In thinking over how the word “forgiveness” may have played out for me yesterday, I guess it would be at the Ladies’ Bible Study, which I still attend at our old church: the ladies have “forgiven” us for leaving to the extent that they wanted to know all about the church we’re now attending! Not that they were ever NOT forgiving… but they put ME to shame, since it took me quite awhile to want to hear about other friends’ new church when I was still going to the old one.
In this morning’s readings, both Matthew and Ephesians talked about false prophets and fruit: knowing them by their fruit, and Christians bearing the right fruit, etc. Two email newsletters both talked about Job… in Daily Hope I suppose the “fruit” of the trials that God allows (when we feel like asking “Why?”) is the growth of our faith. So the word for today: fruit! (And now you see how I do this. ;) )
Speaking of fruit, I’ve been saving this amazing story to tell you. “Did you know that there have been more large movements of Muslims coming to Christ in the last two decades than in the preceding fourteen hundred years combined?” (See David Garrison’s book, A Wind in the House of Islam.) One devout Muslim who lived in the US, was always “winning” his arguments with Christians. Until he met up with one particular Christian in college–
“David didn’t react like other Christians I had challenged,” Nabeel said. “He did not waver in his witness, nor did he waver in his friendship with me. Far from it—he became more engaged, answering the questions he could respond to, investigating the questions he couldn’t respond to, and spending time with me through it all.”
Eventually Nabeel became an evangelist, even though he was rejected by his family. It was a difficult decision that took awhile to come to (which is quite reasonable when you consider the cost), but I’m sure his Christian friend never stopped praying!
Nabeel Qureshi’s book has recently been published: “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”.
“We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us!” (Ephesians 2:3-5)