Why do we share the gospel?
Imminent hand-ins. Looming exams. As Christian students, we’re already starting to ask where we’re going to get the time to fit everything in.
You’re committed to sharing Jesus with your friends, but also committed to sharing this table in the library with others on your course. You’re starting to feel as stressed as they look.
You’re trying to shave three hundred words off the essay you’ve written so you can submit it somewhere near the word count, but are also starting to wonder how much time you can shave off being at church, small group and CU. Maybe they can wait for a few weeks whilst you finish everything off.
Even as a Staff Worker I’m starting to feel the teeth of the end of term sinking into my shoulders. It’s important for me to leave the house in the morning with an empty inbox – I’ll read the Bible later. It’s important for me to phone the church worker I need to chat to as I walk to the first coffee shop (of eight) I’m going to – I’ll pray later.
The Lord, His gospel and the work He is doing through me are beginning to take something of a back seat. They’re possibly even in the boot of the car. Sound familiar?
The work the Lord has given me to do has started to overtake the time I spend with Him.
Don’t misunderstand me. We ‘work at these things with all our heart, as working for the Lord’ (Colossians 3:23), but when the cart overtakes the horse we’re in trouble.
Remember, God has placed each one of us in our individual contexts. From before the foundations of the earth were put in place, He knew exactly how He would be at work to bring His glory in our lives. He knew how stressed, anxious and uncertain we’d feel but He brought us into His Kingdom for His glory.
I am therefore compelled to ask, ‘am I glorifying God amid all this pressure?’
I am therefore compelled to ask, ‘do the choices I make, the words that I speak and the thoughts that I think glorify God?’
The pressure of the end of term isn’t to stifle our evangelism. Far from it. We have a terrific opportunity to shine as His people.
What a privilege to show our friends that our ‘life is hidden with Christ in God’(Colossians 3:3) and not hidden in our exam results. That’s our identity as Christians. It drives us to church on a Sunday even with imminent hand-ins. It drives us to CU meetings even with looming exams.
Now I look at my stressed friends and I see that what they really need isn’t a 2:1, but forgiveness of their sins and redemption. What they really need is the gospel.
What an opportunity carol services provide at this time of year! Let’s use them to introduce our friends to Jesus. Pray for your friends, for gospel perspective and for opportunities over the weeks to come!
Scott Hamilton is a CU Staff Worker in Edinburgh, where he enjoys going to gigs, playing football, learning more about the gospel and helping others to do the same.