Welsh Faith Family,
I have a new challenge for you. This one doesn’t require you to spend any money or do anything that takes you out of your “comfort zone.” It simply requires a little time, discipline, and love.
I’d like for us to begin a new prayer initiative. If we truly love God, we will love the things God loves. And if we truly love what God loves, then we must love the broken and hurting people that God loves.
The Initiative: Pray and ask God to send us broken, hurting people to whom we can proclaim the gospel.
Loving broken, hurting people will not be easy. In fact, it will surely be messy and even exhausting; but if we love God, we must love those whom He loves. What they need more than anything (just as much as we continually need it) is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It won’t be easy, but it will be beautiful; and most of all, God will love it. Pastor Matt Chandler describes what it looks like to love broken, hurting people:
A key piece to anyone recovering from a broken and sinful world is an understanding of what the problem is. Everyone knows there is something wrong with the world, but what you think the problem is will determine how you try and solve it. Unfortunately, most people spend all their efforts on symptoms rather than the disease that’s causing those symptoms.
“Grace-Driven Effort” goes after the heart. I am always amazed at how so many people have separated their actions from their hearts. There is a reason you have a crummy marriage, lack patience, are always angry and addicted to ________________.
There is a reason you have to tear down other women constantly and why you feel led to point out their flaws and failures. The reason is you have a wicked, idolatrous heart. If you simply try to handle the symptoms without addressing your heart as the source of those symptoms you’ll never see sin mortified in you.
The only truly redemptive cure for hurting, broken people is the gospel of Jesus. Only Jesus’ work on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, and the power of God in His Spirit can bring true healing and redemption. Only God can renew and replace a “wicked, idolatrous heart.”
This is why we must begin to pray for God to send us broken, hurting people to whom we can proclaim the gospel.
Without the gospel of Jesus, these hurting, broken people will spend their lives trying to alleviate their pain and brokenness in their own power only to fail over and over again just like we have done time and time again.
They (and we) need Jesus and they (and we) need Him now, and not just so He can cure the disease and heal the brokenness (again part of the symptoms), but so that He can replace their (and our) wicked, idolatrous hearts with a new heart that longs for intimacy with God.
Will you join me in this prayer initiative? All it takes is some time and a heart for the people God loves. If we are the people of God we say we are, it won’t even be a burden. It will be our pleasure.
Prayerfully yours and His,