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Six Great Bible Verses for the New School Year
New clothes, new books and new backpacks are only a part of the preparation for the new school year. Most important is the mental preparation—the resolve to accept new challenges and pursue new goals.
To help nurture the students' desire for success, here are six great Bible verses (New King James Version) which can become guiding principles throughout the year. Even younger students can benefit if someone reads and explains these Bible quotes to them.
For the land which you go to possess is . . . a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year (Deuteronomy 11: 10, 12).
The acquisition of new territory is an appropriate metaphor for students beginning the new school year. As they set goals and strategize to move forward, this verse inspires confidence by assuring them that the caring eyes of God watch over them continually.
In the original context, God promised the Hebrews leaving Egypt for Canaan that life in the new land would be more pleasant. No more bullying from the Egyptians, and satisfactory reward for their effort. Of course, the better conditions would be influenced by their decision to accept divine guidance, and their dismissal of the slave mentality they acquired in Egypt.
Like the Hebrews, students have a choice to make—to submit their minds to divine influence or to be enslaved by ungodly influences which can rob them of their capabilities and good judgment. The verse offers the advantage of year-round protection and support from a caring God.
Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men (Proverbs 22:29).
Various Bible versions use alternative words to describe the individual worker who excels: diligent, competent, skillful, efficient. Diligent students establish the pursuit of their academic goals as their main work, and they aim to perform beyond expectations. They follow instructions, complete class and homework assignments, and study the next chapter even before it is assigned. They do not usually give in to tiredness or distraction.
Gill’s Exposition on the verse states that people with such diligence “will rise in the world”. They gain employment among, keep company with, and receive favors from people of substance as opposed to hanging out with the drifters. When employment may be difficult to find, diligent students are able to muster their self-confidence and self-motivation and attempt entrepreneurship.
This verse inspires students to strive for excellence. In the process they prepare themselves for opportunities which come to exceptional individuals.
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed (Proverbs 13:20).
Students need the reminder to choose their friends wisely. The first part of the verse is clear, but the Pulpit Commentary suggests that the second part needs further explanation, and adds quotes from other sources:
- The friends of fools shall turn out the same (Vulgate interpretation).
- He that lives with cripples learns to limp (Dutch proverb).
- He that lies with dogs will rise up with fleas (English proverb).
- Evil communications corrupt good manners (1 Corinthians 15: 33 KJV).
It is foolish to join the company of classmates who think that rudeness and disobedience to teachers are funny, who find ways to cheat on exams, who practice bullying or discrimination, and misuse their media devices. These and all other unwise actions can help them to self-destruct.
The advice is to choose friends who respect and support each other, who exercise sound judgment in working steadily toward their goals, whose laughter aims at a good feeling for everyone in the group. It helps for students to be the kind of friends they need, and to remember that wise friends may be few.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
The Verse on a Sticker
This is a great verse to post on a ruler, a notebook cover, or some other place where it can seen throughout the day.
Student fears are numerous and without some form of built-in courage, students can be overwhelmed. This verse is great to help them adopt an overcomer’s mind-set, no matter the kind of fear.
Some Age-Related Student Fears
Inability to keep up with work
Not being as smart as others
Not making friends
Not belonging to a group
Not finding a best friend
Forgetting locker combination
Getting lost trying to find classes
Being too different (too tall, too short, disabled)
Pressure to keep up with trendy clothes and hair
Pressure to have sex
Being late and facing the consequences
Bullying; labelled geek because of good grades
Connection with a divine source fills the mind with courage instead of doubt. It enables visualization of success instead of dwelling on distractions.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).
Wisdom is defined by the King James Version Dictionary as “the right use or exercise of knowledge.” It begins with the awareness of an Omnipotent, Omniscient God who initiates understanding (Proverbs 1:7). This consciousness of a divine being who is also Omnipresent allows students to request divine support for the learning process whenever and wherever they need it.
The important part of the prayer for wisdom is that the asking soon becomes an attitude of receiving since it is given continually. By asking, and being aware of who they are asking, students open up their minds to a generous source of wisdom which is accessible to them for a lifetime.
(6) Year-end Reward
You crown the year with Your goodness (Psalm 65:11).
The metaphor in the first verse extends to this final scenario in which the produce of the land is harvested, and the land owner sings praises for a bountiful crop. It has been a successful year!
From the beginning of the school year, students do well to visualize a glorious ending--personal growth, good grades, good times and graduation. Such a vision helps them focus on their need for supernatural guidance, personal diligence, wise friendships, a winner's mentality and daily prayer for wisdom.
Students do their best, God does the rest and the school year ends with great success!
*Scholastic.com, Kids Biggest Middle School Fears (http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/back-to-school/kids-biggest-middle-school-fears)
**Mandel, Joshua Psy.D. Social Life in Middle and High School: Dealing With Cliques and Bullies – July 2010 (http://www.education.com/reference/article/bullying-in-middle-and-high-school/)
***Education.com, 8 Things First-Year Students Fear about College (http://www.education.com/reference/article/things-first-year-students-fear-college/)
© 2015 Dora Weithers