Saturday, August 21, 2010

"We all have darkness in our hearts"

For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Rom 2:14-16)

Why is it wrong to steal, lie, murder or the many other things we know are bad? Why do we have the innate knowledge of these things? Yes, of course, our parents (should) teach us these things but where do they come from? This is a very important question because as we share the Good News of Jesus, a major part of the “good” is that our sins can be forgiven. Ok, what is sin? Well, just the things I mentioned, those things that are wrong, and we know it. They are wrong because the offend God and His nature. This is the reason Jesus died on the cross, to pay the penalty for our sins. To truly understand the grace we have been given through Jesus, we have to understand that we have broken God’s laws and need forgiveness. Romans 2:15 tells us that God has written His law on our hearts, and when we do something that we know is not right…we get that little feeling inside that tells us this isn’t right. Ok, ok, enough of that, get on with the story.
Well, it was another hot, sunny and humid day as we approached an unreached village. Our presence in the village drew a large crowd right off the bat and we spread good seed while handing out many Bibles in their language. There seemed to be a potential here in the village but the doors weren’t quite open yet. As we walked deeper into the village, an older lady was sitting on a bench along the path, and she loudly slapped the wood and said sit down. “I want to hear why you are here.” She was an animated and boisterous woman who commanded the villagers’ attention. Two of the ladies in our group jumped at the chance to sit and share. The first shared her personal story and the other began to tell about Jesus. Now remember, this village is unreached, having never heard of Jesus or what sin is. As the story unfolded and the North American shared the “problem” that separates us from God, she brought up sin and what it meant. You could see this usually smiley and loud lady process the words she had just heard. As these words sank in she said, “Oh yes, everyone has darkness in their heart.” Exactly, because God had written His law upon her heart! Knowing her sin and the need for forgiveness she intently listened to the remainder of the story then in front of everyone confessed with her mouth that Jesus was Lord and her Savior. Amen. As that happened the key to that village was unlocked. We refer to what Jesus called the “person of peace” in Luke 10:1-6 as we instruct teams to pray before entering villages. The lady was open to the Gospel, had a reputation in the village, had a circle of influence and was helpful to open doors in the community. Once this woman came to Jesus, doors and hearts were open throughout the village resulting in many coming to Christ.
So, even in the remotest villages in the far corners of the world, over bumpy and dirty roads, down narrow paths, hearts are being prepared, fields are being plowed. They are ready to hear about the saving grace of Jesus. Will you go?

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