Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship (Rom 12:1).
But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come (2 Tim 4:5-6).
So the school year has started. You either just finished or are in the middle of your ministry’s crazy opening week activities. You’re exhausted, or very nearly there. And with classes started, you are confronted by the massive amounts of homework you have to do.
Suddenly, you’re wondering if maybe you didn’t over-commit to Chi Alpha.
This is something pretty much every student leader goes through. You are certainly aren’t the first. And if all of us are making disciples, you won’t be the last, either.
Being a leader means sacrifice. Being a Christian itself means sacrifice.
Christianity is founded on sacrifice. God revealed it from the very beginning. When humanity rebelled from him, he spilled blood of animals and gave Adam and Eve the skins—the first echo, screaming throughout time, “Sacrifice must be made for humanity to enter into God’s presence!” When God sent the angel of death into Egypt, the way for the firstborn to survive was for a lamb to be killed in his or her place.
The Son, being God, did not even hold himself back. But to save all humanity, he became human and became the Passover lamb, the one sacrifice for all humanity.
And because we are the beneficiaries of this sacrifice, we are not our own. We have been bought with a price. We belong to God, and bear Christ’s image.
So, since we bear the image of the sacrifice, we ourselves become living sacrifices.
Indeed, the very act of accepting the Son’s sacrifice requires that we sacrifice ourselves. The old passes away and only the new remains. You are born again. As we were born, we were destined for death; as we are reborn, we are destined for life.
In order to accept Christ’s sacrifice, you had to give up all of yourself. You went to the altar of God and you threw yourself on it.
And what is sacrificed to God belongs to God and remains with God. The sacrifice does not get down off the altar and go back to the field. It stays on the altar and rises up to God.
So you are tired. Things have been crazy and that homework isn’t going to do itself. And there are only so many hours in the day!
Hundreds, if not thousands of student leaders in Chi Alpha manage to do both every year. There are plenty of student leaders who manage to be fully involved in school, fully involved in Chi Alpha and also work 20-30 hours per week.
There is a big lie out there saying that this can’t be done. But it can. It’s not easy, but it’s entirely possible. You just have to find out where your priorities are.
Do you really want to serve God with Chi Alpha? Do you really want to serve God through getting good grades? Do you really want to serve God by being financially responsible?
If you don’t intentionally manage your time, these three will conflict and you will have to choose. But it doesn’t have to be that way. They don’t have to conflict!
Yes, we’re back to time management! Because it’s hugely important, it’s easily mastered, and it’s the single most important practical skill anyone can have. Make your time work for you!
It takes sacrifice to serve God in Chi Alpha. It’s a sacrifice to put your life in order and to keep that order. It takes sacrifice to choose not to play Xbox and instead do your homework. It takes sacrifice to choose to go to Fall Retreat instead of going home for the weekend—even more sacrifice to pay the way for a new student!
But what does that sacrifice benefit? You are giving glory to God.
When you use restraint in all things, when you endure hardship, when you share the Gospel, when you fulfill your ministry—when you do all these things, you glorify God. You can glorify God by serving him in your Chi Alpha ministry, by serving him as a student, and by serving him at your job.
Even as you are poured out like a drink offering, you give glory to God.
And people will see this, and they will want to know more about this God whom you serve.
So use your wisdom. Be responsible. Plan your time: time to serve God in Chi Alpha, time to serve God in your studies, time to serve God in your work—and time to serve God in your rest!
Rest is important, too! But do not love rest to the point where you give up service to God in these other areas.
We hit things very hard in Chi Alpha at the start of the year because this is the best, most opportune time to connect with students. This is the best time to begin discipleship with people because they are most open to it. So through Fall Retreat, we go all-out, for the glory of God and his Kingdom!
It’s hard. It’s a sacrifice. But it is a temporary sacrifice that brings eternal results!