“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
Like a lot of people who grew up going to church (with my mother’s loving “encouragement” as a youth, and now with a grateful heart), I assumed everyone was pretty aware of Romans 10:13. Just call on the Lord and be saved, right? Simple. In fact, with a church on every corner, I thought everyone had the same opportunity that I had. Well……. not exactly.
As I grew older I was in for a rude awakening. I found out there is a big world out there. A world full of people who not only don’t know Jesus, but have never even heard of Him. A world full of people that aren’t “saved.” A world full of people lost, living without hope, and unfortunately dying without hope.
This truly hit home when I took my first trip to Guatemala in 2018. On this trip we met people who had never heard of Jesus. People who didn’t know to call on His name to be saved. People who not only didn’t have a local church to attend, but who barely had a roof over their heads. These people would walk to and from town with the hopes that they might have enough to make ends meet. They had not only deep physical needs, but even deeper spiritual needs. It was truly an eye opening experience! And to quote the boxer Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.” That day, spiritually speaking, I got punched in the mouth. I got punched hard!
What made my heart ache most was the look of hopelessness in their eyes – spiritual hopelessness. It’s one thing to have it tough in life, but without spiritual hope of Jesus, it’s an entirely different ballgame. Which is likely why the suicide rate is extremely high there as well.
So what did we do about it? We spent the next week loving on those people, by serving them, and simply sharing life with them! The people we ministered to are a beautiful people. They just needed someone willing to be the answer to the questions in Romans 10:14. We were able to give them a hope in Jesus, no matter the circumstances. We told them of a better life after this one for those who believe. And we showed them that no matter where we are from, what we have, or what we lack, we are all His children. They just needed people to love them like He loves us.
So as believers, no matter where we are, WE are to be those people. WE are to be the answers to the questions in Romans 10:14. WE are to be examples of what it looks like to believe in Jesus, and share His good news so they may believe. WE are to love and encourage with our words and our actions. WE are to live out the Great Commission that we recite as a congregation each week.
So no matter if it’s a trip across the world or a trip across the street, WE need to be the “how” to the hurting, the struggling, and those without hope. WE need to show them just what it means to Live and Love like Jesus! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions:
- What are some ways that you can be the ‘how’ to someone to needs to hear the good news?
- Has there been a time when God pierced your heart over the spiritual hopelessness of others?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
A big thanks to Dylan Owens, one of our Guatemala coordinators, for today’s devotional thought! Due to a COVID diagnosis, Dylan wasn’t able to be with us on this trip. But he was with us in spirit (and texts).