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Imagine if you just heard that you won the Nobel Prize in Literature. You immediately share this good news with friends and family, but they respond: “Oh that isn’t true. That doesn’t really exist. You just want to convert me so someday I’ll get a Noble Prize too.” Imagine the heartbreak when no one believes you won the award. You have no one to share and celebrate the good news.

This is how I feel when I try to share my faith in Jesus with some people in my life. When you have good news you want to share it with others — celebrate it — but you can’t if they don’t want to hear it or reject it. My heart aches because they don’t want any part it.

My faith in Christ is such a large part of my life, yet I cannot share it with so many people I know. It’s not that they don’t know I am a Christian (or religious as some describe me), it’s more that I can’t share the joy, the reassurance I get with having Jesus in my life. They seem more intent on debating than accepting Jesus.

Some might describe my sharing Christ as trying to convert them to Christianity, but I would say that John captured my real intent. He wrote in 1 John 1:3: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ (NIV).” I want them to share the fellowship with other believers in Jesus. I want them to know intimacy with God. I want them to know the peace that comes from knowing Christ.

So it is with the joy of the Lord Jesus. Until those in our life accept Christ and follow him, they cannot share the joy with us; cannot share our experience in walking with Jesus each day. There is something missing in our ability to connect with them. John described this in 1 John 1:4: “We write this to make our joy complete.” My joy is incomplete when I can’t share with them the good news in my life. It’s like having the Nobel Prize in Literature and no one to share the excitement and joy.

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. – Luke 15:3-6

© 2019 CGThelen

May my heart be pure this day. May it be filled with your joy dear Lord, filled with your peace. May I reflect you today dear Lord and not my own selfish desires. Help me to be aware of you at work around me, to seize the opportunities you place before me. Give me a genuine concern for those you place in my life. Grant me discernment to focus on what is important to the Kingdom of God.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. – Psalm 51:10-12 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

My heart races

In the tall grass

I make my way

Eyes wide open

Alert for sounds

I hear growling

A twig snaps

I am pursued

By my adversary

Once he held me

Tightly bound

With heavy chains

And a steel cage

Until my savior

Told me the truth

That I had the key

To set myself free

Once unlocked

I fled his evil grip

Feeling freedom

My heart overflowed

With pure joy

Yet his anger stirred

He came after me

Angry I was free

No longer a prisoner

Chained to his lies

He keeps pursuing me

Not wanting to let go

Hunting me in the dark

With flaming arrows

Shouting out lies

Hiding somewhere

In the tall grass

Waiting to pounce

But I press on

With the truth

Close by my side

With the key

Firmly in my hand

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” – 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

In so many blog posts over the years we have shared our journey through life. We have shared our struggles and our joys. At times we have cried out to God in earnest prayer; we have prayed for one another. We have shared our faith journey, as we seek to grow closer to Jesus — seek to follow his ways.

Together our prayers can build up the community of believers in Jesus Christ. By sharing our joys and sorrows with one another, we can lift one another in prayer before God; we can strengthen one another in our faith.

Today I am beginning a weekly post called “Prayer Journey” — a place where we can share what is on our heart; a place to request prayer and to pray for one another in the comment section of this post. May you be blessed this day as we share our faith journey with one another.

As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. – 1 Samuel 12:23

© 2019 CGThelen

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