I was so glad to hear from you again. Your dad delivered your letter when he came to California to speak last month. Ava, I am thankful for your family’s friendship over the years. Seeing your mom last summer and then your dad and hearing from you again is a pleasure! Friends are some of God’s greatest gifts!
You said it was hard to tell your friend about Jesus because she seemed disappointed. Thank you for sharing with me how hard that was for you. I do understand this. We want to see people happy, at least I do (and I’ll bet you do, too!), and when people don’t think that Jesus is good news, then we don’t make them happy.
But sometimes the truth hurts, right? And I want to be a faithful friend to look out for the best interests of my friends, even if it is hard. I stood in the kitchen today at work looking at a really beautiful mini bundt spice cake with frosting and fall-fetti. I could eat one (or 3), and believe with all my heart that I wouldn’t get sick, right? You know what I’m talking about! But the truth is, eating that cake would make it hard for me to walk tomorrow. That truth doesn’t make me happy, but it sure does help me!
I don’t know if that make sense to you, but what you are experiencing is exactly what Jesus says would happen. Take a look at John 15:18. Jesus tells the disciples, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” That is not an easy truth, but it is a good one that helps us understand why people are not happy to hear about Jesus.
So, this is the third installment of my letter to you, and I wanted to sum it up with the most important advice about how to be a missionary. In the end of all, the best thing to keep in mind is that we are called to Love God and Love People. And we can do that anywhere, right? Ohio, California, Oman, or Cambodia.
Loving God begins with knowing Him as your Savior; its trusting that God is holy, that people are sinful, and that Jesus alone is the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Only through Jesus can we become the children of God–His friends! Jesus’s salvation makes it possible for us to love God.
And loving God makes it possible for us to love people–even those who are not good and kind to us. Loving people is actually evidence that we love God. (Read 1 John) Loving people means simply that we want the best for them and will give of ourselves to make that happen.
I hope that is helpful, Ava, in 4th grade and in life. And I pray that the God of grace would you give great joy as you seek to love Him and the people He will put in your path. And if you want to get to Cambodia or Oman some day to love people by taking God’s love to them, I would love to help with that. ✈
That’s it for now. Please keep in touch! And come hang in California sometime soon!
For the King!
Your friend, Dr. Lisa