Some years ago I was privileged to hear the testimony of a man named Gram Seed. You can listen to his powerful story here: http://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Inspirational-Breakfast/Interviews/Inspirational-Breakfast-Best-Bits-22-Apr-2008
Gram came from Middlesbrough and from his early years had been in trouble with police, beginning with small scale theft and progressing to holding up lorries and stealing the contents. Violence, particularly at football matches, was also a big part of his life.
Gram had 13 different spells in prison, and eventually ended up homeless. He also had problems with alcohol and drugs.
Whilst out on the streets Gram was approached and befriended by a group of Christians. They visited him every day, both out on the streets and when he was taken into hospital. Gram had always thought God could only love good people, which he certainly wasn’t. But through the risk-taking love of the Christians he met Gram’s life was turned around. He became a Christian, and started a ministry telling other people about the amazing thing God had done in turning his life around. He went onto the streets of Middlesbrough and just talked to people about Jesus. Later he became a prison chaplain, even going into institutions where he had previously been an inmate himself.
Gram’s life was changed because God inspired a group of Christians to take a chance and start a conversation with him, despite the fact that he was an angry, violent criminal with drug and alcohol problems.
Are there people who God has called you to reach out to, who you would not otherwise engage with if it were not for your relationship with Jesus?
Today Robert Schnase offers us this prayer and challenge:
Help us never to grow weary or discouraged in seeking to love others as you have loved us,
even when we cannot see the signs of change we hope for.
Challenge: Whatever issue pulls at your heart that seems unsolvable (violence, poverty, abuse, drugs, disease …) lift in up in prayer daily until some small way becomes clear for you about how you can help.