"No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope."
Acts 2:26 (NLT)
"We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them."
1 John 4:16 (NLT)
It breaks my heart that so many people in this world have not experienced the all-consuming love of our Savior. Some think that God could never love them, that they have been too "bad" or have made too many mistakes. Some have lost too much respect for themselves; they falsely believe that a God who knows everything about them couldn't care whether they live or die.
But here's the truth: God’s love transforms lives. It heals those who think they have been broken beyond repair.
While reflecting on the power of His amazing love, I am reminded of the way in which His love is always with us—no matter where we are, what we do or what we say. The Apostle John left us with profound words reminding us of this gift. In 1 John he writes, "We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them"
(1 John 4:16, NLT).
One of our goals at International Students, Inc. is to bridge the gap between our human belief that we are "unworthy" of His love and the reality that He loves each of us immensely and unconditionally. In addition to speaking this reassuring and comforting truth into the lives of students from all over the world, we are also tasked with sharing the Good News with students who have never heard the Gospel.
Friend, we hear so many incredible stories here at the ISI Home Office about how God's love is changing the hearts and minds of so many students. It all starts when one of our staffers or volunteers shows or speaks God's love into someone's life. Sometimes it's in a simple, last-minute drive to Walmart to help a student purchase school items or clothes. Other times, it's taking the time to share a personal testimony.
As you know, it can be extremely dangerous, and even life-threatening to share the Gospel in India and other countries that fall within the 10/40 window. International students who become Christians during their time in the US also face opposition from their family. This is most definitely true in India, where extended family is the most important social structure.
In the story I am about to share, you will see God's providential timing at work! Not only did one of our ISI staffers get to reconnect with a returnee in India this summer, but he got to share the truth of God's unconditional love with the student's family. Our staffer writes:
"While praying, I felt God directing me towards four families: one of them was in North India. The returnee in the family had done a summer internship at the local university when studying in the US. While there, he attended my last Bible study before we moved. He happened to be available and living with his parents in a North Indian city during the time of my visit. God enabled me to spend an entire evening with the family! The father was very interested in spiritual things and asked a lot of questions. I was able to share the whole salvation story and my own testimony. Seeing his father's interest, the son felt completely free to ask me spiritual questions. I was able to read the Bible in front of his whole family, including his mother and sister. I was in disbelief with what God was doing in front of my eyes!"
This staffer made a bold move by sharing the Gospel in this situation. And sometimes it only takes one bold move to stir the fire of God's love in another person. The seeds of hope planted in the life of this family are unmeasurable. It is my prayer that God continues to work in this family. Who knows how many other people in India will hear the Good News as a result of this staff member's bold move!
As we progress in the week ahead, I encourage you to think of ways you can show God's love to those around you. How can you show others by way of action or words that God is love? Remember, He lives in you! You have the ability to reveal His compassion and unconditional love. Just like the staff member in this story I shared, who knows whom your light will affect or how far it will travel! What a blessing to walk this dark earth with a light inside us wanting nothing more than to shine and show others the way.
For More Information:
Learn more about how much God loves you!
Learn about how to become an ISI volunteer!