Happy 2018, Kanakuk family! The new year is here, and we are so excited to share the theme verse that will wave as a banner over Kamp throughout Summer 2018. As we reflected on last summer’s timeless and foundational message of “I’m Third,” we prayed that God would reveal a powerful verse that resonates with our Kampers, Staff and Directors and serves as a guiding light all summer long.
Every year at Kanakuk, we choose a Kamp theme to set the tone for an awesome summer. This year, our theme is a phrase that will sound familiar to Kampers of all generations and embodies one our most crucial beliefs at Kanakuk: I’m Third.
Living out “I’m Third” means trying our best to follow this simple model: God First, Others Second, I’m Third. This idea comes straight from God’s word. In the gospel of Matthew, religious leaders ask Jesus what is the greatest commandment in the law. Take a look at how Jesus responds in Matthew 22:37-39:
“And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
If Jesus himself says that these are the most important commandments in all of the law, we’d better pay attention! That’s why “I’m Third” has been one of the most important values we hold at Kanakuk for decades. We continually strive to think of ourselves last as we serve God and the people around us. But what does it take to think of ourselves last?
Sometimes, putting God first in our lives doesn’t come naturally. We have to make a conscious effort to make spending time with God a priority! When we commit to spending in prayer and reading God’s word every day, we start to be more Christ-minded, and it becomes easier to recognize God’s voice throughout our day.
A Servant’s Heart
Finding ways to think of others before yourself sometimes just requires a good look around at your life! Do you have friends or family that are going through a tough time? How can you serve them and let them know you care? How many times a day do we see someone at school, at work, or at home who could need a little extra help? Even the smallest acts of kindness can go a long way in spreading God’s love with others.
Part of serving God means understanding that it isn’t all about us! While God loves us more than we could ever imagine, His plan for us is not for us to live selflessly. He desires our lives to be about something bigger–helping lead others into His Kingdom. When we examine our lives through this lense, we become less concerned with selfish vanity, and more concerned with how we can humbly play a role in God’s plan.
If you’re as excited for Summer 2017 as we are, we challenge you to start living out “I’m Third” every single day. Get ready for the best summer yet!