The clock is ticking and you know it—right? The countdown is on (or for some, already here) for the often dreaded, but totally inevitable, “first day to school.” The big yellow buses will be traveling their circuitous routes, the stores will be brimming with colorful school supplies, and you can finally show off your new Star Wars lunch box!
But can I throw an idea your way that just might change your entire year? What if Jesus appeared to you the night before you went back to school and asked you to have the guts to be His personal ambassador on your campus?
Whoa—would that give you a fresh look at your school? Instead of seeing walls and windows and whiteboards and new friends and old friends and nice/scary teachers, you might now have the same perspective as Jesus did:
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples,“The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:35-38, NKJV).
In a way, this was kinda like Jesus’ first day back at school, as He faced a sea of faces—some known and unknown, some friendly and some not. But rather than think about what they thought about Him, Jesus was “moved with compassion for them.”
Are you “moved with compassion” for the crowds at your school? It’s interesting, because the original word in the Greek for compassion is splankna, which literally means guts or bowels.
When we say “guts,” it translates to the churning in the pit of your stomach when you intuitively know that something’s just not right. Scientists tell us that when splankna happens, the blood rushes from your stomach to your muscles to prepare you for a fight, because your insides are screaming “this isn’t OK, and something has to change!!!”
This is what happened to Jesus all of the time. When He looked out over the crowds, He didn’t judge people by their appearance or condemn them for being different. He didn’t classify groups into cliques or gossip to His disciples about something He heard about them. Rather, He saw those who were sick, desperate, hungry, overlooked, misinformed and the lost…
In other words, He was filled with splankna!
And when the blood rushed from His stomach to His muscles, He did something about it! For Jesus, splankna was always the start of something.
And it should be for us as well, because splankna describes the God-given churning inside us that give us the guts, to go out do what is right.
So as you think about going back to school, remember that Jesus and the disciples started something out of their splankna that we have the privilege of carrying on today. When you see the crowds at school, remember that they are weary and scattered, like sheep with no shepherd.
Do you remember what that was like? We’ve all been there in the past, and someone had compassion on us. When you remember how incredibly amazing the gift of salvation is, your guts will be moved.
So what should you do? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Get together with other Christians and meet regularly to pray for your unreached friends. Invite them to church and youth group, so you can follow up and share the gospel.
2. Live like Jesus. Don’t get caught up in gossip, materialism, a judgmental attitude, or any other divisive and toxic lifestyle. If you are different, people will notice. And it will help pave the way for you to point them to Jesus.
3. Most of all, “pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” You truly are Jesus’ representative on your campus, and you will never have the guts to be a worker in His fields unless you have the splankna for your friends. Pray that Jesus will make this the most amazing year ever for you and for THE Cause!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Get excited about your new school year, because it is the start of something great! See each person as an opportunity for you to be a change agent who is bringing the love and light of Jesus to your school.
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Father, thank You for Your amazing mercy and compassion for us. Give us a heart and the guts to go share the gospel with our friends this year.
Read: Luke 10:1-3: The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.
Get:Dare 2 Share: A Field Guide to Sharing Your Faith. Get ready for the conversation that matters most! This practical, real-world, how-to manual will help you find the guts, the heart and the words you’ll need to share the gospel with your friends at school. Newly revised and updated! Learn how to intentionally engage others in real, give-and-take dialogue and invite them into the most life-changing relationship they’ll ever experience. Pick up a copy today as part of your essential back-to-school supplies!
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Want to use this Soul Fuel as a bible study with your students this week? Copy and text them the following: “What if Jesus appeared to you the night before school and asked you to…Find out more in this week’s Soul Fuel devo: http://hubs.ly/H0132gP0“
Big Idea: We need to have the guts to reach our friends for Jesus!
Key Scripture: Matthew 9:35-38
- What moves you in your “guts”?
- Can you see God using you at your school? Why or why not?
- What are you praying for most at your school?
- What other ways could you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause of making disciples who make disciples?