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All Eyes on Jesus

As a junior in college, looking back on the past 2 ½ years, moments I am most thankful for have been moments spent with younger girls – particularly, freshman. I love spending time with freshman. Freshman are wide-eyed, looking and longing for friends and fulfillment. When meeting up with freshman girls, particularly ones that are somewhat involved or affiliated with a Christian ministry on campus, I always ask two questions (or at least some form of these questions) –

“How did you hear about Christ?”

“Have you grown in your faith since being in college?”

Both of these questions have been the foundation for Christ-centered conversation. I am able to ask freshman girls questions they have never been asked before, and I am able to pray for them specifically, knowing their stories and struggles as they plunge into the life altering decision of whether or not they are going to pursue Christ in college. What a blessing it is to trust the Lord and watch Him work in these moments.

Recently, I was talking to a freshman about sin. I was asking her about her friendships in college and if she feels as though she is actively getting rid of sin in her life. Two very different questions. The conversation continued, and she ended up asking me what sin looks like in my life right now. I answered her, and began listing sin after sin. Some of the sin in my life right now isn’t even about things I have done, but instead, it is about things I have failed to do. Listing off my sin to this freshman opened an entire new door of vulnerability for conversation.

People don’t talk about sin. It is awkwardly dodged and avoided in conversation. People don’t confess sin to one another, despite the fact that confession and vulnerability are the seeds of freedom.

Conversations like these remind me of the necessity and command that Christ gives over and over in the Bible – to FLEE sin (2 Timothy 2:22) and to REPENT (Matthew 4:17 & Revelation 3:19).

There are so many moments when I don’t “feel” like it. I don’t feel like repenting and getting rid of sin in my life. Sin is fun. I don’t want it to be revealed. I don’t want to be convicted. But, what a blessing it is that God is not a God of feeling. God is a God of truth (John 14:6).

Upon hearing what these freshmen are going through, the greatest way I can encourage them is to point them to Christ. It is the very same thing I need to hear day in and day out. We must pursue Christ, we must know Christ, and to know Christ, we must know Truth – studying God’s word is a non-negotiable.

This passage continues to ring true in my mind –

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

May I never forget to throw off my sin, to run with endurance, and to fix my eyes on Jesus. May your prayer be the same.

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Ansley Rikard

Ansley Rikard is an undergraduate student at Wake Forest University. She is studying Communication and hopes to attend Physicians Assistant school upon graduating. For her, home is Charlotte, North Carolina. Ansley loves to laugh, but above all else, she loves the Lord, her family, and her friends.

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