"Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."
What would that look like in your situation?
What might that look like for the members of a student Christian Union?
Here's a few questions....
When volunteers are needed to clean up the Union venues on Saturday morning who will step up?
When people are needed to staff the Union shop who will do it?
When the nightline service needs volunteers who will answer the call?
When clubs need people to serve who will sacrifice time?
When AGM's happen who will turn up?
When people are needed to move freshers in, who will do it - and not just if you can wear a CU t-shirt?
When volunteers are needed to come back early and greet internationals who will come?
When someone needs to show prospective students around on open days who will give up their afternoon?
We need to be those who live at the heart of the student world. At the heart of academic departments. At the heart of hall life. At the heart of students union politics. In deep relationships with people in all these places because life matters. Not only when and where we can get evangelistic opportunities, but at all times and in all places. Known for our integrity. Known for our service. Known for loving life deeply. We're not just passing through and getting by. We're not instant coffee people. We're live life people. We're filter coffee people. People who go the extra mile for the better taste. We're people who savour life because it's a gift from God. And people who want to live every moment to his glory in every situation
Only the grace of God can teach us to live this way. Grace to serve. Grace to be sacrificial. Grace to endure. Grace to suffer for doing good (suffering is not persecution if we suffer for doing wrong, or even for omitting to do good). It's the message of the cross of Christ that teaches this real living. This is cross-applied living.