A few years ago, I was driving through the mountains one night and I encountered a stretch of road where the conditions had turned terribly foggy. The fog was so thick that I had to slow down as I could only see a small portion of the road at a time. I struggled to see the road ahead and stay safe. I was anxious to see more clearly.
In a similar manner, many times we as Christians struggle to see where God wants to take us in our personal journey of life. Just like driving in fog, we are hard pressed to find our way as followers of Jesus. I am afraid that this process can become so intense that we too often default to the idea of just following our own desires rather than that of the Lord.
Matthew 5:8 gives us instead the inside information we need to see and experience God. The verse says that “God blesses those whose hearts are pure.” What does all this mean and how do you experience the truth of this verse? I want to give you some things that I believe are essential to having a pure heart and seeing God.
- Having a pure heart means we must begin to live a life that is pleasing to God.
“What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22
God has commanded us as believers to live by His truth. If we are to please God, we must obey His Word. Psalm 119:9 declares: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word.” Are we devoted to His truth and living by that standard of truth? To see God more clearly, we must live by His Word!
Having a pure heart also means that we must begin to live for the sole purpose of God.
A pure heart is evidenced by the way we live.1 Peter 4:2 tells us that people devoted to God “won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.” To see God more clearly, we must be focused on chasing God’s agenda for our lives rather than our own.
I do not know about you but I no longer want to struggle to find my way in this life. Instead, I want to learn to live out the true meaning of Matthew 5:8. All the things that this world has to offer pales in comparison to truly seeing and experiencing God. Paul described this best in Philippians 3:7-8 when he said: “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
“There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. 'Good pride' represents our dignity and self-respect. 'Bad pride' is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance.” John C. Maxwell
When I look back at the history of our school, I am amazed at how God has blessed us and grown us in a short amount of time. If not careful, it would be easy to possibly get a little prideful at times thinking that we have arrived as a school. With that thought in mind, I have asked God to guard our hearts from any thoughts of this kind that represent the “bad pride” that John Maxwell mentions above.
We must always recognize that the only reason we have seen great things at MCA is because of God and not anything we did. MCA is a miracle of God’s grace and work. As a school, we did not deserve anything we have been blessed with but God in His rich grace and mercy has seen fit to bless us.
It is so important that we realize that the same principle holds true in our daily walk with God. I love the “Be Attitude” mentioned in Matthew 5:3.
“God blesses those who are humble and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
The truth of this verse is so powerful. It reminds us that “God blesses those who are humble and realize their need for Him.” How does He do that? To begin with, He saved us when we recognized the need for Him. Next, He sanctifies or grows us in our spiritual walk when we give Him total control of our lives. In addition, God provides us with the “abundant life” He promised in John 10:10 when we recognize our need for Him. Most importantly, one day God will provide as Matthew 5:3 says the “Kingdom of Heaven” as our forever home!
The danger of not recognizing our daily need for God and thinking we know it all is to miss the greatest blessings that God has planned for us. I pray that the truth of Matthew 5:3 will speak to your heart and remind us all of God’s great blessings. I leave you with the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:9 that once again reiterate all that God has for us when we seek Him!
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was His plan from before the beginning of time—to show us His grace through Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:9
There was a television show several years ago, entitled “The A Team” which was made into a movie not too long ago. The leader of that team would regularly use the phrase: “Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?” The same idea holds true in life when something you plan for comes to fruition.
We have often heard that God has a plan for our lives but I am afraid that many times we do not live like we believe that. Instead of seeking and following God’s plan for our life, we venture out on our own haphazardly seeking what we believe to be best for us. Too often, following our own plan creates a huge mess of our life.
What do we do when we find ourselves in a mess of our own making? Max Lucado answers that question when he declares:
“The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: grace.”
As the old hymn says: “Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin.” Indeed, grace is greater than any mess we have in our life. Most of us do not realize that grace was God’s plan all along.
That is the message of 2 Timothy 1:9 above that tells us that God’s plan from “the beginning of time was to show us grace through Christ Jesus.” This verse reminds us that God gave us grace so that we could be saved and live differently.
I am convinced that God never meant for us to live defeated lives. God never meant for us to be without hope or direction for our lives. God’s plan from the start was to show us grace so that we might enjoy life as He meant for us to enjoy it. He meant for us to have a love, a joy, a peace, and a contentment that only He can provide.
If you find yourself in a mess today, be encouraged that God’s grace is greater than your situation. Please remember that God has a plan for your life that He prepared long ago that you might be saved and live differently.
Finally, never forget that “His grace is sufficient for you.” His grace is the only plan that will provide all you will ever need!
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
We are so excited to welcome back all our students and families to school year 2017-2018! The idea of a new beginning creates a level of excitement and anticipation. God has a special plan and purpose for this school year at Metrolina.
God is about to do something new at Metrolina just as the verse from Isaiah says above. God has worked in our hearts this summer as a staff to prepare for this new beginning. I want to share with you just a few of those things that He is doing as we enter 2017-2018.
God has provided new people to the Metrolina Community - God has blessed us with many new students and families this school year. We want to welcome them to the MCA family. In addition, God is bringing us new positions and people to our staff. We have added Paige Summey to our Guidance Staff to better serve our middle school students and families. Also, we have established Mika Edwards to oversee our curriculum and instructional development so that we might continue to have the most creative, innovative, and inspiring classrooms. Finally, God has brought us great new staff and faculty that will further strengthen how we prepare students and serve families.
God has opened doors to grow and enhance our programs - MCA will be growing its offerings of college classes on campus this coming year by offering seniors as much as 24 college credit hours. This will increase the opportunity for students to earn over 30 college credit hours during their time at MCA. We will also be growing our performing arts electives at all levels this school year. STEM initiatives will also be integrated throughout our lower school curriculum. The Spanish immersion program will continue to grow in the lower school. In addition, we will begin construction in September on our new Performing Arts and Student Center which will provide quality space for band, dance, drama, and music programs as well as provide a new food service program.
God will unleash His power on our campus - We have sought God and planned for one of the most exciting chapel schedules in our history. I know in my heart that God is going to move so powerfully through this year’s chapels. We have planned for great speakers that will emphasize evangelism, discipleship, apologetics, worldview, and so much more. Also, we have planned for extensive leadership trainings and opportunities for our students. Finally, we will seek to put our students on mission to serve our community and share the Good News of Jesus Christ with all we encounter.
These are just a few of the things that I know God has in store for us this school year. I am so grateful for a new beginning and a new school year. Would you join me in praying for God to do great things on our campus this school year? We love you and love serving you!
“For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16
School year 2017-2018 is almost here. I am excited for all that God has in store for us as a school this year. We will celebrate our 25th anniversary this school year. God has been so good to us over the years.
Our theme for this school year will be “Grace upon Grace.” This theme embodies all that has taken place on this campus over the years. Grace is defined as: “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”
Metrolina has experienced the “unmerited favor of God.” To begin with, we have seen the great “bestowal of blessings.” From our start in 1992, we have seen God grow our community from 84 students to over 1350 today. As well, we have grown from 19 original staff members to over 270 staff today.
More than that, God has bestowed us with the blessings of so many great students and families who have made up the community of Metrolina. In addition, God has grown our programs and offerings so that we could make a difference in the lives of students. He has blessed us with great buildings, athletic facilities, and with the promise of more to come.
We have been blessed to see over 800 students graduate from Metrolina in our short history. More importantly, the grace that God has given Metrolina during these 25 years has also resulted in an amazing move of God on this campus.
In our 25-year history, we have seen over 2500 students receive Christ as Savior and hundreds more make commitments to live for Christ more deeply. The grace of God has been manifested at Metrolina through the powerful life change that has taken place here at this school. Metrolina is truly blessed to be a distinctive Christian school.
As we begin our 25th year, I want to challenge our school to not only celebrate the grace and blessings of God this year but also to share His grace with all that we meet. I pray that this will be a year in which our students and school impact our community as never before for the cause of Christ.
As the hymn “Amazing Grace” states, “Grace has carried us safe this far and grace will lead us home.” God’s grace at Metrolina in the last 25 years has been so amazing and has brought us to this point and I know that His grace is sufficient to take us into the future.
I am convinced that Metrolina’s greatest days are still ahead of us if we will remain committed to exalting Jesus in all we do! I look forward to seeing you all when school begins next week!