Loneliness for a Greater Call

We all want to reach our world, dont we? Well, sometimes it can be very lonely. Verse 3 of the hymn Ive been sharing with you this week says, “So send I you to loneliness and longing, with hearts a-hungering for those we love and know. Forsaking kin and kindred, friend and dear ones so send I you to know my love alone. ”

There are some people who are called to remain single- and some of them are called to remain single and go to a foreign country to give the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Yes there is loneliness, yes there is longing and hungering to be with those you love and know, yes you want to be with family, with friends, with dear ones, but you know, somebody has to get out there and preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I have one wife, four sons, four daughters in-law and ten grand children. And for all of our lives, weve had to be separated from each other week after week, month after month, year after year. One day we calculated wed been separated for 15 years, to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But somebody has to do it, somebody did it to bring me the Gospel down in South America, and I love those missionaries who did it.

So yes, there is loneliness, and theres longing and hungering for those we know, but in the end, the result of people going to Heaven, and knowing Jesus Christ is worth all the sacrifice and all the effort – on behalf of the one who died on the cross all by Himself.

The Least of These

Theres a woman in our home church who is passionate about making a difference in the lives of hurting and abandoned children. Thats why she decided to open up her home to foster kids. Now this is quite a task for her because shes not married. But this young lady, with the help of her parents, has had many foster children in her home.

Whats most exciting to me is that shes led many of these children – and their parents – to the Lord! She uses foster care as an avenue to share her faith with each child who comes into her home. Isnt that fabulous?!?!

Its certainly a huge step of faith to become foster parents, or adopt a child. Its definitely something thats out of many peoples comfort zones. But God calls His followers to unprecedented action. Not just social action, which is important – but spiritual action!

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus challenges His disciples to take care of the needy, the poor, the strangers – the helpless. Because, He says, “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me.”

I cant think of a better example of “the least of these” than hurt and neglected children. So, pray about it, wont you? And remember, by opening up your heart and home, you can make an eternal difference in a childs life.

A Family Divided

Samantha was a woman who believed in one religion, and her husband believed in another. This wasnt a problem for them while they were dating and first married. But when they started having children, she began wondering how they would raise them. “What church should we take them to?” Samantha asked me.

I first recommended that Samantha read the Gospel of John. I said it would help her understand what Christianity is all about, and why its the one religion that offers forgiveness of sins and a relationship with God the Father.

I told her that all religions are not the same, so it was of utmost importance to raise her children in the Lord. I shared one of my favorite verses in John: “To all those who receive Him, who believe in His name, He gives them the power to become a child of God.” Samantha agreed to start reading the Bible, asking God to reveal Himself to her.

You know, its interesting that once couples have children they often start asking this type of question. Their spiritual antennas seem to be up, so to speak.

So as you enter into conversations with couples you know, be aware that they may have questions about religion. Your answers, prompted by the Holy Spirit, could lead them into a relationship with Jesus Christ!

Watch and Pray

The return of Jesus Christ to earth could literally be at any moment in time. Thats why Matthew 24 tells us, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”

What does it mean to keep watch? Watch means to stay alert. Stay awake. Be ready. Be aware of the signs, then wisely and winsomely witness about the Lord Jesus with those in your world.

Watch also means spend time in the Word of God. Spend time on your knees. Do it before you go to work in the morning. When you go to bed at night, spend time meditating on the Scriptures. One of the best ways to reach your world is by teaching your family to understand the Word of God.

My Dad died when I was ten but I tell you he left us a legacy of reverence for the Bible. I have five sisters and one half-brother, and all of us have learned to reverence the Word of God, to love Jesus Christ, and to share Him with others.

Lets not become complacent in sharing our faith, because Jesus could return even today! So spend time with God. Teach your children to love His Word. And Ask the Lord to help you remain faithful in reaching your world with His message of Good News!

Back to the Bible

I once read a shocking article about a Princeton University professor of bio-ethics. The article said this Prof believes “parents should have the right to euthanize newborn children who have severe handicaps.” Did you catch that? He said, “Killing a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person.” Talk about depravity – that is murder!

So how do you and I respond to this kind of blatant sinfulness? I believe we must get back to the Bible! Billy Graham once said, “Its either back to the Bible or back to the jungle.” The jungle, a world of moral chaos, is creeping up on us. But, the Word of God holds truth and power to transform lives!

Hebrews 4 tells us, “The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit.”

So dont be discouraged! Instead, dive into the Scriptures, and encourage your friends to open the Word of God, and seek out the truth for themselves. Why not challenge someone you know to read the book of John, and discuss it over coffee? Ask the Holy Spirit to penetrate their heart with the message of forgiveness, and eternal life, through the cross of Christ.