All that for ONE?!!

Breakfast at our house is generally a yammer fest! We have all had our mouths closed for quite a few hours and Clarks are notorious for struggling with such a feat.

This morning was no different, we started our day by reading a story about a man who was cheated in business by the same man that led him to the Lord and the REAL price that was paid in that situation.  From there, we went to discussing the following story.  I assure you that they both warranted great discussion.

A distinguished Indian evangelist Sadhu Chellappa was on a mission trip to a village north of Madras, when in the middle of the night he suddenly sensed God speaking to him: “Leave this house quickly and run away!” Not exactly a convenient thing to do.  But Chellappa was accustomed to accepting even strange instructions from the Lord without debate, so he dressed quickly and ran into the darkness.

After a while he was in open country.  As he passed beneath a large tree, he felt God tell him, “Stay here and start to preach!”  Now, even for an experienced evangelist this was puzzling – because there was no one to be seen.  Why did God want him to preach to an empty field in the middle of the night?  But he stopped under the tree and began to preach the Gospel.

Finally, he reached the point at which he called on his unseen listeners to give their lives to Jesus.  He was surprised to hear a voice from the top of the tree and see a man climbing down, crying.  The man tearfully gave his life to Jesus.  When Chellappa asked why he was in the tree out in the middle of nowhere, the man admitted, “I came out here to hang myself.”*

I think that even the most hardened of us would admit that was an amazing and awesome story.  The middle of the night, preaching to a tree???  WOW!  That is faith, indeed.  We could have focused on the faith that was required of Mr Chellappa.  But we didn’t.

Because the man was hidden in a tree and God Himself sent someone to him to preach the Gospel, we could have focused on the call of God and the miraculous measures  He goes through to call His people unto Him.  But we didn’t.

Because Mr Chellappa got up and ran out into the darkness, wandering about and preaching to the side of a tree in the middle of the night, all because God called him to, we could have focused on the importance and value of obedience in the Kingdom.  But we didn’t.

Because God did such a great thing for this man, we could have focused on his responsibility to do great things in the Kingdom.  (You know, “To whom much is given, much is required” and all?)  But we didn’t.

Not that any of those things aren’t worthy of morning Bible discussion.  For they surely are.  It’s just that instead we chose to focus on the love of God that would move one man to give up his sleep, in exchange that a nameless despairing man would meet the Most High God sitting in a tree, in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.  We chose to focus on the fact that religion looks at that situation and says, “Man, I wonder who HE became in the Kingdom?”  When in fact, Love says, “He became My son,” and that’s enough.  Father doesn’t put nearly the flase expectations on us that we place on one another!  He is willing to move heaven and earth to save one lost sheep.  We see that as a waste, if we’re not operating with a Kingdom mindset.  Religion is very sneaky that way.

That reminds me so much of the woman who came and broke the oil over Jesus’ feet.  Religion was offended, but Jesus saw her act for what it was – a store of worship and love that ran deeper than any earthly treasure could compare.  It may well be that this man went on to lead thousands to the Lord.  It may be that he didn’t lead another soul to Jesus, only loved Him wholly with his own life.  And you know, to Jesus it doesn’t matter.  (Not saying that the Lord has lifted the call upon all our lives to take the Gospel into all the world.  I’m not talking about call here – I’m talking about the love of the Lord!!) His love for us runs deeper than we can understand.

How great is the love the Father has LAVISHED on us, that we should be called the children of God, for that is what we are!!

*This story came from today’s “issue” of TGIF (Today God is First), from Os Hillman.  You may subscribe here, if you’re interested in receiving it as well.

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