Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shooting Hoops

“While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and ‘sinners’ came and ate with him and his disciples” (Matthew 9:10, NIV 1984).

“God is moving in Memphis. A few months ago I moved from the suburbs to an inner city neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee, where we have a basketball goal in front of our house. Throughout the week, a number of young men spend their afternoons and evenings ‘hooping’ in our street. There, I met Andre. Andre is a high school senior who was interested in coming to a Bible study at my house. Our time together has been challenging; from having to define simple vocabulary words in Scripture (perish, boast and deeds) as well as the “churchy” words (iniquity, faith, eternal and grace) to dismantling the cultural misinformation about the gospel which he had learned as a child. But God’s grace is sufficient, and one day while sitting on my couch, Andre ‘got it!’ With wide eyes, he looked at me and said, ‘I’ve never asked God to forgive me of my sins!’ Andre got saved that day, and is now evangelizing in the neighborhood and at school. God has begun a good work in Andre! I continually spend time with Andre, helping him grow as a new believer and as a young man. I thank the Lord for allowing me to step out in faith and to leave my comfort zone for His name’s sake.”

M2 student

A medical student and an inner city kid – a life changed forever. How’d that happen?

Our actions never transform anyone from superficial life to eternal life. It is all God’s work. But God does allow us to work with Him. He even commands us to focus on making disciples as our major life effort (Matthew 28). Some of us are called to a full time pursuit of this effort in missions, away from the “normal” doctor life. Such a call brings both great trials and great rewards. Most of us, however, are called to make disciples within the ordinary. This faithful medical student shows us how to do it.

1. Take on the task of witness deliberately.
2. Be ready, available and inviting wherever the lost hang out.
3. Make life changes necessary to make witness happen.
4. Live, love and learn with those to whom God has sent you.
5. Speak the gospel in words that can be understood.

We are too easily satisfied with a Christian witness defined by preaching at sinners and shooting hoops with the saved.

Dear God,
Let me place myself where your lost children live and help me love them back to Jesus.

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