August 20, 2018
Welcome back to all of our returning students and parents! And for all of you who that are beginning your first year here at FCS, I want you to know that we are so happy you have chosen our Christian school, and we welcome you with great excitement! We pledge to provide the very best education we can for your student(s), seasoned with the perspective that God’s Word brings to each and everything we will do this year at our school. Each week I will send this “Weekly Word” out to parents, friends, and alumni of our school. My goal for this weekly message is to share my perspective of the many issues that affect all of us, and our students, from a Biblical perspective. I invite your response and comments on these weekly sound bites, and I trust in some way they will be a helpful encouragement to you in your life.
This year begins our 51st year of serving this community. The world we live in is certainly different than it was in early days of FCS, but one thing is the same, a new year is filled with uncertainty and turmoil. The fact is, we don’t know all of the challenges that we will face during this school year, as a school, as families, or as individuals, and we certainly don’t know how this year will end. What we do know is that we serve an eternal God who has provided us with solutions to all of life’s challenges. If a hurricane approaches our area, we all try and prepare our homes and families for the storm. It should be no different for us as a Christian parent or teacher. We must not only get our students ready to do well in school, we need to prepare for the spiritual challenges that will come their way in the new school year.
The apostle Paul talked about how believers can protect themselves spiritually. Ephesians 6:13 reminds us, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians while he was in prison in Rome. He was guarded constantly by a Roman soldier and was well acquainted with what the Roman soldiers wore. He used the armor and equipment of the soldiers who guarded him as an example of how we should prepare for facing challenges in our daily life. The belt of truth is what we wear to acknowledge that Jesus is the Truth. Everything in our lives finds its proper place when we live in accordance with God’s truth. The role of the body armor is God’s righteousness, which He gives us day by day. It is the Holy Spirit working in our lives to make us more like Him so that we are protected against the attack on our hearts. When we live a righteous life, we are fully protected against the thrusts of the enemy. The role of the soldier’s sandals was that it helped him maintain his footing and position. Without his sandals the soldier could not be ready to fight or do his duty. The role of the Gospel in our ministry and in our daily lives is like the sandals. Without it, we could not stand one moment before our enemy. Because of the Gospel, and the peace we have with God through it, we can take on the things that the enemy hurls against us. The role of the shield of faith in the believer’s life is that it doesn’t matter what Satan hurls at us, our faith, our belief and trust in God is stronger. Satan likes to hurl flaming arrows of temptation at us, temptation to lie, to doubt and to commit sin. If we let our shield down, we open ourselves up to his attack and become ineffective for Christ. The helmet of salvation is not put on in order to get saved, rather we wear what God has already given us. We gain protection as we daily live out our salvation and become more like Him. Finally, the importance of the sword. To the soldier the sword was the preferred weapon because it helped them fight in close quarters with the enemy. It was useful in defense and offense. The importance of God’s Word to us is that it is the weapon we use to counter the attacks of Satan. Jesus defended himself from Satan’s temptation with the Word of God. It is also the way we can move out into the world on the offensive if we study it and know how to discuss it intelligently. Ephesians 6:18-19 tells us to pray at all times. “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.”
I believe that it is an absolute necessity for believers to have a personal quiet time where we pray and study God’s Word. Prayer is so important in our daily lives because it helps us stay aware of the battles and trials we face in our lives each day. Like the soldier, being in a battle requires a certain attitude. Soldiers are trained how to respond in combat situations so that it becomes natural behavior not something they know they need to do if the situation arises. As believers our prayers should not be only in a time of crisis or when we get into trouble, it should be part of our training. And being alert to the attacks of the enemy should be all of the time. Here at school we must be alert, always ready for the enemy’s attack. We always need to focus on the real objective, which is proclaiming the Gospel and training our students to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
We don’t know what is going to happen in the world this year, or when and if the storms of life will hit us. Part of the spiritual preparation for what God will do here at our school this year is knowing that ultimately, those who follow Christ will win the victory. Yes, we need to acknowledge that evil is a real threat that must be battled and that there will always be problems, but there is no need for panic or anxiety because we already know the final score in this war. May we be encouraged today as we put on the armor of God here at FCS and go out to do battle in a culture that desperately needs to know about Jesus Christ. My prayer for everyone associated with FCS is that they are, or will become a “follower of Christ” who is equipped to battle the storms and trials of this life. Together, we can raise our students in the nurture and admonition of the Lord in the face of any storm or trying time.