Today’s blog was inspired by a personal story I heard over the weekend. As this is a sensitive story with sensitive issues, I will not mention where I was nor the name of the person who told me to protect their privacy. God is so good to place us with the right people at the right time and in the right place. I have no doubt I was supposed to talk to her and hear her story.
A mother, who had grown up in a less than hopeful situation, found a way out through a successful career in the military. Life dealt her blows no one could plan for even if they tried – the death of her child and the suicide of another loved one back to back. Feeling hopeless once again and very alone, she returned to a life of crime. But Jesus. Jesus made a way for her while in prison and put her around the people she needed to lift her out of this hopelessness. Today she is free, rebuilding and living a new life with Christ. I am so glad she told me her story so that I could share it with you. I wanted you to know that Jesus can save anyone, anywhere, regardless of what they have done or where they come from. Jesus can heal someone who believes they can’t take life anymore. He is the answer for their hopelessness. He can take them from hopelessness to life, peace and joy. He died so that they could be free of hopelessness and pain! He is humanity’s only hope!
What is the church’s role in all of this? The church’s role is not to bring people to a building, but to show them the way to Jesus – to introduce them to Jesus in our words, actions, and attitudes. The church is not the end all be all, Jesus is the end all be all. He is the answer that 3 billion people on this planet are seeking today. We can’t keep him a secret church! There is too much hopelessness in the world to keep Him a secret! Hopeless people do hopeless things! They kill, they steal, they destroy themselves and others, they abuse drugs, they lie, they cheat, they abuse animals and people, they traffic people, and they terrorize entire neighborhoods or nations. Hopeless people do hopeless things! If we, the church, can give them the hope that is only found in Jesus – imagine not only what this would do for these people, created in His image, but what it would would do for the crime rate in our cities, our nation and the world! Can you imagine the blows dealt to evil? I can!
Church, we need to stop counting heads and get busy with the business of the gospel. Too many lives are at stake to do otherwise. It is time to go into the highways and the byways, into the streets and under the bridges, into the crack houses and out into the places no one wants to go and take the Hope of the World – Jesus Christ to those who are in self-made prisons – who sit in darkness without light. It is time, for time is running out! Isaiah 61:1; The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…
Bringing the Hope and Light of the World, Elizabeth