Seven gospel truths

Jeff McSwain
Reality Ministries director Jeff McSwain reports in his current newsletter about Experience Reality Camp for middle and high school age students. In large group camp teachings, Jeff focused on seven gospel truths (listed with Jeff's permission):
  1. You don’t know who you are until you know whose you are (and Satan ain’t nobody’s daddy!)
  2. Jesus chooses me and embraces me at my worst
  3. Jesus knows me the best, loves me the most and forgives me before I ask
  4. Jesus calms my storms
  5. Jesus has the desire to listen and the power to help
  6. Jesus loves me this much (arms outstretched like on a cross) to give me a big picture view of my life
  7. Jesus rescues me and brings me home
These life-altering truths flow from a trinitarian, incarnational understanding of the gospel, which declares that God, through the Spirit, in Jesus Christ, has included all humanity in his life and love. Jeff comments (quoted, with permission, from his newsletter):
...I am convinced that we must give students an assurance of God’s commitment to them in the beginning, providing them “room to turn.”  Isn’t this the way of Jesus with sinners in the Gospels? We can’t expect students to loosen their grip on the destructive aspects of their lives until they are convinced that they are being gripped unconditionally and irrevocably by Someone stronger than they. 
After spending five messages giving our friends a truth to bank on, I invited them to turn in their “fake ID.” I told them that to turn from wrong-headed thinking about God is what the Bible calls repentance. It was an opportunity for all of us to say, “I don’t want to live by how the world defines me or even by how I define myself; I want to live in the truth of my identity in Christ as a beloved son/daughter of the Father.” 
Our friends have come home to a tidal wave of negativity and oppression. The temptation will be to think that what they heard and believed at Experience Reality Camp is a lie or a dream. My prayer has been that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind the prayer we taught them, “I believe, help my unbelief.” And of course, we have to continue to encourage one another down the road of faith.
Thanks Jeff for participating with Jesus as he ministers through the Spirit to God's kids! And thanks for sharing it with us.

Comments

  1. I love checking in on Jeff McSwain and Reality Ministries as they live out, hands on, the gospel of Jesus with young people. Everyone - keep them in your prayers! Thanks for sharing this, Ted. I'd enjoy seeing you interview Jeff about their experiences at Reality Ministries, and post it at the GenMin website. What do you think?

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  2. Sounds good Jerome. We'll look for opportunities to interview Jeff about his ministry. In the meantime, we have online three You're Included interviews with Jeff about trinitarian theology. See the list at http://www.gci.org/youreincluded.

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