Back to School!
Seb’s smile faded – school started in the morning and the new Seb wasn’t going to be very popular there anymore… He knew that becoming a Christian was going to lead to a lot of problems. It was so much easier at Cherryhill, where there were lots of other Christians around, but now he’d have to take a stand for Christ in an opposing and unsympathetic world. What would Tyler say? His other friends? He bit his lip. Mr Symons, his biology teacher, who made no pretence of the fact that he believed that God was a myth. His stomach clenched and he suddenly felt very alone.
-Excerpt from Witness, Search for Truth Series
Where I live, in Northern Ireland, this is the week when most schools recommence. In some other countries, it began a few weeks ago, but soon everyone will be studying hard once again. The obligatory ‘first day’ photo will have been taken, the bag packed with new stationery, and a stack of new notebooks and textbooks given out. For those changing schools, there is not only a new school but new subjects, new teachers, new friends. And new challenges and most likely some new fears. Will I be able to do the work? What if no one likes me? What if I get lost? New things can be fun, but they can also be a bit scary. That’s normal!
In Witness, Book 2 of the Search for Truth Series, Seb’s school hadn’t changed. Instead, he had changed! During the summer, Seb had become a Christian – he had trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation – and now he was, as the Bible says, a ‘new creation’.1 The things he used to get up to, the language he used to use, and the things he used to say – all had changed. He belonged to Christ and he wanted to stand up for Him.
When we got saved, God could have taken us straight to heaven. Why didn’t He? It would certainly have been much easier! Instead, He left us here to live for Him, to bring Him glory. What exactly does that mean? I once heard someone explain it in this way – that we are here on earth to make God look great. When we do what we know He wants us to do – things like being a friend to someone whom everyone else despises, being honest and trustworthy, working hard, not succumbing to gossip or saying nasty things behind people’s backs… I’m sure you can add to the list – all these things bring glory to God. Maybe some of the people in your class have never even heard about the Lord Jesus Christ! You can look for opportunities to share the good news with them.
Living for God at school can be difficult. I certainly found it hard and I’m ashamed to say that many times I let God down. But, as Seb discovered, one who has trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ is never alone, no matter how lonely school can be for a Christian, for He has said, ‘I am with you always.’2
So, as you begin this new school year, and maybe even a new school, make it your priority to live for God. Other people might not appreciate it, but be assured that it pleases God greatly.
And if you are reading this and you have never trusted Christ, it would be a wonderful way to begin the school year if you realised that you are a sinner who needs salvation, and accepted the work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.’3
1 – 2 Corinthians 5:17NKJV; 2 – Matthew 28:20NKJV; 3 – Acts 16:31NKJV