Application of things learned
Recently I wrote about and suggested ways to remain faithful. There is a three step process that I heard in a sermon while visiting the church our son and family attend. Over the past month I have pondered the steps and have put them into practice. Perhaps you have heard the term, “Practice what you preach!” Well, as my grandson says the information was, “in the front of my brain not the back”. I simply could just not get them out of my mind.
Here they are as a review then some personal experiences.
Three ways to remain FAITHFUL:
1. INTIMACY with God ~ Does your heart break for the same things as God’s? Talk with God about your life.
2. INTIMACY with God’s people ~ Other people are the tools that shape you. People need to know you and this makes you vulnerable. Intimacy is going to hurt yet in the process it is character building.
3. INTIMACY with lost people ~ We are all sent here as a mission. That is to tell the world about the saving grace of Jesus in a dangerous place without God.
First things first, I spend more time with God. During my life I have learned that God wants my attention. He gets it ~ one way or the other and it is always best to pay close attention to what God wants not what I want. In this process God points out to me and I become more aware of the fact that I do not spend quality and meaningful time with God’s people, my Christian friends.
So, to be more tuned in to others I have become a better listener; listening to my friends, my Christian friends; hearing their stories; their lives; paying attention to them.
And to be more aware of the need to be intimate with people who are lost. A Bible verse addresses this. I Timothy 2:1 states, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.” Yes, it says, “all people”. Not just the Christian friends or the people we know best and want to spend time with, but all people, especially ones who do not know Jesus.
Here is how this verse appears in the Message translation of the Bible, "The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.” Wow, I need to not only listen to my friends more and better, but I need to pray for them as I become more aware of things happening in their lives.
As a commissioned missionary I am open about my faith in God. People around me are aware of this and often I am asked to offer a prayer. This happens at all kinds of events. It can be at a community 4th of July celebration or a birthday party. And even more often when I talk to people and they share something traumatic in their life I offer to pray for them and they always say yes. So I pray for them right then.
This month our neighbor celebrated her 96th birthday. Family gathered from all over the world for a family time of celebration. We know her daughter who lives in Singapore and before we had a meal she came to me and touched my arm to get my attention and asked, "can you offer a blessing?" Then she added, "my mom would like that!"
Last week while at a meeting at a business I walked by the office of a friend and stuck my head in the door to say hi. She asked me to sit down, so I did. After opening greetings she pointed to the door and asked me to close it. She obviously wanted to talk. She told me the sister she had cared for in the past year died the pervious day. She asked me to pray for her and the family. So we prayed for her, right then in her office.
This being intimate with God, His people and the lost who don't know Him is compelling me to be more aware of everyone around me. Perhaps you can do it too.
David M. Kealy
1 Timothy 1:12 is a life verse that led to our creating Reaching People far from God