Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Issues vs. the Gospel

This is an article from Reema Goode's Blog.  I read it and had to pass it along... with her permission, of course. Please visit her website... she has some wonderful things to share that will be sure to bless you. Reema is the author of 'Which None Can Shut'. She and her family are missionaries in the Muslim community. I know her stories will touch your heart.
~Thank you, Reema!

If you'd like to read my review of 'Which None Can Shut', click here.

Issues vs. the Gospel
Guest post from Reema Goode's Blog

“My tongue is the pen of a ready writer!” God is so good! I really enjoyed the meditations in my last blog. The Apostle Paul has inspired me with the way he turns absolutely every situation into an opportunity to share the Gospel. It’s not “Issues vs. the Gospel.” Issues are a pathway to the Gospel. If we didn’t have issues, why would we need a Gospel?

A Christian lady we know (I’ll call her Jen) had really become burdened for Muslim women, and frustrated with Islamic culture. One day when Jen witnessed a Muslim girlfriend being ill-treated by her family, she took the girl aside and began to point out that the real root of her suffering was Arab Muslim culture itself. Jen felt she was sympathizing with her friend as she explained that the solution, in her opinion, was for Muslim women to rise up and demand re-education that would affect social reform and give them their rights. When the long and depressing conversation finally ended, Jen came home feeling even more burdened and dejected. Later she realized that the only hope she’d offered her friend was the possibility that the people around her and the circumstances she lived in could eventually change. Jen had neglected to mention that peace and joy are actually possible even when bad circumstances don’t change. She hadn’t given her friend any hope for herself, right now, today. The conversation had never gotten around to Jesus.

How do you think the Muslim woman might have felt after that conversation? If she’d been angry at her family for the ill treatment, she might have been even more indignant after listening to Jen. Or perhaps she’d been emboldened by the conversation, and went home to “stand up to” her family. What might have happened to her then?

In the best case scenario, what if the young woman set out to change Islamic culture and totally succeeded in securing equal human rights for all? Sin would still be present in the human heart, and mankind would simply find other ways to vent it. Although evil would seem to be overcome, in fact it would be redirected to another venue; it would not be eradicated. The answer for every issue, ultimately, is in Christ. He alone has the power to actually overcome sin.

As God’s ambassadors on earth we need to address the issues that plague humankind. We’re the salt of the earth! Yet how do we address them? It’s easy to get so passionate about the issues that we forget the power of the Gospel of Peace.

What if Jen had spent the time with her friend just listening for awhile–both to her friend’s heart and the Holy Spirit? I wonder how God might have steered the conversation, if He’d been given the chance to speak. What if Jen had shown her love for her friend, and for her friend’s family, by offering to pray for them? Inviting God into a situation creates a wonderful opportunity for Him to answer and show that He hears! that He cares!

Everything that’s wrong with the world is another opportunity for God to reveal Himself to people . Our fallen selves and surroundings serve as constant proof that we need a Savior. Men, women and children are desperate for a God who is both loving enough and mighty enough to save. Our great God is willing and able to intervene in the lives of men, “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth, that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” (2 Chronicles 16:9a) Hallelujah!

Thanks for reading and God bless!

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