There will be 350 new students on campus when we start back to school next week; 120 of them are new freshmen and the rest are transfer students. How can we of InterVarsity love these new students well? And how can we continue to relentlessly pursue the seniors who we’ve been inviting to small group Bible discussion for the past seven semesters- and everyone else in between?
Our challenge at the beginning of this semester is to say yes to Jesus yet again. Understand that saying yes to Jesus has nothing to do with how capable we feel, or are. God isn’t looking for glamorous, charismatic leaders. He isn’t looking for perfect, polished, put together people. He is searching the crowds for those who will say yes to Him. “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all- surpassing power is from God and not from us,” writes the apostle Paul (2 Cor. 4:7). This semester is honestly not about us, or how qualified we are to lead. It’s about who and what we will invest our lives in. Jesus is the one who equips us and gives us authority. If we make our whole lives available to His purposes, we never have to doubt that He will use that.
All of us will invest our lives somewhere. It’s the nature of how we were created, to pursue some purpose. We can choose to invest in academics, entertainment, relationships, ourselves… but we will only be truly satisfied when we say yes to pursuing Jesus with our whole lives. It is a risky investment. Jesus calls us to lay down everything; like He called the rich young ruler to in Luke 18. And this is our choice now, at the beginning of the semester, and every day after: will we choose our own possessions and desires, or will we follow Jesus to eternal life?
We can’t forget that our God is an eternal God. In the end, Jesus has loved UT long before we were ever aware of the campus. And He will love it long after we have moved on to new seasons in new places. But during our brief four years of being planted here and committed to this place He has invited us to join Him on His eternal mission. GPAs, degrees, and even friendships will all fade someday. But the impact that we can have on the souls of our classmates, dorm mates, and the random people that we meet in the cafeteria will last for eternity. God has invited us to be a part of the most lasting and incredible story ever told- and given us the right to choose whether we will accept that role or not. What will our answer be this semester? Will we be a people that reject our fears in order to say yes to investing everything in Jesus’ eternal purpose on campus?
We could be anybody.