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Day 3: Influence

On Day Three there were separate meetings for girls and boys in the Mainhall. The theme of the day was 'influence', and the key verse of the day is found in Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)

Who influences us?

In the girls’ session, Rachel introduced the theme of the day, asking three questions: “Who influences us? How can we influence others? and who is the greatest influence in our lives?”

Cecil explained the key verse (Proverbs 4:23): “What’s your most valuable possession? Of all the things you value, you have to guard your heart more than all these things.”

She continued: “The heart is the centre of who you are–your personality, your will, your thoughts and your emotions. All these things are going to dictate how you live your life… We want these aspects of life to be influenced by God: the music I listen to, the people I spend time with, the things I watch or the truth that I let into my heart–all these things are going to have an influence on me”.

Rachel then told the story in John 4:1-26 about the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well–a lonely woman who looked for love in the wrong places–and described how Jesus wanted to meet the woman’s needs. Rachel pointed out that Jesus didn’t judge the woman; He just stated the facts about her life, and then offered her abundant life. After that moment, the Samaritan woman became a great influence to the people around her.

“What are the things that you long for?” Rachel then asked the crowd. “To be accepted? Loved? To be seen as beautiful? Where are you going to see these needs met?” She encouraged the girls to go to Jesus and let Him meet their needs and desires. “Let your relationship with Jesus be the greatest influence in your life.”

Three young women from the team shared how God had moved in their lives and met their needs in a way that they didn’t think was possible; He completely changed their lives.

At the end of the session, Rachel read a key verse from John 4:13: “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal.” (NIV)

“When we are being filled up by Him, we are going to be a beautiful influence to those around us.”

Together for God’s glory

In the boys’ session, Ron defined the heart as: “the home of your personality.” He pointed out that: “it’s not just about guarding your heart; it’s about what’s in your heart. If someone has a bad heart, it’s not worth guarding.”

Referring to Ephesians 6, Rich started to describe a very practical way to guard one’s heart: by putting on the armour of God. “The enemy wants us to stumble and fall,” he explained and then let Ron put on all the pieces of armour to illustrate their protecting effect.

“There are at least 100,000 opinions in the world today. We need to go somewhere that we know there is truth. God is always true… Who makes us righteous? Christ. Christ needs to be in the centre of our lives.”

“Is Christ the centre of your life?” he asked the boys. “When Christ is in the centre, we are fully protected,” he continued. “It’s way easier to fight with Christ.”

“You need God’s Word buried [in your heart]. When temptation comes, you have it with you.”

By putting on the armour of God, and with the help of that armour, we can also guard each other, Rich continued. Therefore, at the end of the session, he asked the boys to put their arms around each other. “Together we are an incredible force for God, for His glory”, he said.

The session ended with the entire crowd chanting: “Together for God’s glory.”

What the teens thought

“It was an encouraging message for young women. Jesus did not condemn the woman at the well. He simply brought out the facts and ushered the woman toward who she really was.” – Melissa (18, Finland)

“[I learnt that] Jesus influences us and makes us influence others through Him as well.” – Lilja (17, Finland)

“I need to protect my heart.” – Gianluca (15, Romania)

“Rich told us that we need to guard our heart because your heart is your source of life. If you lose your heart, it's hard to come back to life.” – Jan (15, the Netherlands)

“Ron told us that if you have a bad heart then it isn't worth protecting. You need a relationship with God to protect that heart and to protect yourself.” – Jop (15, Netherlands)

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