Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Value of One Life

So, everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ. We warn them and teach them with all the wisdom God has given us, for we want to present them to God, (mature) in their relationship to Christ. I work very hard at this, as I depend on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.” (Colossians1:28-29 NLT)

A recent phone call from a former Afghanistan citizen prompted me to remember the great effort it took to get him really established in his Christian faith. My friend Hyatt Sahar had one of his extended family members in the government before the Soviet Union invaded his country in the 1980’s. Hyatt himself escaped to Canada and then experienced the greatest experience of his life – he invited Jesus into his heart. Along with a couple of my friends, I then became deeply involved in the journey of Hyatt to become a true disciple of Christ.

The moment Hyatt became a Christian, the battle for his faith became an intense spiritual marathon for all of us as it seemed often that Hyatt would eventually return to his former life. His own relatives turned against him and he felt threatened. Just when we thought that he had succeeded in his battle, he would explode from within –the flesh versus the Spirit seemed to rage unabated at times. Did I feel like quitting on Hyatt? Yes! But, my friends and I realized the crucial importance in encouraging a new Christian to grow in his relationship with the Lord Jesus. There were long nights, unexpected struggles, unplanned trips, continuous prayer, and wrenching struggles such as described by Paul in Colossians 1: 28-29 above.

When Hyatt called to tell me that he had seen me on the television program, “It’s a New Day”, he rejoiced as he remembered with me the faithfulness of God in his life. Hyatt has survived many battles as he adjusted to a new culture, a new faith, and new friends. Now an older man with children grown up and on their own, Hyatt is a vivid example to me why all the effort and prayer in the world are worth it to see one new Christian develop and grow into a deeper stronger disciple of Jesus. Will you consider who may be a new or young Christian in your area or in our church? Are you willing to pay the price this Christmas to see that person grow in his or her personal relationship with Jesus –a relationship that will help that person stand strong against the spiritual, social, and satanic attacks that are bound to come. In God’s sight, this is a greater Christmas gift that can never be wrapped except in the wrapping of your life in obedience to Him.

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