“When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did ever such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
(When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Isaac Watts)
It is the most stressful time of the year! That is what the college kids are singing. We’re on the home stretch, almost done with the semester. Though I must keep up on my studies and focus on school, it never gives me the excuse to forget about my time with the Lord. It is so easy for us humans to forget the one and only who can protect us from what life throws at us. That is why we must fight and continue facing the battle of sin every day. One of the many quotes I will never forget, “The battle is within, daily I must fight. Death comes from sin killed only by Christ’s might…Every day that you wake up, you’re in a battle. You take sin and you put it to death” (Mark Vroegop).
School and personal issues in my life tend to fill up my day pretty quickly. It causes me to become self-absorbed and self-centered that I tend to forget to look for help from the Lord. But here is what I love most about going to a Christian university. It reminds me every day that I am a sinner, but a child of God. My friends, professors, and teammates redirect me from my sinful nature to God’s will and His plan for me. Without God I am nothing. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made,” (John 1:3, NIV). If we believe that we can do anything without our Father, then we are just fooling ourselves. For Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, NIV).
If you struggle with self-absorption, I want you to take a moment and look at the night sky or stare at the endless view of the ocean. Our world is vastly large. And in this world, you are only a speck of dust. You are one in seven billion. In case you didn’t know, that is an extremely small fraction. It doesn’t matter how powerful or famous you are. You are just one human being in this entire universe. But you know what the crazy thing is? Even though there are only a few that know you, God can spot you out. He knows everything about you, more than you will ever know. He created you and gave you the unique characteristics that only you have. And though you are a sinner just like everyone else, He still calls you His own. That is the greatest love story ever told. Fellow readers, this is true love.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins…God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him…We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:9-10, 16b, 19, NIV).
I encourage and challenge you to anyone reading this to make a daily personal time to God to help us to focus on what we are called to do. Let us also show God’s love to others so we can remind others of His love for us as well and for to show His love to ones who do not yet know His love. Let us try to do our best and kill the sin that comes at us each day.