What follows are the thoughts of my son. When he read these to me last night I thought I just had to share them…So with his permission…
Today I ate dinner at the Thai place. I noticed some things I had never given thought to before. A Vietnamese friend of mine works there, well actually that is where I met her, and I am friends with the owner. I noticed today, however, Lee (my Vietnamese friend) waiing to a small statue I never even saw before. I know the statue has been there for a while. It is not like they put new decorations in every day.
The people who work at this restaurant are people I have come to know and cherish deeply. I know they feel the same about me (teaching me Thai and taking 10% off my bill whenever I come in). My friend’s act, however took me back to the spirit houses (that “house” the displaced spirits) I would walk past in Thailand. It reminded me of the monks in orange who became my friends. I was reminded of the temples I went into with my friend Lara. I would see people putting golden leaves on the statues of Buddha for merit in the next life. I can still smell the incense they’d burn, and see the lotuses they held. Countless people walk into these centers of worship every day, these are people whom I love. Right now I am taken back to the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma, a hub of Buddhist worship. This is the golden center of a rundown city. I see people kneeling in front of the Buddha. It is one thing to be taken in by such beautiful buildings as a tourist. However, I am no tourist. I see artificial beauty masking a dark truth. There are people who are still out there who have yet to hear the good news.
Salvation does not have to be earned; It can’t be. People without this truth go on with their day-to-day lives thinking “salvation” (I use this term very loosely) must be earned. These are what you would call “good” people.
I don’t just speak this only about Buddhists. You can apply my words to Muslims, Wiccans, and Atheists. I speak out of my own personal journeys and adventures. How many people do we see a day? How many do we close our eyes to? It is a tragedy that because we lack love our churches are shrinking. Show me a church that loves (God, brothers, and man) I will show you one that grows.
I have often wondered what is more important, loving people, or being a witness to them. We must do both, and not witness because it is our duty, but witness because we love.
We are all TEMPLES of the Holy Spirit. I am not saying you should imbed your chest with a cross and have people kneel at your feet. What I am saying is that inside of us there ought to be two things: First something in our life that points to the God we serve, second a heart that is constantly worshiping God in Spirit and in truth. Each man is a temple to that which he worships: god, ideals, entity, morals, etc. What we serve will show. How much it pains me to see Christians pointing people away from God because we have constructed a temple to self within us.
What a great word to receive this morning! Thank you so much for sharing.
You are so welcome Charlotte!
Thank you, Pastor J for sharing this with us and thank, Joe for there is such truth in his words. May we all feel the urgency of the days we are living in, time is growing short so go forth and spread the good news through His love so that others may know Him as we do. A-men and A-men!
Amen Deb! I will send your thanks along!
Your son words are so truthful! We KNOW we live in times like unto no other… a very DARK world. I pray daily that all who know Jesus as Savior will also make Him their Lord and live as we must. Too many lost, lonely, weary, sad and searching–and we know the Truth.
“How will they hear unless someone tells them?”
Many blessings for you and family Pastor at this beautiful time when we celebrate the birth of the “Messiah”.
Thanks Stephanie. We heard from the man who was Joe’s boss in Thailand he told us that in the country he had just come from only two percent of the population had ever heard the name of Jesus! So many falling into eternity without God and without hope in the world!
Powerful! God bless you–love, sis Caddo
Thanks Sis! Joe will be blessed you think so!
Thank you for sharing this with us . ..please thank Joe too! I was stopped by how we need to witness to people not out of duty, but we witness because we love them. God bless you!
This is the first blog I’ve read since returning from a few days away – and what a challenge! We need CONSTANT reminders that we are the temple of Holy Spirit; that God Himself dwells within us; that He deserves full control of our lives; that He wants to use us to reach out to others; that He wants us to live so that others will see HIM in us.
Thank you for this reminder.
I will send this encouraging word off to my son! Thanks Angela!