“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” - Philippians 4:11
All of us are born with certain talents and abilities. What we do with these talents and abilities in life beyond that comes down to how hard we work at developing those gifts. I hear people, including myself, use the phrase “I am not gifted in that area” a lot when talking about various things.
Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between what is a natural gifting and things that we can learn to do. In Philippians 4:11, the Apostle Paul makes such a distinction in the area of contentment. We may believe that it is a gift to be content but Paul tells us that contentment is a learned trait. He makes the statement in this verse “for I have learned to be content.”
I am convinced that one of the greatest struggles that people endure is that of finding contentment. I know that because I too have struggled with that same issue at times. I have seen single people who do not believe that they will find contentment until they meet the right person. Many others believe that getting the right career or acquiring stuff may hold the secret to contentment. The truth is that none of this will ever make us content in and of itself.
How could Paul learn to be content? What was it that allowed him to be so relaxed and relieved of tension? The answer is found in verse twelve and thirteen of the same chapter of Philippians.
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Paul said that he had learned the “secret of living in every situation” and that secret is that “I can do all things through Christ.” In other words, Paul was convinced that Christ was in the midst of his everyday life and in every circumstance of life pouring His power into Paul. Paul learned that Jesus was not only more than sufficient to meet all of life’s challenges but also that through trust in Christ he himself could learn to be content.
What do we need to do next to learn this same level of contentment? First, we must place our focus and our hope solely on Jesus. In doing so, we also must let go of everything that is keeping us from totally trusting Christ with our everyday lives. I love how Brian Dodd explains this process when stated:
“You cannot ever take hold of what God has for you until you let go of what you want to hold onto.”
I pray that those of you today that are so stressed and in need of contentment will allow the truth of Philippians 4:11-13 to minister to your heart today and enable you to find God’s contentment for your life.
“So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.” Psalm 78:7-8
I have been asked over the years what I believe has been the secret to Metrolina’s growth. Without hesitation, I have always believed that God has blessed our school because we have sought to lead our students into a dynamic, growing relationship with the Lord that will guide their paths the rest of their lives. We work hard to deliver a high-quality education and we are committed to improving our programs continually. However, we will never lose sight of doing all we can to lead students into a relationship with God. It is the heart of who we are as a school.
I want to share with you in this blog the focus of our plans for continued spiritual development here at MCA. We are primarily focused on three areas for the immediate future. Those areas are as follows:
Spiritual Growth: We are committed to not only leading our students into a personal relationship with Jesus but also helping them to grow in their walk with the Lord. To accomplish this, we will continue to strengthen our chapel programs by bringing in the best speakers we can find. We will also continue to pray over the development of future chapels and work to create a climate in chapel that fosters spiritual development. We will also continue to strengthen our Bible courses as well as the development of discipleship group opportunities. Finally, we will continue to strengthen our emphasis on missions in an effort to enable our students to grow through serving others.
Apologetics/Worldview Training: The second part of our focus will continue to be in the area of apologetics and worldview training. Not only do we desire to lead our students into a relationship with Jesus and help them grow; we also desire to equip them with a solid Biblical Worldview that they are prepared to defend. We will do this by continuing to grow our annual worldview conferences and continuing to provide additional worldview and apologetics training in the classroom. Our goal is to make Metrolina one of the top training grounds for apologetics and worldview in Christian Education.
Leadership Training: We are committed to providing programs that will help develop great spiritual leaders for the 21st century. We will do this by continuing to expand our involvement with Student Leadership University. SLU is a program that will give our students a twenty-year head start in leadership development. In addition, we will provide continued growth of leadership development classes, chapels, and other special training events here on campus.
Our heart is truly as the verse above says to enable this “generation to set its hope anew on God”. We do want our students to know Him, obey Him, and make a difference for the cause of Christ in the years to come.
“Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.” Proverbs 24:27
I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on our planning efforts for school year 2017-2018 as part of the “My Hope for MCA” series I started last week in the blog. In this series, I want to look at some of our academic and extracurricular planning for next school year. I have listed below some of the areas of our focus:
We are completing a new three-year technology plan for our school that will focus on classroom technology upgrades, an additional college credit technology course, planning for new blended courses, and the expansion of Moodle in the high school. In regards to hardware needs, we will be increasing our iPad Labs for Lower School and we have a new technology lab for middle and high school students in our new Visual Arts & Technology Building.
We will be developing and opening a new Stem Lab in the fall of 2017 that will highlight opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. These opportunities will impact all areas of the Academy.
We will continue to augment our efforts with teaching our new Digital Citizenship Curriculum.
- Course Additions
We will be adding new concurrent college credit courses to the high school. Students will be able to earn as much as 24 college credit hours as a senior at Metrolina. We will also continue to expand our Spanish program in Lower School. We will integrate STEM opportunities into our curriculum in the K-8. We will be finalizing all new electives and publishing them after spring break.
We will grow our Fine Arts opportunities with the development of our new building.
- Academic Services Program
We will be expanding our Academic Services Program to include a formalized tutoring program, a new Behavioral Interventionist, a new Specialized Services Program, expansion of the Explore Program, and enhancements to current programs.
We will continue to implement Naviance as a family connection tool to enhance college planning and scholarship opportunities for our students. We have also added a Middle School Guidance Counselor that will focus on the academic tracking and success of students as well as help with transitions into middle school.
We will fully implement our Marching Band Program.
We will be pursuing the development of a new track and field facility.
We will increase coaching training and certifications.
- We will add a new bus to our transportation fleet.
These are just a few of the plans we are working on for 2017-2018 as part of the series “My Hope for MCA”. Next week, we will provide even updates for our program in the areas of spiritual development and student leadership training.
We are committed to doing all we can to advance our program so that we may impact more students with the life changing message of Jesus Christ.