Would you walk with me into Starbucks at Warren Towers at Boston University? If you came in with me last Thursday, you’d see masses of BU students overpaying for lattes. But you’d also see an amazing number of spiritual conversations happening. You might overhear my friend Sarah sharing the gospel with an international student. You might see my wife Malisa meeting to disciple one of her new staff women. You might catch Max, a grad student, exploring with a Sri Lankan student and talking about his hindu background. You might notice Nestor from the wrestling team talk about his summer and all the spiritual conversations he got to have.
Or you might sit down at a table with Arthur and Daniel and me as we talk about their lives. Arthur and Daniel are both Korean, but their journeys so far have been quite different. Arthur grew up in Korea, spent his high school years in California, and has come to Boston for college. All his family is back in Korea. Daniel grew up in Louisiana, but his parents are missionaries and so Daniel was in China for High School. For Arthur, Christianity was a way to get to know people in America. For Daniel, Christianity was certainly true, but hard to live up to.
And so we talked about the basics of the gospel. It’s something I don’t think any one of us “graduates” from, and so as we’re meeting freshmen on campus, we talk about the gospel. For Christians, it helps them know we’re not a cult, and that we believe what they’ve been taught. For non-believers, it helps them see where we’re coming from and makes the issue of the gospel clear.
That issue of the gospel – if Jesus is who he says he is, what does that mean for me and my life – is worth wrestling with. And so that’s the question we talked about. If Jesus is who he says he is – God himself, come to live the life we should have lived and die the death we deserve to day – then what does that mean for me? Is Jesus the Lord of every area of my life, or am I still trying to be in control?
Both Daniel and Arthur shared that they were still living as if they were in control of their lives, but they wanted Jesus to take control of their lives. And so there in that Starbucks, they prayed and asked Jesus to come into their lives and change them so they could live with Jesus as their ruler.
Malisa and I think of you, our prayerful supporters, every time we have conversations like that one with Daniel and Arthur. It’s because of you that we have the privilege of sitting across the table from young college students and hearing them pray to make Christ the Lord of their lives.
As I share the gospel with students, it makes me take stock: What are areas of my life that I’m not giving over to the Lord? Things like success, family, work, relationships, identity, money are sometimes things that float to the top of my mind. What about you? Are there areas of your life that you don’t really want Jesus to be Lord? Do you find yourself thinking or saying, “Thanks for dying on the cross, but I’ll take it from here?” Let me know if there’s specific things you’d like Malisa and me to pray for you.
Here’s the prayer Daniel, Arthur, and I prayed: “Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”
May it be true in each of our lives.
Sydney, along with her mom and dad, completed her first 10K last weekend. It was such a fun thing to train for and do as a family. We’re looking forward to the next race. Sydney, in her stroller, was always a second ahead of mom and dad.
For Daniel, Arthur, Dan, Rhea, Patrick, Ryan, and other students at BU who have prayed prayers like this one to make Christ Lord of their lives in the past 10 days.
For our Fall Retreat – over 300 students from 20 campuses in Boston – September 28-30 – I’m overseeing the whole retreat. Would you join me in praying for the many non-Christians and international students who will be coming – that many of them come to know and follow Jesus.
For many of our students to find significance in Jesus rather than simply dating relationships.