Summary of Patmos' Kingdom Messages

The Kingdom of God is amazing and also can be confusing.  In Acts 1:6, the disciples seemed to be more focused on the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel.  Jesus told them to focus on God and His Glory as they went out into all the world as his witnesses.  Our confusion today, just like back then, is that we believe and act like life is about me, my desires, my plans, and my glory.  Here are three reminders I used to help the campers, staff, and myself live like citizens of God's Kingdom. 
The Kingdom of God is of INFINITE VALUE.  It is worth more than everything you own (See See Matthew 13:44-4619:13-30).
The Kingdom of God is under GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY (See Matthew 20:1-156:9-13).  God is the boss.  He is the good, loving, perfect, generous creator and sustainer of this world. 
The Kingdom of God can only be entered when one is GENUINELY REPENTANT (See Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43; 3:1, 7-9).  You must know that you have a sin problem, feel sorrow about this sin problem, decide to turn from your sin to God, grow in your obedience to God. 

To move from KINGDOM CONFUSION to KINGDOM LIVING, you must know and believe in, and live with the understanding of the greatness of the Kingdom of God, the sovereignty of God, and because of your sin, your deep need for God. 

During the final chapel session on Friday morning, we looked Colossians 1:9-14, which is Paul's prayer for those who have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Jesus.  A kingdom life bears fruit (v. 10), increases in the knowledge of God (v. 10), is strengthened by God (v. 11), gives thanks to God (v. 12).

In speaking on God's Sovereignty, I shared a way to remember the attributes of God when you pray.  The EIEIO's.

Pictures and more can be found on the camp Facebook page


More in One Week than Almost a Year

This week the posts have been about what I am speaking about at Camp Patmos.
Throughout the week I have been thinking about a lot of different things going on in my life.

A strange thing is that after yesterday’s (Thursday) chapels, I have preached/taught more this week than I have from September 1, 2018, through July 14, 2019.
This week has served as a reminder of how much I love doing those things and how important teaching and preaching helps you grow as a teacher and preacher.

Another strange thing about my preaching time at camp this year, I was unplugged.  Posterboard visuals and hand-written notes.  I used technology for a visual only on the last day.  (For your information it was the Who Will Be King? Gospel booklet.  If you know me this is kind of a big deal.

Poster on the wall behind me.

Photo of my hand-written notes.
I would definitely appreciate your prayers, as we finish up the week here at Camp Patmos and prayerfully continue looking for what God has next for us.  Part of my time at camp was spent filling ut some ministry-related questionnaires but we have no idea what is next.

Patmos Friday Morning

Thursday morning's parable was the Parable of the Wheat and Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30).  One of the great things about preaching this parable is Jesus explained it to his disciples (Matthew 13:36-43).

This passage of judgment reminds us that God is patient in his judgment of the sons of the wicked one, even those who may appear to look like the sons of God but are not.  
There is coming a day those when those who have not genuinely repented and called out to Jesus for their salvation will be judged.  
This parable should move believers to 
JOY because they will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of God
SORROW because those who are not children of God will be thrown into the fiery furnace.

This parable is a call for believers to
WORSHIP GOD who has saved them
SHARE THE GOSPEL with those who desperately need to hear it.  

During Thursday evening's chapel, we looked at the common message at the beginning of John the Baptist's ministry (Matthew 3) and Jesus' ministry (Matthew 4)...
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

We are called to REPENT not merely REPEAT a prayer or outward action like raise a hand.

We talked about what GENUINE REPENTANCE is.
  1. Knowing that you have a problem and that problem is your sin.  Not your circumstances or someone else's action but rather your sin.
  2. Feeling sorry and sad for your sin, not for being caught in your sin.
  3. Deciding to turn from sin to God.  Realizing my actions and attitudes need to change.
  4. Changing your actions and attitude.  This is not about being perfect but rather a quicker repenter.
We need to understand that we are not saved because of our heritage or actions.  
You are saved when you repent of your sin and call out to Jesus to save you.

Pictures and more can be found on the camp Facebook page


Patmos Thursday Morning

We closed out yesterday’s God’s Sovereignty theme with cabin prayer time.

The morning parable was The Laborers in the Field (Matthew 20:1-15).
From a human perspective, it would seem like the master was unfair when in reality the master is very generous to the other workers.

In the kingdom of God, there is no room for envious comparison.
God doesn’t owe us salvation for what we did.
He gives us salvation despite what we have done.  Look at Ephesians 2:8,9.

In the evening we built on the theme of God’s sovereignty by looking at how to pray using the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).
The first part of this prayer shows us that we need to focus on God.
Prayer is not first about the disciples’ needs or solutions to their problems.  It is about glorifying God.
The following mindset will help you focus on God and his glory.
Turn to God – Remind yourself of who He is.
Ask God – Bring your request to Him.
Trust God – No matter God’s answer is trust That He is working all things out for His glory and your good.  (This model of prayer is adapted from the book Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy

Today’s theme is Entrance into God’s Kingdom requires Godly Repentance.
The morning passage is the Parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 24
During the evening message, we will be looking at the beginning of John the Baptist and. Jesus’ ministries.  Both of them focus on the phrase “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”

Pray God would help me clearly communicate the difference between Genuine Repentance and mere repetition.
Pray God would open the ears and heart. Of the campers to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Pictures and more can be found on the camp Facebook page


Patmos Wednesday Morning

Yesterday we studied the reality that the Kingdom of God is of Infinite Value.

While studying the Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price (Matthew 13:44-46) in the morning and the narrative about the rich, young ruler (Matthew 19:13-26) in the evening chapel, several truths were developed.
  • All things in life worth anything will cost something.
  • The one thing in life worth more than anything in this world costs everything.
  • In the parable, the man joyfully sells everything he has so he can get the treasure.  After being told he had to sell everything to get the treasure, the rich, young ruler went away sorrowful.
  • Jesus' call to salvation demands radical surrender.
  • The one who trusts in Jesus and what he has done is saved.  The one who trusts in himself and what he has done is not saved.
Today we are studying the Parable of the Laborers in Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-15) and The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).
Our theme is the Kingdom of God and God's Sovereignty.  

Pictures and more can be found on the camp Facebook page


Patmos Tuesday Morning

Last night at the first chapel, I gave campers an overview of the week's chapel message.
Last night, the first chapel's title was KINGDOM CONFUSION and Friday's theme is going to be KINGDOM LIVING.
The in-between chapels are going to bridge the gap between confusion about the Kingdom of God and living for God in His Kingdom.

Here are a couple points from last night's chapel.
  • The verses were Acts 1:6-8 and Matthew 28:18-20.
  • In asking Jesus about the Kingdom of God, the disciples were asking if an earthly kingdom was going to be returned to a specific people, the Jews, at that time.  Their question was not big enough.  In Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19, Jesus tells the disciples to take the spiritual message of the life-changing Gospel to all the world.  
  • We need to remember that the Kingdom of God is about God.  While that may seem like a very obvious statement, people often forget this truth and in their minds turn the focus of the kingdom onto themselves.  It becomes what can they get.
  • God's work is NOT done in your strength, power, and wisdom.  God's work is done through God's power, strength, and wisdom.
With this Kingdom Confusion idea of the Kingdom of God is not about me and what I want in mind, we are going to look at the first bridge concept this morning.  
The Kingdom of God is of Infinite Value.  It is worth more than anything we have or can imagine having.  
In the morning chapel, we are going to look at the Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price in Matthew 13:44-46.
In the evening chapel, we are going to look at Matthew 19:13-26, the narratives of the acceptance of the children and the rejection of the rich, young ruler.  

I would appreciate your prayers in general and for these specific things:
  • God would use His Word as I preach to instill and grow in the campers, staff, and myself an ever-increasing sense of value fo God and His Work in this world.  It is my hope that the campers would not only grow in their knowledge and understanding of the Kingdom of God but that they would grow in their desire to glorify God and celebrate the ways he is being glorified.   
  • God would use the counselors, the staff, the music leader, Krista, and me to bring Him the glory that He deserves and help the campers do the same.  

Pictures and more can be found on the camp Facebook page


The Kingdom of God

Christianity is an upside-down kingdom. 
The humble are exalted.  Mourners are comforted, and losers are keepers
This week, July 15 - 20, I am speaking at Camp Patmos for Junior (4th - 6th graders) Camp.

The theme for each week of camp is The Kingdom of God.

After an introduction message on Monday from Acts 1, each day is going to follow the same pattern.
The morning chapels' passage is going to be a Kingdom parable from Matthew.
The evening chapel's passage is going to be a passage about the Kingdom from Matthew.

Monday's theme is Kingdom Confusion.
Tuesday's theme is the Infinite Value of the Kingdom of God.  
Wednesday's theme is Divine Sovereignty and the Kingdom of God.
Thursday's is Genuine Repentance and the Kingdom of God.
Friday's theme is Kingdom Living.

Each day I will post the passage's used and some of the big ideas from the sermons.

I would very much appreciate your prayers during the week.  Here are some general prayer requests.  

  • Pray for the junior campers at Camp Patmos.  Pray that God would open their ears and hearts to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
  • Pray for the counselors and staff at Camp Patmos.  It is my hope and prayer that each year I speak at camp Krista and I can be an encouragement to those who are serving for the summer.  Pray the counselors would have wisdom, strength, and patience from God as they work with this specific group of campers and other campers throughout the rest of the summer.   
  • Pray for me as I preach each day.  In past years I went into camp having taught or preached at least once a week, so there was a rhythm.  This year I have taught or preached less than ten times.  Pray for wisdom, strength, and unction, that indefinable, indescribable something.  It is my prayer that I will clearly communicate the truth of the Gospel in a way that the camper will understand and be challenged by.
  • Pray for our family this week.  Jadyn will be a camper at Camp Patmos' Junior Week, the camp I am speaking at.  Josiah will be a camper at Camp Patmos' Pathfinders Week.  Joel will be attending Teen Leadership Conference at Clarks Summit University near Scranton, PA, where we lived for four years.  You can check out TLC at https://teenleadershipconference.com/ and Camp Patmos at https://www.camppatmos.com/.  The social media accounts for both will have a lot of pictures and updates.  
Pictures and more can be found on the camp Facebook page