Day 23 | Julia Johnson

Before I read today’s devotion, I thought there wasn’t much to say about the wise men…everyone already knows about them! I thought the wise men were just some fancy kings that brought baby Jesus some oils…but there is so much more to them than just their gifts! They are the ones who bridges the gap between “fact” and “faith”. In our world today, those two things can get pretty twisted.

The hard thing about deciphering the difference between fact and faith is that the world and the devil are blurring the lines between the two. As Christians, we know that Jesus is Lord of all, but other religions will tell you differently. The world also tells you that your sins are okay. The world will say “It’s okay if you ________” because “everyone does it” or “you’re only human”. Satan also spreads lies saying that “you’re not good enough for the Kingdom of God” or “you have to work to earn God’s love”…THOSE ARE LIES!! Scripture clearly states that if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are going to Heaven. It also says that you do not have to work to earn God’s love because He has always loved you and sent His son to die for you. Isn’t that encouraging?! I know that many of you are struggling with lies from the enemy, but if you constantly dive into the Word, those whispers from Satan will grow fainter and fainter until you can no longer hear them. The line between fact and faith will be clear for you to see.

Day 13 | John Boles Jr.

Wasn’t this such a great devotion. Sometimes we forget how unique our religion is. In all other religions their “gods” are neither personal, nor general but our God is both. It is so important to realize how amazing it is that our God is so general. Most of us have spent our entire childhood growing up hearing, “God loves you more than anything else” or, “You are so special to God” but little do we talk about how general He is. Now, I know that these are awesome, praise worthy statements but I still think we should honor how general He is. In today’s world “general” is almost a negative word, meaning average or normal but to God it’s not. If God was not so general then it would be rare to find a passage of Scripture that applied to your life, but because He is so universal, all of them apply to us in some way.

I love verses 47-49 because of this. In these verses, Mary is talking about how God has lifted her up and blessed her despite her humility. We can apply this to the way we live because of God being so general. For us, this means that we should strive to be incredibly humble. So humble that we are seen as a servant. This does not mean that we should not be leaders, but it means that we need to be a leader by serving others. I think God often puts it on our heart to be humble so that we can shine more for Him.

If God does great things through us and we go and boast about it, then we are no better than all other sinners. But, if He does great things through us, and we are quiet and humble about it, then God will stand out to the rest of the world and we may be glorified with him. God used Mary in her humble state so that He could be glorified through it. We should all pray for God to help us be humble and that He will use us to further His kingdom through it, and also thank him for allowing you to have a completely personal, yet totally universal relationship with Him.

Day 12 | Abby Thomas

In this devotion, I was reminded that my joy comes solely from Christ alone and from nothing else. He is the source of all joy and happiness, and even when I am going through a hard time in my life, I trust in Him to give me peace and joy that surpasses all understanding.

Luke 1:42 stuck out to me most. I love the part when it says “and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” This clearly states that Jesus is the one who gave her the joy that made her baby LEAP in her womb…wow! I think it is so awesome the way He works in our lives; we just have to take the time look around and notice it.

From this devotion, we need to grasp that all our excitement, happiness, joy, and laughter is from Him. When we have joy in The Lord, we are able use it in our daily lives to be a light to others and show them the love that we have found in Christ. And by that, when people watch us and are around us, they notice a difference in the way we live. Our purpose on this earth isn’t to make ourselves look good, it’s simply to bring all the glory and praise to Him. We shouldn’t strive for applause because we are already famous in His eyes – and that brings more comfort and joy to me than I could ever imagine.

Orlando Day 6

Our final day of Kidz Camp could not have been better – it was WATER DAY! (Which went along great with our “Submerged” VBS theme) The kids as well as our students had a blast. We finished out the week with 22 children at camp…meaning the Lord brought 7 additional kids throughout the week. He is good! Not only did we get to have fun spending time with kids telling them about Jesus, but this helped Renovation Church connect with multiple families. Shane Kyles helped lead the “jungle” crew by rooting stumps and pulling vines from the trees behind Veritas. For lunch today we had Miller’s Ale House – a restaurant that has fed us daily. The owner, Matt, has been such a blessing to us. He and his wife are members at Renovation Church. After lunch, we said our goodbyes (or see you laters) to the Evan’s family and the Renovation Church volunteers. We cleaned up at the hotel and headed to Epcot. Of course when we got there it was raining, but the Lord was good – He ended the rain and provided a cooler breeze. Our students had a great time “traveling around the world”! It was the perfect place to wind down from the week while enjoying the company of our group.

Please keep our group in your prayers as all 119 of us navigate Magic Kingdom and make our way back to Opelika tomorrow! It has been such a fruitful and fun week, but we are looking forward to being back home. Join us on Sunday morning as the Mix Choir leads worship in all 3 services. You can get a glimpse of what our week has looked like in Orlando.