Mt. Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan, towering 12,380 feet above sea level. The active volcano’s perfect conical shape, covered in snow most of the year, makes its appearance iconic — and also irresistible to summer activities.
Most climbers start the trek up Mt. Fuji in the dark, hoping to reach the summit before sunrise. Outfitted with climbing gear and headlamps, the large numbers of hikers create a continual river of light illuminating the path to the volcano’s summit. When they reach the summit after a long and sometimes difficult climb, the sunrise and views waiting for them are mind-blowing.
Life’s Adventures with Christ
When you asked Jesus into your heart, you embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. Your walk with God is the most incredible adventure you can ever have. And what’s even better is that you don’t have to go on that adventure alone. You have the ultimate adventure partner in Him, and He will bring along others with whom you can share the journey.
Think of your walk with God as a climb to the top of a mountain like Mt. Fuji. While to embark on this journey, you never quite know what’s around the next corner. God is the only one who has read the trail map; as long as you stick with Him, you won’t get lost. There are surprises, belly laughs, a few tears, and stunning vistas along the climb. Some stretches of the trail are challenging and leave you panting for air. Others make you dodge wildlife or crawl through canyons. But if you keep going and trust God to lead you on the right path, you will reach the summit: the ultimate place to watch the Son shine.
Let Your Light Shine
Life’s journeys and adventures are unique, yet we are never alone on this hike. Remember the song “This Little Light of Mine?” It speaks of letting our light shine brightly. But did you know that your light is not small? In the darkness, a single flashlight can be seen for miles, guiding the way. God fills us with His holiness and light to be a beacon for others, leading them to Him. Just like a single light can illuminate an entire house, Jesus encourages us to let our light shine before others, so they may witness our good works and give glory to our heavenly Father (Matthew 5:15-16).
Similar to hikers on Mt. Fuji using headlamps to light the path for fellow climbers, we can point others towards Christ by demonstrating God’s love. Even in challenging times, when the night seems darkest, remember that God has surrounded you with others who are there to support and assist you. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). Therefore, make sure to let your light shine!
Adventure with Attitude
How you approach your walk with God will make all the difference. First, what attitude do you choose to have as you go into this adventure? Are you dragging your feet like a reluctant hiker? Or are you bouncing up the trail with enthusiasm? As you consider your adventure, are you planning out the tiniest detail and creating strict expectations for how everything should turn out? Do you get bent out of shape when the trail takes an unexpected turn, or something doesn’t go to plan? Alternatively, do you have an attitude of being excited about the things that could be around the next bend?
Your attitude will not only impact how you experience God’s blessings throughout your life, but it will make a difference in how you can be a light and blessing to others. As you continue your walk with Christ, think of your attitude as your battery for your headlamp. A positive attitude and obedience to Christ keep those batteries charged and the light pouring out.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Summer is one of the best times to start a new adventure and share your light with others. This year, choose to go on an adventure that will get you out of the house, make a difference in the lives of others, and that will share the love of Jesus.
As you embrace this adventure, have fun with it and invite Jesus to walk alongside you as you choose one of these options below. While you read, ask His Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and guidance and make you stronger as you exercise your faith.
Jump into one of our ten summer challenges below and make the most of your summer!
1. Attend or Serve a Vacation Bible School.
If you have never attended a Vacation Bible School, why not try one this summer? Many churches organize VBS programs specifically designed for teenagers, providing a fun and new way to delve into God’s Word. Vacation Bible School can also be a great place to make new friends and encourage them in their relationship with Christ!
If churches in your vicinity do not offer teen-focused programs, consider the option of volunteering at a Vacation Bible School. Volunteering opens doors to teach or assist in various aspects of the program, such as serving snacks, helping with crafts, joining the music team, or contributing to behind-the-scenes tasks. Not only is volunteering at a VBS is a great way to be a mentor to younger kids, but you will find that teaching others helps you grow too.
2. Attend a Church Retreat.
Check out what church retreats are happening this summer and plan to attend one. There may be some right there in the town where you live, or you could plan to go to one in a different part of the state or country. Additionally, there are many great getaway locations for church retreats. Some retreats are exclusively for teenagers, while some have a topic or skill they focus on throughout the retreat.
These retreats combine fun and adventure, meeting new friends, opportunities to serve one another, and time spent worshipping God. By breaking away from your daily routines and habits, you gain a fresh perspective and experience things in a whole new light. Church retreats allow you time to dig into the Word of God, spend time in prayer, and discover unique aspects of God’s character.
3. Go on a Short-Term Missions Trip.
Another great way to spend your summer is to go on a short-term missions trip. Begin by checking to see if your church or a Christian organization is planning one. Remember, you don’t have to go across the world to find a mission field — people need to hear about Jesus right there in your town. If you can go to a new city or travel abroad, summer is a great time to do it. Going on missions trips further afield will help open your eyes to new cultures and life circumstances while allowing you to come alongside them, help them, and share the Word of God with them. Without people who serve on missions trips, many people would not otherwise hear the name of Jesus.
4. Create a Memory Verse Challenge.
Without homework to keep you busy, summer offers the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in scripture and its transformative power. Collaborate with family or friends to select verses to memorize or create individual lists Once you have your personalized list, plan a dedicated time to gather and listen to each person recite what they have memorized. This can be done weekly or at least once during the summer. Moreover, it is important to prioritize the quality of your memory over the quantity of verses, as you can always add more verses gradually. As you memorize, take time not only to learn the verses by heart but to discuss their meanings. If you are uncertain about where to begin, find inspiration in our September Live It Challenge’s curated list of verses!
5. Join or Start a Bible Study.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Participate in a Bible study this summer. You will probably find some great studies and small groups happening at your church. If you want to start your own with peers from school or the community, you can do that too.
During the summer is a perfect for studying a figure from the Bible and what their life’s adventures looked like. How did they overcome challenges and disappointment? What did God do in their lives to make the adventure complete? For fruitful study, make sure it is consistent and that the people are committed. Be authentic and encourage each other as you share life’s adventures together.
6. Create a Gratitude Jar.
Since you might be at home more during the summer, place a jar in a central location of your home for everyone to write notes of gratitude about members of your family. You can also use the notes as a form of payment for treats, placing one note in every time you get a snack! Designate a time during the week to have someone read out the notes. You can incorporate this into your week at dinner, after church, or during family devotions.
While you practice gratitude, take time to remind yourself that every blessing comes from the Lord. Be honest in your gratitude, and remember that even the smallest blessings are worth mentioning! As followers of Christ, we are called to be examples of His goodness. Start by recognizing and appreciating the good gifts and people He has placed in your life.
7. Download a Summer Adventure Kit.
Another at home activity to consider are the Summer Adventure Kits from the Focus on the Family magazine editors! Not only are these kits free to download, but they give you creative ways to explore the Bible and the whole world. Invite your friends or family to explore scripture, learn about different cultures, or become detectives of God’s Word! By equipping yourself with biblical truths and answers to tough questions, you can confidently participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day on October 5th!
8. Go on a Camping Trip.
As the Psalmist praises God in Psalm 66:4, he sings “All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Through this we are reminded that all of nature praises God in its very existence. With summer in full swing, it presents the perfect opportunity to embark on a camping adventure with friends or family and personally witness this biblical truth. If there aren’t campsites near you, spend a night in your backyard or that of a friends! During your camping trip, you can hike, star gaze, cook over a fire, read scripture, or sing your favorite hymns and praises. Whether you spend a day or a week camping, getting outdoors will draw you into the glory of God’s creation while you form lasting memories.
9. Create a Family Book Club.
While reading independently has many benefits, so too does reading out loud as a family. Besides offering quality time, there are many benefits to reading out loud together that strengthens family bonds on the neural level! Moreover, shared reading experiences equip your entire family with stories that can spark discussions about truth and deeper insights. If you are stuck on what books will be good for your family, check out Plugged-In for ideas and reviews!
Establishing a regular reading time can be integrated into various parts of your day, such as after dinner, during breakfast, or as a replacement for screen time. While reading, consider the age range of your family members and allow those listening to engage in activities like coloring or playing quietly. Encourage discussions and questions related to the story, and address any challenging themes that may arise. It’s a good idea to keep a Bible nearby, as it can provide complementary verses or stories to address any challenges.
10. Baking Bread and Learning about Communion.
One of the last things Christ did with His disciples before His sacrifice on the cross was to break bread with them, saying, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). While you bake homemade bread, consider what this commandment means for your family and faith. You can also invite over your Christian friends or neighbors with whom to break bread and share truth, whether it’s by reading scripture or just being an example of God’s love and generosity. With plenty of online recipes available, embrace the joy of baking bread and don’t hesitate to embrace the mess! While you bake or eat, discuss the importance of communion as a believer in Christ. To frame this activity, consider reading one of the Gospel accounts of the Last Super.
Tell Us How it Went!
The Bring Your Bible team wants to know what challenge you chose and what adventures you had this summer. After you try an activity, send us your thoughts and be featured on our Facebook and Instagram pages! If you are still stuck, check out Focus on the Family’s blog for more ideas!
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