Enthusiasm For God

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It is almost here.  Can you feel it?

The excitement.  The anticipation.  That nervous twitch you feel when you are not really sure what to expect.  In two weeks mobs of students will be swarming our classrooms ready to be taken somewhere.  They crave inspiration.  Maybe something different from the norm.  Something that will rejuvenate their lazy soul from the lethargy of summer.  My question to us all is simple … Can you live in that moment?  Can you be that passionate teacher that these children ache for?  It is time to shake off the cobwebs, check the final few items off your summer bucket list, and meditate on a scripture that is sure to inspire: “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

What do you think of that is strong and immoveable?  I think of a thick California sequoia tree.  Sturdy.  Enormous.  Brilliant.  There is no storm that can touch it because it is so deeply rooted into the ground.  We must be that tree, rooted deeply in the foundation of our faith, Jesus Christ.  Seek Him out.  Get into the Word on a daily basis.  Allow Him to be the foundation of your life so that when temptation strikes you can take a deep breath and fend off the enemy valiantly with your sword.  He will fight your battles.  He will be your power when every ounce of your flesh is weak.  Jesus says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).  Build your classroom on that rock.

What about the next part?  Work enthusiastically.  I love that!  Jesus doesn’t beat around the bush here, does He?  That is pretty clear cut and dry.  Enthusiasm means there is a pep in your step.  It means you don’t take each day for granted and simply go through the motions.  It means you explore all the emotions inside you, allowing each one to propel your students to greatness.  Laugh with your students.  Rebuke them professionally.  Weep when they weep.  Let your heart spill out for their every need.  When you empty yourself of all that you have, do you know who takes over from there?  You guessed it.  The power of Jesus Christ will power you through!  It is only through His power that you can find that true passion for teaching that burns from within.  Rekindle that flame.  It is there inside you.  You just need to find it.

Finally, it is essential that we understand who we are doing this for.  It is not for our own glory.  It is all for God.  For Christ.  To show anyone and everyone exactly who and what we stand for.  Jesus spells this out perfectly for us when He says, “In the same way let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16).  The outpouring of your enthusiastic teaching should not be to win a teaching award or to have a student say you are their favorite teacher.  That is all well and good, but brothers and sisters, the glory goes straight back to God.  Try something this year.  If someone ever praises you, deflect that glory to God.  Sometimes it is easy to feel good about ourselves and puff ourselves up with pride, but pride is a dangerous thing.  Teach passionately for God, not for yourself.

So, I ask you again … Can you feel it?  God is calling you to do amazing things in the classroom this year.  Be fruitful for Him.  Be strong, immoveable, and enthusiastic, all for the glory of God.  May the 2017-2018 school year be filled with His blessings for you all.

Father, thank you for the opportunity to be a difference maker this year.  Be the enthusiasm that only You can be inside me.  Let me change lives for the better, giving all the glory to You.  Amen.

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