One thing that has been blowing my mind recently is that the Gospel is sufficient for every person on the planet. It is able to reach everyone wherever they are.
This has been particularly astounding to me since I began cashiering at a local store. The Lord sees it fit for me to cross paths with hundreds of people per day. And what do I do? I smile the brightest smile I can offer. I ask the Spirit in me to exude His own aroma. (Hehe.) Sometimes I look people in the eyes and pray for them as I ask them if they want their milk in a bag. And they have no idea that the mundane works of my hands provides a rich experience for my heart every time I meet another person loved by the Lord.
(Disclaimer: Of course, these prayers and thoughts do not happen with every encounter. But these encounters are the ones I want to emphasize because of what I intend to focus on in this post.)
For the husband and father exhausted from work and misunderstood by his family, the Gospel is hope for peace to calm him and joy to seize his relationships.
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
For the woman who is 40, single and insecure about herself, there is a Love more pure and passionate than what she has been imagining for the past 25 years.
"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17
For the man consumed with his career and unwilling to give anything else his time or attention, there is a Kingdom more exciting and consuming and enduring than what earth has to offer him.
"Now if there is no resurrection...why do we endanger ourselves every hour? . . . If the dead are not raised, 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.'" 1 Corinthians 15:19, 30 & 32
For the pregnant teenager overtaken by fear, rejection, and uncertainty, there is hope for an abundant future, absolute acceptance, and unfailing love and faithfulness.
"Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth." Isaiah 54:4
For the Indian family in an unfamiliar land, there is hope for eternal citizenship in heaven and a loving Father who will meet every one of their needs and understand their cultural background.
"For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4
For the adamant Athiest locked into his "theology," there is truth that will set him free. He no longer has to exhaust his mind with what he cannot know for sure, but can be given faith, rest and the unshakable promises found in Scripture.
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. . . . My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." 1 Corinthians 1:18 & 2:4
For the respected pastor battling with (and losing to) an addiction that, if known, would cost him his job and his reputation, there is grace to catch him where he has fallen that can bring him to a place without fear or shame.
"Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. . . [He] will again have compassion on us; [He] will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:8 & 19
For the nine-year-old Filipino caught in the web of sexual slavery, there is a jealous Lover who bought her with a price so she could be brought into the joy of sharing His inheritance. And for her predator, there is compassion, forgiveness and restoration through Christ's victory over the power of sin.
"For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves." Colossians 1:13
For the marriage that has been weighted down by unfulfilled expectations, there is an example of perfect love and the ability to release the reins of a broken relationship. There is a God who wants to glorify Himself through marriage -- and He knows just how He wants that done in every situation.
"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples." John 13:35
For the precious elderly woman whose husband has died and whose family has lived out of state for decades, there is hope for a Romance that will not end with death. And Christ's promises are enough to sustain a heart until He is fully known.
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?" Hosea 13:14
For the devout Muslim family in Libya who has never heard the truth about Jesus or even considered another way of life, there is release from the harsh requirements of their religious law and all-surpassing comfort for when following Christ brings about the suffering of rejection.
"If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more. . . But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. . . for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but a righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." Philippians 3:4, 7-9
For the college student no longer running after his First Love for reasons he can't even explain to himself, there is hope for Christ's passion to fill his heart. There is power available to overcome apathy and the bondage of deception.
"Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. . . . The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come so that you may have life and have it more abundantly." John 8:32 & 10:10
For His willing servant waiting for direction, there is hope for contentment and abundance for the present.
"...and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts." Romans 5:5
I could go on. Perhaps I've been too elaborate already. But the point is to remind myself and God's people that His grace always meets us where we are. His victory has been made accessible to us through Christ's resurrection and is absolutely sufficient for every situation. He defeated death...how could anything else be too hard for Him?!
For the joy,