School is out, and summer is finally here! For some, summer involves moving back home and for others it involves vacations at the beach or abroad. But for the eighteen college students participating in Sent Initiative, this summer involves sacrifice.
This summer, Sent Initiative students will learn that the summer is not about them. It is not about their comfort levels, preferences, or expectations. This summer is about investing in the grand mission and walking in obedience to the call God has placed on all of our lives. This summer involves laying down selfish tendencies and embracing selflessness daily. When we look to Jesus, we see how he modeled this perfectly: “Who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7). With Jesus’ sacrifice at the forefront, we challenge our Sent Initiative students to lay down their ideal summer to be sent.
Not only is this summer not about them, but these students will learn their life is not about them. Paul reminds us of this truth in 2 Corinthians 5:15, “And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Paul is reinforcing this idea for the Corinthians and us as well that God has saved us to send us. When we understand the depths of God’s grace, we will embrace our calling as ambassadors so that others may experience his grace. Through City Life and City Project, students will dive deeper into this truth. They will understand more fully that our work is not about us; our life is not about us, but it is all about Jesus and the mission that is laid before us.
In the midst of sacrifice this summer, our Sent Initiative students will catch a glimpse of one great reward, God’s glory and renown. The many challenges and sacrifices that are to come this summer are worth it because God is worthy, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11). Living out of our identity in Christ and in obedience to his mission, God is receiving the glory he is due.
Sent Initiative invites students to lay down their crowns and pick up their crosses. There is no longer any purpose in living for our own kingdoms when we were created to serve God’s. Living in God’s design is where true freedom is found, and he has designed us to glorify him. In order to do so, we must do as Paul told the Corinthian church and stop living for ourselves. While society says do what you want with your summer, God reminds us there is a great mission at hand, and we must all take part in it. One way to do so is participating in Sent Initiative, but another way is to pray for those who are participating. Join me in praying Psalm 115:1 over our Sent Initiative students: “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory.”
-Rilee Blackwell (College Team)