Sunday, February 3, 2013

Eclipsed by Glory

If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking. 

Before you read farther, take seven minutes and watch this.  Because it defines everything that I will say next.  I dare you to watch it and not allow it to change your perspective on this very moment.

For years and years, we have begged God to show HOPAC students His indescribable, matchless, unstoppable love through Jesus.  We have prayed that they would taste and see that the Lord is good.  That they would get it....for themselves, for eternity.   

That Jesus is worth more than anything this world has to offer. 
That He is the Treasure worth any cost. 

That their faith would not just be a product of their upbringing, but a reality driven deeply into their hearts through the knowledge of the Cross.

And over the years, it has happened in students, here and there.

But this year, our last year, the fire is catching.  We've had nine students baptized this school year.  And we just returned today from HOPAC's first-ever Extreme Faith Retreat. 

We had told them:  This weekend is for any student who wants to know Jesus in a deeper way.  All our other camps have been evangelistic.  This was the very first time we tried something like this. 

We told ourselves we would be happy if 20 kids signed up.

We got 39.

And they got it

Our speaker challenged them from I John: Know your identity in Christ. Know what it means to be loved by God, so deeply, so radically, that He died for you. Seek purity in an impure world. And then love others. Love. Love. Love.

In all our years with these kids, I have never heard them sing louder.  Standing on their chairs, arms in the air, smiles on their faces, tears in their eyes, praising the Jesus who saved them.  When we prayed together, we couldn't get them to stop.   

Their voices, at the top of their lungs, are still echoing in my ears....

For You so loved the world
That You gave Your only Son
Love amazing, so divine
We will love You in return
For this life that You give
For this death that You have died
Love amazing, so divine
We will love You in reply, Lord

The energy level was electrifying.  Their joy was contagious.  They prayed for each other, wrapped their arms around each other, wept with each other. 

And before we left this afternoon, we stood in a circle, and these precious students prayed: God, let us be your lights at HOPAC. Help us to love our classmates. Let us be Jesus to them.  Guide our futures. Let us live in your love and may it spill out to others.  Use us.  Change us.  Take us. 


Tonight, I feel like the most blessed person in the world.

That I am a child of God.  That His love has transformed my life.  That I serve a God who has heard our prayers and who is transforming the lives of these young people whom I love with my heart and soul.

If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.

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