One Another Devotion - Day 18
I have been working with Camp Hope now for about 10 years. Camp Hope ministers to children all over our valley whose families do not have the resources to pay for camp. We take them to camp on scholarship, introduce them and their families to the love of Jesus, and teach them that God loves them, values them, and created them for purpose. Our foundational verses are from Romans 12. Every year, as we prepare for the next camps, we study Romans 12 in depth. Romans 12:12 is the Camp verse, so I was delighted to receive this verse for one of the devotions to write!
Having been deeply involved in Camp Hope for so long, I have met and worked alongside the many volunteers that come to camp each year. This camp is on the front lines in the war for souls, and we truly experience spiritual battles over our kids. We are living the gospel! One of the reasons that we study Romans 12 each year is so that we are prepared for the battle—the enemy comes to attack the workers— he will attack us in finances, car problems, sickness, and particularly in our personal weaknesses of pride and control. We have to be ready to sacrifice for each other in all of the attacks —being faithful in prayer—over each area of camp and each person there—kids and volunteers. I have bought gas for people when their bank accounts have been hacked on day one of camp, given rides, prayed over illness, migraines, etc. and received prayer and help for the same things!
We have also had to intervene in areas where the enemy is stirring up difficulty between volunteers - calling out the enemy and booting him out— and bringing people back to a place of unity and focus on the kids. This happens in all areas of ministry, including, and especially the church. The enemy knows our weaknesses, and we have to cover each other in love and prayer to overcome these issues. Oh, how the enemy loves drama!
At camp, we are diligent to defer to one another, serving not only the children, but each other throughout our camps. It is physically and spiritually draining work, and as leaders, we try to keep an eye on all of our team members, offering breaks and prayer, so that everyone is strengthened for the mission. We have seen as many breakthroughs in adult volunteers as we have in the kids! God is so good!
This same focus is needed in our everyday lives and in our church body. We need to be diligent in serving each other, praying for each other, helping and giving to each other, and welcoming one another.
If you know or sense that a brother or sister is hurting, GO to them. They may not feel comfortable going down front for prayer, but likely would appreciate that someone saw them. Tell them that you noticed, and ask what you can do—then do it. Offer to pray for them (you don’t need fancy words— God already knows the need, just talk to Him.) If they need something tangible, and you can provide it, give it to them! Take them to lunch or coffee or buy a tank of gas, etc. If something you have would bless them and show them that God sees and loves them, will you give it to them?
It is very easy to come to church, sit through service, critique how it went, and go home without ever engaging with the body of Christ. However, you are part of the body, and just like every part of the body has a job, so do you. I love how the Passion Translation words these verses:
“Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another. Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him. Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times. Take a constant interest in the needs of God’s beloved people and respond by helping them. And eagerly welcome people as guests into your home.”
1. Have you ever experienced difficulty with someone when you were serving in a church or ministry? Were you able to “lay down your life” in order to preserve unity? As you reflect back on that experience, can you see where you could have done something differently?
2. Has God ever asked you to give up a personal possession or money to help or bless a fellow believer? Has someone ever complimented something of yours, and you heard God say “Give it to them?” What happened?