Saturday, July 8, 2017

Reaching Out

For the past twelve years I have been attending Lifest, a Christian music festival here in Wisconsin. Lately, my ministry partner and I have been thinking about ending our run here. Neither of us are getting any younger and the allure of camping on the cold, hard ground has lost its appeal. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Well, I'll tell you why.

Last night we sat in our screen tent, talking with a mother of two that my friend had invited to the event. Somehow I ended up giving my testimony to this lady.  It was interesting watching her eyes as I told her the story of how God had reached out to me. She was soaking it in. Then I asked her about her story. Oh my.

Let me just say that, if their was ever a life filled with more hardship, I haven't heard the story. Wow. As I listened, the thoughts in my head were filled with compassion and mercy. "Where were the supporting and encouraging people in her life?" I wondered. Where was the church?

Later that evening I checked my messages on Facebook and found one from another single mom. I hadn't heard from this kid for a year and suddenly, boom, here she was reaching out for help. She, her boyfriend and young daughter are currently homeless.

I go back to the question, "Why do we keep coming to Lifest?" The answer is, "It's not for US. It was never about US. It's not about our comfort. It's for those we meet here. Those we invite here like my friend did. It's an event for us to bring people to and to encourage them in their struggling walk through this world. JESUS is why we are here. This is not about us.

All this stuff happened on Thursday, the opening day. Who knows what will happen the rest of the week. And we were wondering about coming back next year? Friday morning I ordered our tickets and campsites for 2018. God is moving in this place. How can we, His children, NOT be here . . .. moving along with him?

Lifest has as its slogan, "A Party With A Purpose". There is most definitely a purpose here. That "purpose" is loving others where they are at. It is introducing others to the God of the Universe and showing them how much he cares for them. Come back next year? Oh yeah.

There are hands reaching out to for help everywhere in this world. Many don't know who they are reaching out for - anyone who is willing to help.  My dear friends, let me tell you about Jesus.

"25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” - Matthew 14:25-31

There is power in Peter's words as they tell us what we must do to be saved. He cried out to Jesus and was saved. Who in your life is reaching out their hand for help?

Reach Out To Jesus - Elvis Presley
Paul Washer on Evangelism

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