And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself – John 12:32.
Hello everyone, July has been a special month for me. I had a birthday on the 8th and spent it quietly at home with my son. I’d like to say it’s because of Covid, but I think it’s exactly how I would have spent it anyway, pandemic or not. I love my home and I love being home. It’s my favorite place and I have been super blessed and extremely privileged to be able to stay safe within its confines for about 3 months now. This pandemic-related break has resulted in both my son and I being home instead of somewhere out there crisscrossing states and globe trotting around the world. As such, we have had lots of quiet time together to talk about the things of God during our daily bible studies.
I have the best news to share. On my birthday, this affable young lad, my son Jan, decided to join me in taking the more excellent way , that of love ❤️. He is my first won soul, so his salvation begins my journey in fulfilling the Great Commission given by the resurrected Christ to spread the gospel to all the nations of the world. What a privilege that my first won soul gets to be that of my son! God really is faithful.
As it is often said, our homes are our first mission field. This truth settled in my heart back when I trusted the Holy Spirit’s leading and rebranded as Loving Lair, with the goal of making my home a witness to God’s great love; for God is love. In accepting the call to the Great Commission, my personal challenge was for God’s loving kindness to permeate my loving lair all the days of my life. Everyday I wake up and walk around my house praying for peace within its walls, I pray for an absence of worries, fear, doubt, anger, sadness, all of which are whispered lies from the enemy of our soul. I invite in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control -which are all the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
The greatest compliment one can pay another has to be one based on eternal values that outlast our mortal lives; our character is what I have in mind when I write this. My son surprised me by stating that though he has many questions about the faith, my witness is what ministered to him. When Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:2 that ‘you are our epistle (letter) written in our hearts, known and read by all men‘, I never would have guessed that I would be included in that verse. It really is tru that we are the only bible some people will ever read, and if our witness is bad, we become a stumbling block to them and deny them a chance to know the Christ.
We are walking epistles, read by men. Our God is preached, not by what we say, but by what we do, i.e., how well we love others. My son watched me love despite and in spite of everything. He watched as I turned the other cheek, watched as God gave me the grace to give the metaphoric coat along with the demanded tunic. He saw me extend that very same grace I had received from my Father unto another that was desperately hurting. He watched me turn around and pour the love I’d received from my Father unto another. He watched me receive undeserved forgiveness from my Father and immediately extend the same undeserved forgiveness, unprompted, to another. He watched me hold my tongue in the face of much slander and mud-slinging; he knew the true story and he watched me leave the spreading lies go unchallenged. He watched me boldly approach the throne of grace for mercy, then turn around and give it all away to another. He was watching me choose to die to self daily in the hopes that another might get a chance at life through my witness.
I didn’t realize he was watching or that he understood. But he was watching the whole time. It is his testimony that his acceptance of this Christ of mine was solely on the strength of my witness to said Christ -that the peace I had, the quiet strength, the tempered joy, these convinced him that maybe, just maybe, God cares about humanity at the individual level, for such a transformation cannot be generated by man. And as the months turned to a year onwards, his conviction that this had to be an individual-God-thing took root and grew, culminating in his decision to walk this more excellent way of love. If everything I have been through was for this reason, I’d elect to go through it again and again for the chance of the salvation of another. There’s a rainbow after the storm, a silver lining to every cloud, and my son’s salvation is my first most meaningful one along with that of my own salvation.
Below are some verses that speak about our call to witness:
- Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
- Acts 1:8 – and ye shall be witnesses unto me…unto the uttermost part of the earth
- Acts 22:15 – for you shall be his witness unto all men of what you have seen and heard
- Matthew 28:19 Go forth and teach all nations…
- Isaiah 43:10 – You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen…
- Acts 4:20 – for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
- Proverbs 14:25 – A true witness delivers souls…
- Philippians 2:15 – shine as lights in the world…
- Acts 10:42 – And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he who is ordained of God to be judge…
I am by no means perfect. My son still sees me miss the mark from time to time. He knows when I’m irritated. He feels it in his bones when I am fearful. He chides me when I fret or doubt. He holds my hands and prays for me when he senses I am sad. By God’s grace, I’m lucky that in my grasping the message of grace, I have communicated this to him effectively. When I get it wrong, I repent to God and ask my son for forgiveness; he knows my worst fear is to be a stumbling block on his path, for this is what Jesus says about that while talking to his disciples in Luke 17:1 – Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.
A life of being a witness is not about perfection (think David, think Abraham, think Moses, think Peter etc.) Instead, it is a life of walking softly with God; repenting when we miss the mark; yielding our hearts to the Holy Spirit to work transformation in our hearts. It is a life devoid of pride; a life of forgiving and asking for forgiveness one to other; a life of striving for joy in every circumstance; a life of obedience by believing God’s providence in the gift of His son as a substitutional sacrifice for our sins; a life of tenderly giving of ourselves to Him in worship and surrender. It is a life of walking close to God and learning to become His friend. This is how I strive to live my life everyday, waiting on my Lord and patiently listening for His voice to guide me.
Psalm 127:3-4 – Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. I am nothing more than a steward to this child I call mine, for he truly is God’s child. Psalm 68:5-6 tells us that God is a Father to the fatherless. As such I must be diligent in caring for him within the constraints that God has established in His word -those of love, compassion, forgiveness, and above all, that judgment and vengeance are sacred domain for the Father only -ours is to love all peoples just as they are. I’m now fully immersed in learning apologetics (which I’ll expound on in the next post) for I have no doubt questions will arise and I’ll need to be prepared to answer them soberly so he can be deeply grounded in the faith as shallow roots never really take. Here’s to defending the faith that has rescued us and overwhelmed us with love untold! ❤️