Monday, July 11, 2016

LIFE is SCHOOL & DEATH is GRADUATION.

My Grandma Rachel always said to me, “Bradie boy, life is school and death is graduation.”  

I’ve thought about that statement a lot over the years. She was so right. The parallels between life in Christ and school are uncanny!

I remember when I was a young guy—just preparing to enter ministry. I knew school needed to be part of my preparation. The very first step of course was getting “ADMITTED”.  I had to be “ACCEPTED” in order to attend. That’s what the gospel is all about—"acceptance" & "admitance." We enter God’s family through repentance and faith---and upon entrance we are immediately led, but our Guidance Counselor, The Holy Spirit, into God’s school, called “discipleship”.

God’s School has many classes: 

Victory 100:
In Victory 100 we experience God’s deliverance, provision, grace and amazing love. It’s an awesome class!

Koinonia 210: 
In this class we experience authentic relationships with fellow classmates. We learn how to live out God’s “one another…” commands, like, "love one another..." "forgive one another..." "...encourage one another..." etc. Man, I’ve learned so much from this class over the years!

Worship 300:
In this class we learn how to lay our lives on the altar of sacrifice and live a every day for the glory of God.

Suffering 101:
This class isn’t very popular, but it’s a requirement for graduation. In Suffering 101 we learn from Professor James how to “Count it all joy when we face trials because we know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:2) We also learn some amazing things about the sustaining, transforming power of God’s love and grace; lessons we could never learn apart from suffering. It's funny--nobody wants to sign up for this class.  But everyone who's experienced it -- raves about the powerful truths the learned from it!

Word 201: In Word 201we learn all about the greatest “text book” ever---The Bible—this ink on paper text that is infused with the living truth and Spirit of God Himself! As we study this book we learn who God is and who we are. We learn why we’re hear and what our purpose is. This amazing book encourages us, challenges, comforts us, renews our mind, transforms our heart, conforms character into the character of Christ and fills us up with strong faith in our awesome Heavenly Father! This is one of my favorite classes!

Prayer 202:
In this class we learn how to express ourselves to God... how to cast our cares on Him… how to approach His throne of grace through faith in Jesus and receive help and mercy… how to rest in Him… Listen to Him and commune with Him. Wow, this class is mind-blowingly awesome!

And of course, like any school, there are tests: Opportunities for us to demonstrate what we’ve learned.

As Professor James wrote in his chapter of our great text book, “… "...you know that the testing of your faithproduces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:3-4)

As we pass through God’s School our hearts are prepared for graduation—which is NOT the end, but the BEGINNING of a whole new—MUCH GRANDER life! Can you imagine if graduation from High School was THE END? How aweful that would be. But it’s not—it’s just the beginning of a whole new—much larger chapter in life. And this graduation we call death is the same—a mere transition from school to REAL LIFE with God—forever!

Thanks for reading---remember to share!

Blessings,
Brad