“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6-7
It’s finally that time of year again! Camp Meeting officially kicked off last night, and it’s shaping up to be a wonderful weekend out here at Lake Agape! The theme this weekend is “Fresh Faith”, and at Delanco Camp, faith is grown daily!
We started Camp Meeting off with some worship, and a message from our speaker. This year, we have Pastor Rob Lewis of Gibbsboro United Methodist Church, sharing with us! This weekend, Rob is going to be talking about the five ingredients to worship.
The first ingredient that was shared is repentance. In fact, this ingredient is really a necessary step to preparing our hearts for worshipping God. Rob used this example to describe repentance: Imagine I have a tennis ball, and your hands are full with all of this stuff. Then, I throw the tennis ball to you. Your odds of catching it without dropping the stuff in your hands is slim to none, right? That’s why repentance is the first and most important ingredient to worship. If we keep focusing our hearts, minds, and energy, on all of this stuff that’s going on down here on earth. how are we ever going to be able to truly worship our God in heaven? We won’t.
Now, in order to really understand repentance, I’ve looked at the Oxford Dictionary definition of repentance: the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse; each person who turns to God in genuine repentance and faith will be saved.
The key here is the action of turning to God. It’s not just a spiritual thing: it’s mental, emotional, and physical. Rob even pointed out that Jesus’s ministry begins with the idea of turning to Him! In Mark 1:15, Jesus says, “Repent and believe the Good news!” Repentance is even Jesus’s first ingredient.
As Christians, we often think that repentance is a one time thing. It’s something we do when we first get saved, and not something that happens while you’re saved. Instead of repentance as an ingredient to worship, it’s an ingredient to conversion, and then that’s the end of it.
Think of it like this: Every year, a farmer tills his land in order to plant fresh crops. He plants the seeds, waters them and helps them grow. At the end of the season, the surviving plants are harvested. And guess what. In the spring, the farmer has to till the land again to prepare to plant the new crops. Tilling is the farmer’s first ingredient, and without it, he wouldn’t be able to grow the crops as efficiently. In fact, the farmer would be costing himself more by not tilling the land.
For me, that’s a perfect picture of repentance. You see, you can worship God without repentance, but just like the farmer, it’s costing us. You’d be missing out on true worship from a clean, pure heart. And there are so many things on this earth that we can repent from. I mean, Paul flat-out says in Romans 14:23, that “everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Quarreling, lying, gossiping, etc. All of these little things in our lives that seem so insignificant, well, they add up. And before long, we have an earth-centered focus over a God-centered focus.
The beauty here is that Jesus found you, called to you to turn towards him. God pursues you, and therefore, you continuously pursue God. Year after year, we turn and pursue like the farmer and his fields. It’s the first ingredient for fresh faith.
We’ve just got to remember to keep turning and keep tilling.