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Section 4  - Let Your Light Shine Study #13  - Academics
Academics: Obstacle Or Opportunity?

Introduction: God certainly expects excellence of Christian students: if not excellent results, at least excellent effort. Too often undisciplined students become Christians and then use evangelism or “the church” as an excuse for mediocre performance. We must help our students to see that academics are a God-given responsibility. There is nothing unspiritual about studies. The unspiritual course to take is to neglect academics. Without perseverance the student suffers great loss in character, discipline, confidence, and credibility—not to mention future prospects.

The Scriptures:

Clear Commission

2 Corinthians 5:18-20
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

God called us to be Christians as students for a reason! We have a responsibility to glorify God in academics and evangelism.

Colossians 3:22-23
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,

Attitude is more important than aptitude. Academics are a vital part of a student’s spiritual life. To have consistent motivation, work for God, not for self.

Evangelistic Example

1 Thessalonians 4:11
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,

A consistent example has an impact! Classmates will be drawn to those who can help others.

Mark 7:37
People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

People were amazed by Jesus’ all-around excellence. You will amaze family and friends if you excel in all areas. Conduct your ministry through academics, not in spite of academics.

Powerful Preparation

James 1:2-4
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Persevering with academics leads to spiritual maturity: discipline, focus and faith.

Suggested—Proverbs 6:6, 18:9, Philippians 2:14-16, 1 Timothy 3:7, 4:15-16

Spiritual Principles for Academic Success:

Get Help / Advice

Proverbs 11:14
For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure.

Many advisors make victory sure. So seek discipling in your academics and get input from professors, lecturers and classmates.

Be Diligent in Your Studies

Proverbs 13:4
The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

Proverbs 21:5
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.

There is no substitute for diligence. So attend every lecture. This is also very important for your example. Take good notes and catch up on missed lectures.

Go through homework within a day of receiving it, and plan how you will get it done. Keep current at all times (for conscience’s sake, as well as for practical reasons)!

The Spiritual Exercise: Do, at least, one of the practical suggestions mentioned above during your next academic week.