Thursday, March 31, 2011

Never lose hope!

I want to write to all those who have prayed for your unbelieving family members, friends, and acquaintances and yet it seems to have been to no avail because that person has still not repented and trusted in Christ.  I want to share with you a story of a mother in our church.  Her name is Jannette.  Jannette was raised Jewish and had been a practicing Jew until 20 years ago when God graciously saved her and her husband Ray. 

Since coming to Christ, Jannette and Ray have prayed for Jannette's daughter Gaye, (Ray's step-daughter), that God would save her as well.  After God saved Jannette, Gaye had become somewhat disillusioned and confused.  Her mother had now abandoned the Jewish practices that she had once held dear and Gaye did not understand how such a change could happen so quickly.  It would be fair to say that she even held a certain amount of anger about the whole situation.  In any case, she remained a Jew in belief and stopped practicing.

For 20 years Jannette has prayed and pleaded with God to save Gaye.  She has shared the Gospel innumerable times with her in hopes that she would be broken over her sin and cling to Christ.  Twenty years of trying, twenty years with no results.

Two months ago, Gaye came to see me in my office.  She was asking questions about Christ.  Coming from a Jewish background, whom she had been taught Christ was is not who the Bible teaches Him to be.  So I answered them as best I could and after we'd finished talking she left and I gave her a couple of materials to look over. 

I  heard nothing for 2 months.  She called me yesterday and told me that the previous night (Tuesday), as she sat in her apartment thinking about what I'd shared with her.  Considering the Law and how that is God's standard and how we've broken it.  And then also the good news of the Gospel.  

She said that God finally brought her to the end of herself and that she had confessed her sin to Him and begged God to forgive her!  She had trusted in Jesus Christ and as she shared with me about it through the tears she spoke of a joy unexplainable that she now had and how she could tell that a burden had been lifted from her. 

I'm choking back tears myself even recounting the story.  A couple of things I want to share with you, brethren, to encourage you in your witnessing be it to family, friends, or strangers.

1.) Don't be discouraged!  God is still God!  He does things in His own time according to His own will and in His own way!  Your job is NOT to convert someone, it's to share the Gospel.  The power of God converts sinful souls.  Your job is to faithfully proclaim it.

2.) The lack of response from the person you witness to does not necessarily mean that you've failed or that you are unsuccessful.  Gaye had been prayed for by many many people for many many years before God broke her heart and saved her. 

3.) No matter how hard someone's heart may appear to be to us, no one can sin so far that they are outside the saving reach of God's grace.  Ours is not to determine who we think 'might' or 'might not' be saved one day, ours is to simply trust the One who gave us the message that we proclaim.

Keep praying for the lost, keep seeking them out, and keep sharing the whole Gospel with them!  And trust that God will do what is good and right.  You may never know the impact you have on others.  Then again, God may grant you the unique blessing of being used by Him to bring someone to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria,
j

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