This is a special episode for your RSS feed. In this one, Dallas takes time to share some of his reflections from his time serving at Teen Reach Adventure Camp this past weekend. 

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Written Version

This week’s devotion is a bit different in that I’m sharing some reflections on events from this past week. This past week I had the opportunity to serve in a camp called Teen Reach Adventure Camp. The camp is a unique three-day experience where teens in the foster care system experience love and hope.  There was a really cool testimony that came from this past week.

The camp’s location couldn’t be known for security reasons, so the drop-off location was separate from the actual campsite. When one of the girls from this past week was being picked up at the drop-off location, the person picking her up stopped. They were stunned. The young lady looked different in some way.

You see, for context, when she came to the camp, the young lady was not happy. She was not excited to be at camp. You could see a lifetime of burden, anger, and fear in her eyes. But over the three days of the camp, something happened. She came face to face with Jesus. Through the staff, the games, and the messages, she had experienced true hope, true peace, true love through the late-night conversations. She experienced Romans 8:15

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “AbbaFather!”

Romans 8:15

See Abba is a Hebrew term that carries a powerful emotional tone. During the camp, they didn’t experience some disconnected divine being that’s playing some sort of galactic chess with our lives. They didn’t experience the same old tired cliché “Welp, hope you make it one day.” Instead, they experienced the love and grace of their heavenly Father. When that happens, there is a change that takes place in a person. In the Old Testament, we read that Moses had to actually cover his face when he came down from the mountain from communing with God. Why? Because there was a glow about him after experiencing God.

That’s what these girls experienced. Everyone had a real encounter with God, and as they left the camp ground, they looked different, saw things differently, and thought differently.

My challenge for you today is to step out of your comfort zone and show someone the love and grace of Jesus. Don’t just preach at them. These girls didn’t experience three days lectures. They experienced Jesus through face-to-face encounters. They experienced Jesus through times of heart-to-heart conversations, times of tearful revelations, and times of joyous laughter with others. So be Jesus for people today. You never know how much their appearance can change by simply showing them His love and His grace.