Archives For disciples

Cross

Keeping Christ central

A weekly series from HOPE’s director of spiritual integration

In a recent staff devotions, I asked our team a simple question: “How many of you have thought sometime today, ‘God really loves me’?”

Everyone in the room had John 3:16 memorized, knew other verses about God’s immeasurable love, and could chime in on “Jesus Loves Me” in the time it takes to say flannelgraph. So every hand shot up, right? In actuality, four hands out of 30 went up. Only four.

And this isn’t unique to HOPE. In asking this question to dozens of followers of Jesus, I hear the same thing:

I just don’t think much about God’s love for me on a daily basis, and if I’m honest, I struggle to believe it.

This struggle isn’t usually due to lack of information. We know God’s love led to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. But our conviction that God’s love secures our salvation doesn’t always translate into confidence that He really wants us near Him today. It’s like we are playing the old game of “He loves me”—pull off a petal—“He loves me not”—pull another one, laughing at our foolishness even as we hope for some feeling of certainty.

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HOPE Rwanda

Keeping Christ central

A weekly series from HOPE’s director of spiritual integration

  • In Asia, one HOPE client led 38 people in her rural village to Christ in two years.
  • In the Philippines, another woman built relationships with over 100 people who now come with her to Sunday church services.
  • A woman in California with only a second-grade education has started discipleship groups that are now reaching hundreds in her community.

If we’re honest, stories like these produce a mix of emotions for many of us. On one hand, we’re encouraged, inspired, and thankful. But in that same moment, there is often a subtle whisper:

I could never do that.

Do you ever feel that way? That stories of amazing transformation must come from uniquely gifted people who have figured out just the right methods to share Christ?

At HOPE, spiritual impact comes as God uses staff and clients to reach others. And just like you and me, these men and women realize they are imperfect messengers. They have family challenges, financial pressures, and personal battles with sin. The enemy works hard to tempt them to think, “I can’t really help others follow Jesus. I can’t be bold. Someone else, someone better, should do that.”

But freedom, boldness, and multiplication are exactly what God desires.

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