Stop for a second and answer these two questions: If you were to die today, what would people remember you for? More importantly, if you were to die today, what would God remember you for? What if He didn’t remember you at all?
Picture this scenario: You’ve been away from home for a week at a camp. You’re exhausted and ready to sleep in your bed. You’re ready for your mom’s cooking and a hot shower. When you get home your mom is standing at the door and does not know who you are. She doesn’t remember you and turns you away.
How awful would that be? Matthew 7:21-23 says:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
To me, when God says “I never knew you”, it’s like He’s saying, “I don’t remember you.” I don’t want this to happen when I meet the Lord. I don’t want him to tell me he never knew me. I don’t want to have to depart from my Father. I want him to remember me. I want to live a life for him that is worth remembering! When it’s my time to die, I want to go Home!
I know talking about not entering Heaven when we die isn’t a very fun, happy subject, but if I read the Bible and believe everything about Heaven being real I can’t skip over the fact that Hell is also real and that sadly some people will end up there.
My question for you today is how are you going to spend the next 4 years? What will you be remembered for in college? Are you going to be remembered for being the craziest girl at the parties? Or the girl who hooked up with the most guys? Are you going to be busy making a name for yourself or are you going to be busy making a name for God? A lot of people think the next four years of your life don’t really count. They think that you are allowed to experiment with different things and have “fun”, because that’s what people do when they go to college.
The truth is that the next four years do really count. Each decision you make will either bring you closer to God or it will push you away from God. You can either use the next four years to grow closer to God or you can use the next 4 years to grow further away from God.
Most Christians that you hear of going off to college and going crazy don’t just show up to college on move-in day and go off the deep end the first night. It’s usually a slow fade that starts in our minds and in our hearts. And just when the devil sees a little space, he jumps in and black and white turn to gray. Things that you seemed so sure of before become cloudy. Thoughts invade and choices are made. Slowly over time, you give yourself away to the things you said you’d never do.
When we become Christians we start off so close to God! He definitely knows us and remembers us at that point. We are on fire for him and eager to serve. Do you remember that feeling? Wasn’t it awesome? I hope and pray that each of you will start off college feeling that way again! The closer you are to God when you begin college, the harder it will be for the devil to sneak in.
So what will cause God to remember us? Matthew 25:31-46 tells us that God remembers us when we serve others, because serving others is serving God.
Mother Teresa once said:
“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, or how many great things we have done.
We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.’”
When we slip away from God and begin to give into our fleshly desires, we begin to serve ourselves. I ask you to consider who you will serve in college. God and others – or yourself? Maybe you are planning on waiting until after college to live a life for Christ that’s worth remembering. Be careful if you have that mindset. Life is so fragile.
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14
Will it be easy to always serve God and always serve others instead of yourself? No, we are selfish, we are humans, and we are not perfect. You may slip up. Thankfully God’s grace and love can cover our slip-ups! Thankfully, Christ died so that we can have second chances!
Remember you always have a choice!
Where are you today in your walk with God? What do you need to work on or do to make sure that when you get to college in the fall you aren’t already fading away from Him?