Monday, September 12, 2005

It is true!

I know that everything that Jesus said is true. I have believed that ever since I began to follow Him.
Over the years I have had the wonderful experience of not only believing what Jesus said is true but also experiencing what He said as true.

Thirty four years ago my wife made certain promises to me and I believed them. Now I can say I have experienced what she said as true. The same has happened with the promises Jesus made to me when I began following Him in 1967.

One example is the promise Jesus made to anyone who would leave mother, father, family, friends or homeland. (See Mark 10:28-31) He said we would find ourselves with a life that was filled with much more than we left behind. In fact, He said we would keep what we left and gain in the process. After all these years I can say it is true.

My life and the life of my entire family would be much poorer if we had not left when Jesus asked us to leave. Today I could literally find a place to sleep, eat and enjoy deep relationship all over the world-so could my children. The reason is leaving. Leaving must be the closest thing to dying that we experience this side of death itself. When we leave it feels like we will never get back what we are leaving behind.

I was greatly influenced in my youth by the staement of Jim Elliot "He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." He was right. We are also no fools to leave when everything we truly want to have depends on it.

Jesus said a grain of wheat must fall into the earth and die. Only then will it bear fruit. It must leave where it is to come back with so much more.

This weekend my life grew richer because of leaving. My family's life will becme richer because we left and they let us leave.
I have some new family friends. Three from Nigeria. Justin Adams, the worship leader from Saddleback Valley Community Church in California. Gerald Sharon, one of the lead pastors with Rick Warren. I would never have met these dear brothers apart from leaving. My entire family just expanded!

Jesus always tells the truth. Over time we get to experience it firsthand.

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