It was the biggest blessing to spend a large portion the week of my twenty-fifth birthday learning more about Jesus. Going to back to school was one of the best decisions I have ever been led to make, and I've been trying my hardest to soak in every single thing I can during my first two months as a Bruin. This week, in particular, was the annual Bible Conference at Bob Jones University, and although it was my first time attending, it certainly won't be my last. I was challenged more than ever before to simply live for Christ, no matter how non-simplistic it may be doing it.
During the numerous sessions I attended, my ears never tuned out + my heart never stopped beating fast + my hand never stopped writing. The last session of the week, the evening of my birthday, I sat with Teesh to my left + my sweet friend, Melissa, to my right + one of my professors in front of me + hundreds of people sitting all around me, and all I could think is that though most people wouldn't call my life a dream by any means, I am living my dream. Seeking His kingdom first while being in the midst of so many others who are desperately doing the same thing may not be your dream, but it's mine. Though I still fail more times than not, His grace is sufficient (Romans 5:20). Our lives are being lived out with every decision we make, and though most would agree that not every decision is beneficial for us, often times we still choose those paths that take us down the wide road, the road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
The challenge that was issued to us on Friday night was to live a life of faith. When we live a life of faith in Jesus Christ, we are moved with fear to worship Him + devoted to put our faith into action through our works, just as Noah demonstrated during his building of the ark (Hebrews 11:7). People will mock + ridicule you for the things that you do, but it's simply because they don't understand. Noah surely faced the same as he built an enormous boat, but he kept building. Our faith is evidenced by our actions, by what we do. If we are convinced of Jesus being the Way + the Truth + the Life, then we must proclaim it. Just as Noah obeyed the Word of God, so, too, must we obey. The Word of God was the basis of Noah's faith.
Is it the basis of mine? Am I willing to do what He says regardless of what people will say about me as I do it? Am I prepared to defend my faith in Christ? Do I know what His Word says well enough to defend my faith? Am I willing to put the world in the wrong by giving it the Gospel of Christ? Am I striving to serve the One who has called me?
This question was presented to us as Dr. Les Ollila closed out his message, and it's one that I am convinced needs to be asked of everyone:
If people to read my journal after my life was through, what would be revealed about my life?
What is my target? What is my goal?
Who is my heart focused on: myself or Christ?
For those of us who proclaim faith in Jesus Christ, we must have a life defined by service to He who has saved us + called us + robed us in His righteousness. We must love Him supremely, seeking His kingdom first above all else (Matthew 6:33). May we not be partially surrendered, but rather wholly yielded to His perfect will, He who has defeated sin + death for us.
"And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
-1 Corinthians 5:15