One heart and one mind
10 March 2017
A few weeks ago we went to a Chinese New Year party with a local family. There is one family member who is Christian but the other family members never want to talk about this because being Buddhist is an important part of their identity. My Chinese level is really not very good but I saw a calendar on the wall that had one particular phrase that I was curious about ... it said:
I asked the oldest uncle to explain this to me and the entire family spent the next half hour explaining not only the meaning of this particular phrase but also the manner in which this phrase impacts my life and the life of the Christian in their family who works at my company. Little did I know that the entirety of the verse says this:
All the believers were:
???? = ("ee sheen ee ee")
‘No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had…’
They went on to explain to me that because of Jesus I am totally one with their Christian relative and also with Jesus and that is why it works out so well to be at the same company. We would never steal from each other or abuse each other because we are ????.
At the end of the conversation the oldest uncle said that he was so moved by this that he was going to meditate every day on whatever Bible verse was on that calendar for the month. I could imagine that if He follows through on that promise that he too might become ???? with us and Jesus. For a family like this that would likely mean an entire family that would become ????. Would you pray for God to use His Spirit to remind this man of his decision to meditate on the Scritptures?
It is such a great pleasure to be here in this place and have Buddhist and Muslim people expose me to new things and new ways of looking at the Bible.
We are thankful for this great opportunity!
Learning like JesusAlmost every day we think about how we might handle situations in our lives similar to the way Jesus handled the situations in His life. This last year it occurred to us that Jesus was a person who kept learning right up until the day that He died. In the past I read that... Jesus grew in wisdom and he grew in stature Jesus grew in favor with God and Jesus grew in favor with men (Luke 2:52) In the past I assumed that Jesus finished the learning phase before He started teaching. I imagined that he was done learning before the stories about His interactions with His disciples and the other religious leaders started. Recently I have thought more about this and realized that right up until the day Jesus died He was still in the process of learning. Even in the act of going to the cross and dying He learned obedience through what He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). So ... Jesus as a leader and teacher was in the process of learning and growing? I am really refreshed that I don't have to pretend that I have arrived at some state of knowledge or wisdom in order to be used by God. There is no need to pretend that my language and cultural understanding is adequate to communicate what needs to be communicated. There is no need to pretend that my understanding of the Bible has arrived at some particular level in order to be used by God. Thanks be to God that He can also use my learning process up until the day that I die to make a difference to others