1 John 3:23-24 – And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (NIV)
How many blessings do we pass up just because something looks different or is unfamiliar to us? Recently our family had the opportunity to host twelve youth overnight in our home. They are in two Christian bands on tour this summer. I have to agree they look different from me on the outside. I was urged by the Holy Spirit, however, to look beyond their differentness to talk to these youth and learn what was inside their hearts and minds. Looking past their coloured hair and unfamiliar dress (which, when I looked more closely, displayed many scriptures and Christian sayings), I found twelve brothers and sisters in the Lord, twelve young people who were willing to put aside their everyday lives to travel and share the gospel with the world.
During their concert, I didn't understand some of the words to their songs until my son told me what they were singing, but I certainly understood the scriptures and testimonies they gave between the songs. Also, during the songs, one could feel their urgency in worshipping our Lord.
Following the concert, we brought the bands and a few friends to our home for a time of fellowshipping. What a surprise and blessing we were in for! After eating some peach cobbler, one of the band members said, "It's time for our devotion." They invited all to participate. It was a pleasant night so they decided to have the devotion outside on the deck. This was one of the most beautiful devotions I have ever experienced. The drummer from one band started by reading a scripture and discussed what God was saying to him, then others joined in. Then another read more scripture, and so on. There were twenty people under the beautiful starlit sky worshipping God! Each person contributed something by discussing God's word.
Just think what a blessing I would have missed if I had not gone past the "different" looks of these precious souls!
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, help us to see people for what is on the inside, and to examine ourselves by asking the question "What are we doing to reach the lost?" Help us to go past the barriers, whether they be language, status, dress, or anything different. Use us to reach a lost and dying world and to encourage those who are doing Your work, for, after all is said and done, the only thing that matters is people coming to know You, precious Lord. Amen.