A missionary to Tyre spoke at church last night. He converted from Islam to Christianity, and he set up shop to preach the Gospel smack in the middle of a Hezbollah territory! God told him to go, so he did. He and his family went through a lot to stay there, and many would have quit due to the persecution they suffered, but they stayed. The whole time God has blessed the work He sent them to do, and now there is a church and there are several ministries! Thousands of people come to receive help and hear the Gospel!
How did this happen? How did they do this?
When you preach the Gospel to people you don’t just tell them the truth, you love them also. Jesus Himself went around loving people. All through the Gospels we see Jesus feeding, healing, protecting, defending, sharing, helping – loving! He didn’t just tell people words and leave. Jesus showed them what love is.
The missionary pointed out that when Jesus fed the five thousand He was loving them. Yet so often we’re like the disciples. After Jesus finished speaking the disciples came up and said, “Well, Chief, we’re done. Let’s pack up and send them home.”
But Jesus said, “No, they’ve been with me for days and they’re hungry. I want to feed them.”
“But Jesus you’ve preached the Gospel, that’s enough.”
“It is not enough. I want to love on them!”
“But Jesus we don’t have enough food or any money to feed them.”
“None of your business. Tell them to sit down and we will feed them. I want to love on them!”
Love is what makes inroads to hearts and souls. People have needs, and what good are the Gospel’s words without the Gospel’s actions to meet those needs? Part of the reason this missionary is able to have ministries in the middle of Hezbollah is because the people want him to stay. Hezbollah doesn’t help or love them, but the Christians do. They get something from the Christians that they don’t get anywhere else: the love of Jesus!
The missionary also pointed out that John 3:16 doesn’t say, “For God so loved the world that He told them so.” It says, “For God so loved the world that He gave.” Love requires that you give.
God has words of truth for people to hear, and they go with the actions of love He wants them to see and feel.