“When he arrived and saw this evidence of God’s blessings, he was filled with joy…” (Acts 11:23a NLT)
One of my favorite devotions that I read each day is by Ron Hutchcraft. It’s called A Word With You. In a recent article he told the story of Cindy, who attended a campus ministry he led some years ago. He said it took her a while before she gave her life to Christ, but afterwards she was on mission for the Lord.
She came to Ron’s house one day and wondered if he could give her an argument that would convince her older sister to become a believer in Jesus. But instead of an argument, Ron said to her: “Ask yourself this question, ‘What change could I ask Jesus to make in me that my big sister, Megan, would have to notice?'” She said, “I’ve got it!”
The key, in Cindy’s mind, to winning her sister to the Lord was to give up her rights to the big red chair that sat in front of the TV, because they always fought over who got to sit in it. So, she told Ron, “I gave God the chair.” God used Cindy’s sacrifice, and two years later Cindy’s older sister came to know Jesus. So, now Cindy’s question for Ron became: “Who gets the chair?”
The question for us now becomes – no, not “who gets the chair” 😊, but “What change could I ask Jesus to make in me that ___________ (and you fill in the name of someone you’re seeking to reach for Jesus) would have to notice?”
It’s ironic on some levels, but what came immediately to my mind when I thought of the people I most want to influence for Christ was: “stop being so persistent in always leading conversations to Jesus.” In my “zeal” for the Lord, am I turning people away from the One I most want to point them towards? And, honestly, it’s not always the words I use, but my “in your face” attitude when I’m speaking.
It’s like I have all the answers and they just need to listen, right? Not necessarily! A very high percentage of communication is nonverbal, like “who gets the chair?” So, what can I do? Whoa! Exactly! Not what can I “say,” but what can I “do?”
Shortly after I gave my life to the Lord, I began praying for my mom and dad. I was 15, so hugging my mom wasn’t very high on my priority list. But one day mom was doing the dishes and the Lord laid on my heart to put my arms around her waist and tell her I loved her. It was a little awkward at first, but I did what the Lord asked, and you’d have thought I handed her a big box full of money. It changed the trajectory of our relationship and not long after I saw my mom and dad kneel at an altar of prayer at our church and give their lives to Jesus.
Who is it in your life you most want to see come to the Lord? What change are you willing to make to help them see Jesus in you like never before? Certainly, live consistently in submission to the Lord’s authority in your life – in the way you speak, the way you dress, the way you devote time to private and corporate worship, and the way you serve the Lord through your local church and community.
But in your specific relationship with the ones you most want to see become Jesus followers, what change(s) can you make? Can you be more kind? More thoughtful? More proactive in serving them, not in obnoxious ways, but by being courteous, gracious, merciful, loving?
The words of Peter in 1 Peter 4:8 come to mind: “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” Love is designed more to be seen than heard, so let the light of your life shine on Jesus. Then let His Holy Presence working in and through you draw that one or those ones you most want to see come to the Lord. Let them have the “chair.” 😊
Blessings, Ed 😊