The Bible is so vital for us and we need to be grounded in God’s Word.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
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If you went to EGP youth summer camp, make sure and go through the extra devos that are in your camp journal.
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Previous year’s devos…
Encounter “At Camp” Devos: 5
Day #1 Mon. – Designed for Destiny
Many of us have a deep yearning to do something great. You may dream and plan how you can become great and walk in this grand destiny.
From before you were born, God had already been planning to use you for life changing, world-shaking things (Eph. 1:11-12)!!! He is the God who does exceedingly, abundantly above all that you ask for, hope for, or imagine according to His power working in you (Eph. 3:20). The destiny of the Lord on YOUR life is so amazing that you may never believe it if He told you everything. The enemy comes in with all his deception, thievery, and destruction to cause you to settle for a mediocre existence of living simply for entertainment, pleasure, and passivity. The things he has for you seem fun at first, but are designed to distract and destroy the destiny you have been created to accomplish. God offers us an amazing and exciting life with lasting joy and not temporary fleshly pleasures that usually leave us with guilt and shame.
Do you want to settle for a mediocre or fairly good existence or walk in the great destiny that God has designed for you?
Read Jeremiah 1:4-10
Before Jeremiah was born, God had called him to be a prophet to entire nations, to build the Kingdom of God, and tear down the work of the enemy. Even though God was speaking to him, he was unsure of himself and gave an excuse, his age. God lovingly tells him not to believe the deception of the enemy, but to trust in what He says about him. God is the One who has called him, and He is the One who will completely equip him for his God-given destiny.
What deception is the enemy trying to use to keep you from your Destiny?
What excuses are you giving God that you are not able to do what He is calling you to do?
Challenge: Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any deception the enemy may be placing in your life. Ask for forgiveness for agreeing with the enemy and believing a lie. For every deception, get a leader or friend to help you find a verse in the Bible that replaces that lie with God’s perfect Truth. Declare the Truth of who God says you are and begin to walk in it!!!
Suggested Reading: Jeremiah 29:11-13, Eph. 1:11-12, Eph. 3:14-20
Day #2 Tues. – Best Possible Signal
Everyone has experienced problems with weak Wi-Fi. The farther your computer is away from the router and the more obstacles between the two will cause you to get a frustratingly weak signal. The best Wi-Fi is when you place yourself as close to the router as possible and remove all obstacles.
It is the same when you want to walk into your God-given destiny.
Just because you are designed for destiny does not mean that you will ever reach your full potential. You must put yourself in a place to receive, remove all obstacles, and be obedient to the Truth received. Your destiny and the power to walk in it can only come from God. Walking closely with Him, your destiny will be revealed one step at a time as you encounter His presence
(2 Cor 3:18)
Read 1 Samuel 3:1-4, 21
Samuel was a young boy, maybe 12 or 13. At the time before Jesus came, the presence of God was housed in an ark and separated from the people. However, Samuel slept as close as he could to the Ark, positioning himself to receive. Even when God showed up and spoke to him, he did not recognize His voice. He was inexperienced and untrained in the ways of the Lord, but he put himself in the right position. Samuel positioned himself close to God and positioned his heart to be teachable with Eli. When Samuel realized that God was speaking, he was quick to be completely obedient.
He spoke with humility and honesty, and everyone knew it was from the Lord. Because Samuel placed himself in God’s presence continually, had a teachable heart, and was obedient, God raised him up to walk into his destiny one word and one step of obedience at a time!!!
Is your signal coming in clear from the Lord?
What obstacles do you need to remove to strengthen that signal?
What do you need to do to position yourself to receive from Him?
Who in your life can you position yourself to be trained by?
Challenge: Pray and ask Holy Spirit to reveal any obstacle that is disrupting the signal between Him speaking and you hearing. Whatever He reveals, give it to Him today and listen for Him to begin speaking more clearly.
Suggested Reading: Hebrews 12:1-3, James 4:7-10, 2 Cor. 10:3-6
Day #3 Wed. – Destiny Destroyer (Unforgiveness)
Imagine you order a meal from McDonalds. You scarf down the burger and are eating the fries when you discover a used band-aid nestled at the bottom of the box. Would you be able to finish the rest of the fries? Would you even want to?
Something bad no matter how small can ruin the rest of a good thing!!!
You should know, God wants you to walk in dynamic destiny right now. You must position yourself to receive and remove all obstacles. One of the most dangerous destroyers of destiny is unforgiveness. The devil will use this to steal from you. If he can cause you to take up an offense, your destiny begins to wither and die until you are able to forgive.
Read Matthew 18:21-35
Here, Jesus tells a parable explaining forgiveness. One servant was forgiven an immense sum that he would never be able to pay back, but that servant would not forgive his friend a few bucks. Because of his lack of mercy, the unforgiving servant was punished.
You are called to be a representative of Christ. When you come to Him, He forgives you such an enormous debt that you could never repay Him. He gave His life up completely for you. Because of this mercy that was freely given to you, you do not have a right to be unmerciful. We forgive because we are forgiven. Remember we forgive not because someone deserves it or maybe not even asking for it. No, what they did is not right, and yes it hurt you deeply. But God granted you mercy and freedom from death, and you also must grant mercy and let God deal with it. In releasing that offense, God is able to release you into fully walking in your destiny because you are a better representative of Him. Get rid of the band-aid and enjoy the fries!!!
Challenge: Ask Holy Spirit to reveal everyone that you need to forgive. Write their names down on a sheet of paper. Release each name to God and ask Him to help you forgive them completely. Rip your list up and throw it away or flush it down the toilet as a physical act of canceling their debt.
Suggested Reading: Matt. 6:9-15, Eph. 4:29-32, Psalm 103
Day #4 Thurs. – Determining Destiny
In a superhero’s life, there are moments when one choice determines their destiny. For Bruce Wayne, the death of his parents could have caused him to become insane or a criminal. However, he chose to use this as an incentive to dispense justice. This choice made him the greatest hero of all time!!!
Sadly, Batman is just a fictional superhero L. However, you have the ability to affect your destiny, as well as the destiny of those around you, today. You do not have to be a billionaire or be special in the eyes of the world. You just have to be willing to listen and be obedient to what God speaks.
Read Acts 9:10-20
Here, we meet a certain disciple. Ananias was listening and heard a disturbing word. “Go and pray for Saul of Tarsus”. Saul was known as a destroyer of the church, and he had authority to imprison and kill believers. Ananias had the choice to be obedient against his desire and comfortability or disobey. Because of his obedience, Saul was healed and saved. In effect, all of Paul’s missionary journeys, salvations, churches he established, and books of the Bible that you still read today resulted from Ananias’ obedience. What a destiny for someone who is never mentioned again before or after!
If you are walking with God, you are a certain disciple just like Ananias. You may feel unimportant and meaningless at times; however, as you position yourself to receive from God and are obedient to what He speaks, you become infused with His power and presence. As He leads you to speak and pray for others, God’s presence can be infused into other’s lives. Your choice to walk into your destiny with God has the power to transform you and everyone around you!!!
One tiny word can change, save, or set a life free when spoken out of Obedience and Truth!!!
One simple act can affect a person, a nation, or all of eternity if you are walking with the Spirit into your destiny!!!
Challenge: Take time to listen carefully to Holy Spirit. Write down what He reveals. As He gives a word or action, be obedient to take action, do it or speak it. Talk to a leader if you have questions or need someone to help you be obedient.
Suggested Reading; James 5:17-18, Hebrews 11, Jonah
Day #5 Fri. – Declaring Destiny (Power of Testimony)
Have you ever been hurt by what someone said? Do you agree with the old saying, “Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? Prov. 18:21 tells us, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue”. You have power to bring life or death by the words that you do or do not say. Your very words can have power like Jesus’!
Read John 6:3, 66-69
Jesus is characterized by speaking words of spirit and life. Everything He said and did was to bring life to the people around Him. In the end, His followers chose life over the comfort of the world.
Are you known as one who speaks life and the words of God?
In Eph.. 4:29 Paul encourages you that what you say should bring grace to those who hear. Too often, you may speak without thinking and that is why you must be super intentional about speaking truth, life, and grace!!!
As camp comes to a close, I encourage you to speak and share the testimony of what God has been doing in and through you, not only now, but every time He speaks and you act in obedience. Every word and every act of obedience brings glory to the Father and has the power to bring life and grace if you take action and speak it out.
In 1 Peter 4:11 Tells us we speak as one who speaks the very words of God. That’s intense! Our words have real power. The power of life and death! So many people we encounter every day need a miracle of some kind. We carry that miracle in our very breath, the breath of God, the Word of God! Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. It could be the written Word, but it could also be you speaking words of encouragement, truth, life, and POWER!!!
The enemy will always try to come in and keep you from speaking by using fear and insecurity. This is how to overcome the enemy, Rev. 12:11 tells how the saints “Overcome the enemy by speaking forth every one of your testimonies through the power of the blood of Jesus.”
Challenge: Listen to Holy Spirit and be obedient to speak the words He gives you and do the things He says. Share with others how you’re trying to obey and about what God is doing in and through you. Share at Triple T, video testimony time, with EGP leaders, your leaders, and your friends what God is doing. When you go home, share with your family, friends, churches, and everyone the words of life, truth, and grace that you carry.
Suggested Reading: James 3:1-12, Eph. 4:25-32, Matt. 12:33-37
Back Home #1 – Adventure Time
As you return to “normal” life, there will be a temptation to think that your boring life is continuing. You may not see anything different from before in your circumstances or environment. However, you are different and have been changed!!! Being in the presence of God always changes you if you are open to be changed!!! Life with God is not boring. He will call you to do great things outside of yourself because that is the kind of God He is!!!
Read Jeremiah 29:11-13
God has great plans and purposes that He desires to accomplish, and He wants to use you to carry them out!!!
As a child of God, you crave adventure!!! The world will try to offer you things that will pacify this desire through adrenaline rushes. Skydiving, bungee jumping, paintballing… all of these things give you a small taste of the adventure that God wants you to partner with Him in. God needs His people to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19). This could mean the dark and dangerous jungles of the Amazon, the safari plains of Africa, or it could mean the cranky neighbor next door.
The greatest adventure you could ever be a part of is hearing and knowing God and joining Him in His work!!!
This adventure starts with you wherever you are right now!
Is God calling you lead a Bible study at school or work? Share a word with a stranger? Pray for healing of blind eyes, a hurt back, or a broken marriage?
Even as God is calling you to greatness, He is calling you to adventure!!! The best way for you to walk into this adventure with Him is to listen to whatever He is saying and then step out in obedience. It is hard stepping into the unknown, but this is the adventure that He has designed for us all.
Challenge: Listen to Holy Spirit today. What is He saying? Get into His presence and seek to know what He is doing. As you see where He is working, step into partnership with Him. Ask for a word of encouragement to share with a friend and then share it with them. Pray for someone who needs a healing knowing that God is the great healer. Get together with some friends and dream and pray about what God is calling you to do together. Is He calling you to be a part of a local ministry, serve in your youth group, go on a foreign mission or something else entirely? Talk with youth leader about what God is speaking to you and then make plans to step into it.
Suggested Reading: Acts 3-4, Acts 16:9-34, 2 Cor. 11:22-33
Back Home #2 – Jesus, Teach Me How To…
The disciples who lived with Jesus had a unique opportunity. They saw Him, touched Him, and personally experienced every single one of the miracles that you read about in the gospels. After seeing all the miraculous signs and wonders, healings, and life that Jesus brought, they only asked Jesus to teach them how to do one thing.
What do you think that thing was?
If you lived with Jesus, what would you ask Him to teach you to do?
Think about it, the disciples saw Jesus turning water into wine, multiplying food, walking on water, calming the storm, and they did not ask about these. They saw great healings: lame men walk, blind eyes open, demon possessed people set free, dead people raised to life again, and they did not ask to learn these things either. They saw and heard Jesus preaching amazing truths and putting the Pharisees to shame with the powerful words of the Father, and they did not even ask for Him to teach them this.
Read Luke 11:1-13
Here you can see what they asked Jesus to teach them. They were with Him at every moment and knew where His power came from.
Where did Jesus’ power come from? Where does your power come from?
The power to perform miracles, dispense God’s healing, and speak Heaven’s amazing truth all came because Jesus constantly and consistently was a man of prayer!!! His power did not come because of what He did, but because of the close relationship He had with the Father and the time spent with Him.
You too have this same power, and even greater (John 14:12), to do powerful and mighty things as you come to know the Father and stay in close relationship with Him!!!
Challenge: Ask Holy Spirit to help your relationship to grow with God. Put yourself in His Presence and begin speaking with Him about everything going on with you. Be careful that you do not just talk, but also listen to what God has to say. Write down what you hear and if there are any questions, talk to a leader about what God is speaking. Make a little time every day to devote yourself to communication with Him. Throughout the day, invite Holy Spirit to dialogue with you and be obedient to Him.
Suggested Reading: John 17, Luke 22:39-46, John 11:1-44
Back Home #3 – Use What God Gave Ya
Some of you may know the game of Jenga. “It is a classic block-stacking, stack-crashing game! How will you stack up against the law of gravity? Stack the wooden blocks in a sturdy tower, then take turns pulling out blocks one by one until the whole stack crashes down.” If you know about this game, you know that every piece has a specific place, and each time a player removes a block, the tower become more unstable. This is a good illustration about how the body of Christ becomes more and more unstable every time one of God’s people is not truly walking with Him.
As a follower of Jesus, you have an amazing opportunity to serve Him with everything you have. Your thoughts, ideas, interests, and talents come together as a unique offering to God (Romans 12:1)!!! Even beyond this, the Holy Spirit gives you special gifts to use for the glory of the Kingdom of God!!!
Read Eph. 4:11-16
Here, a few of the gifts are mentioned, but you find something even more important. Why are the gifts given? The gifts are given to equip the saints (that would be you) and encourage the body of Christ. You have been given a gift to work and to help others do the ministry of Jesus. Later in this passage, you can see that every part must do their job for the body of Christ to grow and be fruitful. You are one of many parts, but the whole body of Christ is depending on you to use your gifts for God’s glory. When every person does their part effectively, the body of Christ is healthy and full of life the way it is supposed to be. Without you, the body of Christ is a little more unstable and does not do the job of ministry in the best way that it can. You are a vital part to the body of Christ right now. Step out and use everything you are to give God glory and build up His Kingdom!!!
Challenge: Make a list of the things you are good at and interested in. Ask Holy Spirit how each of these things can be used for His glory. Ask Holy Spirit to reveal each of your spiritual gifts and how you can begin to walk in them right now. Talk to one of your leaders about the gifts they see in you and what Holy Spirit has revealed to you. Ask them to help you take the next step to walking more effectively in these gifts.
Suggested Reading: 1 Cor. 12, 1 Cor. 13, 1 Cor. 14
Back Home #4 – Carriers of His Presence
When I was younger, I used to dream that I had some sort of superpower. Maybe I ingested some radioactive waste, or found a ring or some other bizarre event occurred that allowed me to have an amazing superpower: become invisible, be super fast, or super strong. I suspect that sometime in your life, perhaps even now, you have wished that you had a super power yourself.
You may not have any of the superpowers mentioned above, but today, you have an amazing power. If you are a follower of Jesus, you have the power to bring Heaven to earth in every situation. Jesus’ followers were created to be carriers of His Presence. You are designed to spend time in the Presence of God and then carry Him with you into every circumstance that you walk through in life.
Read Ephesians 2:19-22
When you begin relationship with Jesus, He invites you in to be His family and a saint with Him. You are not a stranger or outcast but a member of the family of God. One of the privileges of being a part of this family is that you have continual access to the presence and power of God. Even as you are growing with Him, God is building you into a person who is a dwelling place of His Spirit. This is who you are!!! This is who you are created to be!!!
Because of your unique relationship with Holy Spirit, you have the ability to infuse the Kingdom of Heaven into this earth in every situation. Jesus said pray, “on earth as it is in Heaven.” This is your purpose!!! You were designed to carry the presence of God to the lost and hurting and every situation where the Kingdom of God needs to be advanced!!! Remember as you go out today, you are a carrier of the Presence of God. Do not keep this great gift to yourself, share the Kingdom of God with everyone around you!!!
Challenge: Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you the Truth that you are the carrier of His Presence. As you go about your day, listen to Him and be obedient when He says to speak or act. Know that the people of the world need you and what you have. Do not be afraid to step out and release His presence to everyone around you.
Suggested Reading Psalm 91, Mark 16:14-20, 2 Cor. 4:1-15
Back Home #5 – Never Give Up, Never Lose Heart
Have you ever played a sport and wanted to give up, but you had to push through to finish? Marathon runners call this hitting the wall. There are physical and mental barriers that every runner has to overcome. For the runner to complete the race and possibly win it, they must overcome and press on to the finish.
Many times in your life you will come up against seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Discouraging friends and family, cares of the world, trials… can all make it seem impossible to continue following Jesus. In this world, there is pain and suffering, but you are one who has overcome the world!!!
Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
You must not lose heart. During Paul’s time, obstacles were stacking up against the people just like today. Yet, time in the presence of God is what renews your inner man and helps you to overcome them. All the things of this world that come against you are described as momentary light afflictions. For you at this time, these may be the most major life changing things, but in the view of eternity, it is only a moment. It may seem like the worst time in your life, but the eternity of walking with Jesus should eclipse all other things. If these are obstacles that you have to go through to live in eternity with Jesus, are they not insignificant?
It may be hard for you to realize, but all of these troubles around you are fading. The troubles, trials, persecutions… all of these are temporary and should not be your focus. Your focus should be on the eternal person of Jesus and the things He says will last forever: faith, hope, and love.
You will become stronger as you place yourself in the presence of God. Look to Him to help you overcome every obstacle!!! If you fall, get back up and keep going because God forgives and cleanses every time you ask!!! Do not lose heart but press on to the high calling of following Jesus in every area of your life!!!
Challenge: Ask Holy Spirit to strengthen you and open your eyes to all obstacles that try to hold you back. Stand strong and firm in what you know to be right and ask God to help you continue. Daily, spend time in God’s presence through worship, Bible reading, prayer and however God speaks to you specifically. Confess all sin and continue to walk in victory as a Follower of Christ.
Suggested Reading: Hebrews 10:35-39, Heb. 12:1-4, 2 Tim. 2: 1-13
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