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  • Writer's pictureNewBeginningsUMC

Back to School New

By now, the majority of the schools in our area have had their first day back. You’ve probably seen posts on Facebook with everyone’s “First Day of School” pictures. Did your parents make you take one of those when you went back? My (Pastor Jake) Mom did. Every. Single. Year. I pretended to hate them, especially in high school. But now I’m grateful for them; to be able to look back and see how I changed each year, and to have proof that when I was in high school I had hair to my shoulders.

I never enjoyed going back to school. But with each new school year, brought new opportunities. For me, a new school year always represented a fresh start. And you would see that with others. People’s interests seemed to change over the summer. All of a sudden people dressed or acted different, or were part of a different club or crew. And at first it might throw you off seeing someone trade in their all black clothing for an athletic jacket. The reason many change is that they are just trying to find a place to belong, and people who care about them.

Summer break provided an opportunity for people to rebrand themselves. Get new clothes, new shoes, new friends, new interests. Especially the summer after senior year. College freshmen have the chance to create a whole new self. But in our relationship with God, we don’t need a summer break to bring change to our lives, we just need to be open and receptive to God working in our own lives.

When you look at scripture you see people encounter Jesus and completely change. The disciples dropped their nets, their tax collecting booths, and followed him. Paul completely changed his life of persecuting the church, to leading the church and spreading the church. Prostitutes changed their lives because of Jesus and his words. Lepers were healed, blind men saw, crippled walked. But not only physical changes, spiritual changes as well. When people encounter Jesus in the Bible, it changed them. So if you have encountered Jesus, and want to live your life for him- you have to live in such a way that reflects that.

My challenge for the teens this year, and every school year is below. But maybe it can be a challenge for you as well.

· Pray that God would bring people in your path to help you grow closer to him

· Pray that God would give you opportunities to share God’s love with others

· Pray that God would give you the courage to live out your faith, to be genuine and authentic

· Pray that you would be able to be God’s light to others

· Pray that God would help you make him a priority, to find/make time to read bible, pray, go to church and spend time with fellow Christians.

· Pray that God would point out the times you are making sports, success, grades, and relationships FIRST. None of those things are bad, but when we make them our first priority, we worship them. We can make sports, or people liking us, or our appearance, or our grades, and so on, our idols- the things we worship and find our value in.

· God is the only one who can show you your true worth, and meaning, and purpose though.

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