"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13
Continuing on this week with our Stand Firm testimonials is Zukes!
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There are many ways I interpret this verse. 1 Corinthians 16:13 says "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous, be strong." Every part of this verse speaks to me in a different way. The first time I read it, I thought of it very literally in terms of how I would apply it to camp. The verse opens with "Be on your guard". This made me think of how campers are my #1 priority at all times and their safety is my main and constant concern. To "stand firm in the faith" first seemed like keeping Christ in camp, and having a firm belief in the God we talk about here. I thought of taking risks and leadership roles when I read "be courageous", and remembered to turn to God in challenging situations as I read "be strong". Something about it made me feel like this verse meant much more, and I was able to uncover some of this after re reading and praying over this verse. The idea of standing firm and comes up many times throughout the Bible in verses such as Philippians 4:1 "Therefore my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you must stand firm in the Lord, my beloved" , and Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery". The Bible's depiction of standing firm is bold, yet loving at the same time time. To me, standing firm is to know the love of God and the power it can have, and with that, an urge to share this love with others. We stand firmly and confidently in our faith even when we are challenged because we know the love of God. Standing firm in the faith is having complete confidence in what God can do, and trusting in Him through challenging situations. At camp, we are often faced with difficult decisions and challenging scenarios. Through these, we can know that God is with us and will lead us to the right thing to do. In another sense, I interpret this as standing firmly and confidently because of your faith. I can be proud of who I am because I know I am made in God's image. I have confidence in my abilities because the Lord gave me them and strengthens them. When I am overwhelmed by a situation, I can be confident that there is a solution because God never gives us more than we can handle. At camp, I know that my campers are watching everything I do. If I am able to be confident in who I am and what I can do, I will be teaching my campers confidence in themselves. I know that the way I speak about God and His love will impact how my campers look at Him. I want to show my campers what a deep and meaningful relationship in the Lord looks like. In everything I do, from the way I speak, act, and go about activities, I want to be an example of a servant of Christ. I stand firm in God's plan for me and I know he will guide me to teach my campers to do the same. My final thoughts when thinking about standing firm are about standing itself. I stand with two feet planted firmly on the ground, head up high, because I am empowered by the love and strength that God has shown me. I walk in way that serves the Lord because I stand firm in the message He brings. I walk with confidence that I am being lead where I need to go. I stand firm in the faith I have in God because of His faithfulness and the plan God has for us here at camp, we can make the summer of 2018 the best one yet.