Saturday, September 1, 2007

And They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" John 13:35 (NIV).

Natalie, a Student Venture member, is a sophomore at Newman Smith High School. She plays volleyball and has a nice smile. Oh, and one more thing. She is a Christian.

Now, I don't simply mean that she calls her self a Christian, and I am not implying that she lives a sinless life. She doesn't walk around with a Bible strapped around her head or anything--no, she's a pretty normal teenager. Coach purses, boy issues and all.

Let me share a story with you, and you can draw your own conclusions.

School resumed this past Monday for Newman Smith students, and Natalie noticed that one of her friends, a fellow Student Venture member, had not bought any new clothing for the school year. So, she did what any normal Christian would do--she went to her room, looked at her own pile of new clothes, and thanked God that he had given them to her. She also sent a cursory prayer in her friend's direction, that God would take care of her financial situation.

No, it did not happen that way. What Natalie actually did was call her friend up and ask her what her favorite clothing store was. Then Natalie went out and bought a gift card from that store, and gave it to her friend. Two days ago, as I stood among an after-school crowd at Newman Smith, the girl who had received the gift shared with Tom, Brooke, and me, the story of what Natalie had done for her. There was a smile on her face, a smile that Jesus put there. But He used Natalie.

God calls us to come to Him through His Son and experience His love. He also calls us to demonstrate His love, and by it all men will know that we are His disciples (John 13:35). What a witness! The Bible says of the early Christians:

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer . . . .Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need . . . .And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved"
(Acts 2:42, 45, 47).
The Christians' love for one another was a witness that led to salvation. Pray with me that God will enable us this school year to reach Carrollton high school students not just through our words, but through our demonstration of God's love for one another.
Other Prayer Requests:
  1. Pray for God to direct our steps as we plan for our first outreach for the year--a pool party to welcome freshmen.
  2. Ask that we would keep our plans aligned with God's will as we map Carrollton campuses for ministry opportunities this school year.
  3. Please pray for me and other new staff or volunteers that will be coming onboard this year, as well as current Student Venture staff, that God would give us His vision and grant us the grace and humility to stick to it even when "results" are not apparent.

I love you all and I sincerely appreciate your partnership in ministry. I am truly blessed!

2 comments:

Matt said...

Ah Simi, these things are always on my mind! I feel that there are a good many things swirling in my mind right now and these themes are major stands. What a joy that God is working in such powerful ways in the hearts of young Americans. It makes me happy. I feel like I've almost forgotten what America is like - well I remember it just fine but I think only with an American mind so I'm just trying to anticipate a shock. It will be good to see you soon. I return in about 2 months now. When do you think I'll see you first?

David Crowder comes out with a new album this year :D and Hllsong is worth your money to buy!

love you,
Matthew :D

Rev Jonathan Lawoyin said...

Simi,
The Lord is doing an awesome thing through you. It is only the power of His spirit that can create such an interest in the 'youth group' such as the one you have. Iam sure the Lord will back you up. Praying for you.

Dad