Saturday, 10 July 2010

CAUTION: This Read Might Change Your Life!


If I ruled the world, “The Hole in Our Gospel” by Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, would be mandatory reading for anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ-- Alternatively, we could read our bibles and take them seriously, not glossing over the hard passages or making, "well, that was then" types of excuses for the way our Christian lives don't look like Christ's...

There is a hole in our gospel," writes Stearns, "and… as a result, we have embraced a view of our faith that is far too tame” (Pg 243). 

The Lord placed a copy of this book in my hands at just a time when I was desperately seeking Him for His leading in my life with a current residency visa coming to completion and a move on the horizon, and by the time I'd finished reading it, my unsafe, but good God had invited me to step into His Will which would take me places I never really dreamed I would go.  I could see that all across the world people were crying out in desperation to God for help, for comfort; widows, orphans, the sick, the disabled, the poor and the exploited. These millions of prayers were being lifted up to God, and we, each of us who claim to be His followers, were to be His answer. We were the ones who would bring the ‘good news’ of Christ to the poor, the sick, and the downtrodden. God had not turned His back on the poor in their suffering. God had sent us. This was the good news of the gospel—good news indeed for the poor” (Pg167).

This challenging (and life-changing, if you'll let it be!) book, through personal testimony, and many stories of the suffering of the majority of the world we keep so distant from us, brought home the truth that, we live our lives of relative luxury while our neighbors are dying, both spiritually and physically. And as followers of Him, we are asked to reach out in love with whatever we have to give. I haven't the means to make much money, I only have my life, my time to give, my ears to listen, my voice to speak up for those who cannot, my shoulder to cry on, my arms to hold, my heart to love... And I'm asked to give it, to give it all.

“The truth doesn’t change according to our ability to stomach it.” – Flannery O’Connor

The truth is, “More than 26,500 children died yesterday of preventable causes related to their poverty, and it will happen again today and tomorrow and the day after that. Almost 10 million children will be dead in the course of a year. So why does the crash of a single plane dominate the front pages of newspapers across the world while the equivalent of one hundred planes filled with children crashing daily never reaches our ears? And even though we now have the awareness, the access, and the ability to stop it, why have we chosen not to?” (pg 107).


How can we choose not to?

It starts with you. In the end, God simply calls you to be faithful to the things He has given you to do. He doesn’t require you to be a superstar, just faithful and obedient, by praying, loving, serving, giving, forgiving, healing, and caring—doing small things with great love” (Pg 277).


 So, I'm following Him to Uganda to help establish a Children's Home at the beginning of 2011. These next few months as my commitment with my current ministry draws to a close will be about learning to trust Him in this next step as I earn and fund-raise the money, gain prayer support, and prepare in every way to serve Him in places I never dreamed, and hear new tones in His heartbeat for this world...



To anyone with a heart captivated by the King, see how our mighty, awesome, compassionate God will meet you between the lines of this life-altering read. I dare you! It IS possible to change the world. Because of His love. How can we stay silent?

The kingdom of God, which Christ said is ‘within you’ (Luke 17:21 NKJV), was intended to change and challenge everything in our fallen world in the here and now. It was not meant to be a way to leave the world but rather the means to actually redeem it. Yes, it first requires that we repent of our own sinfulness and totally surrender our individual lives to follow Christ, but then we are also commanded to go into the world—to bear fruit by lifting up the poor and the marginalized, challenging injustice wherever we find it, rejecting the worldly values found within every culture, and loving our neighbors as ourselves. While our ‘joining’ in the coming kingdom of God may begin with a decision, a transaction, it requires so much more than that” (pg 17-18).

*I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

4 comments:

Hannah said...

Awesome post Leah. I totally agree and want to live this way more and more. It is scary! and so foreign to me. I'm praying for you. I should read that book. :-) I found a good one to read right now called "The way Home" It is about what God created women for and how we are to live our lives.

Brandy said...

Orphanage? Children? Well, I very well might be joining you then! :D I am still reading the book, I am about half through.

Joyce Killmer said...

Thanks for sharing your insights on this book, Leah! I've been thinking about getting it for the library and for my son-in-law and your post encouraged me to follow through on that. Blessings on you, Leah, as you continue in your desire to follow so closely to you Father God and His will. Love you much!

:::kate::: said...

I LOVE that book. So much. It has drastically changed the way I think and pray and dream...

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