Jennifer has served as a semester missionary in East Asia for the past few months. Here are her thoughts as she contemplates leaving those she has befriended and have yet to receive salvation.
How often do we pause to think about God's love for us? The depth of God's love that caused Him to take our debt so that we may live with Him forever. It is a love that we cannot fully understand until we begin to grasp the debt we owe.
Then, let the weight of such a gift give a desire for friends to accept His love also. With this love, it is nearly unbearable to watch friends hesitate to make a choice and watch them consider whether or not they need this gift. It can bring such pain. Leaving us asking, "Why wait to take a free gift of eternal life? Why not jump at this opportunity? It's a treasure hidden in a field that brings such joy that one is willing to sell everything to obtain such a gift!"
Many times our friends may say, "I like hearing about Jesus, and I think He is a good man. I just don't know enough about Jesus to trust that He is Dad."
Which is logical, right? Even Jesus Christ will tell us that a foolish man will begin to build a house before he counts his coins, but a wise man will count the cost and then decide. In the same way He encourages us to count the cost of following Jesus Christ before blindly committing. So there is the need to wait and study Jesus Christ when we first come to hear about Him.
However, we can not wait forever to make the choice. There comes a time when we must decide. Then, we will take all that we have and build our house. With this, Jesus Christ will say there are two foundations: one of sand and one of stone. One that will bring about ease and acceptance so that many will build on it. One that is difficult and more costly so that few will build on it. One that consistently falls into death. One that always sustains life.
So how do we equip our friends with enough information to build their home on Jesus Christ? How do we encourage them to know Jesus Christ and to trust that He is God?
God's answer, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the words of Christ" Romans 10:17. We are meant to simply speak the words of Jesus Christ. "I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me." Galatians 2:20a
He is the one that saves. He is the one that speaks to our friends and calls them to live. His breath gave Adam life in the beginning and brought the bones back to life in Ezekiel. We cannot live by any other method. Only the word of Jesus Christ can give life to our friends. So no matter what, we ought to keep talking about Him and quoting His life-giving words in hope that we get to see them come to life. In this life or the next. Letting the Word speak for itself. Remembering always, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit" Proverbs 18:21.
Jennifer, a recent University of Texas at El Paso graduate, is serving as a semester missionary in East Asia.