For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 3:8 NIV
It was a little after midnight as we stood on my doorsteps crying. He was going back. Maybe I could have done a better job discipling, maybe I should have spent more time praying with him, maybe I should have listened to him more, but now, no more maybe.
I was there when he gave his heart to the Lord at an outreach of a new church plant. The weight of the world washed off his shoulders as a new believer in Christ emerged. Bev was just as excited as he was one of the first people that she had the opportunity to share the gospel and see them become a follower of Jesus. Over the months that followed we shared meals together, helped him get back and forth to a job, paid for him to go on a short term mission trip with us and even let him stay in our home.
The girl he was living with had 3 children, none of which were his. He treated them all as if he were their daddy. We encouraged them to get married. Our government system punishes poor people for trying to establish a proper home with two parents by immediately cutting off government aid to single moms with children. So, single moms just have guys live with them to make it work as best as they can.
On this night, he was returning back to his old life. He wanted to go back to living with her. He did not see a way out of the gang which he was a part of. He loved our family and all that we had done for him. “Pastor Greg, you just don’t understand how hard it is to leave this old life behind! I love you and Mrs. Pam, but I just got to go.” I gave him one more hug and he turned to walk away into the darkness.
Now we are living, since or if you are standing frim in the Lord
Thoughts to consider
- Your endurance matters. Your remaining faithful and committed to your relationship with Jesus impacts those who have poured into your life,
- Not everyone you disciple will continue to follow Jesus. But some will continue for a lifetime, keep investing.
- For Christian families, our children are our first and most important lives to steward the values and life of the kingdom of God. They know if parents have a life giving and real faith which they want to embrace for themselves.
- Making disciples is a command and an art. EVERY follower of Jesus should be training someone...this training is more than leading one group a week.
- Followers of Jesus are enticed to turn back or quit. Find the guts to feel what St. Peter felt when he said to Jesus, “Where else could we go, you alone have the words of life.”
- Who will you reach in the next generation? Every generation has the responsibility to impart the message of Jesus to the next generation, for they will carry their own torch of the gospel. The reality is all the important people in your spiritual heritage will die along with you, so, God raises up new leaders through your faithful witness
Paul knew that his message about Jesus was real. But when he saw others embracing for themselves what he had taught them, it brought encouragement. May you see the fruits of your prayers, your bible studies, your time and money commitment to share the life and love of Jesus. Don’t quit. Stay connected. Life is in Jesus and He shares this life freely among His body of believers who are joined by the Holy Spirit.
Blessings Love y’all