A message from Dr. Jay Hancock…
John 15:12 – Our Theme Verse
We are off to a great start to the new school year! Thank you for being part of the Carmel Family and for all you have done to make the first few days in carline and classrooms go very well. Next week, our Middle and High School students will go to Windy Gap. Please take some time to pray for the Lord to use those days to encourage and unify our students around our annual theme of loving one another.
Each year, CCS has a theme verse which we encourage everyone to memorize and live by. This year that verse is found in John 15:12: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Jesus’ words recorded in John 15 are some of the most important words he spoke to his disciples. In this chapter, Jesus likens himself to a vine that provides nourishment and strength to the branches, his disciples. The key to living in God’s blessing and power is that the branches “abide” in the vine. “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
The good news is that if we abide in Jesus, we will bear fruit. So, the first goal of any disciple of Christ should be to abide. The warning is that if we neglect abiding, we cut off our source of strength and we will stop bearing fruit.
Jesus goes on to say, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” Whatever abiding looks like, it includes obedience to his commands.
Then, Jesus brings up one command as his illustration– just one. It is our theme verse and it is obviously important to our Lord: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
This year, we plan to grow this mindset as part of our everyday activity at CCS. First, we will work on our abiding. Before summer I gave our faculty and staff a devotion book for all of us to use together for a year. New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp reminds us daily of the gospel and God’s grace. Reading this together daily will allow the Lord to align our heart and will to his. We invite you to get that book and join us in the journey!
Second, as the theme verse emphasizes, we will work on our loving. All across the CCS ministry, we will evaluate how we relate to others when interacting with colleagues, resolving conflict, teaching students, applying policies, communicating with parents and so on.
In addition, we are challenging our students to love one another well by rolling out a “Code of Courage” as a guide for how they relate to one another. This emphasis on courage will be touched on at Windy Gap and rolled out in our first chapels. In a future blog post, we will provide more details about the “Code of Courage.”
So, remember to pray for our students at Windy Gap. Click here for a parent prayer guide that correlates with what our students will be learning.. I’ll be with them during this important week. David Miller, Carmel Baptist’s Student Discipleship Pastor, will lead the teaching. Hal Queen and company will lead the music again. And our leadership team of Will Robertson, Leslie Southerland (MS), Sheila Nelson (HS), and Dan Siftar (HS) will guide our students along with many faculty and staff.