We began this month focusing on forgiveness as part of our theme CHOOSE taken from Colossians 3:12. Ephesians 4:31-5:2 reminds us what God expects from us as His chosen. We are to get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice; we are to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God has forgiven us; we are to be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. In other words, our lives should spill over and reflect compassion, kindness, and love not bitterness, anger, and malice.
Amy Carmichael (missionary to Japan) wrote, “For a cup, brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water however suddenly jolted. If it is full of sweet water and is jolted, what will come out of the cup? Sweet water. If you gave it a harder jolt, what’s going to happen? More sweet water. If someone is filled with sweet water and someone else gives him a jolt, what will come out? Sweet water. Jolts do not turn sweet water into bitter water. That is done by something else. Jolts only bring out of the container what’s already in the container. If you’re filled with sweetness and light, and you get jolted, you’re going to spill sweetness and light.” May it be so among God’s children that our lives, no matter how much they are jolted, would spill out compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness.
In 1922, something remarkable happened. This development at the University of Toronto would change the world forever. It gave life to an otherwise hopeless portion of society. What was this incredible development that changed the world forever? Insulin.
Before the development of insulin, children diagnosed with diabetes did not have much hope for survival. The refinement of insulin gave otherwise hopeless parents, hope that their children would have a chance at an abundant life.
Prior to 1922, diabetes was like the thief Jesus talks about in John 10:10 who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. Insulin changed all that for those diagnosed with diabetes. Much more important than any cure or treatment for a physical disease is what Christ has done for us spiritually. Jesus said that He came that we may have life and have it abundantly.
The beauty of a Christian education, and what we do daily at SJCS, is the ability to share and reaffirm through a Christ-centered worldview the abundant life Jesus offers us. As you consider re-enrollment for next year, keep in mind the longterm effect of a life-giving Christian education.
As a father whose two daughters both received a Christian school education, I can personally vouch for the immense benefit a Christian education had in shaping the course of their lives. We look forward to partnering with you again next school year to provide a life-giving, spiritually rich, academically rewarding education for your children.
Success is a word that is used a lot. Most people want to be successful: successful parents, successful students, successful in business, successful in sports, etc.
We generally think of success as the accomplishment of some goal or achieving material prosperity. However, the Hebrew word for success used in the Old Testament is the word sakhal which originally meant “to follow after.” Depending on the context the word sakhal also translates as “to be wise” or “to prosper.” Spiritually speaking, success could be defined as “attaining wisdom” or “prospering spiritually.”
At San Jose Christian School, we want our students to prosper academically, but more importantly, we want them to prosper spiritually and engage the culture around them with wisdom and discernment. Our mission is “to advance the kingdom of God by providing exceptional teaching and curriculum fully integrated with biblical perspective. Within our committed Christian community, we live to engage and transform culture for Jesus Christ.”
As we are in the process of re-enrollment for next year, we look forward to partnering with you to help put your child on the road to both academic and spiritual success so that they may be a force for transforming the culture for Christ.
Last week I was able to attend a seminar presented by Calvin College which was held here in our auditorium. The guest speaker was Arthur C. Brooks, and the theme of his talk was “Bringing America Together.” His main point was how people have a tendency to look with contempt at those with different standards, opinions, or beliefs.
I was reminded of another seminar I attended a few years ago in which the speaker referred to the Law of Differences. The Law of Differences says that there are two paths we can take with regard to the differences we encounter in others. We can either judge others for their differences, or we can value others for their differences. When we judge others, we see their differences as weaknesses which leads us away from a relationship with them. Essentially, the relationship “dies” before it even has a chance to begin. However, when we value others despite their differences from us, we are laying the foundation for a thriving relationship, a relationship that “lives.”
We can choose to value another’s differences, or we can choose to judge them. Our decision dictates whether the relationship “lives” or “dies.” Of course, we are not going to see eye to eye with everyone, even other believers, but as Christians we should always strive to value the strengths in others, even those we may staunchly disagree with. As John 13:35 reminds us, the world will know that we are Christians by the love we have for one another.
What a good reminder to start of this new year—to love one another and value our differences.
You are invited to attend this series presented by Calvin College throughout the month of January. SJCS is hosting a simulcast each weekday from 9:30 - 10:30 in our auditorium. The January series is designed to help Christians Listen, Learn, and Discern. Here is a link to more information regarding this series.