply God's Word to our lives. Before beginning to study the Bible, pray and ask God to help you understand what you read. Second, and equally important, seek to apply what you learn to your life. James 1:22 says, ”Don‘t merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
After reading from the Bible, we live it out! This life has many trials and complicated situations, but we are so lucky that Jesus provides us with the instruction manual, the Bible, on how to follow his perfect plan and live more like him.
Prayer and Bible study are key, but we cannot succeed on our Christian journeys alone. This reality is why we need Christian community. Being surrounded by other believers can help provide us with accountability. Other Christians in our lives can also encourage us when we go through sad or difficult times. To maintain our Mix Camp momentum, we need community. If you are not already plugged into a Bible-teaching church and student ministry, those are great places to start! Attending the Mix and Fellowship Church on Sunday is so beneficial to maintaining godly friendships with people who will push you in your faith and help you pursue Jesus alongside one another!
Don’t stop now!
The camp experience does not have to stop when you leave Allaso Ranch. You can continue to grow in your relationship with Jesus if you are intentional with your priorities and how you spend your time. Don’t let what God is doing in your life stop when you return home. Instead, let it keep growing, and allow God to move in unimaginable ways because of your obedience.
- What would be a good time for you to set aside time for prayer and to study God’s Word?
- What is something about your faith you hope to change or improve after camp?
- How are you going to keep the Mix Camp momentum going?
Dear god, thank you for this amazing week at Allaso Ranch! Thank you for what you did in my life and other students lives this week at camp. I pray that you continue to work within and through me to impact others as I return home. Remind me to prioritize prayer, read your word, and share what you have done in my life with others. Lord, I pray that I would not let the camp momentum fade, that I would turn from my sins, and continue to pursue you to the best of my ability. Thank you Jesus in your name, Amen.