I mentioned in my blog earlier this week about the challenges faced by the people groups I am praying for. FYI the prayer letter comes from the Joshua Project and I can’t recommend highly enough that you get involved with their ministry. In all honesty it at times gets tedious praying day after day almost the same prayer and then I try to remember to turn to God for inspiration because they aren’t just faceless groups to Him – He knows each one intimately by name, by their tears and even the number of hairs on their heads.
So, this morning I was praying for today’s group and, just as it does almost daily, it said:
To follow Jesus in a Buddhist culture is to risk losing family, friends and status.
I prayed they would be touched by the love of God enough to be willing to leave all and follow Him. Then I prayed for Christians to feel called to leave their homes and go and share Jesus with these people – again as I pray every day whether it be a long-term mission, a vacation or by neighbouring people.
I am not obtuse, I see the challenge and as I pray for these people I pray for myself that I too will put the Gospel above everything else and be willing to sacrifice my reputation, friends, family as I stand with Jesus. Sometimes that prayer even lasts until lunchtime… I want it to last past lunchtime and this morning as I prayed I said a phrase that is still resonating in my heart. It’s not my phrase it’s something I heard a long time ago but I think it’s as important today as it was when it was inspired.
We’re all just change in Jesus’ pocket. He can spend us any way He wants to
I belong to a generation that had change in their pocket, before we charged everything, before we went cashless so the idea of loose change that could be popped into a vending machine, given to someone on the street, used to pay for parking, left in a tip tray, dropped down a grate, found in the washer is not strange to me. Panhandlers stand beside transit stations with signs saying “loose change please”, or they wander at intersections hoping for a wound down window and a dollar handed over. I used to keep one and two dollar coins in the ashtray of the car for just such occasions. I had a good idea where they’d be used and they were ready to be given.
God wants us to be like that – ready to be used by Him wherever and whenever he chooses, where He sees the need, where He decides we will best be used. The dollars didn’t sit in the car and tell me they weren’t going to be given to that guy – they wanted to be spent at Starbucks, or polished and set on a shelf where they could shine and be pretty. They were mine to use. That image of us as ‘change’ to be spent by God is completely contrary to our human nature. We want a say, we want to decide, we want.
We need to be change and to be changed.
Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to be a servant- to offer His life as a ransom for others.