Lately God has reminded me of several “life giving truths” that I heard early on as a brand new baby Christian. These were the take-away thoughts that our pastor wanted us to remember, if we remembered nothing else after his message:
“My strength comes from clinging to Jesus.”
“Even I can be used by Jesus.”
“Every part of my life has meaning.”
“Everything is better God’s way.”
“Worship is never about me.”
“Everyone matters to God.”
And this life-giving truth, the one whispered over and over in my heart …..
“The only thing that matters is people finding Jesus.”
The only thing that matters is people finding Jesus. The path to discovering my need for a savior was a long, crooked one. Looking back now, I can see how God used people and situations (including my past and wrong choices) to point me to this realization. In this world we are influenced by what our culture says is necessary, good and right. We are driven by “self”, our own human desires to be loved, accepted, successful, admired, happy. Regardless of race, age, gender, upbringing, nationality or education I think we all basically want the same thing. So we go through life seeking purpose, community, happiness, success, love.
The problem is that the ways we typically go about this can never satisfy our souls. In pursuing love, we often make a relationship the center of our affection. In pursuit of purpose, some of us become work-a-holics, with jobs becoming the priority. In the desire for acceptance, there’s danger of falling into a circle of friends that cheer us on into unhealthy attitudes and behaviors. In pursuit of success, we can become focused on getting more and more, new, bigger, better, shinier stuff.
It took me a long time to realize that no significant other, no job, no friend, no material possession would ever fill the place inside me that that God designed to be filled by Him. Truly, the only thing that matters is people finding Jesus.
Back then, when I was still in spiritual diapers, our pastor had us survey people who might be seeking, atheist or agnostic. Based on all the responses he then designed a sermon series called “Burning Questions”, and we were encouraged to invite the ones we surveyed to come hear their question answered. I was so nervous! What if I had to defend my faith? What would I say? I did have someone in mind, so scared as I was, I took the survey to work and asked if he would’t mind filling it out. I still have his responses in my bible. His questions were answered on 5/16, but he wasn’t there to hear them. I wasn’t equipped to answer his questions then, I am better equipped now.
** See the sermon on 3/21? The irony is not lost on me. That’s the day we decided to do things God’s way. **
My path to finding Christ was a long, broken one, but I thank God for His patience, mercy and grace … because I finally got there. I save this slip of paper in my bible because one day I hope to celebrate, that the one I prayed for will have all his questions answered, and from that new life will begin. Because the only thing that matters is people finding Jesus.