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Don't Lose Heart

PURPOSE

This purpose of this project is to encourage Christians who struggle to share the good news of the hope of Jesus Christ with their loved ones.

1. TOPIC

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2. COMPONENTS

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3. ARCHETYPE

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4. THE STORY

Video Version:

Prose Version:

The story of how my grandmother shared the Gospel with me as a child and throughout my life (and prayed for my salvation).

I remember how I loved to sit on my grandmother's knee because she would tell me these amazing stories – stories about growing up in the Depression and World War II, stories about our family, stories about life and love and loss (beautiful stories, painful stories, unforgettable stories).

But the greatest stories she told me were from the Bible. When I was a child, God used her to sow the incorruptible seed of His Word in my heart. She taught me about Jesus Christ, gave me bibles, encouraged me to read and memorize Scripture, pleaded with me to trust in God, and prayed for my salvation. She was the one who first shared with me the hope of the Gospel.

God used those seeds to save me when I was twenty-nine-years-old.

But like many who grew up in the Bible belt, I was a false convert. I “walked down the aisle” and “asked Jesus into my heart” at a Christian summer camp when I was nine-years-old. But I wasn't born again, and my so-called “religious experience” was just a deceitful work of the flesh. I didn't bear the fruit of a true Christian. I had no love for God, no interest in His Word, and no desire to be with His people. I was dead in my trespasses and sins, enslaved to my lusts and pleasures, and blind to the irresistible light of the glory of God.

But, through all of this, my grandmother spoke the hard truths of God's Word (even when I wasn't receptive and it made me angry). She fed me when I was starving, gave me a place to stay when I had nowhere to go, protected me when I was in danger, and loved me when I was unlovable.

And when I was twenty-nine-years-old, God answered her prayers. God, being rich in mercy, made me alive together with Christ. He removed the scales of darkness from my eyes, transformed my heart of stone to a heart of flesh, granted me repentance and saving faith (by grace I have been saved), set me free from the power and penalty of sin, credited me with His perfect righteousness, reconciled me to Himself, sealed me with the Holy Spirit, and adopted me as His child, so that in the ages to come He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward me and the ransomed church in Christ Jesus!

Even after my conversion, God used her as an instrument of His grace in my life. She comforted me when I was discouraged, helped me when I was in desperate need, and reminded me to always fix my eyes on Christ – the author and perfecter of my faith – as my heart was prone to wander.

I got to share the Gospel with my grandmother, encourage her with God's Word, and pray for her as she died.

And when my grandmother got sick and was dying, I went to see her in the hospital. Though she was under from morphine, I wanted to comfort her and prayed for God to allow her to hear His Word.

When I opened her "little white Bible" (the one she carried when she married my grandfather), I was delighted to find the Bible verses I had scribbled on a piece of paper to encourage her through some struggles. As I sat next to her, I proclaimed God's truth from Romans 8. And I read her favorite Psalm, the Sermon on the Mount, Bible verses she underlined or highlighted, and from Revelation 7 and 21.

By that time, it was late and we had a long drive home, so I whispered a prayer in her ear, kissed her forehead, and said, "goodbye," to my family. But, right when we were about to leave, she stopped breathing and died.

My grandmother died like she would have wanted with her family around her. And though we wept over our loss, we rejoiced in the promises of God's Word that to live is Christ and to die is gain and to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

I got to preach the Gospel at her funeral and graveside.

And by God's grace, what a privilege I was given to preach the Gospel at her funeral and pray at her graveside, so that many of my family and friends heard God's truth.

Because my grandmother was faithful and obedient to share the Gospel with me, now I can share it with others. I can equip and encourage those in my local church and believers throughout the world to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light. And as I make disciples who make disciples, the fruit of my grandmother's ministry continues to bring honor and praise to the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ, and to make His name great among the nations.

So, don't grow weary or lose heart in sharing the Gospel with your loved ones. Don't stop praying to God and pleading for Him to give the increase.

Sometimes we see immediate fruit. Sometimes, like my grandmother, we don't see fruit until many years later. And sometimes we don't see fruit at all.

But, remember that God's Word does not return void, and His sheep WILL hear His voice. So, be faithful to the Lord and obedient to His Word, and by His grace, I pray you glorify Him and bear everlasting fruit for His kingdom.

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