Acts 28 :31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
1 Thess 2:2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.
Luke 10:27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
This post has been on my heart the last couple of days because of a message I heard my father preach on Sunday morning and then an encounter with God working on Sunday night.
The sermon Sunday morning was one that stirred up much conviction in me and afterwards much introspective thinking. He preached on loving each other. Doesn’t sound threatening, however, when you are asked to think about someone you would not want to say ” I love you” to, and you can think of not just one but several, there may be a problem. This was the case with me. I justified it at first with the thought, well, I wouldn’t ever have to tell these people I love them, ….. well, I am sure you know, that didn’t please the Holy Spirit. I moved on to, ” It’s not that I hate them, I just don’t care for them”. Yeah… that didn’t work either. So, Deanna, what does it mean to “love your neighbor as yourself?” This is something, that has been left heavy on my heart since Sunday morning.
Sunday Night… I had a late flight back home. At the beginning of the flight, I was an emotional mess as I HATE saying goodbye to the people I love! However, I felt God pulling my attention to Him, so I put on my Ipod and got my bible out of my bag. I started reading in Proverbs and Psalms and it was one of those awesome times where the words were leaping off the page and straight into my heart do the sanctifying work that only God can do through His word. I was sitting, reading, and journaling, feeling the fire being fanned into flame! Shortly after we are in the air, the stewardess, who spoke very broken english, started making her rounds. As she got to me, her face lit up as she looked down and saw the bible on my lap, she gave me the peanuts and walked on. At once I felt drawn to her, which turned to a pounding in my chest to give her a small purse sized bible I had recently purchased. Instead of immediate acceptance, I questioned whether this was from the Lord or just me. ( Silly, like my flesh or the enemy wants me to do such a thing .) I went on with my reading and journaling, finished up and closed my bible, Sitting listening to worship, I dozed off. I awoke to her standing over me announcing that I was cold. Now, if you know me at all you know that I am ALWAYS cold, but on the aircraft… good grief! It was freezing! She handed me a blanket but as I started to recieve it, she decided that she would cover me herself! I laughed and told her thank you, to which she replied with a huge smile! As soon as she walked away, again the pounding in my spirit. This time I did not question, I reached down into my purse and pulled out my small bible. I looked at it knowing that I was to mark it some way and was wondering if I should give her my phone number or address. This was a quick answer from the Lord, as “no, turn to John and put the ribbon in place, tell her to start reading there”. “Ok, Lord”, I said, “this is your thing”. : ) As we landed I let everyone else off the plane first and then made my way towards the exit. As soon as she turned and saw me she again lit with joy. I took her hand and told her that I wanted her to know that I was blessed by her gentle spirit and I had something for her. Her eyes grew large as I handed her the small bible. She held onto the small book and onto my arm with a vice grip. Her eyes looked up at me and saw tears that filled to the brim aand started flowing from them. She told me in very broken english that she had met the Lord two weeks ago and did not have a bible. She prays all the time, but did not have the ” words of God”. My heart was overwhelmed with love for this dear sister in the Lord! I showed her where I had marked the bible and told her to start reading there. She answered with her head nodding quickly. I then asked her where she was from and she answered “Turkey”. The pilot started wanting to get out of the cockpit, so I told her ” God bless you” and started to leave. She grabbed my arm again and asked that I pray for her as she flies, pointed at her name tag and pronounced her name for me. Tears were in both of our eyes as I walked away amazed at what God had just done.
My lesson for this week has been, that to share the love of Christ with others, we must be willing to have a equal measure of Boldness and Love. Without Love, boldness is hateful, without boldness, love goes no where.
Pray for me, as I pray for you ,that I will continue to share with equality of both of these charateristics.