Ahhh, summer break…
Cool evenings, BBQ’s, concerts, camping and relaxing by the pool.
And remember the first smell of cut grass and the soothing sound of crickets that lent a hand in getting you to sleep?
But it’s all gone now my friend! School is back and you’ve been served up 9 months of papers and projects and performance evaluations!
Now…don’t you feel better having this harsh reality out in the open?
And I can feel your pain…I’m a teacher, and while I may not be doing assigned homework, I am grading it - and trust me, I’d rather be doing it. Bible teachers like me toil long hours instructing students about the greatest Book ever written, and we get answers like these on tests:
• The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, “Am I my brother’s son?”
• Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandos. He died before he ever reached Canada but his commandos made it.
• Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines. He was an actual hysterical figure as well as being in the bible. It sounds like he was sort of busy too.
Yep, many times there is an obvious communication breakdown between teacher and student, but now that school is back in session, let me be clear about Jesus’ view of your school and fellow students:
Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields” (Matthew 9:35-38).
This is a perfect picture of what Jesus sees when He looks at all the hundreds or thousands of students going to classes, breaking for lunch and headed to practice or home each day after the last bell rings:
He has “compassion” on them-
In the original language of the Bible, the word “compassion” means to literally “spill your guts.” In other words, His heart breaks and He is sick to His stomach when He sees your campus.
Because just like the people in His day, your friends are “confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
The eyes of our Savior get past the external labels to the condition of the soul. When we come to school, we look at the clothes, the car, the group of friends, and the expressions on faces. But Christ’s gaze cuts through the façade and goes straight into the reality of how a person is feeling. In His day, the people confused about who God is and how they could be forgiven. They were helpless before the powerful religious leaders of that day who led them astray into thinking they had to earn God’s love.
And absolutely nothing has changed.
Your friends are confused by so many competing religions and truth claims, and they feel helpless when they confront their sinful habits and behaviors without Christ’s power.
So did you notice what Jesus’ command to His disciples?
“Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
What Christ is saying is that your school is bursting at the seams with people who are ready to hear the gospel and respond in faith to this incredible message. The problem is that there are few who are willing to risk their reputation for THE Cause, and before you know it, the school year is over and your friends remain as confused and helpless as before.
So there are basically two ways to look at this season of back to school. You can complain and be bitter that summer is over and you have to plug your brain back into academic disciplines…
You can see your school through the eyes of Jesus, who saw you in the same condition and sent someone to harvest your soul to eternal life. Let your heart break over the fact that your friends have broken lives and shattered dreams. Look past the exterior of people to the perplexed condition of their spirit and powerless state of their lives without Christ.
And when you do, Jesus will use you to reap a harvest for His Kingdom, and each day will be a victory for THE Cause instead of a frustrating exercise for fulfillment!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Your campus is a harvest of souls that are ready to receive the gift of eternal life and start a journey with Christ that is more meaningful than they could ever imagine! But if you and your Christian friends don’t pray, pursue and persuade those who are confused and helpless, the harvest for this year could be totally wasted!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Father I thank You that You called me to my school to be a missionary for THE Cause. I pray that as Lord of the harvest, You would send me out to share the gospel and be a part of the amazing transformation of my school for Your glory.
Read: Matthew 28:18-20. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Get: Sharing Your Faith podcast. Check out this free seven minute video from Greg Stier about how to share your faith. Packed with practical how-to tips for sharing Jesus' message with others.