|January 14, 2019|
Next week is Spiritual Emphasis week here at FCS for our high school and middle school students. At the end of Spiritual Emphasis Week our junior class will go on a retreat together in Central Florida, which is a great follow up for their class after a week of spiritual emphasis. This past week our art department participated in the Beaux Art Festival at the University of Miami where Cathy Ponce won first place in Graphics Division and a total of four of our art students were selected. Our varsity basketball team won a big district game guaranteeing a first round bye in the District tournament. All in all, it is a great time here at FCS, and a time in which the Lord will truly be honored. Throughout all of these events, we will seek to point our students, both present and prospective, to Jesus Christ.
We live in a world in which we are constantly being challenged to make improvements in our homes. My wife loves to watch home improvement and decoration shows on TV. I remember once, after hours (hours and hours and hours) of watching people move furniture around in their houses on TV, she decided to move our living room furniture around. I thought it looked pretty good the way it was, but even though I was perfectly satisfied with the way it looked, it was moved. Shortly after all of the moving, it was determined, not by me of course, that it was better the way it had been, so it was restored back to the way it was before it was moved. At best it is an ongoing project. Regardless of my “male” perspective, the fact is that sometimes our homes really do need a little bit of “home improvement.” We also know that if we have a problem with something wrong in our house, it is better to fix it right away than to wait until it gets worse. In that way, it is a good analogy for our spiritual lives.
Each year during spiritual emphasis week, I am reminded that no matter how many chapels or Bible classes our students attend, there is something special about setting a week aside to emphasize the need for spiritual evaluation. The Spiritual Emphasis weeks that we have here at FCS are designed to allow our student body, and our faculty, to check out our own spiritual lives (homes), to see if there is need of some improvement, because we know that from time to time it is necessary for all of us to make some improvements. Paul told the church in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2, “Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.” Paul was saying to the church that they were in pretty good shape, but he was encouraging them not to wait until their spiritual lives were broken or falling apart to decide to make some improvements. It’s good for us to do a little spiritual home inspection from time to time. In the next verse Paul adds, “…it is God’s will that you be sanctified (or holy). He went on to remind them about the lifestyle they had lived before they were saved. Their new natures were holy and honorable, and shouldn’t be characterized by their lifestyle from their former days. What he was saying to them, that if when they examined their life, it was beginning to look more like it did when they were lost, they needed to do some home repair or move some furniture around. Our spiritual lives should always be set apart, holy, so God can use us.
There are many things that we can look at in order to determine if our spiritual houses need repair or improvement. The reason Paul tells the Thessalonians that this so important is found in I Thessalonians 4:12, “…so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders…” He later explained to Timothy in I Timothy 2:2-4, “…we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior who wants all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.” Taking care of our spiritual home improvement will lead to the opportunity for others to see in our lives something lacking in their life. Ultimately our purpose for keeping our spiritual lives in order is to be able to have the opportunities to see our lost friends, relatives, and others come to knowledge of the truth, and be saved. Our “transformed lives” are the best testimony to them of what they need in their lives. How about you? Is there room for some “spiritual home improvement” this week? Don’t wait to get it fixed, it will only get worse if you don’t.
Next week, our middle school and high school students experience a somewhat abnormal school routine, but our hope and prayer is that maybe during this week they will have some of the “furniture” in their spiritual life moved around. I pray that we as teachers and parents, recognize that each one of them need our support and encouragement, rather than our judgment. My prayer is that the “spiritual improvements” that are made will be permanent and life changing, and ultimately will have influence on others in their life to seek and follow Jesus.