10He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
14For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
(Psalm 103:10-14. ESV.)
Friday night, as I spoke to God on my drive home from bible study, I pondered to Him, “What do I look like to other people?” Am I a reflection of Christ Jesus? Do I glorify the Father as I was created to do?
I have to be honest, the souls of the unbelievers I know weigh heavily on me. I am not sure how to put my heart into words but there is a story that springs to mind. I know I have posted it on this blog before but here it is again, anyway.
I heard a story that touched my heart in such a way I almost began weeping where I sat as I listened. It was written by Michael Card, is quoted by John
Piper in his book SUFFERING AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD, and goes like this:
One day a Masai Warrior named Joseph was walking along an African road when he met someone who shared the gospel of Jesus with him....The power of the Spirit began transforming his life; he was filled with such excitement and joy that the first thing he wanted to do was return to his own village and share that same Good News with the members of his local tribe.
Joseph began going from door-to-door, telling everyone he met about the Cross of Jesus and the salvation it offered, expecting to see their faces light up the way his had. To his amazement the villagers not only didn't care, they became violent. The men of the village seized him and held him to the ground while the women beat him with strands of barbed wire. He was dragged from the village and left to die alone in the bush.
Joseph somehow managed to crawl to a water hole, and there, after days of passing in and out of consciousness, found the strength to get up. He wondered about the hostile reception he had received from people he had known all his life. He decided he must have left something out or told the story of Jesus incorrectly. After rehearsing the message he had first heard, he decided to go back and share his faith once more.
Joseph limped into the circle of huts and began to proclaim Jesus. "He died for you, so that you might find forgiveness and come to know the living God" he pleaded. Again he was grabbed by the men of the village and held while the women beat him reopening wounds that had just begun to heal. Once more they dragged him unconscious from the village and left him to die....
Again, days later, Joseph awoke in the wilderness, bruised, scarred--and determined to go back.
He returned to the small village and this time, they attacked him before he had a chance to open his mouth. As they flogged him for the third and probably the last time, he again spoke to them of Jesus Christ, the Lord. Before he passed out, the last thing he saw was that the women who were beating him began to weep.
That village is now a Christian village.
God I beg you, please save those unbelievers in my life! Not if it is my will, Lord, but yours! I plead with you on behalf of their souls! I want to spend this life (and eternity), with them, praising You! In Your Son’s precious name I pray this, Amen.