“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” -Romans 1:16
It’s back to school time, and you know what that means: early mornings, stressful nights, and that familiar feeling of being surrounded by hundreds of students as we maneuver up, down, and around the hallways to find our new classes before the bell rings. This year would be different.
My church group and I took a trip to my high school to pray for the upcoming school year. As we prayed, I began to consider what I could do differently to make the most out of my senior year. Seeing all of my friends collectively coming together to pray for the teachers, students, and families moved me, and set my heart ablaze. I felt an immense tugging in my spirit; it told me that this year would be the year I make Jesus known. My spirit told me that, although I am young, I have been given an important mission. That mission: to proclaim the gospel, to share my story—and above all—to love others.
Oftentimes, young Christians like us struggle with proclaiming their faith while they are at school. We pray openly and freely when we are among our friends in youth group, but as soon as we step foot on campus, our faith is silenced. Today, I want to remind you that you have a special and specific mission: your mission is to love God and to share God and his Word. I want to encourage you to be bold-in-faith this school year! Here are some useful and practical tips that will, hopefully, help you live out your calling.
#1- Know what you believe
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” -1 Peter 3:15 NIV
It is crucial that we know what we believe. We may not have all the answers—nobody does—but that is okay. To know Jesus, however, requires us to dive headfirst into the Word. When we begin to learn the Gospel, we begin to learn and know Jesus. I personally love the Gospel of Matthew because we are able to catch a remarkable glimpse into Jesus’ life while he performed his miracles. The Gospel of Matthew is also teeming with verses I apply to my own life, and you can apply to yours! Cultivate your testimony so God can use your testimony in others’ lives. To do this means discovering how and to what degree Jesus has impacted and ultimately changed your life. Know why you believe what you believe in, so you can go into this school year more confidently and better prepared if someone asks you why you follow Jesus.
#2- Live out the Bible
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice.” -Philippians 4:9 NIV
You are called on to love one another, encourage one another, and pray for one another. All of these demands require action. Each action that you take with a teacher or a student will be the culmination of what your Bible studies have taught you. When we’re at school, it can feel daunting to talk openly about our faith for fear of rejection or ridicule. In those moments, I encourage you to “speak” with actions. If a peer looks like they are having a rough day, go to them and lift their spirits; offer to pray for them. If a teacher seems stressed, offer them a helping hand, too. There are so many different ways we can “live out" the Bible! When we put what we’ve learned into actions and apply it to our lives, we are being obedient to God because we are being loving towards our peers and teachers.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave or forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6
Be unashamed. Be strong and courageous. Each day, God will present you with challenges, which give us more opportunity to grow. When we proclaim His name, we grow. Take care to make proper use of these opportunities and don’t let them slip away! There are many students and teachers who are silently battling their own demons, and God purposely placed them in our paths to inspire a change in their lives. God has given you the authority to be the light. So, shine that light and never fear, because God is always with you.
Commit yourself to making a change this school year. You have been blessed with the ability, the talent, and the personality to leave a lasting impression in the lives of those you touch. Leave the legacy of Jesus within your school walls. I pray this encourages you to be unashamed of the Gospel. I hope this inspires new ways for you to think about how you can be the light that shines at your school!
Bianca Herrera (aka B), is part of The Crew - the 2017 GLAM Camp for Girls internship. Her passion is helping girls realize that they are beautiful and that beauty comes from Christ. She loves dancing, eating weird foods, and all things gold. You can probably catch her hanging out with some type of animal. Always remember to stay classy!