The students of Grace Fellowship spent a great weekend at Camp Woodlands this past weekend! While there, we enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation, the fine facilities and all the fun activities at the camp, developed and deepened relationships with each other, and spent quality time in God’s word seeing what it has to say about temptation. Each of our sessions included games, readings which were germane to the session, worship through music, and a teaching time.
Our main passage was 1 John 2:15-17 which speaks of the world and its desires, both of which are passing away. In contrast to that, the person who does the will of God will abide forever, just as Gods word itself will. The first session was called Shaky Ground and in it we saw that temptations come to us from outside of us and from inside of us. No one is immune to temptation and they will continue to attack the ambassador of Christ for his entire life. We also saw that temptations are not sinful in their own right. Instead, they become sin when we start to believe and want the lie which is being sold to us in the temptation. If consistently and unrepentantly given into, the Bible is clear that its path leads to destruction.
Our second session was called Pride, Pleasure, & Shiny Things and it was Saturday morning. During this session, we began to look at how temptation comes to anyone, actually everyone, through one of three categories. John refers to these categories as the desires of the flesh (pleasure), the desires of the eyes (shiny things), and the pride of life (pride). Followers of Christ need to be on guard against each of these three categories if they are to stand firm against the temptations that will come their way. We were all challenged to look at ourselves and see where we are most likely to be tempted as a means to fight against it. In this session, we looked too as how Jesus was tempted just as we were yet He never sinned. As such, then, He was able to stand in for us and take the punishment we are due for our sinful actions. He can and should be looked to as an example for how a Christian is to fight against the hook of temptation.
Our last teaching session, called Standing Firm, was on Saturday night. This was the payoff session, to so speak, as we looked at how a Christian can fight against temptation. The first way is to realize what the implications are of their being united in Jesus Christ as His brother or sister. Having this knowledge and understanding what it means to both have the power of Christ and Christ Himself in you, as well as all the blessings and benefits that are yours as a son or daughter of the King of Kings, is transformative to reclaiming one’s identity. A Christian is a new creation and as such has certain new characteristics and tendencies. The second way we looked at fighting against temptation was by looking at reordering our desires. We were encouraged to consider all the pleasures and benefits that a Christian has (and will have). It was that type of thinking which fueled Jesus during His mission on earth.
We thought about the fleeting pleasures that sin and the lies of temptation provide which never truly satisfy; instead, they lead to the road to death. In contrast to this, we were reminded of the massive rewards that are promised in God’s word for the Christian and we were encouraged to slake our thirst in the living waters of Jesus and to feast on the Bread of Life. Finally, we were encouraged to reframe our future and consider what it would look like if we continued on the path of giving into temptation and compared that to what our future in Christ looks like. Because a Christian is untied with Christ, his future is Christ’s future and what a joy-filled future that is indeed!
It was a great time and the Holy Spirit truly worked in the lives and the affections of the students and adults as we were all encouraged to fight the hook of temptation by focusing on Jesus. FourWORDs Student Ministry is thankful to Grace Fellowship Church for her support and prayers for the students of the next generation. Each of the talks can be listened to through the links above and the entire packet given to the adults is available for download as well if you would like further resources.