This is a true story about two different children, in two different cities, in two different families, living their two different lives.
Before I tell you about the children, I want to tell you no word, no relationship, no Bible story is ever wasted. God promises us that His Word will never return void. It will always accomplish what He determines it is to accomplish.
Isaiah 55:11 – In the same way, my words leave my mouth, and they don’t come back without results. My words make the things happen that I want to happen. They succeed in doing what I send them to do.
Here’s what happened with the first child. I was holding my two-year-old granddaughter one day. I was wearing an old Vacation Bible School t-shirt and I really hadn’t given much thought about what I was wearing. She looked at it and said, “Grandmama, dat’s church.” On my shirt were words and a T in one of the words had been made to look like a cross. I was so proud of her for making the connection. I agreed with her and said, “Yes, it is church. We love to go to church. We see our friends, and play, and sing songs about Jesus.” This child will never remember a time when she didn’t go to church. I pray she will always desire to go to church. I pray she will come to know Jesus at an early age and will follow Him all of her life.
Now the second child. A friend told this story to me about a friend, of a friend, of a friend. The family was driving north on I65 one day. They were traveling for a short vacation. Mom, dad and two children, ages eight and six, were passing the time looking out the windows. As they passed our church, the oldest asked, “Why is there a T in front of that building?” I don’t know the exact conversation that followed, but the parents realized that their child had no idea what a church was and what a cross represents. To rectify this situation, they sent their children to Vacation Bible School that summer. I don’t know if they now attend a church where they live, or if they continue to send them to a VBS.
What I do know is we don’t live in the ‘Bible Belt’ anymore. While there may be a church on every corner, not everyone attends a church. Outside our safe bubble of ‘church friends’ lives a lost world without the first clue that they are lost and they have no idea where to find the answer. We are to share the love of Jesus through our words and actions. We don’t have to go to China or Africa to find the lost. They may live next door. They may work in our office. They may be at the playground with their children. They may scan our groceries. They are all around us.
We have the answer, JESUS! If your neighbor were dying of thirst, you would give them water. If your co-worker were starving, you would give them food. If you saw someone freezing in the snow, you would give them a coat. If someone asked for directions, you would tell them the way. We know the Way, the Truth and the Life and His name is Jesus.
1 Peter 3:15-16a But have reverence for Christ in your hearts, and honor him as Lord. Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, but do it with gentleness and respect.
Be Jesus in this world.
(Special thanks to guest contributor Kelley Cornelius for this important reminder!)