Even though it’s summer (and definitely feels like it in the afternoons), the mornings are still pleasant and calm in our little Precept valley. The first morning of EQUIP Boot Camp 2 was made even more peaceful and endearing by the small crowd of campers sitting with their Bibles open, underneath the breezeway to stay out of the misty rain drizzle.
As we mentioned in our prayer requests, yesterday was the day the whole camp did an overview of the book of Ephesians. The schedule of camp even follows the inductive Bible study method (observation, interpretation, application), so that the students are not hearing any person’s opinion or interpretation before they study the Word of God for themselves.
The teachers (along with that evening’s speaker) meet together in the afternoons to discuss how their classes are doing, what concepts they are understanding through the Holy Spirit or struggling with. Our goal is to never get in the Holy Spirit’s way, because it is Him who changes hearts and who teaches us all things about the Words of God (John 14: 26).
Last night, Kay Arthur was the main session speaker in the evening and her goal was to reinforce the overview of Ephesians by focussing on Paul (the author of the letter). There was much laughter and participation all around as she spoke with animation and even made a series of motions to help everyone remember the main points/aspects of his identity as revealed throughout Ephesians.
Kay contrasted the BC person (Saul) with the AD person (Paul), to emphasize that nothing but encountering Jesus can change us, what we believe, and how we act. One passage that Kay taught through that captures this shift completely is from Galatians 1:13-16a
“you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.”
“But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles”
Why would Paul go through the trouble of emphasizing that he did not receive the gospel from a man or consult with people (verses 12 and 16-17)? Because the gospel, and the Word of God is not dependent upon the works of man. It’s when God is pleased to reveal His Son in us.
That’s something we have striven to communicate multiple times during camp already: this is not about what the staff members can impart to the campers. It’s about going to the Word together, and submitting ourselves to it willingly.
Our prayer today is that the students will behold and find hope in their identity in Christ! We have started the process of doing chapter studies through Ephesians, and desire nothing more or less than for us to see the riches of God’s grace towards us. Please pray against distractions, and for willing and thankful hearts!
The Transform Team