Step 1: Pray
That's right! It's so important to start the year in the right frame of mind. There are so many moving pieces to a new school year. Sometimes you have camps all summer, or camp right before August in order to get ready for the new season. Sometimes you are moving to a new location and are starting with a brand new group of peers and teachers. Sometimes you are trying to find all your school supplies, get textbooks, or figure out your new schedule.
All of these moving pieces can feel overwhelming and distract you from the most important thing...your relationship with Jesus. Setting aside time to spend time with Jesus by reading your Bible, praying, singing praises to Him, crying with Him, or shouting for joy is the well from which you can pour out His love on others day in and day out.
So what do you pray for? Pray that your teachers are prepared and passionate about their subjects. Pray that you will notice new students and you have courage to reach out and make them feel welcome. Pray that those who are struggling to pay for supplies or meals will have everything they need. Pray that you have the awareness to make new friends and spread kindness everyday. Pray that you have the stamina and joy to complete all homework and other assignments. Pray that you can love your classmates well. Pray that you can share the Gospel message with your friends.
There are so many things to pray for that I can't make a complete list here, but you get the idea. :-)
Step 2: Get Organized
In the Blaze Academic Planner, you can use the Class Schedule, Exam Schedule, Group Projects page, Extracurricular Activities page, Systems and Routines, and Weekly Routines pages to help you get a great start.
Step 3: Live Intentionally
Be intentional! Be intentional about how you choose to use your time, talents, and resources (yes, even if you don't have money). :-) You constantly make choices to hang out with certain people, get involved in certain activities, or go certain places. How often have you thought about all of those things as part of an intentional plan for your day?
In the Blaze Academic Planner, you have a monthly calendar and Weekly Anchor Plan that will help you see your whole week at-a-glance. This page includes a place to list your lunch meal plan, what your prayer focus is for the week, and your homework for each day, among other features. Check it out online in OUR SHOP.
Step 4: Shine Brilliantly
Jesus said in His famous Sermon on the Mount, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)
But how do you "let your light shine?" Two great ways to do that are to share the amazing message of salvation in Jesus Christ (the Gospel or "Good News"), and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). We have tools in the Blaze Academic Planner to help you take these very steps.
The Ministry section of the Blaze Academic Planner has two very important elements. The first, is a step-by-step guide to sharing the Gospel with another person. There is even a tracker in there to help you keep track of where you are at in the relationship.
Also, there is a brand new section on discipleship! If you have ever shared the Gospel with someone, and they took that step of faith, you may think, now what? This guide helps you take the next steps after sharing the Gospel with someone and help make them a disciple of Jesus who is ready to start sharing the Gospel with other people.
Step 5: Make it about His plan and your purpose
So many people want to know the answer to a very important question, "Why am I here?" While there are many answers, one that I like to think about is found in Psalm 115:1 where the Psalmist says, "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness!" (NIV)
One way to know and live out His plan is to learn from His Word (the Bible). The Blaze Academic Planner has a Sermons section that allows you to record sermon notes, but also challenges you to take the next action step and do something with this new knowledge. Did the passage lead you to confession and repentance, or to awe at who God is? Write it down and share it with a friend this week!
There are many ways to make your life about glorifying God and not yourself. I encourage you to search out what the Bible has to say about what God's plan is. Then, make sure you are living in such a way as to fulfill His plan. That is your purpose!