Students at Smithville Christian High School began Spiritual Emphasis Week with chapel this morning, led by Craig Danielson, senior pastor at Calvary Church in St. Catharines.
Danielson told the students he was there to challenge them to align themselves with “True North” – the truth.
He said the point of aligning ourselves with the truth is to change our behaviour.
“If we say we have fellowship with him (Jesus) while we walk in darkness, we lie and we do not practice the truth,” said Danielson, quoting from 1 John 1:6.
He showed students a video clip of parents demonstrating their live for their disabled child through actions, and told students that loving is a choice we make.
“We can’t say, ‘I don’t really feel like loving God today, or like loving others today,’” he said. “Love is not based on how we feel” but on what God calls us to do.
He challenged students to examine their lives “for things that are preventing you from aligning with the truth.”
He said things like anger, or pornography, or cheating or gossip are all ways in which we can deceive ourselves about whether we are Christ-followers.
“God wants to do things in your life so you can spill over into other peoples’ lives, but you’ve got to clean up your inside first,” he said. “What behaviour changes do you need to make to align yourself with True North, which is Jesus?”
That’s why the theme for this year’s spiritual emphasis week builds on the student council theme for the year – Live Out Loud – by adding “Inside:” Living Inside Out Loud, he said.
Students were handed cards with Danielson’s challenge, and asked to consider what God is asking them to change about themselves. They were asked to record what God revealed to them and then ask a parent or caregiver to sign their cards.
Spiritual life director Mr. Gord Park acknowledged that accountability is scary, “but there is something about accountability that makes you free.”
Before Danielson spoke, Mr. Park led the students in prayer, that they would be open to God’s work in their lives, and that their hearts would be “good soil” on which good seed would land. He also asked the students to give themselves – and each other – permission to let God work.
“Whatever you want to do with God today, that’s okay with me,” the students told each other.
Members of the Praise Team also led is in worship with Desert Song, Came to My Rescue and Our God.
Each day this week students will also break into small groups for focused discussions, and there is a prayer room set up for prayer and meditation. Nearly 30 Grade 12 students have volunteered to lead the small groups.
Questions for today’s small group discussion include:
1. Where would you say your life is pointing right now? True North or somewhere else?
2. What thoughts do you have about what was said in chapel this morning about changing your behaviour to “Live Inside Out Loud?”
3. What kind of behaviour change would you need to make?
4. What has been the most difficult way of living for you as a Christ-follower or as someone who is investigating God in a Christian school?
5. What’s the hardest thing to change about yourself? What’s the easiest?
Let’s cover our students with prayer as the Holy Spirit works in their lives.