I recently read an article that the anecdotal evidence that the 2017-2018 flu season has been one of the worst in recent memory is backed up statistically. As I thought about this, it brought to mind the many lessons that illness can teach us. Illness, whether it is caused from outside our bodies or inside our bodies, reminds us that Creation is fallen and it groans under the weight of sin (Rom. 8:22). For Christians, illness causes us to groan and to remember that this is not our permanent home (2 Cor. 5:1-4). Moreover, it causes us to long for our permanent home where God will remove all the effects of the Curse (Rev. 21:1-4). Beyond these lessons though, God reminded me of how illness instructs the way we evangelize. In his book Practical Religion, J.C. Ryle spends an entire chapter writing about Sickness and highlights the fact that illness is a reminder of death. He notes that most, including too often us Christians, live as if they were never going to die. But the author of Hebrews reminds us “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgement” (Heb. 9:27). To most our age death is a distant thought, something to be dealt with in 50 or 60 years but our Lord reminds us in Luke 12:20 that we do not know when God has decreed our deaths. For some it will be very soon and for others it will be in many years. And illness, Ryle writes, awakens us from our day-dreams and reminds us that we have to die as well as to live.
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Jeannette is a third year applied math major who enjoys baking, watching movies, crocheting, playing monopoly, and running.
I grew up in a Catholic home where my mom especially made an important place in her life for faith and she put effort into teaching me about God, Jesus, the saints, and the Catholic church. By the time I was in middle school, I went to Catholic classes and Mass every week. I thought I had a relationship with God and I prayed to Him daily. But I thought it was because of kind deeds, good grades, faithful Mass attendance, and daily prayer that God accepted me; I had no concept of how much God hated my sin and that it is only washing in Christ’s precious blood that can make depraved sinners acceptable to Him.
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Written by Elkana Chan
We spend a lot of our time on this earth working; I feel easily preoccupied by it and spend a lot of time thinking about it too. It seems that there is constantly more to do. I often fear, and sometimes even despair, How am I going to do all the things I have to do? And how can I work for the Lord, when I’m not even sure I can finish all that is placed before me? Honoring God in my work feels elusive and I struggle to work heartily for the Lord.
Yet God has shown us the gospel of grace that pervades all aspects of life, including work; I hope that in repeating these truths that He continues to teach me and apply to my heart may likewise encourage you and direct you to worship Him.
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Jeremy is a second year statistics major who enjoys reading, napping, playing guitar, wearing sweaters with polos, and trying to understand cultural references.
Before I was saved, I was stuck in a life of pride and selfishness. Even though I grew up in the church and was praised as a good kid who said the best prayers, I did not truly understand the weight of my sin or my need for a savior. Instead, I placed my pride in being spiritually and intellectually superior to my peers, so I had little love for God and for others. At home, where there were no friends to see me, I rebelled against my parents and pursued pleasure above all else. I vainly sought satisfaction in video games, social status, and lusting. But evening in finding their failure to bring me true joy, I still did not want to commit everything to Christ. I “knew” God but did not honor Him as Lord.
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Written by Jesse Fenn
Does God hear our prayers? Whether you’ve grown up in church or you’ve never stepped foot in a church, you know that the answer of the Bible is a resounding yes. But perhaps a better question is “How does God hear our prayers?” I live on a busy street, so I hear noises constantly, yet If you asked me to recount what I heard, I wouldn’t even know where to start because I rarely, if ever, give any thought to them. Parents will tell you that they hear children’s screaming differently as parents then they did before they had kids. When a friend from school talks to me about national security, I hear it much differently than when I hear the president of the United States talk about national security. I hear things that my parents tell me differently than I hear things that strangers tell me. We hear things differently depending on many different factors. So how does God hear our prayers? Does he hear them as white noise? Does he hear them compassionately, judgmentally, indifferently? The Scriptures answer these questions for us. Specifically, the Scriptures teach us that God does hear our prayers and hears them as both a sovereign king and a loving father.
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Written by Victoria Ng
The word “Christian” means “little Christ.” We, who follow Jesus, desire to be more like Him, to reflect Him and give Him all the glory. John 14:15 says, “those who love God will keep His commandments” and in the gospels, Jesus gave us a new commandment, “to love one another as He loves us” (John 13:34). Being called to belong to Christ is no small calling. We strive to be like a God who is perfect in every way. Though we fail to be holy, we desire to joyfully pursue holiness, trusting that the Lord will continue to perfect us until that last day. But do we forget the height of the standard God has called us to?
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Rachel is a third year biology major who loves cows (they’re cute and also delicious), Narnia, dancing, and that really cute walking kinesin protein!
I was born into a Christian family, going to church every Sunday, raised on gospel children’s songs, Vacation Bible School, and John 3:16. I prayed the sinner’s prayer at an early age, but there was a crucial misunderstanding of Christ’s saving grace–I prayed the prayer about 4 times before someone stopped me, since I thought weekly prayer was necessary to be saved by Christ.
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