Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 … Love In Their Language

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 117 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video images from Steve Green singing the truth of sharing God’s love with others in the song … People Need the Lord … poignantly singing of the universal reality that we need to be sharing our Lord’s love with any and all who will listen.

Highlight Verse[s]: Acts 17:22-23 … [NLT] … 
22 So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, 23 for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. 
… Paul did all he could to make those to whom he shared the Gospel message feel like he was speaking to friends rather than enemies.
Highlight Passage [context]: Acts 17:22-32 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… The story of Paul on the Acropolis in Athens speaking to local dignitaries IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE about THEIR OWN LIFE CUSTOMS to help him set the stage for the Gospel. 

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … John 14:6 [NLT] … 
6 Jesus told [His disciples], “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. … “ 
… Jesus shared the ultimate truth which needs to be conveyed to all thru our witness.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … 1st Corinthians 10:27-33 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Paul teaching on how to share God’s love with others who have different customs and lifestyles, doing all we can short of offending God to make those with whom we share feel comfortable and accepted.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Dave Branon, used a personal story to illustrate how sharing God’s love with others - in their own language - can help us sharing His love, making others see how much we care for them. The ODB author wrote: I stood before the gathering at a small Jamaican church and said in my best local dialect, “Wah Gwan, Jamaica?” The reaction was better than I expected, as smiles and applause greeted me. 
In reality, all I had said was the standard greeting, “What’s going on?” in Patois [pa-twa], but to their ears I was saying, “I care enough to speak your language.” Of course I did not yet know enough Patois to continue, but a door had been opened. 

Do my readers here agree that we all feel uncomfortable when we’re in the presence of someone trying to share their thoughts in a language we don’t understand? … Of course, we are! … And the opposite is also true, … that we feel more at ease and willing to listen when someone is trying to convey their thoughts to us … in our own language.

Well, that’s what the Apostle Paul was up against when we was called to speak to a group of influential Greek leaders on Mars Hill in Athens (see the highlight passage); but Paul knew their language; and in fact, he spoke them about their own spiritual customs to make them be more ready to hear about the truths he wanted to share with them about His great God. And that’s a lesson we all need to learn and apply when we’re trying to share God’s love with others. Everyone needs Jesus (hear the linked song); but they will hear Him better in their own language or as we share live with them in their own ways of living (see 1Cor. 10:27-33).

So, … if there are obvious differences, especially language differences, when we share God’s love with others who need Christ, we need to do all we can to share God’s love with others in “their own language” if possible. But remember, when you encounter someone - maybe today - who doesn’t speak our language, EVERYONE can understand a smile … or a sincere handshake … or even a hug. God’s love translates well through that universal language … to ANYONE … ANYWHERE.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … dear Lord, … help me to do all I can to share your love with those who need You … even to those who live differently than me or speak another language. Let them see You in my smile or my touch - even today. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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