Friday Love

Hey there friends! It has been a while since I have written a “Friday Love” article. In fact, it has been too long. The year 2020 has been a challenging one in many different ways……it has been challenging for me as a person and as a pastor. But it is now behind us, and we are looking at a new year that is before us. So, let’s start off 2021 with a little bit of Friday love!

I read a story recently by Dwight Robertson about an elderly woman named Grace. Grace was about as ordinary of a person as anyone else. No one flagged her to change a portion of the world. She lived in an old farmhouse in a rural area of Indiana. One of her legs was shorter than the other, she kept her hair in a wiry gray bun, and she wore very colorful farm dresses with nylon stockings that bunched up around her ankles. Over the years, Grace and her husband raised five boys, all who grew up and had their own families and moved away to other places across the country. Her husband had passed away, and she found herself with fewer responsibilities and less meaningful things to do. But Grace did not want to spend her final years limping to the finish line. So, she asked God to give her something significant to do. God answered her prayers and gave her a front row seat to watch a miraculous thing happen. One day, while thumbing through a prison ministry magazine, she read an open letter from an inmate named Bobby. He had just committed his life to Christ at a prison revival, and he wasn’t sure what to do next. So he asked in his open letter for a godly grandmother who would disciple him. Grace stepped up to the task.

Grace wrote the magazine editor and was able to get in touch with Bobby. She became his spiritual grandmother. They wrote letters back-and-forth to one another, she discipled Bobby through Bible studies and devotions on various scripture passages, and she answered any of his questions in the best ways she knew how, asking God for wisdom with her answers. One day, she received four letters in the mail, from the same prison, but she did not recognize the names. She opened Bobby’s letter first, and he explained how he had been sharing some of the things he had learned from her. In so doing, Bobby started reaching out to other inmates, some of which might also start writing her letters as well. And before Grace knew it, she was discipling five prisoners.

A few weeks later, Grace learned that prisoners sometimes get transferred to other prisons. One day, she started getting letters from a prison in another state. She found out that some of the men she had been discipling had been transferred to other prisons, and they began sharing the love of Jesus with people in new prisons. It wasn’t long after that when Grace realized she was touching hundreds of prisoners in multiple prisons in several countries across the world; she called them “her boys!” One day, some of “her boys” started getting out of prison. They continued writing letters. And some of “her boys” told her how they had lead their wives and children and family members to Christ. Not only had she become a spiritual grandmother to Bobby, but she had became a spiritual grandmother to thousands of people, including spouses and children and other family members of these prisoners through the simple act of writing letters, sharing stories of God’s love, and offering devotions about God’s grace. When Grace finally passed on to be eternally with God, her family members estimated she had touched the lives of over ten thousand inmates and their families and friends. She shared the love of God in a very simple way through letters, and in a way that she was able to do so from her stage in life: from her home, with a pad of paper and a pen and some envelopes and a whole bunch of stamps. Thousands of people came to know the love of Jesus through her faithfulness of showing that love. Thanks be to God for Grace!

I know this is been a very tough year for many people, but what if we were to ask God to reveal to us what’s before us that God would desire us to do for the sake of love? What if we were to pray to God and ask God to show us how we can share the love of Jesus with the people in our community, people in our city, and maybe even people all around the world? It’s the beginning of a New Year……why not have that conversation with God, and allow God to show you how are you can share such love with others. Here’s to 2021 and to boldly sharing the love of God with others!

With Love,
Pastor Brad

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