"Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." - John 6:35
For quite some time now, my wife and I have been intentionally ministering to the neighbors in our apartment building.
Most keep to themselves, some avoid us it seems, but others have opened their doors to us. One in particular, a nonbeliever, has even shared his story with us, come over multiple times for dinner, and began attending church with us on a semi-regular basis starting around Christmas time.
Last week, this neighbor accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and is planning on being baptized on Easter morning. Praise God Almighty! Excited is an understatement to describe the level of emotion my wife and I feel for this friend. We are going to get to see him at that Heavenly Feast someday. Wow!
I must admit, I absolutely didn't expect "evangelism" to be as easy as mere hospitality. All my wife and I did was open our dinner table and our ears to him. And we patiently prayed for God to move powerfully in his life. That's it! God truly did the work here. We may have watered some seeds, but it is more than obvious that God did the growing in our neighbor's heart.
It didn't feel like we "did" that much at all. The night our neighbor accepted Christ, he thanked us. He thanked us. I didn't even know what to say in response! At first, I just hugged him - but I knew I could not accept total thanks from him. This was God's victory. He earned the glory. In that moment, I felt that the Spirit reminded me of a phrase that I heard for the first time during one of our morning staff devotionals at IDES:
"I'm just a beggar telling another beggar where to find the Bread."
Beautiful. I uttered the phrase and I was immediately humbled by the fact that God chooses to include us in His miraculous plan of redemption at all. He is a powerful enough God (the MOST powerful!) to accomplish His Kingdom plans without our help.
But, because of His deep love for His bride the Church, He does include us. He welcomes us into His life of generous, overflowing grace-gifting--forever filling our cup so that we may fill others' cups.
As Jesus-followers, we are the recipients of immense charity. We are beggars. Jesus is our Bread, our source of life. The least we can do is point other beggars in the right direction.
The grace He offers to us cost Him everything. As we approach the celebration of His resurrection, I think it's only appropriate that we pause to reflect on the fact that Jesus Christ is the BEST NEWS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
Do you grasp this? Do you see the utter beauty of the Gospel? Does it delight you to the fullest extent?
There's only one proper response that news as good as this requires: share it!
You've found the bread. It's a hungry world out there.
-written by Chase Cotten, Media Director at IDES