East Asia: Waiting to choose to follow Christ

Photo / https://www.flickr.com/photos/chad_k/

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How often do we pause to think about God’s love for us? The depth of God’s love caused him to take our debt, so we may live with him forever. It is a love we cannot fully understand until we begin to grasp the debt we owe. Then, let the weight of such a gift give a desire for friends to accept his love also.

With this love in mind, it is nearly unbearable to watch friends hesitate to make a choice. It is frustrating to watch them consider whether or not they need this gift. It can bring such pain. It leaves us asking: “Why wait to take a free gift of eternal life? Why not jump at this opportunity? It’s a treasure hidden in a field that brings such joy one is willing to sell everything to obtain such a gift.”

Many times, our friends may say: “I like hearing about Jesus, and I think he is a good man. I just don’t know enough about Jesus Christ to trust that he is God.”

It’s logical, right? Even Jesus Christ will tell us a foolish man will begin to build a house before he counts his coins, but a wise man will count the cost and then decide. In the same way, Jesus encourages us to count the cost of following him before blindly committing. So, there is the need to wait and study Jesus Christ when we first come to hear about him.

However, we cannot wait forever to make the choice. There comes a time when we must decide. Then we will take all that we have and build our house. Jesus Christ says there are two foundations for that hosue—one of sand and one of stone. One will bring about ease and acceptance, so many build on it. One is difficult and more costly, so few build on it. One consistently falls into death. One always sustains life.

So, how do we equip our friends with enough information to build their home—build their lives—on Jesus Christ? How do we encourage them to know Jesus Christ and to trust that he is God?

God answers, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the words of Christ” (Romans 10:17). We are to simply speak the words of Jesus Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Christ is the one who saves. He is the one who speaks to our friends and calls them to live.

God’s breath gave Adam life in the beginning and brought the bones back to life in Ezekiel. We cannot live by any other method. Only the word of Jesus Christ can give life to our friends. So no matter what, we ought keep talking about him and quoting his life, giving words in hope that we get to see them come to life—in this life and the next. Remember always: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue. And those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).

Jennifer, a University of Texas at El Paso graduate, recently completed five months as a semester missionary in East Asia, serving with Go Now Missions. Her last name is withheld for security reasons.

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