|"Tell yourself every person's life is worth it."|
FROM THE SPIRIT: Do we pray them into a church? Or to know Jesus? Who will love the unlovely? Who will lift up the man on the side of the road? I'm talking prayer here. Give your shirt if it is needed but do not simply give and walk away. Do more than give and mark them off your list.
We aren’t supposed to be saved. Paul was a Pharisee and a Jew sent to lead Gentiles to Christ. Peter, Jesus’ disciple, dreamed the Spirit had come for the Gentile also. Many of the Jews would not receive this revelation. Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians were Gentile churches in pagan cultures. Rome, which hated the Jews, which put Christians into battles against wild animals, became the founder of largest Christian church. Rome arrested Paul and put him to death. Rome hung Peter upside down. James became a martyr because of Rome. Only John lived a full life, and he was exiled. A culture full of demonic ideals and false gods developed into a worship of the living God that is now 17.9% of the world population (2021).
A Jewish Savior died for people who didn’t believe in or like the Jews. So who do we exclude? Who do we choose to skip over because we are “headed somewhere” and are “too busy” or they “dress funny” or, or, or? Which face do you see that you cannot forget? Which one did you work to forget? Jesus pictured us as salt. Salt is sprinkled all over the plate. We don’t eat from the saltshaker after we’ve consumed the meal. We don’t consume the meal and ignore the salt either.
Every minute of every part of our day should be full of God. We don’t have Christian moments in the pew or in our secret place with God then “everyday” ones when we go to work or to the football game. We take the presence of God with us everywhere. Jesus said He was on the way to His Father, so we become the witnesses. Not so that we shove the gospel into the face of everyone we meet, but that when people are near us, they feel Jesus. They feel the peace of God, and maybe they can’t explain it, but they know something’s different about us.
“My mission here is almost complete, and I will no longer stay in this selfish world, but they will remain to carry the Remedy throughout the world.” (John 17:11 Remedy)
In the marketplace, God will show up. We “go ye” into the world, not to become a part of it, but to carry into the worldly structure, God’s Presence. We are carriers of the Spirit of Jesus, which draws all men unto it. Not necessarily to approach anyone and say anything, unless the Spirit urges it. But, I cannot tell you the number of times I have entered the local grocery store and had the Holy Spirit leap within me to pray for that one I just passed. People have extreme needs and many of them never get any prayer at all. Who is praying for that couple that crossed the street in front of me? What about the youth walking down the sidewalk with his pants around his hips? Can I see past the exterior and pray for his heart?
Minister Bill Johnson, in speaking of the parable of the Sower pointed out that in that day, the seeds were strewn on the soil and then the plow turned them under. Today, we do the opposite, we tend the soil in order to bury the seeds. But in light of Jesus’ words, we can know the gospel seed that we present, alongside our prayers, our kindnesses, our gentle hellos, in the Spirit’s care, be turned under and begin to grow. We may not ever see the answers. We may never know how that one was helped, but when we lean into the Holy Spirit, when we learn His voice and become aware of Him, we will know we did all that He asked us to do.
Our prayers open doors that no man can shut, and they close doors that people would have fallen into. We can make a difference in people who may never go to church otherwise. Our buildings help us celebrate Jesus, but sometimes, the idea of them runs people away. Other times, the building may draw people in, but that one who enters has no idea what he is doing, what we are doing. Minister Jesse Duplantis tells about his first experiences in a church. He was a rock musician, a heavy drinker, and a drug abuser. He stood there, dressed as he was, and the comments he received sent him out the door. They were willing for him to play the piano and to give his money but were critical of how he looked.
A butterfly begins as a caterpillar. Ask yourself how that one would be in heaven. Ask yourself who they’d be in the presence of God here on earth. Then tell yourself every person’s life is worth it. We are the temple of the Holy Ghost. We carry His Presence with us wherever we go. There should be no separation between who we are when we sing to Him at church and who we are at the local restaurant. Our worship is more than songs, it is our actions. We worship God by showing who He is with the smile on our face and the felt presence of our Savior. In that someone says to us, “You are always so happy,” and our joy makes a difference in them, we have become the light set upon a hilltop. The light isn’t screaming, “LOOK AT ME!” but simply shining as it is created to do.
But to carry His presence requires our awareness of Him and our determination to let go of everything else that would muffle it. Every single day before I leave home, I say, out loud, “Let them feel your presence in me, and if they should ask the reason of the hope that is within me, I know you will give me the words I need for that person in that hour.” Then when I have an opportunity to be distracted by things that would put something besides Jesus in me, I turn it off. Because it just could be, tomorrow, there will be that one who no one prays for, and I can show them they are loved. I can, through my actions, show them a man named Jesus, Son of David, Son of God, lives inside of me.
“When the Helper comes, whom I will send as my representative to you from the Father—the Spirit of Truth—he will work to reveal me. And you must also work to reveal me, because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry and now understand my purpose and mission.” (John 15:26-27 Remedy)
“But make Christ the center of your heart, mind and character. Always be prepared to talk about God’s character of love, as revealed in Jesus, to anyone who asks why you are hopeful in the face of persecution, trial, and difficulty. But be sure to do it with gentleness, kindness and respect, with a pure heart and clear conscience.” (1 Peter 3:15-16 Remedy)
Suzanne D. Williams, Author