Welcome to college!
This is a big.. a HUGE… season in your life. Whether you are living at home or you moved off to college, you are discovering a new freedom, making new friends, having new experiences that are probably radically different than what was “normal” just a few months ago.
The college experience is truly unlike any other time in your life. Some students find that they have more freedom and time than they really know what to do with. Some students feel challenged beyond what they think they can even handle. But one thing is for sure… the experiences you have and the choices you make over the next 3-5 years will largely shape your future.
I know that the thought that the next few years can have consequences for a lifetime can be pretty scary. I mean there is so much that is unknown about the future right now. The unknown coupled with the radical changes that college brings leaves many students feeling nervous and fearful of what lies ahead. Unfortunately, the most significant factor in a student’s life – their spiritual life- is often neglected or set to the side. During this time of great change, the one thing that NEVER changes, God, is sometimes completely ignored.
While students may not plan to abandon their faith or relationship with God, many do not intentionally plan to grow in their faith and live God’s best for their lives. The purpose of these “First 30” devotionals is help you in this.
Let me remind you of two very important truths today:
1) God loves you and wants the very best for you.
Think about this. God (the creator of the universe, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords) loves you. He created you, He knows everything about you, and He loves you more than anyone else ever could. He demonstrated that love by giving very Son, Jesus, to die for you so that you could know Him and experience His best for your life…
Ephesians 3:20, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
Think about that. God wants to accomplish more in and through us than we could ever imagine. What’s the prerequisite to experiencing this? “His mightly power at work within us.” Discovering and living God’s best is found only in relationship with Him and through His spirit at work in us. It’s about abiding in Him!
Here is another truth that many miss…
2) College can be an incredible time of spiritual growth and influence.
Jeremiah 17:8 describes the person who puts their hope and trust in the Lord.
“They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:8
Know that during a time of incredible changes and uncertainty that you can thrive. Like a tree with deep roots that is not bothered by changing climate, but continually producing fruit, you can thrive. How can you do this?
Again, by abiding in Christ. By relying on truth… not changing circumstances or feelings. By being intentional in pursuing and living God’s best.
We have done our best to send you off to college with an actual plan for how to be successful in this. This plan is based on the truth of God’s Word. It’s not a checklist or something you have to get exactly right. It’s simply truth that will help you discover and live God’s best.
Through these devotionals, we want to encourage you in your faith as you hold to God’s truth found in His Word and through abiding in Him. Over the next 30 days, we want to remind you that you can not only start well, but finish well. You’ve got this!! God has the best in store for you and He wants to use you in college and beyond in ways that you can’t even imagine!!
Know that we love you and are so proud of you. We are here for you. Do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call us or text if you need ANYTHING. We can’t wait to see what God does in and through you in the days and years ahead!
My prayer for you today is the prayer of Paul in Ephesians 3…
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
Now go and live with purpose today, trust in God, and be amazed at what happens!
This devotional is one in Sugar Hill Church’s First 30 devotional series for college students.
To access the entire series & podcasts be sure to check SHC’s site each day,
as new ones are added daily.
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