Have you ever asked yourself, “What is God’s plan for my life”? Well, as with any question we have in life, the first place we ought to turn to for answers is God’s very own words to us.
Romans 8:29 CSB reads,
“For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.
We find here that it is God’s plan, Ephesians 1:4 says “before the foundation of the world”, that we should grow in Christlikeness. But how do we do this? It is not enough to merely know what to do. The thought doesn’t count. We know we ought to eat better, exercise more, and be more healthy. And yet to grow in health requires making healthy choices. The knowledge must be put into action.
This is what the Sophomore Bible class at BCS has been working to accomplish. With Donald S. Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life and 1 Timothy 4:7-8, “Train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way.” As our theme verse, we have been taking practical steps to “grow in godliness”.
We have studied and practically engaged in several Spiritual Disciplines and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the year. We have worked through some that one would expect, such as bible intake, prayer, silence and solitude, and even fasting. There are also some that one may not expect, such as journaling, learning, stewardship, and serving. Each thoroughly examined and practiced for the sake of godliness. Not out of obligation or in effort to gain God’s love and favor or earn salvation, but from a place of joyful obedience because we have been saved by grace, we strive to grow in our personal relationship and experience with our heavenly Father who already loves us and calls us His sons and daughters.
One really exciting aspect of this class is not only the chance to have conversations about Spiritual Discipline, but also the chance to put our words into actions. After each we spend time discussing each discipline, looking at the biblical examples, the history and traditions, and practical application, we then actually discipline ourselves with that exercise. This is most recently seen as we looked at the discipline of serving. After hearing from Mr. Whitney that “serving is one of the most sure and practical means of growth in grace”, and “serving typically looks as unspectacular as the practical needs it seeks to meet”, we concluded this particular unit by participating in BCS serves day. As I stood and watched my students serve at Harvest for the Hungry, assisting this organization as they help feed people in our community who are nutritionally insecure, I was able to see words on a page and conversation in a classroom come alive. As these students presented themselves as a living sacrifice, loving their neighbor as themselves, this became a snapshot of what BCS is all about. The students have learned to live out this second half of what Jesus called the greatest commandment because they are in a school environment that cultivates and demonstrates the first half of that commandment; loving God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 12:28-31).
This is stated in the mission for BCS. To “provide families academic excellence with a Biblical worldview and equip students with qualities of knowledge, character, leadership, and service to the glory of God.” This moment was built on a biblical worldview, offering grade-level specific bible classes as part of a rigorous curriculum.
“Academic excellence with a biblical worldview” is accomplished through a curriculum which intentionally focuses on the God who created math, science, art, and language for our good and His glory. This should cause us to love God more.
“Equipping students with knowledge” leads them to love God with their mind. To use the gifts of logic and reason to learn more about God and His creation.
“Equipping students with character” fosters a heart that loves God. This is accomplished through the high expectations placed on the students. To be young men and women of integrity. By taking time each week, during corporate worship chapel, to look at God’s word together and be reminded from various local pastors of the expectation God has for His children to be holy as He is.
“Equipping students with leadership” is how a student can love God with their soul. With the choices and struggles students face on a daily basis, they are given the tools needed to lead at all times in doing what is right. In the classroom, on the court, on the field, in the cafeteria, at home, and in the world.
“Equipping students with service” is a means to love God with all their strength. Psalm 100:2 gives the imperative, “Serve the Lord with gladness”. The life of a Christian is marked by serving like Jesus (John 12:12:17, 13:35). Knowing God more leads to loving God deeper. Loving God deeper moves us to glad obedience. Offering students the opportunity to serve their school and their community is a reasonable and necessary component of a student’s Christian education.
Seeing this vision move from a textbook, to a conversation, to the hands and feet of my students has been a remarkable opportunity. I am grateful to be a partner with Brazosport Christian School in the development, not of future leaders and influencers, but of those who are leading and catalyzing change for the better today.
Grace and Peace,