To the Ladies of Mobilizing Students–Fan the Flame

Posted: July 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

Every year there are a number of college students that give up their summers to serve people of faraway places.  Some leave to serve for a few weeks and others for a few months.  Both boys and girls set out to honor Christ and share His love with a people they have never met.  They are a tremendous blessing to believers across the globe and honor Jesus with their service.  I pray more and more students (college and even high school) will give up their summers to reach the nations for King Jesus.

At the same time, ever year, those terms of service for these students come to an end.  They have spent their summers investing in others and then comes the time to return to their home’s, colleges, and lives.  They say their goodbye’s to those with whom they have fallen in love and promise to pray for them and hope that someday, if God grants, they will be able to return.  At this point, they are parting company, but must keep in mind, that either they will meet again on this side of heaven or will meet one day at the feet of the Lord Jesus.  What a great day that will be!

While serving in Guatemala this last week or so we have had the chance to spend time with three college students that fit the above description.  They have each given up time, energy and resources to point the people of Guatemala towards Jesus.  I thank God for them and their efforts.  What I want to do here is speak directly to them.  I would like to offer both an encouragement and a challenge to them.  After I do that I want to speak to those of you who are reading this post.

First, ladies (you know who you are); it was an honor to serve with you.  The way in which you led our group was an example of Christian patience, love, and humility.  You were patient with us as we asked our questions, changed our plans, and made requests.  Patience puts our God on display (2 Peter 3:15).  You were also loving towards us.  Not  with the sappy, emotional, weak kind of love our culture likes to think about.  You loved by way of doing what is best for us…that is the true definition of love.  By telling us what we could and could not do, by calling us not to complain, and laying down the ground rules, you loved us.  Love puts our God on display (1 John 4:16).  Lastly, you were humble.  You had a group come into a country with a bunch of newbies in terms of traveling overseas.  Yet, you did not seek to act like you had all the answers or were the ones who had all the power.  You let our leaders lead and didn’t usurp our authority.  You were a model of Christian humility.  Humility puts our God on display (Philippians 2:3-11).  So, keep up the good work and continue to give those whom you serve a picture of their patient, loving, and humble Savior.

Secondly, ladies, let me challenge you.  I have seen too many college students do what you are doing only to return to “real life” and lose the passion and focus they had while serving.  You will get back home, begin classes, and begin focusing on what you are “really” going to do with your life.  There are countless students (and adults) such as yourselves that serve with great zeal for a season only to become complacent as they grow older.  One day, if you are not careful, you will find yourself talking about “those days” when you served with people’s in a land not your own.  It will be interesting dinner talk, neat stories to tell, but those stories will not represent your life at that point.   You may meet a man (who will probably still be a boy) that you think the world of, but his passion for the nations does not reflect the passion you are currently displaying…flee from that guy!  If you don’t, you may be married, have some kids, and become a complacent stay at home mom that likes her church and goes to a Bible study with some friends.  You may make sure your kids are in church, but are not too concerned whether or not they are developing a heart for the nations.  Don’t let this be you.  Strive for more.  There is nothing wrong with returning home, pursuing an education, having a great job, meeting a wonderful Christian man, having kids, and raising them in the church.  That is honoring to Christ.  But please, do not let the passion that you served with this week die in the midst of all those good things.  If you do…those good things will be good…but not great.  So, as Paul told Timothy thousands of years ago, “fan into flame the gift of God” (2 Timothy 1:6).  Don’t let your passion die (Oh, how many hundreds have heard those words but failed to heed them)!

So, girls, thank you for your service.  You have served well.  Now the challenge is to keep that passion alive.  Keep adding fuel to the fire and burn for Jesus.  As Wesley once said, “set yourself on fire and they will come from all over to watch you burn!”

For those of you who are reading this, I hope that more of you will consider giving your lives to the great call of missions.  Whether it is short-term or long-term service, consider going to a land not your own.  The reason we have been left on this planet is to share the gospel of Christ so that enemies of God will be transformed into worshippers of God for the glory of God (Ephesians 1:6).  Consider how you can be part of reaching the unreached.  As Jesus said, “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2).

 

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