I am so blessed to serve with a Body of Believers who are really like the Church in Acts. We are all here for two purposes: to grow closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to proclaim His name and His glory to those millions who haven’t heard His name.
The reason I write this post is because I have been struggling with headaches consistently everyday for the past… 7 months? And when I walked down the hallway today, someone stopped me to see how I’m doing. When I mentioned the headache, they stopped what they were doing and prayed for me right then and there. This is not an uncommon occurrence, actually it happens all the time. We are a people who pray together constantly, are transparent with one another as the Body should be, we are there to encourage and give of ourselves (out of the strength of God) to help others, we love others even when its hard to do. The staff here at Gospel for Asia are living out what it means to be the Body of Christ. And I am so encouraged by it.
I’m sure there are other places out there that are similar. But I am so blessed to be a part of this family. 🙂
—School of Discipleship Alumni
I am currently studying at the Master’s College for my Bible Certificate. Right now my class is New Testament Survey. Every week I have to write a blog post on the Scripture. So this time I thought I would share my thoughts with you all : )
Paul starts this section off by saying “Let love be genuine.” So I was going to write about the whole passage but seriously this verse alone is enough to write a whole book on. Like WOW!!!
I am sure it would be easier for each of us to let our love seem genuine, to walk around with the façade of love instead of the real thing. In my own life I am very good at being nice to people and listening to what they have to say, but at the end of the day can I really say that I love them? In many cases I would have to answer no. I am nice, however, not because I genuinely care or love people but because if I’m not, what would people think of me?!? (aka: the motive behind my actions is pride, not love.)
In John 13:34 Jesus gave His disciples a new command which was to love one another. Then in verse 35 He told them that by their love for one another the world would know they belonged to Him. Love was their identifying badge; the act that set them apart.
Real love cannot help but be noticed. It is practically like putting a giant billboard in the sky for all to see. It glorifies the Father and allows Him to show Himself to the world.
However if we masquerade as people who “love” each other, no one will really ever know because a fake seed cannot bear fruit.
As I get older and study the Bible more and more, I am finding love, genuine, all out love is neither easy nor comfortable. It is, however, vital! It requires that we remain humble, lay down our self, be vulnerable and honest. It may be received and equally given back or it may be rejected and thrown in our face. Either way it is not a suggestion that will help us change the world, it is a command that is guaranteed to change the world.
So while it is hard, it is not impossible. We have the perfect example in the Father and the Son, we have the Word and Spirit to lead and guide us and we have the joy of knowing it will glorify the Lord as it puts all the spotlight on Him, which is exactly what we were created to do. Plus, just think how our brothers and sisters will blossom and flourish if we give genuine love freely, how it will strengthen the body and allow us to grow in the process!
So I was thinking recently about what I would say if the question was asked me “How would you describe yourself in a few sentences?”
I wasn’t sure at first, but after a little while I came up with this:
I am a child of the One True God. My mission in life is to love others as God loves me, and make His name known throughout the nations. This is accomplished through my pursuing a relationship with Jesus Christ that grows deeper daily.
And that is who I am in a nutshell. How would you describe yourself?
Tonight was the last night that my three roommates and I went out for a time of fellowship together as roommates. However, I think this (and the first time) was my favorite of all. We travelled to a coffee shop that a friend had visited a while back. We were all kind of dragging ourselves out the door because it has been a rather long week and our tiredness was catching up to us. Once we arrived, we all got ourselves some yummy snacks, coffee beverages and a small dinner, sat in the back of the cafe, and proceeded to talk, play games, and have a grand old time.
Soon, two men started to perform some live music, which was kind of loud, but rather enjoyable at the same time – though we had to talk louder so we could hear each other. We didn’t mind. My friend beat me at Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe, we played a few rounds of Kings in the Corner, sang along with some of the songs the guys were playing, shared some goofy times of nonsense laughter, and then discussed what verses the Lord had been pointing out to us lately. Soon enough, we decided to put away the game of cards and read through a book of the Bible. Ephesians was chosen, and so we proceeded to read through it chapter by chapter (passing it to the next person at the start of a new chapter).
As we read through the Word of God, we stopped to comment on certain parts as they came up in our hearts. A lot of “AMEN!”s were said before we even finished the first chapter. It was so refreshing to open up this book after hearing two messages by Gayle Erwin who came to share some words of encouragement with the Gospel for Asia staff yesterday and this morning.
When the musicians took a break, one of the guys came back to our table (we had been applauding their music the whole time and so they decided to come say “hi”) and asked what we were doing. We told him that we were reading through Ephesians and he was glad to find out we were Christians as well.
As our time drew to a close (it was getting kind of late, and we were remembering how tired we were before discussing the Lord and His goodness) we closed the Word and drove home discussing how refreshing it is to meditate on His promises and remind ourselves of His truth.
Now it’s time for me to go to bed, but I wanted to reflect a little longer on this great time of fellowship that we had as roommates, but further than that, sisters in Christ. One Body. A Unity that can only be accomplished through the Spirit of the Lord that dwells in our hearts. I’d say this was a good way to “end” this chapter of my living situations, and I very much am looking forward to my next.
Thanks for listening!
Today I got to visit a Bridge of Hope center in a slum. I walked into a room full of kids nicely studying. That ended pretty quickly when I got my camera out. I was swarmed and surrounded. Laughing off language barriers, we became friends quickly.
Despite their background of poverty and slum life, the children are now receiving education, medical attention, nutritious food and school supplies through Bridge of Hope. They learn a new English word every day at the Bridge of Hope center. And soon they started practicing the language on me.
One of their phrases was “What is your favorite…?” We discussed favorite colors, countries, cricketers and more. When they found out I was from America, they started telling me excitedly, “My sponsor’s in America. His name is so and so,” or “My sponsor’s from Canada and her name is such and such.”
I was reminded of just how meaningful it is to sponsor a child like this. These kids are experiencing the love of Christ because of people halfway across the world. The children have never met their sponsors, but they know their names. They correspond. They connect.
What a beautiful relationship.