I got to see faith in action yesterday and, I’ve gotta tell you, I was blessed beyond words. I’ve also decided to quit saying that I’m not a very emotional person, opting instead for, “I don’t like to let people see me be emotional.”
Just over a week ago, we found out that one of my uncles has terminal lung cancer. Incidentally, this is the dad of the cousin who passed away recently. The night we found out, Brian asked me if I thought we should go talk to my uncle about his salvation, both of us being pretty sure that he wasn’t saved. I said I thought we should, but then we didn’t really say much else about it.
A day or two later, it came to my mind again while I was reading my Bible and praying. Visiting someone on their death bed to inquire about their salvation is out of my comfort galaxy, forget comfort zone. However, I prayed that, if Brian or I were meant to do this — if no one else would go — that God would not allow us to push it out of our minds.
Today, we visited the same church we’ve visited the last three weeks. The message was “Compelled by Love.” It was about loving others with a selfless love – love through which faith can act. Some of the scripture verses we read were:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6)
We walked out of church and Brian looked at me and said, “We need to talk.”
Then, he asked if I thought he should go and visit my uncle. I didn’t even hesitate in telling him yes. He explained that he had felt the unmistakable urging of the Holy Spirit to do so. That’s not something Brian says regularly or lightly.
I offered to go with him, but we didn’t really want to take the kids, so I stayed home with them. We were discussing his impending visit during lunch and the younger kids didn’t quite understand why Brian was going if he didn’t want to (read: was extremely uncomfortable in doing so).
I explained that, sometimes you are compelled by love to do things that may be uncomfortable or that you might not particularly want to do. As I told the kids, Jesus probably didn’t want to be nailed on a cross to die for our sins. As a matter of fact, Scripture is pretty clear in pointing out that He didn’t want to.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22:42)
I further explained that, if we believe what we say we believe, we can’t ignore God’s call to tell others about Jesus’ life, His substitutionary death on the cross, and His resurrection. That would be akin to knowing that a bridge was out and watching cars speed along to certain death and not trying to warn the drivers. Just as there is no way Brian or I would do that, there was no way we could ignore this opportunity.
Brian was worried that he wouldn’t have the right words to say and I couldn’t help but be reminded of Moses.
But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
And God said, “I will be with you. (Exodus 3:11-12)
Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Exodus 4:10-12)
My uncle accepted Christ yesterday.
His brother-in-law, my other uncle, said that he had asked some men from his church to come, but they hadn’t come yet. I’m not condemning them. Witnessing to someone can be an uncomfortable thing to do. However, if we believe what we say we believe, we have to let God use us. We have to forget about our comfort zones, our social status (Ex. 3:11), and our inadequacies (Ex. 4:10) because the truth is, it’s not about us. It’s about the one Who has loved us since the beginning of time. It’s about putting our faith in action through love.
Is it about being perfect? I absolutely hope not! If so, I’m in trouble, because I sure didn’t show Christ’s love to that lady at Krystal after we waited 15 minutes for those ridiculous little burgers. (That conversation did provide a nice teachable moment, though, about what is and isn’t self-centered, what is and isn’t loving others – a do’s and don’ts, if you will. *blushing*)
I think of the lyrics from one of my favorite praise and worship songs, Mighty to Save:
So take me as you find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender
Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is mighty to save,
He is mighty to save
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave
We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to be unafraid. We only have to be obedient – obedient to His call to salvation and obedient to His call to action.