|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Resilience”
Our Bible verse for today: “As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” Luke 1:44 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Let’s work for long-term solutions”
Yesterday I made the case that crisis pregnancy centers are a more effective and more Christ-like way of dealing with the abortion issue than are demonstrations outside an abortion clinic. Crisis pregnancy centers require an exponentially greater level of commitment than do demonstrations, but in terms of making a substantial long-term difference for the cause of Christ, there’s no comparison in the results. Today I want to tell you a story about an even greater level of commitment.
My Peruvian friend Inocencio was at one time the Governor of the province of Ancahuasi, high up in the Andes Mountains of Peru. It was a remote region that consisted of a few large towns and many small farming villages. In addition to being the Governor, Inocencio was also a part-time pastor and church-planter. In his off-hours he traveled from village to village visiting the people, getting to know them, meeting their special needs, preaching the Gospel, and starting churches. Eventually he resigned as Governor so he could commit his full attention to being a pastor and church-planter.
One day Inocencio and his wife Bertha heard about a sixteen-year-old girl in one of the villages who became pregnant. Her father insisted that she abort the baby or he was going to throw her out of the home and disown her. Inocencio and Bertha went to the village, found the girl, and begged her not to abort the baby. They offered to take her into their own home, care for her while she was pregnant, pay all of her medical expenses, adopt the baby once he was born, and then help the girl to get started in a new life.
Inocencio and Bertha did all of that. The baby was born (a boy named Josue – pronounced “ho-sway”), they did adopt him, and today Josue is a happy and healthy teenager who is growing up to be a fine Christian man like his father.
What a tremendous level of commitment and investment on the part of Inocencio and Bertha! They could easily have simply found that young pregnant girl, given her a little lecture about the sanctity of life, read some Bible verses to her, prayed for her, and gone on their way. Instead, they backed-up their faith with meaningful and substantial action and as a result, a baby lived instead of died. (I like to imagine that when Inocencio and Bertha showed up on that first day and made that offer to the baby’s mother, Josue jumped for joy in the womb at the sound of their voices, just like the baby in Elizabeth’s womb jumped for joy in Luke 1:44).
My point – with this story, and the one from yesterday, and the two days of devotional messages before that, is that resilient Christians take the time and make the effort to be involved in the problems in our society in meaningful ways that really do advance the cause of Christ. These long-term efforts are never quick and easy, and they seldom provide the feelings of instant gratification that come from a noisy demonstration. Instead, long-term efforts that truly do make a meaningful difference require dedication, commitment, discipline, restraint, and yes, resilience.
I encourage all of us to have the commitment and patience to do the things that which, although they may be much harder and take longer, will, in the long-term, truly advance the cause of Christ in our nation.
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