A couple of years ago, if you would’ve told me that I’d be sitting in a coffee shop in rural Korea sharing my faith with 3 Jehovah Witnesses over tea, I’d tell you that I would never be that bold. I don’t have a Doctorate in Theology. There are many people who know so much more that I. They enjoy studying Greek and Hebrew and digging through the Scriptures.
How could I be qualified to share my faith with people of a different religion? And not just 1 person, but 3?!
But, I digress. Let me start from the beginning.
When I was younger, I thought missionaries were people who left all their belongings in America and went overseas doing radical things like carrying physical crosses across the land.
But now that I’m older, I recognize missionaries can be found in the most uncommon of places. You don’t need to live a life of poverty in the slums (though that’s cool if you d0). As Christians, we should live missionally wherever we go in whatever we do. Our lives should be poured out for Christ constantly. We can share the hope of the Gospel with anyone at anytime. In matter of fact, Paul commands us to be ready (1 Peter 3:15).
This leads me back to my story.
A couple weeks ago, a dear lady knocked on my door to tell me about God. I was thrilled because I love talking about God, but this woman also told me she was a Jehovah Witness. One thing led to another and I found this woman and I sitting in my kitchen a week later, pouring over the Scriptures.
Though I’ve told people about Jesus before, I’ve never dug deep into the Scriptures to see what the Bible really says. I know she doesn’t believe Jesus is God. I know she doesn’t believe in the Holy Spirit as God. But I do believe in all these things and I wanted to show her who Jesus is.
You see, Jesus is absolutely everything to me. And even though I’m not the greatest theologian, I knew that if I could just show her Jesus, maybe her eyes would be a little more opened to the Gospel.
Fast forward another 2 weeks later and I’m in a coffee shop. 2 more ladies have joined our discussion. I asked them why they were Jehovah Witnesses and what one has to do to become one.
This is when I truly began to see the difference between us.
As they talked about their religion I could see it clearly — it was just that: religion. There was no Jesus.
And I walked away from our discussion with more of a fire than ever for who Jesus is.
There are many religions in the world who believe in Jesus as a prophet, teacher, and even Messiah. But as God? Nope.
And though these religions have many reasons why they believe the way they do, there are many Scriptures pointing to Jesus as God.
I’ve met many people who believe in Jesus, but not as God. Not one of these persons has been able to show me how they know God intimately. They have told me about the works they do and how they try to follow God, but not about their relationship with Him. Not about their hope in Christ. Not about grace. I don’t care about the works. Works are nothing compared to God’s grace. All our works fall short. We’ll never be good enough.
But that’s the point. That’s what makes the Gospel so exciting and powerful.
We aren’t good enough, but Jesus was and is and will always be. Through Him is how we can have a relationship with the Father.
On that day, hearing these ladies talk, I realized that I am so extremely blessed to have a relationship with God. I’m so honored that God would give me this hope. Yes, there is hope for the coming life too . . . but there is also hope NOW. Jesus finished the work of redemption. It is finished.
I just wanted to write this because I wanted to share you the Good News — We can have an intimate, personal relationship with God through Jesus. God is not far off. He is not telling us to “get it together” or “do better.” He’s telling us that He’s here. He loves us. He wants to have a deep, intimate relationship with us.
So, I hope that during this passion week you remember this and you continue going back to the Vine. Cultivate that relationship. Not everyone has it. Not everyone knows God personally.
But you can. And I hope you do.