This is part #1 of my presentation at church on June 14
I’m always blown away by the child-like abandon with which the Africans enter into worship. I mean, they go after it with every last ounce of strength they have. They wouldn’t dream of just sitting and singing a song while checking email on their phone and shuffling through their purse looking for a stick of gum. It just doesn’t happen. I captured a little 3 yr old girl on video joining in the worship time with the adults. To her it’s just as natural as breathing in and out. It’s something that’s been modeled to her from before birth and then while she was an infant and strapped to her mother’s back and now that she’s walking and talking it’s just part of the rhythm of her life.
I wonder if sometimes the child-like wonder we once had is replaced with a good feeling about God then even that sort of mellows into a “I’ll be a good person and I’ll do good things” sort of life without ever making a personal decision to follow Christ.
We met a gentleman on Tuesday who invited us into his tailor shop. At first I didn’t notice that he was handicapped. His iron crutches were laying on the floor. But then I realized that his legs were sort of withered and useless. I don’t remember his name, but I remember his face.
Such a kind man. He was a devout Catholic. Nothing wrong with that. However, we weren’t interested in his religion but his relationship with Christ. I kept asking him questions about his faith. I wanted to know if he just knew a lot about God or if he knew him personally as his Savior. He kept answering my question with a list of good works. He helps orphans by patching their clothes for free or even giving them clothes if they need them. He has an extra sewing machine next to him so that he can teach orphans the sewing trade who otherwise wouldn’t have a way to make a living. He attends church faithfully. He prays all the time. He is especially grateful that God has blessed him with a business to support himself and to help others with. He constantly prays and thanks God for his blessed life. My ministry partner, Antoinette, cracked the code when she told him “those are prayers of thanksgiving but have you ever prayed and asked Jesus to become your Lord and Savior, forgiving your sins and cleansing you from all unrighteousness?” He paused and then the light bulb went on. It was like we hit him with a ton of bricks. He asked us to please teach him that prayer. So we did and he prayed and now he’s a brand-new follower of Christ, saved by faith not by works. Randy says something to each person that is baptized Fellowship North Church “buried in the likeness of His death, raised to walk in a new kind of life.” And so this new kind of life is a life of love, full devotion and worship from which good works can’t help but flow freely and generously.