Back To School
Every year at this time, most everyone has a "Back To School" checklist.
A. Lots to buy on that list.
1) Used to be a "Big Chief" tablet & big, fat pencil.
2) Now every class has its own requirements
3) Lots of companies trying to sell everything from cell phones, & pagers to PDA's to laptops!
B. Checklist isn't all that's changed.
1) Biggest problem in school in my day was fights.
a. Fist fights, no guns, knives, etc.
2) Before that, maybe chewing gum, being tardy, etc
3) Now, some schools have armed policemen, metal detectors for guns, drugs abound, even nurseries for all the unwed mothers!
C. Can't go to WalMart to buy things to fight these
1) We CAN go to God's Word to help equip our youth.
2) Let's look at a checklist from God for things to take to school.
I. Take Honesty
A. What is it?
1) "Fairness & straightforwardness of conduct, uprightness of character" (Webster's New Collegiate Dict.)
2) Having a character that is free of deceit.
a. 1 Ptr. 2:12 (read)
B. Be honest before God..
1) Realize you must be honest with God, you can't fool Him!
a. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked..." Gal. 6:7
C. Be honest with your friends & fellow students
1) I had a friend who was nice, but a habitual liar.
a. No one ever took him seriously.
b. Ruined a lot of friendships & trust
c. "With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor.." Prov. 11:9
D. Be honest with your teachers
1) They can be a big help, if you let them.
E. Be honest with your parents
1) Contrary to popular opinion, they love you & want what's best for you.
2) They know more than you & are on your side!
a. "A wise son makes a father glad.." Prov 15:20
b. Prov 23:24-25 (read)
F. Be honest with yourself.
1) God gave you a conscience to help you. Use it right.
II. Take respect for authority
A. Authority is a "dirty word" for some kids.
1) From every angle we are told to "buck" authority.
a. Songs, slogans, entertainers, sports stars, etc.
B. Authority is 1st learned at home.
1) "Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord." Col 3:20
2) Somebody said, "There is as much authority in the home now as there ever was. Only now, the children are exercising it!"
a. "The time to teach respect for authority is in the playpen, not the State Pen!"
3) If your parents are doing their best "in the Lord," honor them by respecting & obeying them.
C. Learning respect for auth. at home will help you respect auth. at school.
1) Teachers have authority over you because your folks have given you into their care.
a. Gal. 4:1-2 (read)
D. Lack of respect for authority causes upset:
1) In the home, school, job, & society.
2) Everyone is under some authority.
a. 1 Ptr 2:13-18 (read)
b. Our place is to recognize & respect it.
III. Take moral courage
A. What is it?
1) "The quality which enables one to stand firm against immoral difficulties."
a. The guts to do what's right! (Godly guts!)
B. See this in Shadrach, Meschach & Abednego
1) They refused fatty foods!
a. Dan. 1:3-20 (read)
2) They refused to worship idols Dan. 3
a. King Neb. ordered all to worship a golden statue.
b. S, M, & A refused Dan. 3:12-18 (read)
c. These young men stood for what was right, knowing they could die.
C. You, too, will be challenged to lay aside what's right for what everyone else is doing.
1) Exercise "godly guts" against:
Immodest clothes - 1 Ptr 3:3-4 (read)
Drugs & Alcohol - 1 Ptr 4:3-5 (read)
Gangs - "My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them." Prov 1:10
Evolution - Rom. 1:20, 25 (read)
Dancing - Gal. 5:19-21 (read)
Sex - 1 Thes. 4:3-5 (read)
2) Many more things will come up that will challenge your character and your faith.
a. "Human life is character-building; for remember that character means exactly what we are, while reputation is only what other people think we are. Everyone builds his own character. Fix one fact in your mind, however, and that is, the better and stronger Christian you are, the more dearly you must pay for it. All the best things are costly. Jesus Christ laid down His life to redeem you from sin and death. Grace for you meant Calvary for Christ. A strong, godly character is not to be had without cost.
Just because you're young doesn't mean you can't be a leader. Lead by example. 1 Tim. 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
By Zeke Flores
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