A Word from Mike Hottinger

Term 3 2021 has been interesting from my perspective as Chaplain at Kuyper Christian School. Part of my role this term has been to create weekly devotions for the community. I have been so encouraged by the students who have contributed to this process over the past few weeks. Another part of my role has been to contact certain students who I would normally meet with regularly at school.

Each week I am in contact with around 16 boys. I touch base with them, over the phone and via their parents, to see how they are coping with school at home. This includes how they are going with their studies, as well as in themselves. I talk to them about their mood, whether they are getting out and exercising, taking breaks and eating well. I then offer them an opportunity to read the Bible with me. Every boy has opted to do this, which from a chaplaincy perspective, has been a joy and a blessing. 

Appropriate to their age and where they are at in their relationship with God, I have been able to share a variety of passages. With the younger boys I have been able to open to Philippians 2, Psalm 34:4, Joshua 1:9, and others. This has allowed them to hear God’s love for them, his power, and Jesus’ sacrifice and humility. With the more mature Christians, we have been reading through entire books together: Habakkuk and Nahum (by request) as well as 1 Thessalonians.

One student provided the basis for the story I want to share with you. This student would not consider himself a Christian, but is open and willing to investigate philosophies and world views. He was happy to read a denser text (he actually requested we read from the ESV) so I decided to read through Romans 8 with him. This has turned out to be a joy, a privilege and a blessing from God that I couldn’t have predicted.

We established the context by reading through the end of Chapter 7, then began to move through the Apostle Paul’s logic, verse by verse. Around four sessions in, we arrived at Chapter 8:10 – 11. We wrestled with Paul’s distinction between the flesh and the Spirit, and what this means practically.

But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Romans 8:10-11

We spoke about what it means for Christ to be ‘in you’, and the privilege and uniqueness of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We discussed what it means when it says that the same Spirit that raised Jesus to life lives in every Christian person and is God’s gift to His people. We spoke about the same Holy Spirit being completely God. Ultimately we spoke about experiencing the forgiveness and grace of Christ and the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit here on earth, as well as being raised bodily on the last day into eternity, like Jesus was, through the power of God living in us.

At the end of our time, I asked him what he thought of all this:

These are my own words… but that’s pretty cool

I couldn’t have said it better myself. It is pretty cool. I was then able to pray for each of us, that we might never forget just how cool it really is.

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But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness… he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:10-11

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