2020 SST Expectations
❖ Expect the Lord’s Fresh Blessing during SST ❖
“Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah
And whose trust Jehovah is.
And he will be like a tree transplanted beside water,
Which sends out its roots by a stream,
And will not be afraid when heat comes;
For its leaves remain flourishing,
And it will not be anxious in the year of drought
And will not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
“I know your works; behold, I have put before you an opened door which no one can shut, because you have a little power and have kept My word and have not denied My name.” Revelation 3:8
Praise the Lord for the Summer School of the Truth (SST)! By the Lord’s sovereign arrangement, we are meeting this summer through Zoom! We have an opened door to enjoy the Lord at SST! “Behold, I have put before you an opened door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name” Rev. 3:8. By opening to enjoy “a little power,” His Word, and His Name, we will find SST to be a joyful feasting time together!
Most of our gatherings will be remote (i.e., online) but there will still be many opportunities to pursue the Lord together. We have planned shorter sessions this summer with many activities and breaks so that everyone enjoys the times online and remains fresh. In addition, we have several new practical sessions never included before and a cool t-shirt!
By being gathered together into the Lord’s name during SST and experiencing the opening of His Word (Psa. 119:130), we will be enlightened, refreshed, and supplied, becoming one who “trusts in the Lord” and is “like a tree transplanted beside water, which sends its roots by a stream, And will not be afraid when heat comes, for its leaves remain flourishing.”
So please take a moment right now to open yourself to the Lord in a new and fresh way, with a short prayer, and eagerly expect the Lord’s blessing: His flowing into you, through you, and out of you, along with the other YP and serving ones through all of the sessions!
The following is an outline of basic principles and standards to carefully consider and follow during SST.
❖ Be an Open Vessel ❖
“If therefore anyone cleanses himself from these, he will be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, useful to the master, prepared unto every good work. But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace
with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:21-22
The Lord Jesus was a genuinely open vessel for God’s filling and expression! In His humanity, He was one with God and thus was genuinely submissive and obedient to the Father (John 5:19) and to His earthly parents (Luke 2:51) while serving others and overflowing life. As we enjoy the rich supply of the Lord during SST, we also learn obedience (Heb. 5:8), which is crucial to the training of our character, serving others, and flowing Christ to others.
What a blessing it would be if we see that SST is a unique opportunity to take in the living Word and have our being filled, so that we become a “vessel unto honor, sanctified, useful to the master” (2 Tim. 2:21)! Knowledge and teaching are not the goal of SST, but feeding, equipping, and flowing!
By being an open vessel to enjoy the Spirit, our attitude becomes surprisingly positive and willing, and we find that we follow the rules without much effort or murmuring, “for it is God who operates in you both the willing and working for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13-14). Through practice, our conscience, the main part of our spirit, will be at peace and we can joyfully participate in SST, serving one another, showing respect to others, and flowing out His life!
❖ Focus on Enjoying the Lord when Zooming ❖
“For where there are two or three gathered into My name, there am I in their midst.” Matt. 18:20
❖ Be Punctual ❖
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph. 5:16
Most of us are amazed to learn that the Lord carried out His purpose on a very strict and accurate timetable, precisely fulfilling specific prophecies and types on time, such as dying on the cross at Passover, resurrecting on the third day fulfilling the Feast of Firstfruits, and being outpoured as the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, exactly 50 days after His resurrection (Mark 8:31, 14:41; Dan. 9:24-26; Lev. 23).
This pattern shows us that we also need to learn to be “on time.” The various activities of SST provide an opportunity to learn and practice! Please familiarize yourself with the schedule and log onto Zoom “on time” (i.e., 5 minutes early) for all of the scheduled sessions. If something unexpected comes up, please notify your parents or a serving one immediately.
❖ Dress Appropriately ❖
“Similarly, that women adorn themselves in proper clothing with modesty and sobriety, ...” 1 Timothy 2:9
The Lord surely was always proper in His clothing and appearance, and, with a little reflection, we can be too. There is much looseness in what teens wear today and we may not realize how much this distracts others and even ourselves. During SST, we cultivate a healthier and uplifted atmosphere, without distractions, by dressing appropriately. In this way, we actually experience Christ more freely, without any inner conflict, and even represent the Lord.
For this summer, though we are meeting remotely, it is still important to be prepared to enjoy the Lord by dressing appropriately. Here are basic guidelines for Zoom:
❖ Eat the Word ❖
“Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word became to me the gladness and joy of my heart”
This summer we will find the Lord’s words and eat them! We will continue the new “memorization“ approach from last summer called “UMBEA” to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16). There are a limited number of verses this summer (only 15 for high schoolers and 9 for middle schoolers), so you can enjoy the Word more thoroughly than before.
First, U=Understand the plain meaning of the verse, then M=Memorize it with pray-reading to enjoy the Lord, and finally, BEA=Be Enlightened and Apply it to your life! Please find a serving one, older sibling, or parent to whom you can recite (or sing!) the verse. Be sure to also briefly explain the plain meaning of the verse and share something simple that touched you from the verse.
You are encouraged to “UMBEA” only 1-2 verses per day in this way. Those who complete these verses using UMBEA will receive a star on their plaque plus a reward! In addition, those who recite all their verses on one of the last 2 days will receive an extra reward. Wow! :-)
❖ Prophesy ❖
“For you can all prophesy one by one that all may learn and all may be encouraged.” 1 Corinthians 14:31
The Lord Jesus was the real Prophet of God. As a man, He ate the word and lived “by every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Then He spoke the word of God in a way that ministered spirit and life to others (John 6:63).
This summer you will have many opportunities in gatherings to prophesy--to speak for God and speak forth God. There will also be a designated evening time for prophesying. Please watch the special video from an earlier SST that explains how to prepare for this important time. The more we speak like this, the more we water others and get watered ourselves: “He who waters will also be watered himself”! (Prov. 11:25)
❖ Reap a Reward ❖
“... each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” 1 Corinthians 3:8b
Throughout the Bible there is consistent encouragement, even a charge, to pursue the Lord to gain the prize! While the real prize during SST is our gaining of Christ, there will still be awards given out for those who excel in the following areas:
❖ Be Aware ❖
“For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons.
For what son is there whom the father does not discipline?” Hebrews 12:6-7
In the Bible, discipline is given as a needed correction to let us know we are dangerously off course. It may seem a matter of grief at the time, but discipline is a sign of the Father’s love that “afterwards yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised by it” (Heb. 12:5-11).
It is our hope and expectation that in an atmosphere of earnestly pursuing the Lord, there will be no need for disciplinary action during SST. Rarely is this needed, but as a precaution, students should be aware that certain behavior may result in disciplinary action:
Depending on the violation, parents may be contacted and the student asked to leave SST. These unusual situations first include student fellowship with serving ones and/or overseers of SST, and each case is considered prayerfully and seriously. In some cases, a warning may be issued to the student with specific remedial action required; in rare cases, parents may be asked to take a student home.
Much more commonly, the atmosphere at SST is full of harmony and the Lord’s blessing!