Hebrews 10:35-36 – Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. (NASB)
Hebrews 13:15-16 – Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (NASB)
At our house, the "Free Cell" solitaire card game on our computer is used while Internet users wait for web pages to load over a very slow dial-up connection. Almost daily, I watch other family members solve a game in what appears to be just a few minutes. They make it look simple. Curiosity took me to the program recently, but I have yet to achieve the fleeting reward of satisfaction felt at finishing a puzzle correctly. I am confident that I could master the challenge if I were to put in persistent effort.
Jesus made a promise about persistence in prayer, which, in the face of eternity, is no idle pastime like "Free Cell".
Luke 11:8-9 – I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (NKJV)
It is my heart's desire to see people I love at peace with God, blessed, joyfully engaged in His kingdom, and saved. The apostle John said it very well:
3 John 1:4 – I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. (NASB)
A New Testament role model for the kind of influence I want to exert and the result I desire, is Cornelius, the centurion at Caesarea:
Acts 10:2 – A devout man who venerated God and treated Him with reverential obedience, as did all his household; and he gave much alms to the people and prayed continually to God. (AMP)
From this Scripture, I learned that our influence on others towards trust in God requires attention in two different directions: to God — to be reverent with continual worship, prayer, and obedience; and to other people — to be kind.
I am growing in sensitivity to the nudge of the Holy Spirit who sends me to talk to the Father, asking for what is needed, praising Him as supplier, and standing in the gap between heaven and earth on behalf of those who do not seek God's help for themselves. I seek grace, and I war against evil's destructive schemes.
Also, I take special care to show kind welcome, hope, and generous respect to all people. When with other people, I want to demonstrate only God's way of love.
Prayer and kindness are what I can do in confident hope while I wait for evidence of salvation in those I love. How about you? Have you received insight from God about participating in His call on the lives of your family and friends?
Prayer: Father in heaven, in the name of our Lord, Christ Jesus, we seek wisdom to do our part in seeing others come to You. Continually guide us in our relationship with You. Please guide us, too, as we seek to manifest Your way of generous love to everyone we meet. We expect eternal results. Amen.