Monday, June 9, 2014

Good Seed on Good Soil (June 2014 Newsletter)

And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” – Luke 19:5
Jesus had a way of picking the hungry person out of the crowd. He was always looking for spiritual hunger and good soil. He was looking for those who would be honest with God and honest with themselves, confessing that they were sinners in need of a Savior. He was looking for those who would forsake all to follow Him.
When Jesus sent His disciples out, He told them to seek the lost. He taught them to preach everywhere, looking for a person of peace who would receive the message, instructing His disciples to stay in that place, sowing the word of God and bringing the kingdom to that home and community.
Some months ago I met H____, who came to the International Hope Center in Hamtramck looking for a pastor. I was there working with a mission team when H____ came in, and Andrew and I spoke to him. He was very open that though he came from a Muslim background that he needed to change his life. He was very disillusioned with Islam and its followers. I was adamant that his life could change that day if he gave his life to Jesus and made him his boss, but he wasn’t ready to make the decision that day. We exchanged phone numbers, but when I called the number he gave me, the phone was disconnected. I continued to pray for H____ and even tried his phone number again month’s later to no success.
While I was away at a conference in Florida, Andrew let me know that H____ had come back to the International Hope Center and that Andrew had shared the gospel with him and that H____ had made a decision to give his life to Jesus, agreeing that he needed to be baptized.
H____’s decision comes at significant personal risk. All of H___’s family and friends are Muslim and he is afraid of anyone finding out about his decision. He also has no background in church and very little knowledge of the Bible. He sincerely believes that he needs to be right with God and sees Jesus as the answer. In spite of his fear, he has identified two people that he believes it will be safe for him to share his faith with, and we are taking steps to see him obey Christ’s commands. I have met with H____ almost every day for weeks and we are moving forward to better know who Jesus is and how to follow Him. When we see Jesus, we fall more in love with Him and obey Him from a deeper passion and commitment.
There are many obstacles for a person like H____ and many distractions. H____ has many physical needs and problems that come with being an immigrant without a job and with limited English. While he has found brothers and sisters who are willing to help him with these needs, we always must be careful that each person’s commitment is to Christ Jesus as Lord and Master: that Christ alone is the focus.
I rejoice over every decision for Christ and all of Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents, but I know there is a soil that springs up quickly but has no root. I am looking for soil that bears fruit with perseverance that goes beyond a decision and follows through in genuine faith. My daily prayer is that Jesus would lead me to that one. In the same way that Jesus picked Zaccheus out of the crowd, I want the Spirit of God to pick out the hungry. I want to find the soil that is prepared. I want to find men and women who will forsake all and follow Christ in word and deed. I am encouraged that the Spirit drew H____ to us; I look forward to what God will do in His life. I know the best is yet to come.



Read the rest of June 2014 Newsletter.
Read previous Newsletters.

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