In reality, trying times are happening all the time, somewhere, for someone. Growing up I heard a lot from my parents and other adults about what life was like during the Great Depression and World War II. Then, during the time I served in the United States Air Force in the 1960s, I had the opportunity of spending time in some lesser developed Asian countries. I discovered that there are numerous people in many countries who have never had life as good as even the worst periods of our history here in the USA. Poverty, disease, high mortality rates, (lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene) all make life really difficult and trying for so many.
Times to Demonstrate Hope
It seems that it is during trying times that people are more aware of their need for the Lord. However, even in the best of times, many people are dealing with problems and difficulties that may not be apparent. When we are observant and sensitive to the people we interact with, we can expect the Lord will connect us with those who need Him. The Apostle Peter tells us to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us. These days, with the global pandemic we are now experiencing, we just have more opportunities than normal to be fruitful and multiply our impact for the Kingdom of God.
Seeds that Produce Fruit and Multiply
A neighbor I had the opportunity of sharing the Lord with, began to immediately share his testimony with friends, neighbors and family. As a result his sister, a brother-in-law and over time, several other family members came to the Lord. A college student from an Asian country was introduced to Jesus and became part of a Bible study group I was leading at the time. A few years later, he was responsible for translating the first through-the-Bible devotional commentary into the gateway language of the people in his home country. He eventually became a missionary in that creative access country.
The Ripple Effect of our Witness
A businessman I had the opportunity of leading to the Lord began sharing with others. He led his boss to the Lord and witnessed to a number of his customers. He shared the Gospel with his brother in a phone conversation back in his home country in the Middle East. His brother later became a pastor in that nation. These are great examples of how God uses His Word, when it’s presented to those with open and receptive hearts. Even new believers can share their testimonies and the gospel and be instrumental in others coming to faith in Christ.
Impact of Transformed Lives
My father was a pastor for more than sixty years. It has been a delight over the years to come across people who came to the Lord during his many years of pastoring and ministry. Some of those are now pastors, missionaries, church leaders and followers of Jesus in their various professions. We don’t always know the multiplying impact that one transformed life can have over time. However, we do know that God honors His Word, and our most feeble efforts to share what He has done in our lives.
Words of Blessing and Encouragement
The Word of God still has power to transform lives as it is shared in the power of the Holy Spirit. I can personally testify to that reality and the multiplying influence for His kingdom purposes. It can have a ripple effect and reproducing impact. That awareness should encourage every follower of Jesus, that each of us can be salt and light every day, wherever we happen to be. A simple word of blessing or encouragement is sometimes all it takes to influence someone, and perhaps open up ministry opportunities.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service, Jerry Wiles