Authenticity

Douglas VanBronkhorst

READ : Matthew 11:7-19

Wisdom is proved right by her actions. (v. 19)

The people Phil and Joyce serve have a religion. It’s very different from Christianity and generally those who practice it are hostile to the gospel. This religion has priests, and one of them, a young man in distinctive garb, was often present where Phil and Joyce were working.

He watched them with a dark face, clearly unhappy with them, their work, and their Christian faith. Still, he didn’t say anything, at least not in their hearing, until one day when he called Phil aside and asked, “Can you tell me more about this Jesus you keep talking about? I’ve been watching you for four years, wondering why you are here. At first I thought it was a way to make money somehow, and then I believed you were earning merit with God for yourselves. Now I know it’s because you love these people. I want to know more about your religion.”

That former priest is now a Christian and the evangelist on Phil’s well-digging team. It was four years of hard work before God broke through his spiritual and emotional defenses.

Serving Christ with difficult people requires patience. Often, they need to see the wisdom of the gospel in action for a long time before their hearts are opened.

PRAYER

Jesus, give me an expectant patience in my service, letting you be in charge of results. Amen.