Back to School — by Tom

Dogwood_McCracken

The dogwood flower, pictured from The Jewel Box in St. Louis Forest Park.

Back to school brings many emotions and reactions – parents with mixed emotions, summer is over but school is beginning, students with tentative excitement looking forward to re-kindling relationships and educators giving everybody a clean slate for the upcoming year. Gradebooks are clean. New plans are put in place. Soft Openings prepare for Grand Openings, and folks everywhere look to grow!

Let’s continue with the gradebook analogy. At the beginning of the year, we have no columns labeled, no one marked tardy, no zeros in any column or absences for anybody! We ALL have a clean slate.

So?

We are all “jacked up!”

Why would this matter to us at Journey? After listening to Jesse’s talks about The Invisible War, we come to grips with what it means to forgive. Forgiveness isn’t just forgetting, but it’s even better. God looks at us with a clean slate, every time! He doesn’t judge us based on last year’s scores, last week’s accidents or even yesterday’s mistakes! He looks at us as perfect, every time, if …

What does He see?

At school, every year, we get new teachers, new chances to make a good first impression and new opportunities for success. With God, we don’t have to wait for a new school year. We don’t have to learn a new locker combination. No new classes! We get a fresh slate. All we need to do is consider, turn and ask; consider our mistakes realizing where we are “jacked up,” turn away from those mistakes and ask Him for a clean slate and fresh beginning believing he will grant that. Through his Son, He sees us as solid!

Why?

We get a new slate at school because of the school year. We get a clean slate from God because Jesus wiped it clean! He did it right! He was not jacked up. He faced it, struggled but overcame and acted as our example, model and guide. Why? Because he likes us! He wants the best for us and knows the only way we will get better is if we like ourselves, too! It’s amazing that He loves us and is crazy about us.

Toughest Part!

Here is the toughest part. How can we like ourselves as much as He likes us? Would we take care of ourselves as well as He will? Do we talk nice about ourselves, like he does? Or, do we talk trash to ourselves? Do we re-live the stress, struggle and low-points? Do we think about the good or do we thing about the bad?

Think right. Don’t think wrong, bad or mean thoughts! It doesn’t help.

Tom

Friend Tom on Facebook or follow him on twitter @McCracken63

Follow Journey Church on Twitter @Journey_MO

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