This week, we begin in India where Bernie stepped into the home of an idol maker:
So we came to the last day of our stay. It was beginning to grow late in the afternoon and time was growing short. We simply prayed that God would give us an opportunity to share fruitfully one more time before leaving. Then, this young man approached us and asked us to come up to his house. (Must be the Lord, right?). While we thought we were going to a family’s house, we ended up being led to a place of worship for many local Hindus. (not quite what we had in mind). There were pictures, idols and icons of Hindu gods surrounding us in all directions. We wanted to serve God… but a large part of us also wanted to run the heck out of there! So, I told them that I was a representative of the Most High God and I would love to share His Good News, but I did not want to spin our wheels debating his gods verses my God. (yet at the same time, I had to say this delicately so as not to offend his hospitality)
After my interpreter told them this, they all sat down and just looked at me.
I had been reading Isaiah at the time, where the prophet dealt with idols. I then said, “The Most High God is deeply offended by all these idols. They do not represent His character.” Now, typically, the talk we had prepared had a nice, easy lead in and nice build up to a conclusion… we had abandoned all that on this day. Yet, as we were talking, I saw the conviction of the Holy Spirit fall on this man that had made all these idols. That whole family received Christ that day!
We then had the opportunity to share how this craftsman could use his hands and his skills to glorify God instead of making all these false idols.
Next, we hear from Kevin as he shares his experience in East Asia:
Every time we go out to serve God, He reveals Himself and works in the hearts of the people we visit, but He also always changes our lives, too. While in China, I met a young man named Sonic (the Western name he gave himself), who had been kinda hanging out around the fringes of our group for a few days. In some ways, it actually seemed like he was getting in the way some days because he didn’t really seem interested in the Gospel message, but just wanted to socialize. We even appointed someone throughout the day to keep Sonic busy so he didn’t become too much of a distraction. As these “Sonic-keepers” shared with him throughout the week, they discovered that his biggest hangup was sin and what it was all about. Sin is a difficult concept to explain to many people in China, because the word that they most commonly use for “sin” also translates to “crime”. And since most people don’t consider themselves criminals, it’s difficult to translate accurately to explain the difference and convey how we are all sinners.Yet, over the course of a few days, God started working on Sonic’s heart and he became more interested in hearing how God had played a part in redeeming our lives. It was thrilling when Sonic took God’s truth to heart and acknowledged his need for Jesus and accepted Him as his Savior!
But, what was even more astounding was realizing just how amazing God is. I know, intellectually, that He is awesome; but when He allows us to connect what we know with our minds with what we learn in our hearts, it’s absolutely astounding!!
When I share about Jesus, I try to tell as much as I can about His life and who He is. I share about His miracles, His teachings, and the ground-breaking concepts that He emphasized like loving our enemies. As I shared these things with Sonic, his face began to explode! (that’s the only way that I can describe what I saw in him). Oddly enough, it felt like God was doing more in my heart at that moment that He was doing in Sonic’s. I was simply made more and more aware of just how amazing Jesus is, as He was being reflected in Sonic.
God then spoke to my heart (and continues to everyday), “Do you live every moment with the joy that you have right now and that Sonic has right now? Because YOU CAN!! And to the extent that you will, I will be glorified.”
As I said, God does amazing things in the people that we minister to, but He also does amazing things in all of us who chose to serve.
It’s really an awesome thing to go out and spread God’s word. It’s amazing that He uses flawed people like us for His purposes, and that He remains faithful to continue to continue the work that He has begun in us.
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