Saturday, July 29, 2017

A New Creation in Christ

This past Friday we had the wonderful opportunity to meet with our new Brother in Christ, J. All week we were unsure as to whether or not we would be able to meet with him due to our schedule as well as other factors. However, God provided us a way so that we could meet with J and disciple him before we leave the island. Our intention was to see where he was on a spiritual level as well as teach him about his duties as a new believer.
The first thing that we planned on talking with him about was how he needed to seek out lost souls and share the good news with them. Before we bring it up in conversation, he was already trying to talk about all of the things that God was doing in his heart. He told about a young woman that he had recently met that once claimed to be Christian. Recently, she moved away from her family and converted to Islam. J recognized that her story was very similar to his since he also claimed to be a Christian who converted to Islam. J said that he would share his testimony with her the next time that they met and that he had already begun sharing about how incredible God is. In less than one week of his salvation, he was actively seeking out opportunities to tell others about our amazing God.
When my team and I heard this, we were not only extremely excited for him, but we were also highly encouraged by his level of faithfulness to the Lord. J recognizes that he will get persecuted on this island for his faith and that he may even be killed. He is being smart about how he shares with others, but he is also not afraid of the consequences that he may face as a Christ follower. His love for Jesus is far greater than any situation that he could ever face in this lifetime and he knows that Christ is worth suffering for.
After hearing about how he is relentlessly pursuing Christ in all of his ways, we wanted to make sure that he knew how to effectively share the Gospel with nonbelievers so that they would be without excuse on judgement day. Immediately he said, “God is with me wherever I go. He will guide me where I need to go and tell me what I need to say.” J meant what he said with his whole heart. He believed fully that the Spirit would help him in every situation. This was a beautiful response but we still wanted to see if he knew what needs to be shared in every Gospel conversation. J then began to share with us what he thought should be shared with every nonbeliever. After hearing his response, we were astounded at how well he shared the Good News with us. We believe with our whole hearts that God is going to use J to do wonderful things for the kingdom.
J has been such an inspiration to me and my team and we pray that one day we could develop a love for Christ as J has. We ask everyone back home to pray for our new brother in Christ, J. We ask not for protection from persecution, or for trials and tribulations to be removed. We pray that God would grant him boldness to speak without fear, without doubt, with power and with authority. We pray that God will surround him with a Christian community that will love and encourage him. J will be used to advance the kingdom of God and we have no doubt about it. However, he still needs our daily prayers in order to persevere through the trials that he will face.
I hope that J’s faith encourages each of you as it did for me and my team. J is willing to give up everything for the Lord. His family… his friends… his belongings… his life… Everything that we have both physical as well as spiritual was granted to us by God. We must cast everything that he has given to us back at his feet. We must give all that we have… all that we are to Christ. Jesus paid the ultimate and perfect sacrifice for us. He died so that we may live even though we are all so undeserving and unworthy. Should we not live entirely for him because of what he did for us. If we truly love Christ like we say we do, then why do we as Christians not live like it?
I pray that everyone back home, as well as me and my team live by this. God deserves everything that we have and nothing less. Let us give Him our hearts and surrender ourselves to him. We thank each and every one of you for your continued prayers for me and my team as we have been on this beautiful journey together. Today I ask that you don’t just pray for our team, or even the people that we come in contact with. I ask that you also pray for one another. That each and every one of us would surrender ourselves to God and allow him work through us. Together we will seek him, together we will praise him, and together we will do the work that God has placed before us.
Jeremiah 29:13 “you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

-Caleb W