To Live Victoriously

September 16, 2014

Columbia International University students, faculty, and staff were challenged to live by the power of the Holy Spirit during the annual Christian Life Conference, Sept. 8-11.  The Christian Life Conference focuses on one of CIU’s core values, Victorious Christian Living. 

This year’s conference featured Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer, a 1988 CIU alumnus, who serves as senior pastor of Grace Church in Middleburg Heights, Ohio and as corporate vice president of the Christian & Missionary Alliance. 

Schaeffer delivered a series of five messages, each based on the fact that believers in Christ are filled with God-given treasure: the Holy Spirit.

“The moment you and I put our trust in Christ, everything changed,” Schaeffer said.  “The very God of the universe came to live in you and me.”

Though all believers possess God’s treasure, Schaeffer said, many Christians live without an awareness of the treasure in their daily lives.

“Do we live like we know that [the Spirit of God] is with us right now?”  Schaeffer challenged students.  “The question is not, ‘Is He with us?’ but ‘Am I aware? Do I live like He’s there?’”

The Christian Life Conference concluded on Sept. 11 with a Prayer Day, in which classes were canceled. Students and faculty were given time for corporate and individual prayer, Scripture reading, and teaching. The College of Intercultural Studies faculty also led a time of prayer and remembrance for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Students and faculty were asked to pray for people in the Middle East being persecuted by Islamic extremists, for terrorists, and for those who lost loves one in the Sept. 11 attacks.

“Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives, each of them made in the image of God,” Intercultural Studies professor Trevor Castor said.  “We need to pray for those who are suffering, that they would be healed by the Prince of Peace.”

The prayers resonated with junior Hannah Jones.

“I really enjoy taking time to remember who we lost on 9/11 and to pray not only for our fellow believers around the world, but also to pray for the terrorists who we seem to overlook,” Jones said.

Schaeffer concluded the Christian Life Conference with a simple but profound challenge: to love one another.

“Love isn’t just one more virtue I cultivate in my walk with God,” Schaeffer said.  “It’s the most significant badge of identification for every Spirit-filled person.”