(it's not the same as the adult one...but has the same characters etc.)
One of the cool things about reading these books is Bennett's reaction.
He has been thinking up ways to reach people in our lives with the gospel.
In fact....his voluntary after school activity plan yesterday was to print out all the ways that Christ fulfilled the old testament prophesies.
(A worthy yet lofty goal....and one that was actually lost to the distraction of Sponge Bob and a tennis lesson.....)
He is a good kid.
A good good kid.
And his goal is a good good goal.
Sharing the truth is easy.
IF you are sharing it will people who believe the same things you do.
Sharing it with people who think you're annoyingly crazy (or cute but misled) is a little harder.
Sharing it with people whom you love dearly and are very close with who STILL think you're a
Because when the people you love most tell you to lay off the Bible thumping.....it's very easy to back quickly away in fear of damaging relationships.
True......permanently harming relationships isn't so good.
But isn't temporary annoyance worth a permanent good??
Probably totally completely yes.
But when someone is TOTALLY not receptive....you may have to back away.
Doesn't mean you stop praying though.
I found a passage in my bible that made me think of this.
My pastor had given us some neat ideas about it....and it made me think of some people in my life.
It's Mark 9:14-29 basically.
In this passage, a man (perhaps not even a believer in Jesus....just a desperate dad looking for some help) comes to Jesus to find a cure for his child. His son has a "mute spirit" that " Throws him down, he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid."
This man asked the disciples for help, but they couldn't do anything.
Then Jesus came on the scene and took over.
He said, "Bring him to Me."
When the child was brought to Him, he immediately fell down and had a huge awful enormous convulsion.
Jesus had a brief medical history conversation with the dad, then told him, "If you CAN believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
Here the father cried out (with, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful statements in the bible), "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"
And note....the bible says that this utterance was given "WITH TEARS."
(To me....those tears show not only his complete desperation...but also his profound sincerity.)
And guess what?
Jesus healed him.
So here's the thing.
Jesus said "BRING HIM TO ME."
Anyone we know under the sway of Satan.....BRING 'EM TO GOD EVERYDAY IN PRAYER....but be prepared because odds are....that on their way TO Christ....things will get worse before they get better.
The convulsions, or argument, or whatever huge obstacle is keeping this person from being whole in God WILL GET WORSE.
Then notice this:
The dad wanted so very very very much to believe....but he had doubts.
He had honest true real doubt.
He felt in his heart that Christ could do it....
But his head was telling him that it was impossible.
Impossible, ridiculous, and even just some silly little pipe dream with the whole purpose of giving himself (the dad) hope that there was ever a chance for curing his son.
the disciples couldn't do a thing for the boy.
But....(the man must have hoping yet not hoping yet wanting to hope yet afraid to hope yet hoping yet not willing to be crushed yet hoping....)
Maybe the LEADER of the disciples could do something.
the dad made a conscious decision to take a leap of faith.
A leap IN FRONT of the crowds.
A public whole-hearted leap....even though he really was not confident it would be a leap with a soft landing.
"Help me with my unbelief!"
And Jesus ALWAYS has compassion to honest doubt.
And He did.
And the boy was healed.
The dad had his son back....and his son was WHOLE.
Now that's a soft and wonderful landing....if you ask me.
So I am thinking here....
We have people in our lives (and I think we maybe sorta know who they are!))) that we think may NEVER EVER EVER NEVER come to believe in God.
In a way that's right.
They will never come by OUR doing.
BUT....if we keep bringing them before Him in prayer.....
God DOES answer prayer.
When it gets worse (such as this person publicly declaring their disbelief on facebook or refusing to read the bible with you or walking away the minute you start talking....).....then they are feeling the presence of God.
They know He is close....and they don't like that scary conviction.
That's when we don't give up.
That's when we go ALL OUT....and take a leap.
Just thinkin'.........that's all.