“I had the opportunity the other day,” Stan commented one morning, “to get to know a neighbor a little bit better through his personal testimony of how he came to faith.”
“It’s always great to hear another person’s personal testimony,” I replied.
“It is,” Stan said, “and I found my neighbor’s testimony to be particularly helpful in opening me to see how I might take the same approach.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“My neighbor told me that he and a colleague from work were on a business trip together. It seems that he and the colleague were also good friends. While my neighbor was not a Christian at that point, his colleague had recently come to faith and was talking to my neighbor about it one night over dinner.”
“It’s nice that he was open to sharing,” I commented.
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “And that is really the point of the story. My neighbor said that he was not particularly interested in what his friend was telling him, and that at one point he asked his friend why he was telling him about his faith. And what happened next is what helped bring my neighbor to faith.”
“What was that?”
“As his friend told him that he was concerned about his eternal destination and that they might end up in different places for all of eternity, a tear formed and rolled down his friend’s cheek.”
“Probably a tear from God!” I commented.
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “My neighbor said that his friend’s tear was the most precious statement of concern that he had ever seen.”
“Did he come to faith right then?” I asked.
“I don’t think that was the case,” Stan replied, “but my neighbor indicated that he couldn’t get his friend’s concern out of his mind and he soon began a serious pursuit that led him to becoming a Christian.”
“The power of being concerned about others,” I commented.
“You got it,” Stan replied, “And the apostle Paul said the same thing in his second letter to the church in Corinth, that he was concerned about the people in that church. To me this shows that I am to be equally concerned, not only for the people in the church, but especially for those who are not yet part of the church.”
“Be concerned,” I commented.
“That’s right,” Stan said. “Someone was sufficiently concerned about me to tell me the truth, and I am to do nothing less!”
Bible verses to consider:
Who is lead into sin without my intense concern? 2 Corinthians 11:29.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you were so concerned about my separation from you by my sin that you gave Jesus to provide the way into your eternal presence. Thank you, too, that you want me to be concerned about the eternal separation of others who do not know of your free and gracious provision. I confess that too often I do not express to others my concern about their eternal destination, as well as their life before they step into eternity. Please help me in following every step of your lead in expressing that concern out of the love you pour through me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious gift of salvation by faith? If no, why? What’s standing in the way? Do you believe that God was so concerned about your eternal separation form Him that He sent Jesus into the world for you? Why or why not? If you do have the assurance of salvation for when your time here is done, how are you doing with expressing concern to and for the people God brings into your life — concern over their eternal destination and life before then? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense some changes may be needed, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?