Yesterday marked the last day for me at Carolina Creek Christian Camps, a journey that began in May 2015. With three summers and a year internship under my belt, eighteen total months were dedicated to that small corner of Texas I have grown to love so much.
I have learned to love much, meeting and greeting in great excess of twenty thousand people over my time there. Whether it was a public school’s team-building retreat, a church event, or a fraternity service project, I have learned to love all who come through the gates of camp. And it overflows into the other areas of my life as well. Continue reading “End of a Chapter”
My time this summer has been consumed with camp, friendships, and reading. When I started Søren Kierkegaard’s Works of Love, I did not at all expect for it to take the entire summer to read, but I am thankful because I have learned such incredible things about what love is, how it works, and what it looks like. Most recently, I have finished a chapter on how Love Seeks Not Its Own.
The age in which we live constantly tells us to look out for Number One, and Christianity is no stranger to this idea. We know that serving others is of the utmost importance, and denying our own desires is essential to our faith. In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul writes, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
When a human being seeks the love of another human being, he seeks to become loved himself; this is not sacrifice; sacrifice would consist precisely in helping the other person to seek God . . . Therefore, if a man seeks to become the object of another person’s love, he deliberately and falsely seeks his own, for the only true object of a human being’s love is love, which is God, who therefore in a deeper sense is not an object at all, since he is himself love.
To seek to be the object of another person’s love is a futile effort – it has no sacrifice and no depth. One who seeks to become the object of another person’s love seeks his own interests, and not the interests of the other. It is futile because the only real object of love is God Himself, and not a person at all. Continue reading “Love Seeks Not Its Own”
In John 7, John the Apostle writes about how Jesus secretly went up to Jerusalem to attend the Feast of Booths (a very happy feast in Jewish tradition, which is actually still practiced today). The Jews looked for Him but did not find Him, because He traveled there privately. In the middle of the feast, John records, Jesus walked up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews were amazed at how He taught, and asked each other how Jesus learned what He spoke of, if He was never taught. Jesus answered them:
“My teaching is not Mine, but his who sent Me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on My own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood” (John 7:16-18 ESV).
While this is undoubtedly telling about the identity of Jesus as the Son of God, it is also encouraging to us as believers. Jesus had the Holy Spirit – the same One we have – and spoke confidently and authoritatively. Continue reading “Teaching with Authority”
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. … Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” (John 5:1-9,14)
We’ve all heard the story of the invalid man whom Jesus heals on the Sabbath. What is important is what few really look hard at – Jesus’ intent behind his words in the last sentence. Continue reading “So That Nothing Worse May Happen”