Let me share a little back story with you all. I have been praying for quite some time that God would send me an older wise mentor, a woman after his own heart that I could just sit under, learn from and listen to for hours.
A few weeks ago a woman came to visit our little church. My husband and I went up and introduced ourselves and got to know her a bit. She was a widow to a former pastor. They had planted a church in the same state we were living in many years ago. She is now remarried and has her own little quilt and fabric shop she runs out of a cute little shed on her property.
Let me tell you this woman radiates Christ's joy like no one I have encountered before. I think I could just stare at her all day (awkwardly of course because why wouldn't it be?) and watch Christ's light shine through her as she speaks and interacts with others. I think I probably have kept her too long after church a time or two just to feel that joy. I want that. Don't get me wrong, I know Christ has given me His joy, I feel it, I love it. But, there was something so much deeper with her joy, so much time and experience with the Lord that had caused this joy. It was a kind of joy that makes you want to rush home and just sit in God's presence so He can continue to slap you in the face with more Jesus joy. In the most awesome way of course. Just being around this woman the few times I had and for the few minutes, I had made me crave God in such a way. I think I finally understand letting His light shine through us. I thought I understood it. But, no, I did not. People don't see me and say "Man, I need to run home and be with Jesus, I have got to get me some of that joy He is throwin out". Let's be honest with ourselves, do people say that about you?
Last week, my husband preached a sermon on leading people to Christ and being in the belly of the whale at times (there was a bit more to it than that but that was the point). After the service, my husband and I chatted with her again (because who in their right mind wouldn't want to talk to this woman radiating Jesus joy). She was telling us about a time when she was in the belly of a whale herself after her husband died and how she was in such a dark place she did not lead one soul to Christ during that time.
She said this to us with such conviction and heartache, I wanted to hug her. (I'm not a hugger, at all). Guys, I don't know if I have felt that convicted in a long time. I know it's not our job to get people to accept Christ, that is their choice. But, who in the world have I been a light to outside of my kiddos and church people? Who has said "I want that Jesus you have" to me in the last three years? Why am I not doing what He has called me to do?
Matthew 28:19 (HCSB)
"19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"
John 13:34-35 (HCSB)
34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this, all people will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.”
Am I loving people like Christ loves me?
I'm going to go all end times on you because its real and its coming. We need to have some urgency. People need to see and experience God's love. I need to stop being afraid to tell people about my incredible God I serve and so do you.
Let's get serious about this.