Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 4 of “Compelled – Living the Value of Outreach Focus” (LISTEN HERE).
If you missed a devotion yesterday (Monday, August 22, 2022), I apologize. My mind, my time, and my heart were a bit distracted as after worship we took our oldest to move her into her dorm at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. We got home after midnight.
We are so proud of our daughter and the amazing young lady she has become and is becoming. I won’t bore you with the details, but as her dad I can remember seeing the first ultrasound pictures and immediately falling in love with her and perhaps a bit overwhelmed at the new and privileged responsibility of being a dad. Now over 18 years later, she begins to fly more on her own.
Entering college is a big step and big deal, not just academically, but also spiritually. Satan loves to work hard on the hearts and minds of youth to bring them away from Jesus and his Word to a secular, atheistic mindset. Constant bombardment of temptations and humanistic worldviews attack the heart and soul of God’s children. So I invite your prayers for our daughter and all other Christian youth entering the college classrooms around our country.
Yet, amidst that setting is tremendous opportunity…and our setting as well. In College Station over 60,000 students descend on the town from all over Texas, all over the country and all over the world. Assembled on the campus are thousands of people whom God loves and for whom Jesus died.
Starting with her roommate. I simply encouraged her to ask questions. Get to know her. Understand her perspective on faith and life. God will open a door of opportunity.
Of all the 60,000, God allowed one roommate and two other suitemates to enter our daughter’s life. I pray her love for Jesus shows in her love for them and God uses her to bring his love to their hearts…if it is not there already.
When we carry an outreach focus, we see God orchestrating life for us to interact and develop relationships with people. Whether it’s a new roommate living 3 feet away, a coworker working 10 feet away or a neighbor living 30 feet away. God has placed you in a situation in life for you to meet, interact, and engage the people around you.
Outreach starts with noticing and caring about people. Outreach doesn’t start with a confrontational discussion about “where we will spend eternity.” Outreach starts in today’s world by noticing people and showing you care. It realizes that God has you interact with people because he is setting you in a place where you can witness for him.
Life changes. Seasons shift. Journeys continue. But wherever we go there are people who matter to Jesus, and therefore matter to us.
It’s in those situations and those locations, Jesus invites us to be his witnesses.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Apply: Notice the people around you today. Ask a question. Take an interest. Know that God has allowed your paths to intersect for a reason whether with just a smile or a significant conversation.
Prayer: Lord, open my heart to notice and love people as you notice and care for me. Open my schedule to allow me to show care and concern to someone today. AMEN.