“Who is going to go to all the hell holes on the planet and speak the Jesus solution into their lives?”
With this poignant question, Nik Ripken, author of “The Insanity of God,” set the stage for a powerful Global Focus Week that challenged me. Even as I sit here and read through notes from Convocation, I’m deeply convicted again.
Will I refuse to keep Jesus to myself?
Maybe your Christian life resembles mine — you are living for Jesus, unashamed of the gospel, having a quiet time, attending Campus Church and Bible study if time permits. But, for whatever reason, bringing the hope of Christ to the nations has never really lit up on your radar.
Are we engaged in what God is doing on a global level? Is the cross merely a safe theology, or is it a revolutionary reality? Are we settling for lukewarm living, comfort and complacency, or do we live from glory to glory? Is the radical command to leave security and familiarity and “Go into all the world” a matter of obedience and prayer, or is it just something for more “spiritual Christians?” Do we truly love this world as God does?
Ripken asked the hard questions, unsympathetically awakening us from the slumber and comfort of western culture. He boldly echoed the words of Jesus from Matthew 5:43-45, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’”
After listening to Ripken, I asked myself, “What am I doing to impact the ‘hell holes?’ Do I love my enemy?”
Our midweek speakers continued to embolden and challenge the student body to live in the light of eternity and to seize every opportunity to share Christ with our anguished world. Miss Virginia 2014, Courtney Paige Garrett, encouraged us to be daring and unashamed in sharing the gospel wherever God has placed us. Before listening to Garrett, I never dreamed that the world of pageantry could actually be a mission field.
Roy Peterson, president of the American Bible Society, shared his passion for the marginalized, Bible-less people groups around the world. He challenged students to support the Bible translation movement and help share the truth through prayer and giving.
Mart Green, founder and CEO of Mardel and Every Tribe Entertainment and Hobby Lobby heir, discussed the imperative of eradicating global Bible poverty. As Christians, Green challenged us to be, “… stewards of the Great Commission in our generation.” What an awesome and convicting expression
of obedience and love for Christ.
To bring Global Focus Week to a close, students, faculty and guests were blessed with a time of worship led by one of the most influential Christian artists of our time, Mac Powell, the lead singer of Third Day.
I have come away from this week of convocation challenged and deeply stirred with a divine discontentment for the status quo. I want to abandon my comfort zone to impact the kingdom of God on a global level. I have been so enamored by my own little world that I have not allowed God to reveal his broken heart for the nations until now. What I heard from our passionate speakers motivated me to seek the heart of God regarding my “stewardship of the Great Commission.”
I am not sure what God will call me to do, but I know what I can do right here, right now — intercede for the nations, deny myself, take up the cross and follow Him.
Wherever he leads. I’m all in.