40 Days of Prayer

Day 8: The two-millennia line

January 8, 2019

My Image

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
2 Timothy 1:5

From Our “Here”…

Have you ever sat down with an aged parent or grandparent and asked them to describe to you what life was like in their childhood or youth? The immediacy of their first-person perspective can transport you to past decades almost as if you had lived then yourself.

History connects us in ways the history books can never record. Imagine, for a moment, a line of just 25 anonymous people. Each man or woman in the line lived into their mid-80s, and his or her life overlapped the lives of the persons before and after in line by two or three years. In other words, their lives form 80-year links in a chain. Just 25 of those links carry you back to the life of Christ.

Perhaps some historian has found a way to overlap a few dozen lives of the famous and powerful through the millennia. Whether or not such a group biography is out there, unidentified lines of unknown people have certainly occurred innumerable times.

For the follower of Christ, there is a much more significant way in which human generations overlap. Every believer is the recipient of someone else’s shared gospel narrative. How that narrative is shared varies. It might be a preschooler listening to a Sunday School teacher or children’s church pastor. It might be a teenager working their first job and meeting a Christian employer. But every Christian has heard of and responded to the hope found in Jesus thanks to another believer who was older either chronologically or simply in the maturity of their faith. After all, some children have offered compelling testimonies that softened and changed older hearts.

…To God’s “There”

These providential lines of the living and dead—all made spiritually alive, thanks to Jesus—exemplify what Jesus himself asked of His followers. Repeatedly, He commanded all who would acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior to tell others how to become reconciled to God through Him.

Is it possible for a believer to become a broken link in one of these chains of grace? That’s a sobering internal query for each of us. If God is calling us to proclaim Jesus to the ends of the earth, whether as missionaries or missions partners, what happens when we draw back in fear or allow misplaced priorities to become substitutes for that task?

This is not an invitation to round-the-clock angst. Was I supposed to stop watering my lawn and quote John 3:16 to the mail carrier as she stopped briefly to drop off today’s bills? Far better to walk through life quietly open to the Holy Spirit’s invitation to season every human interaction with the love of Jesus and seek to speak and act in ways that honor Him.

Making the Leap

God placed you where you are and when you are within the largest scale of His eternal workings through people and events. Each “here and now” you experience has eternally significant potential. Just be ready for the Holy Spirit to call you to “there and then.”

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