A Bible passage that first got my attention, when I wasn't a church-goer I might add, is found in Revleation 3:15-22. Back then I took some small pleasure in these verses when I applied them to others. What a challenge though as I applied the expectation to myself!
My personal story is that of growing up outside of the Church. I did not read the Bible, or pray, or attend church, or think anything about a Christian way of life. While in my late teens, and attending college, I found myself struggling with the meaning of life, my purpose here, and if there was a God. I did not have any background in religion of any type, but knew I needed something more than what I had. This went on for a year, and during that time I eventually found a deepening of relationships with some friends who attended a nearby church. These folk weren’t clergy, and they had their strengths and weaknesses as we all do, but they made real what I had not experienced and couldn’t imagine. They were honest, real, “flesh and blood” people that loved God. They spent time with me, invited me to meals, and invested themselves in my life. They didn’t push me about church, though when they did eventually offer that invitation it was an easy next step. It was through the personal relationships that I eventually grew into a Christian and a church member.
In retrospect, I see more clearly how they had to go “out of their way” to spend time with me. They let go of their agenda, added another risky relationship in addition to all their current friendships, and adjusted their calendars and expectations in all sorts of ways to add me to their lives. They went out of the way to be friends with me. And it has forever changed my life.
There are children and teenagers and families in every neighborhood of Augusta, Columbia County, and North Augusta that are just like I was. They have no faith, lots of questions, and only need a little time and our friendship. What is required of us in mission? We are called to build relationships of reconciliation as we love God and love our neighbor.
Here's another Charles Wesley hymn though you may not know this 1749 verse.
“Forth in Thy Name, O Lord”
1. Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go, my daily labor to pursue; thee, only thee, resolved to know in all I think or speak or do.
2. The task thy wisdom hath assigned, O let me cheerfully fulfill; in all my works thy presence find, and prove thy good and perfect will.
3. For thee delightfully employ what e'er thy bounteous grace hath given; and run my course with even joy, and closely walk with thee to heaven.
Ask yourself: Who do I know among family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others in the community that God has placed in my life as part of my work in the Kingdom? Continue to be in prayer as you build relationships and work in God’s Kingdom.
Pray for Heritage Academy, an inner city Christian school, and the impact these efforts have in Olde Town and for the families and churches involved in this effort.
Learn more: Heritage Academy