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And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish YOU.

I Peter 5:10 ESV (emphasis added)

 

God has called us into community, blessed by His grace, shaped and marked by the cross, and filled with the hope of the resurrection.  These truths exist regardless of our station in life as an adolescent, emerging adult, parent or veteran youth ministry practitioner.  At NATIONAL 15, we celebrated joyous times and our life together,  learned from one another, and prepared to be encouragers during difficult times.  God causes us to stand in Christ, receive His grace, and ready us to serve in our many vocations.

 

At NATIONAL 15 we gathered together under the theme: STANDING. The four plenary sections unpacked God’s promises for us in 1 Peter 5:10 focusing on the words: restore, confirm, strengthen and establish.

 

Restored:  Through Jesus Christ, God restores sinful people to a right relationship with Him.  He brings us into a community called to function together in love and support of one another.  The Holy Spirit works among us to form and shape us, moving to make us of one mind and conviction.
Confirmed:   The enemy, Satan, prowls like a roaring lion (I Peter 5:8).  He uses our sinful nature, others’ sin, trials, and doubts to pull us from God.  Yet we can confidently stand in the strength of our baptismal identities as one marked as children of God as the Holy Spirit confirms and keeps us unwavering in the faith.
Strengthened:  “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?” (Psalm 121:1).  Heavenly help comes down to us.  God creates, restores, and encourages His people.  Our community is built and strengthened by nothing else than the promises of God, given through Jesus Christ.
Established:  God brings stability to our lives through the gift of faith.  We are rooted and grounded in the Word of Truth, and placed in a secure place, His Church.  As His people we live emboldened to stand for others and share the love of Christ.