This time of year, stores greet you with shelves of back-to-school supplies, an ominous reminder that summer is almost over. Soon, students and teachers will be saying goodbye to lazy summer days and the snooze button.
Sure, scissors and number two pencils have their place, but students won’t find what they need most on a supply list. If you’re a student, whether new to high school or finishing college, your biggest hurdles this year won’t be mental or physical. They’ll be spiritual, so you can’t afford not to have these items.
Ephesians 6:14-17 provides the list of essentials to start the year right.
Item #1: The Belt of Truth
Growing up, I never had the nightmare my peers seemed to have—of finding themselves undressed in the middle of class. Maybe that’s because I was homeschooled. Regardless, no one wants her pants sagging the first day of school, so belts matter.
The Bible describes truth as a belt “girded” about our waists (Ephesians 6:14 NKJV). We don’t use words like “gird” anymore, but the concept is that belts tighten or bind our clothes about us so that we don’t trip. They’re essential to keeping our outfits together.
Truth keeps us from tripping over lies we’ll be tempted to tell or believe about ourselves. What are some biblical promises that will help your mind stay centered on truth? Jot them down, and memorize them.
Like a syllabus, our thoughts determine the semester’s course. Make sure they’re pointing you in the right direction.
Item #2: The Under Armor of Righteousness
Right living, holy living is not something our culture commends. In fact, the trend is to break the rules, not follow them.
But this world shouldn’t set our moral GPS. God’s Word should, and it makes clear that we are to be holy in our conduct (I Peter 1:15).
Holy doesn’t mean perfect but a striving toward Christ-likeness. I like Paul’s description in Philippians 3:12: “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” (NKJV).
Item #3: The Shoes of Peace
Shoes are a big deal, especially since most of us wear them with multiple outfits during the week. We girls like them cute and comfy. Guys tend to prefer comfort over style, but I once had a student, a seventh grade boy, obsessed with LeBron James’ style athletic shoes. I’ll leave it at that.
Regardless of what we want in a shoe, there’s one feature department stores don’t advertise, and that’s peace. However, where we go and what we do when we get there say much about our testimony.
Check your steps against the parameters of Isaiah 52:7.
- Am I known for being a peacemaker, someone my friends enjoy being around?
- What do I share more: good news or gossip?
- Am I ready to tell others my testimony, or do I keep my salvation a secret?
How would you answer these questions?
Next time, we’ll look at the final three items we can’t afford to forget this school year.
6 Items You Won’t Find on a Supply List – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)