Our theme verse this year, as you know, is Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Jesus said these words in the context of His first major discourse, traditionally called the Sermon on the Mount. Christ completely debunked the hypocritical façade that the Pharisees called righteousness. Instead, He revealed that righteousness emanates from the heart and is much more than what others see on the outside.
No doubt, to those listening, the message was both inspiring and perplexing. Christ appealed to the poor in spirit, the meek, and those who were reviled, giving them fresh hope in contrast to the self-righteous Pharisees, who belittled them. But His message went beyond what others observe to what a person treasures in his heart—thoughts, attitudes, motives, relationships. In fact, the expectations were raised: “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” He repeated the expectation again: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” With the bar set so high, how could anyone ever attain to such a standard?
But, that was the essence of Jesus’ message. No one can! “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” It is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us.” Paul described it well when he said he wanted to “be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” It is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Based on these truths, our mission begins with a relationship with Christ—receiving His gift, loving Him, and submitting to Him. Then, when others see good works in our lives, they will attribute them to Christ working through us. When we let our light shine, people see the good we do and glorify God. A relationship with Christ is the most valuable thing in all of life, not to be traded for anything—not wealth, not health, not even life itself. If a student realizes this truth and gives his heart to Jesus to be his Lord, everything else will fall into place—relationships with others, diligence, compassion, obedience, responsibility. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
It is no accident that the first challenge of the BJA mission statement is to “love Jesus Christ.” Christ declares this truth when He says, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Please pray that we will do an effective job of partnering with you as parents to challenge students to love Jesus Christ.
Bob Jones Academy exists to assist like-minded Christian parents in challenging students to love Jesus Christ, to embrace God’s truth, to exercise integrity, to pursue excellence, and to serve others.