The 2017-2018 school year is off and running. For those of us who are in education, have children in school, or are involved in discipleship or other church ministry, August and September are months of new beginnings. We have two times a year to make "New Year's resolutions" -- or as I like to think of it, two times for contemplation and expectation. We contemplate and ask God some questions: What do you want me to do this ministry and school year? What changes are you prodding me to make? What challenges might I face? After pondering, contemplating, and planning, we are able to look forward with excitement and expectation as the new year unfolds.
As I was in this process over the summer, I was reading and studying John 15. God began and continues to whisper in my ear, "ABIDE." This five-letter word is now firmly planted on my mind and heart. Jesus repeats this little word 10 times in the first 10 verses. Obviously it conveys an important concept. So, I've been contemplating what it means truly to abide in Jesus. The biblical definition of the word helps us better understand this idea Jesus chose to emphasize. The Greek meaning of "abide" is to remain or stay. When we continually stay connected to Jesus and remain or dwell in the Word, we grow in our understanding of the depth of His love for us and how to trust Him more. This understanding brings tremendous joy. God has given me this word "abide" to meditate and ponder continuously this year.
Hopefully all of us have been in this contemplation stage these last few weeks and are finding time to be still and quiet and listen to the sweet whispers of God's voice. If not, it is never too late to start. Together as a covenant school, we are on a journey of learning to abide with Jesus in a deeper and more profound way. I want to encourage you as you talk to God to ask Him specifically for one word or scripture to pray for each of your children this school year. He will be faithful to give you that word or scripture, and you can look forward with expectation to what God will do as you continually pray for your child in this particular way over the next several months.
Today the crayons and pencils are still sharp and new, and excitement is still in the air. But we know crayons and pencils become dull, and the excitement of the year will wane. As routines begin to set in and time moves on, let us not forget to ABIDE in Him daily, for He is our life support and our everlasting joy. By residing in Jesus, each of us will be able to follow His will, walk through the challenges, and look to see Him more clearly in each new day!