My friend John was walking through an area in the Middle East that was full of trash. There were papers, glass, bottles, and plastic all scattered along the road and in empty lots. In the near distance was smoke of people burning debris. Then the Lord spoke to him and said, "John, what do you see?" "Lord, I see hope and salvation!"
John is one of the most humble men I know, yet so full of power and wisdom because he spends time with the Lord daily allowing Him to teach him Kingdom principles. He said "CarolMarie, it's what we focus on that matters".
When I watch John I see how Jesus would act. It is a blessing to peer into his way of life! One day he and his wife were sitting in a vehicle that the partners of Anna's Gate help provide for ministry. A Muslim lady jumped in the car with them wanting some money. Instead of being frightened or offended he let her know he couldn't give her money but that he could help her. He then called an Arab lady that could speak to her about a women's meeting in a couple days. Amazingly she came to the meeting! We welcomed her with open arms, shared inspiring Arab music, an encouraging word and a fabulous meal fixed for a queen. We watched the "Jesus" (that John so wonderfully portrays) flow through precious ladies changing these women's lives! Love is universal and it's the heart of God! It never ever fails!
"Love has long patience, is kind; love is not emulous [of others]; love is not insolent and rash, is not puffed up, does not behave in an unseemly manner, does not seek what is its own, is not quickly provoked, does not impute evil, does not rejoice at iniquity but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;......And now abide faith, hope, love; these three things; and the greater of these [is] love."
(1 Cor 13:4-8a, 13.)
These ladies heard a story about a Moabite (present day Arab) named Ruth who loved Naomi, a Jew. Through this love Naomi introduced her to the Redeemer who brought "hope and salvation" to two widows that desperately needed it, (Book of Ruth). This picture is an example of the "one new man" God is fitting together around the world, a body He has called us to. It is not an option, it's His heart and design! (Eph 4)
In order to be fitly joined together in His body, we must love! I challenge you today to set aside all your pre-conceived feelings and judgments and lay them at the foot of the cross. Let's choose to focus on hope and salvation instead of the debris that tries to clutter our minds with unloving judgements! Let's focus on the One who is our
Hope and Salvation and the One this world needs! It's what we focus on that we move towards and draw others towards! You don't have to jump into a car in the Middle East to experience it, but if you do, it may be one that is driven by Jesus' love!