Today has been the most wild, beautiful day for our Amplify campers, and I wanted to share a small part of that with you, the Amplify parents!
The last week and a half have been nothing short of incredible. We’ve seen campers set free from fear and anxiety by the power of Jesus. We’ve seen campers with extreme panic disorders find peace in Him and Him alone. We’ve seen campers attitudes and personalities make a 180 turn, taking rebellious, angry young men and women and seeing them become faithful, kind men and women of the Lord. We’ve seen campers who don’t even speak the same language as their counselors understand the Gospel. Most importantly, we’ve seen campers surrender their lives to Christ left and right!
Tonight we had a time for Amplify Campers Share. Normally, we get to hike out into the woods, sit fireside, and make s’mores. Then we have a time of worship, followed by an opportunity for the campers to proclaim the work God is doing in their lives. However, due to the current burn ban, we had to move inside. Our campers shared about their last week and a half, and it was beautiful to hear about what their learning. But His plan was just beginning to unfold…
Two of our campers accepted Christ after Campers Share, and their cabins were so energized and joyful for them that we knew we needed to do something to celebrate! What’s a better way to celebrate salvation than an ice cream sundae and a dance party? As some of the campers were running around, dancing, singing, and just plain rejoicing their brothers and sisters in Christ, three more campers were praying, asking Jesus to be their savior!
That makes a total of 25 campers who have been saved this session of Amplify. TWENTY FIVE!
What these campers have come to know is a love story about a King who came down from His throne to save His kingdom from death. It has impacted the hearts of millions all over the world and it remains the most life-changing love story we could ever hear.
When our perfect Father created the world, he made it blameless and without fault. Because of his deep love for us, he desired to share a relationship with us. But the perfect world he had made became tainted when two people disobeyed and went against what God had said.
The perfect relationship creation once had with the Father was severed. Our human condition is painfully clear when we gaze into God’s word:
No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.
We try to work our way to perfection by going to church more, giving a bigger tithe or reading our Bible. But unfortunately, God’s standard isn’t just “good enough” – it’s perfection. How do we, as people who are as bad off as we can be, fix the broken relationship we have with a holy and perfect God?
Here’s where the plot twists and we realize the beauty of what God did for us.
Jesus Christ, God’s son, came to earth and lived the perfect life that we couldn’t. He was fully human and fully divine (John 1:1, 18) and he experienced every kind of temptation we have. He took the punishment we deserved and died a criminal’s death in our place as his feet and hands were nailed to a tree.
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21
The price of our sin has been paid in full by Jesus’ death and resurrection and now we have the opportunity to restore our broken relationship with our Maker. We can’t do this by working harder or doing more good things. Rather, we accept this free gift of eternal life in complete faith and belief that he alone can save us from our sin.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
We can restore our relationship by faith, and belief that he is our only hope for eternal life. When God looks at us, he no longer sees our sin, but rather, he sees us as perfect and without blame. This love story is incredible and life-changing.
As “Sweet Victory” played throughout the mesa, all of these 8th and 9th grade campers jumped, cried, and celebrated for over an hour. For me, it’s a lot like what I imagine heaven looking like. I pray that this is encouraging for you as you prepare for the return of your camper in just a few days! God is moving in mighty ways here at the Timbers, and I’m so thankful that each of these campers was brought here in His sovereignty!
In His name,
But Wait, There’s Samoa