“Summer is here!” “My 60+ day weekend has begun!” Status updates from excited teachers are popping all over your Facebook feed right now. As a teacher and a youth pastor, I am doubly-excited because I have time off from school AND the summer months are the best times for ministering to students.
“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all HIS energy, which so powerfully works in me.” -Colossians 1:28-29
This verse has saved my life. It has become my motivation for teaching as well as a source of strength. When I try to do this teaching thing on my own, I run out of energy very quickly.
As a teacher, I have to talk all day, unless I throw a worksheet at them to do quietly. I am not one to go on-and-on during conversation. But there have been times as a teacher where I have felt a burst of energy as a talk, having my words come out fluently. I then, after I’ve impressed myself with my fluent teaching ability, wonder how this has happened. How have I been able to pull these words out of thin air to create such a beautiful masterpiece? What is my source for this newfound conversation energy?
This energy is the same energy that Jesus used. How did Jesus minister to so many different people? People would wait for him when he pulled up to the shore. They ran to him, crowded around him and flung themselves at his feet. How could he be around all these needy people and give them exactly what they needed? He taught them with great imagery. Where did he come up with this stuff?
Here is another verse that gives me strength:
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” -Luke 5:16
In the middle of times of ministering to people, Jesus created the time to get away from people so that he could have energy when he was around people. He spent time with the Father to recharge and to gain energy to teach others with spiritual wisdom. Summer is a season to regain the energy I’ve used in my previous season.
The summer months, especially for teachers, are a sabbath season. We have the opportunity to relax and recharge, preparing ourselves for the upcoming school year. However, we often do not take the time to prepare for our season of rest, instead, we just wing it. When I go into a season like summer, I prepare myself for it by looking at the end of the season. I normally do not like looking to the end of summer but it is a good practice if I want to get the most out of the opportunity that has been rewarded to me. If I do not have some type of spiritual growth plan for my sabbath Summer, then I will probably waste my God-given opportunity on my own selfish desires.
I have one main Spiritual Goal this summer and I would love for you to join: Read through the entire New Testament.
If I look to the end of summer and see that I did not reach this goal, I will feel like I have wasted this opportunity that God has created for me to be with Him. Because I know that I will have plenty of time to read through the New Testament. So, if you want to do this goal as well, then challenge someone to do it with you. Encourage them each day to read at least 3 chapters. You know that I am already doing it. Will you read through it with me?