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Inspirations # 909
Are you a Demonstrator...
or a Doer?
By Ralph E. McIntosh
It seems like surrounding our last election in the US, demonstrations have taken center stage. They are, in my opinion, a smokescreen! Yes, they show others what they favor or what they think, but do little to advance true change. We have graciously, by our founding fathers, been given ways to change our government. It has little to do with demonstrations although a lot to do with freedom of speech.
It is actually the “doer” who gets things done! A demonstration is not the product, it tells about the product. A demonstrator is not the change even if hoping for change.
How is your Christian life? Are you a demonstrator of Christianity? Or are you a doer of Christianity.
We can go to church, talk about God and His love, but if we are not doers of the Word we are hearers only. (James 1: 22, But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.)
Think about Jesus' life on earth. He didn't just come to demonstrate God's love, he was the very Word of God in flesh. He lived God's love—giving hope, healing the sick, being a friend and not an overlord, and praying for us to His Father--interceding for us.
We have launched into a new year or have been launched, depending on whether we are active or proactive! How will we live out this year? What can we do to live our faith more than talk about faith?
My wife, Susan, and I chose to go to Washington, DC to be there for the inauguration of our new President. However, we chose to be there a day early and to go to Reagan National Airport to pray for Passengers, TSA, Police, USO Volunteers, Military Personnel, Chaplains, Shop Keepers and anyone else who stood still long enough to be approached. We actually went there to pray through the halls for safety of the passengers and of our nation at a critical time of our history.
Then we returned to the airport for parts of four more days to continue our Vigil of Peace and Witnessing. We did the same on the trains and in the train station the night of the inauguration! Amazingly, both the train station and the airport experienced up to 3000 demonstrators pass through without any violence in those places! How often do we underestimate the value of the prayers we offer or the power of the God we serve?
We felt the hand of God protecting us after the inauguration as we went to take the train back to our borrowed car. First we missed the right train because we chose the wrong station. Then we found that the last train to our destination had gone. A Metro employee heard us asking what to do and offered to take us to the train she takes home to a city which was near our car. She kept checking on us to be sure we got off where she did. Another passenger overheard the employee helping us and when we got off came back to give is a ride to our car—20 minutes in the wrong direction for her!
As we rode along with our “rescuer” and her son, we found out that she and her family had moved from Trinity, Florida to Maryland...that she had lived only a few miles from us...she and her family knew our dear friends, the Gills, and had gone to church with them in Florida. Now, tell me, what are the chances of a stranger in DC, out of the hundreds of thousands there that day, offering to help us and being part of our “extended family of Christ?” Was God watching out for us? We believe so, and that he was rewarding us for living our faith—not just talking about it.
I would urge you to begin being the Extended Hand of God in the world and to people around you. Ask God to make you even bolder to just be a friend, an observer of the needs of others, a person who compliments the little things and uses that opening to share how Jesus can touch the heart and life of the person you just complimented. Many of us wish for “openers” but we don't see the obvious openings we could take. Just acknowledging someone in line with you often opens the door for you to bless them!
Let me share just one of our encounters in the airport. One day on the way to walk and pray the airport, I prayed, “Lord, I don't want to just be friendly, I want the contacts today to be valuable and eternal." As we started off through the airport I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a young man yawn in a smoothie shop. Well, we had devotionals by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland to give away for free. So I stepped over to the young man and said, “I have something that will keep you awake!” Our next few minutes were amazing. He said, “I'd read that! I have a book my mother gave me by Joel Osteen, but I'll read that one too.
As we talked we found that he had no place to live, was working days in the airport, but sleeping where he could find a quiet place and trying to save money to rent an apartment. Then Susan said, “Are you praying for your wife?” He put his head on the counter and began to weep. Just the compassion he felt and that someone cared about his future was more than he could contain! There is much more to the story, but we have gone back several times to see him, have taken him to church, have connected him with a dynamite couple from our church, Pastors John and Needra Hawkins, who just started a congregation near the airport.
Can you see how good God is to answer our prayers and to hear the cry of another believer's heart? Instead of protesting, we can be doing the will of God daily, making a major difference in the world around us.
Here is our new friend, William. Would you pray for him and Yassin, a former Muslim who also works in the airport?
Susan with our dear friend Natalie who invited us to walk the airport near her store and gave us Faith to Faith devotionals to hand out.
Ralph E. McIntosh