I have the honor and great pleasure of teaching a class called “Search for Significance” for our clients. It is a wonderful experience for me and I hope it is a blessing for them. I am constantly amazed by our conversations. Take this one over Matthew 16:24-25, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Many of the folks in class can quote Scripture incredibly well. They tend to do this to answer a question. They are quite adroit at it. One gentleman said that even when he high he could quote “the truth of God.” He understood that it was crack or Jesus. He took this passage very seriously. He is currently clean, but has bluntly told me that he is on the fence. He is still “thinking about it” because he knows what he is giving up and does not know if it is worth it.
I find this honesty refreshing. He takes Jesus at His word and understand exactly what He is saying, “It’s me or the thing you love.” Those of us who do not have the issues that so visibly reveal our allegiance could stand to learn from these folks for we may be able to fool ourselves, but never Jesus.
Another gentleman, who I have been mentoring for several years, points to this verse as part of his strength. “It gives me a reason to deny myself,” he has told me on more than one occasion. In his mind there has to be a reason, a really good one, not to be an active user. Jesus is that reason. He found that reason and is growing to be more like Jesus, because of people who he has met at and through the Open Door Mission.
We provide an opportunity for people to see Jesus through our actions and our words. Many folks, who call Open Door Mission home, have life experiences that both attract and repel them and they desperately are looking for something better. They are examining us from top to bottom. They are looking for hypocrisy or fakery. They want desperately to take the leap, but they are afraid to take something at face value.
Here is the incredible thing about our God. He uses us, as imperfect as we are, to be apart of a life changing event whether we realize it or not. My fence sitting friend has inspired others to really learn the Scripture that people in our New Life Recovery program as asked to memorize. The other gentleman has both been a blessing to his peers as well as me and other Christians who God has placed in his life. You too can be a blessing and be blessed by helping Mission residents embrace Christ. Please come be a blessing.
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