UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

May 2002 Monthly Letter

Dear Partner In Ministry,

Since many of you indicated in your birthday cards and calls to me a great response to my last letter on faith sharing, I am continuing that theme in this letter.

Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” 1 Peter 3:15

Chris and I were returning from hiking the gRand Canyon. We were exhausted! It had been 5 long days of hiking 10 miles per day, at 90, carrying 45 pound backpacks, burning 500 calories per hour.

In Flagstaff we passed a massage therapy office. Looking at each other, we smiled and both shouted, “Yes!”

During my massage, Tess, the therapist, asked me where we had come from. I responded, “From observing the greatest illustration of God’s grace that I know, the Grand Canyon!”

“What is grace?” she queried. “I am Jewish, but to the dismay of my family, I attend an occasional Sunday school class at a church with a friend. ‘Grace’ is mentioned a lot.”

Now, I confess that when I am getting a massage, I do NOT like to talk, but only relax!

I answered her by telling Jesus’ parable of the king who cancelled a 200,000 years’ wage debt of a servant. Because of the king’s compassion he wrote off the entire debt! Matthew 18:21-35 That’s grace!--like the Canyon; magnificently beyond description.

Tess, suddenly exclaimed, “I get it! I have a friend, Tom, who manages a cemetery. I owe him a large sum of money. After 9/11, he called to say he was canceling my debt! He said money often separates people and that our relationship is more valuable than money. Now I understand what grace is!”

I replied, “Yes, you do!. In Tom you saw what Yahweh did for us in Yeshua, the Messiah. Tom’s comment about money is exactly what sin does, separates us from Yahweh. But He canceled our debt by sending Yeshua, the Lamb of God to become our atonement. The day Yeshua died was our Yom Kippor (day of atonement).”

Then I sat up, looked her in the eyes and said, “I am a goy (gentile) and have only been grafted into the root of Jesse. You came from the root, not the graft! I am so indebted to the Jewish people for the Old Testament and all of its prophecies. Without them, I would have never known about God’s grace to me through Yeshua, the Messiah.”

“Tess, please read Isaiah 53 and ask yourself who Isaiah, the prophet, is writing about? Could it be Yeshua, the Messiah, whom I believe has fulfilled all of the prophecies of the Old Testament?” She thanked me and said, “Yes, I will. I’ve never heard this before.”

So, be prepared to share your faith even at strange times! Now you can imagine for yourself what I said to a server at Pappy’s Restaurant whose name was “Destiny”!!!


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