Shining like stars:
I have just got back from the Baptist Assembly where the key theme was ” Shining like stars” taken from the Bible text in Philippians 2:14-16:
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. “
One of my friends from India is Ben Francis who leads a Ministry called “Big Life”. He shared this story of a man called Tapan Sarka in West Bengal in India:
“I live in West Bengal, India. Before I came to know Jesus I lived in a village called Tani Kali. In front of my house there was a Hari temple where we worshipped the god Hari. We also used to worship the goddess Kali as well. I was very much involved in the worship. My mother was a great devotee of the goddess Kali, and she would go to the temple to give a gift before doing anything, regardless of what was happening in her home. After worshipping the goddess Kali for so many years, what did we get from that? Nothing.
When my wife and I came to the Lord, I began work as a Big Life church planter. On February 12, 2008, I was working at a medical camp (outreach) on the other side of the river. I received a call while I was in the medical camp. I was told that my wife was not well. When I got home, I saw my wife was already dead. She had been killed by the members of her immediate family. They beat her severely, and she died.
When I found out who had killed my wife, rather than pressing charges I forgave them as Jesus has forgiven me. I did not let them go to jail but their guilt began to work on them. Soon after my wife died, my mother, was 65, and the others in my house came to understand who Jesus is. They received Jesus and were baptized. My mother used to worship a goddess in the evening, but now my whole family gathers and prays to Jesus.Since this tragedy occurred, 23 members of my family have given their lives to Jesus including some of my wife’s killers. ”
Tapan goes on in the interview to say that he misses his wife greatly but is comforted that he will see her in heaven. In the meantime he has much more work to do. (you can see more about Big LIfe ministries at http://www.biglifeonline.org )
We in the UK are called in our communities, like Tapan is in West Bengal, to “Shine Like Stars as children of God” and to share the good news of Jesus. Praise God that we have this opportunity! I missed you all last weekend and am looking forward to being back with you all this Sunday.
God bless and much love from