Friday, June 4, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: A life lesson about just how much Jesus loves you!

Just for You
A devotional by Mirachelle Canada

“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.” – Matthew 18:12-13 (ESV)

As an introverted teenager growing up in church, the worst words I could hear on a youth group outing were “street evangelism” and “tracts”. This meant we had to pair up. Then, with an adult chaperone, we had to go out into the neighborhoods to knock on doors in order to share the love of Jesus Christ with strangers.

I hated street evangelism because talking to strangers terrified me. I was good with words on paper, but not delivering them in person. I finally confessed my fear to my adult helper, who took over with my partner while I watched from the sidelines. At first, I was relieved and then I felt guilty for not fulfilling “The Great Commission” (Matthew 28:16-20). I felt like a failure.

What I didn’t know (or realize then) is that God gives each of us a different gift and talent in order to share His love. Just as not all of us are called to be athletes, doctors, or writers, not all of us are called to be evangelists or pastors either. And, contrary to some beliefs, not all of us have to have a theology degree to be worthy of furthering the Kingdom of God.

God made each of us different, and that means He has a plan for each of us with regards to how His love is shared around the world and in our local communities. He sends some people out to minister to the lost and the broken, and sometimes He sends the lost and the broken directly to us.

In college I choose the creative path of theatre, which forced me out onto the public stage, where I found my physical and singing voice, and the audience came to me. Once I earned the right to be in the spotlight, I felt God meet me each time. Eventually, He gave me unique opportunities to share His love with others. As I got to know people and they got to know me, relationship building led to Kingdom building. Under this principle there is a quote by Teddy Roosevelt that rings true: “People don't care what you know, until they know that you care.” I believe that’s why as a youth I couldn’t just share God’s love with a stranger. It had to mean something first, not just to me, but to the person on the other side of the door.

I have never felt a greater connection to the power of caring about such relationship, than the first time when God used my theatrical talent in church to write and direct an Easter passion play. In doing so, I had to fully rely on God’s Spirit not only to write about His life and death, but to bring it to life on the stage by guiding and directing volunteers from our congregation. People with some – or very little – experience decided to trust me to mold and guide them, and then put the spotlight on them to tell God’s story to an audience that had been sent to receive it.

The first night of a performance I felt as nervous as I did on the days of my old evangelist youth outings. What if I didn’t do enough, God? What if no one comes to the Cross to receive salvation? As our pastor called for the lost and the broken to come forward, no one moved. I felt the walls closing in, but then I remembered that Jesus would have died on the Cross if there had only been one, if there had only been me. That’s how He sees each one of us. That one sheep that broke away from the ninety-nine. He would give everything to go after it. After me. After you.

I felt it in my spirit, God asking me, “Would you do all this for just the one? Put all of yourself out there to bring but one into my kingdom?” I felt the “yes” response to Him in my heart. Suddenly, the audience stirred, and I saw a small boy walking toward the platform. He came up to the cross and touched it.

I fell to my knees and wept with great joy. You see, I didn’t need to bring people to God. I only needed to be available to God right where I was, where I am, and because of Him people will come to His light that shines each time I step out, or sing a melody, or write words to be printed a page or acted out on a stage. Like me, He has a plan for you, to use you right where you are to touch that one who’s searching for their way back home.

Let's Pray: Dear God, you created me for a purpose. Thank you for making me unique and giving me special gifts and talents to use for the furtherance of your Kingdom. Grant me the courage to be your willing vessel. Thank you for using me to show your love to others. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen. 

*Note from Alexis: Mirachelle's message reminds me of the song "Just for Me" by Donnie McClurkin. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Mirachelle Canada is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director/producer from Northern Virginia, where she teaches television production at her high school alma mater. 

She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University and is an alumnus of Act One: Hollywood Film & Television Writing Program.

Mirachelle is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, American Fiction Writers Virginia Chapter, The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and Your Novel Blueprint.

She is currently working on her first historical fiction novel set during WWII.

Connect with Mirachelle:

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