And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Recently I read of one High School Graduate in Pennsylvania who was being honored for perfect attendance. From Pre-K to grade 12, this young man did not miss a single day of school. Incredible! This truly is a good record to hold. No matter how he “felt” he was at school. On sick days, he took medicine and toughed it out. How could he be so consistent? Perseverance. Dedication. Determination.
In the verse above, please note how that the Lord is faithful to finish what He starts. When a person is saved, the Lord begins to change them from the inside out! This is called “progressive sanctification.” It is the Lord who changes us, but the change is also dependent on the Christian yielding and submitting his life each day as a living sacrifice to the Lord. Jesus wants us to “live for Him.” God is faithful to preserve us and take us to Heaven at the time He has appointed for us.
These same qualities of faithfulness, perseverance, dedication, and determination are also necessary in the Christian life for us to develop, be more fulfilled, and for us to live lives that truly glorify Jesus.
Here are 3 helps to be faithful to the Lord…
David Looked For the Faithful. Psalm 101:6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. David wanted to be around people who loved the Lord and were faithful to Him. The people we “hang” with do influence us.
Moses was a Servant. Hebrews 3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after. Moses, a prince of Egypt, leader of Israel, and spoken directly to by God, did not let that get to His head. He was faithful because he still saw himself as a servant. Who are you serving today?
God Sends His Blessings to the Faithful. Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. Serving self, or being selfish is not blessed by the Lord. The “others” focused person who is faithful in His walk with God is blessed in many tangible and intangible ways. There is no price tag on peace or contentment, yet this is what God can give to the people who are faithful to Him.
Well, I can’t get perfect attendance in school; I am well past that stage of life – but I can be reliable. I can be dependable. I can be faithful to the Lord. While the Lord is sanctifying me and making me more like Jesus, I can yield my life and decisions to Him each day!
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
“The stops of a good man are ordered by the Lord as well as his steps.” —George Mueller
With summer break it is easy for parents to disengage, to go into autopilot and to lesson expectations for their children. Taking a break is not the same thing as being lazy. While taking a break is good, we should still have some basic Christian and family life expectations in our homes.
Here are some ideas for students this summer:
Take a break from school work, but keep reading the Bible.
Take a break from classes, but still attend Sunday School.
Take a break from Physical Education, but still exercise prayer and discernment.
Take a break from academic teachers, but never stop learning how to live from your parents.
Here are some ideas for parents this summer:
Keep structure in the home. While a little more relaxed there should still be a bedtime and wake up time and normal times for meals.
Communicate expectations concerning chores. Each child should have several jobs in the home that help you, that add value to them, and gives them a purpose and a role to fulfill in your home.
Have limits on media. Vegging out in front of a TV or a small media device for hours on end is unhealthy. Cultivate real people interaction. Give play time outside. Try a new sport. Take a hike or a bike ride. Have friends come over to do more than play video games. Get a ball and enjoy the weather.
Get several interesting books from the bookstore or the library and except your child to read 1 or 2 books during the summer months. Ensure the mind stays sharp!
My prayer is that you will have a safe, fun, and God-honoring summer break!
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. Luke 2:52
It makes sense to me. Want good grades? Want to not earn demerits? Want to not be punished by your parents for wrong doing while at school? Then make it a goal to “make the teacher happy.”
Don’t get this wrong. Just about every week, the news tells us about impropriety and immorality between a teacher and student. That is not how to make the teacher happy. Making the teacher happy in the sense of gaining their favor in the classroom is something that should be expected. Earning the esteem and admiration of the teacher should be like “second nature” to a student.
Here are some ideas to gain the favor of the teacher, earn good grades, and to become a more complete boy or girl for Jesus. Parents, these are expectations you should have for your son/daughter.
Work on your attitude. A student with a good attitude can do anything and become anyone that God wants him to be. A student with a rotten attitude will not be able to achieve all God wants – because of the bad attitude. As a parent, this is the most important area to work on. If an attitude is demanding, selfish, reluctant, pushy, sarcastic, or manipulative, then the student is heading for a disastrous life unless there is an intervention. Parents, work together with the teacher to remedy the attitude. Rules do not make a bad attitude – a rebellious heart makes a bad attitude. Attitude is a choice of the heart – not the circumstances. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” And Jesus said in Matthew 15:18, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” The attitude, good or bad, is a reflection of the heart.
Know the score. Each student should know what is expected in each class. Jr High and Sr High school students rotate between classes and teachers and there will be variations of expectations in each class. The student should learn each nuance and expectation and adjust accordingly. If the student does not know what is expected, he should ask for clarification. For example: One teacher may want the student to sit more straight in the chair, while another teacher looks for the students name to be printed on the top right (instead of to the left) of an assignment.
Think before you speak. The classroom interaction should remain positive and encouraging. When a teacher corrects a child, it is not the same thing as disciplining a child. For example: a student is disrupting the class and talking out of turn. When the teacher says: “Stop talking” – she has offered correction – not punishment. The embarrassment of being called out may impact the student, but no discipline has happened. If the student talks back by giving an excuse for disobeying the rules, then he should be punished for acting and speaking the rebellion in his heart. Demerits and detention are examples of punishment. When correction is noted and told the parent and when actually discipline talks place in school, I believe it is best that the parents follows up with their own personal discipline and punishment at home. Students misbehaving at school are a reflection of the parenting, or lack of parenting in the home. Parents are advised to train their children to “think before they speak.”
Respect everyone. A student does not have to understand a rule, just agree to live by it. Institutional rules are not intended to be morally right or wrong, but to give order and structure to the organization. Disobeying a rule is morally wrong, even when the rule has no moral bearing. A majority of rules in a school have to do with respecting other people. In this era of education, most people are focused on individual rights. Surprisingly, some Christians have also adopted this humanistic philosophy. The Bible and traditional education is more focused on the rights of others. For example, an clothing outfit that is distracting to others is ruled against in order to not interfere with the learning of the other students. Another example – talking and disrupting class with sarcastic remarks is not allowed so that other students are able to focus on their studies. Teach your student to be considerate of others when he comes to the classroom.
Expect more. Many parents allow their child to talk back, complain until the parent changes his mind, and even manipulate the decisions of the parents with emotional instability, constant nagging, and a persistent bad attitude. I encourage you to expect more and demand less. Expect more of a submissive attitude and demand less negative talking. When complaining starts – stop it. When a sour expression glosses over the face – stop it. Expect more. When teachers and others in authority inform there is a problem – get to the root of the problem – the heart. Defending a student, making up excuses, or taking sides will not help develop the heart of the student for the Lord. Dross is never removed from the gold until the heat is applied. Just like gold, a student will not be worth much in life if all the dross and impurities of a bad attitude and selfish life are removed. It is ultimately the student’s choice, but a parent, like the goldsmith, can make a big difference.
Honor God. Each student wanting to honor the Lord willingly submits to the authority and the education the Lord has called him to. While a student may not have a “paying” job, the Lord has called each student to the “full time job” of learning. It is hard work to focus, pay attention to detail, write papers, and study for tests. Being a student is a “Calling” with lifelong implications and dividends. If a student does not develop good study habits, personal disciplining relationships with authority and peers, and make decisions that honor God while in his youth – it is much harder to learn it later in life. Thank the Lord for many who have been saved, or saved people who have been restored to fellowship later in life. But think of the years wasted, the relationships ruined, and the witness for Christ diminished during that time. Help your student to honor God today.
By the Way: The Jewish boys would become a “son of the commandment” at age 13. In the years before age 13, the parents would do all they could to help the boy mature and develop into a respectable and responsible young man. That is the context of Jesus “increasing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” Mary and Joseph taught their boys before age 13 to put God first in their lives. Parents, you do not have much time to help your student learn to “Be” and to “Do” right.
Learn to make your teacher happy. It will cause your educational years to be both enjoyable and productive.