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Weekly Devotions - March 6, 2018

Deliberate Friends

“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus” (John 1:41-42, NIV 1984).

Before David retired from his practice of maxillofacial surgery, he worked closely with a friend who was a devout atheist. This physician friend did not love his wife. He told her so and she shot herself in the chicken coop after preparing his birthday cake, with a note telling him where he could find her. For years after, David sought to share the gospel, but his friend was not interested. One day David approached him again, “We haven’t had lunch in a long time. How about this week?” He was surprised and pleased as his friend answered, “That’s a great idea.” After an hour’s conversation, David told his friend, “You know, I was a devout evolutionist but I came to know the Lord and my life was changed.” His friend replied, “It’s amazing that you came to me with this message today. At 2 a.m. last night, my sister-in-law shared the gospel with me. I was lost and now I am saved.”

For most of us, the pathway to our salvation did not come as a single moment of great enlightenment, though we often remember it as such. For most of us, we came to salvation through many grace-touches throughout our lives, where God whispered to us through an experience, or shouted at us through pain, or tapped us on the shoulder at 2 a.m. through the words of a sister-in-law, or nudged us toward the cross in silence through the prayers of a friend. And then, one day, as if by a single stroke of lightening, we woke up to the truth of life. It’s the same with others whom we desperately wish to know the Lord. At some point in their journey toward Jesus, our prayers or our words or our act of kindness will be important in their salvation. But such words and prayers and kindness should come from a deliberate heart, so: Whom do I take to the Lord in prayer every day so that they might know Him? For whom in my personal encounters do I listen to the Holy Spirit for words to speak the gospel? Step by step, God is calling all men and women toward the cross. For many in this world, the step on which they have landed is mine.

Dear Father,
Create in me the desire that all my friends will come to you. Let that desire be molded into deliberate prayer, deliberate kindness and Spirit-guided words.