“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
One summer I spent two weeks working in Western Europe in a predominantly Muslim community. The long-term Christian missionaries stationed there reached out to the neighborhood and provided social events and Bible studies for all ages. Moms of toddlers could come and have coffee during the day. The young men in the community could come and play billiards with the Christian men who served in the mission. I helped with a holiday club, much like a vacation Bible school for children.
I was amazed at how open these people were to hearing stories from the Bible. The missionaries had learned that presenting the gospel aggressively and telling them to convert to Christianity was counterproductive. Instead, they simply shared the message of hope found in the Bible stories and prayed for the Spirit of God to work and open doors in the hearts of the people so they could truly hear the gospel.
I learned a lot about Islam that summer. But the most powerful truth I learned was voiced by one of the ladies who worked with these people every day. She said, “In their religion, God is a tyrant waiting to crush them. They never hear that God loves them. Even if they don’t accept Christ now, maybe one day they will remember the stories and want to know more about Him.” Whether we're abroad or near home, we need to be nurturing friendships with people to help them see the hope that is in Jesus.
Lord, help me show genuine love to the people around me. And give me boldness when You open doors for me to tell them about you. Amen.
Consider how you might show God’s love to the people you encounter today. Ask God to make you aware of an opportunity today to show an act of kindness in Jesus name to someone who needs it. Need more encouragement? Watch the story of how Dan Baliski is impacting his community.
How have you seen God use you in your community? Share a comment. Inspire others.