Vacation Bible Adventure is in full swing. It has been an excellent week so far. We have so many people that are spending their free time investing in children and families. It is overwhelming the amount of people it takes to pull this week off. I think it gets bigger and bigger every year.
As I walked through the different stations and heard the different stories and verses, I was struck by the fact that we are not only evangelizing and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, but we are discipling as well. We are discipling adults and children alike. Not only are the children learning about Jesus, but the teachers and leaders are learning more about Jesus and his love that draws us in.
I want to focus on what Jesus calls us to when we become a disciple of Christ. In Mark 8:34, Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” In Luke, he adds that it needs to happen daily. That means in every and all situations.
Taking up your cross is the ultimate act of surrender – a conscious choice to deny yourself and live for Christ. It means a willingness to follow and obey Christ to whatever end. God calls us into his kingdom through grace. Being “born again” (John 3:3) means that we have new life. Although salvation is a free gift, it costs us everything. We cannot buy God’s love and forgiveness. But Jesus doesn’t beat around the bush: it will cost us everything to follow him. If we truly follow Jesus with all of our heart, then we can have no other gods before him. There is a plethora of gods we can choose or even teach our children to choose before the Almighty God. To follow Jesus it takes absolute surrender.
That, my friends, is what we are teaching our children. It is about having a deep, audacious commitment to the One who gave his life up for us all. Our theme this year is “SLIME.” It stands for the Savior Lives In Me Everyday.
If you haven’t been able to come out this week, I want to encourage you to come and check it out. As you are here, pray for the children and the families that are participating. We need a spirit-filled renewal amongst our families with young children. I pray that it happens this week.
On Sunday following the second service, we will have our Sunday Funday. The picnic will be for everyone. If you are limber enough, maybe you can participate in some of the activities. If not, then you can enjoy watching others that may think they are limber enough. All I know is that it is going to be a fun-filled day of being together and enjoying hearing the stories of what God is doing.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene