A Simple Gesture

by | Apr 11, 2020 | Helping, Kindness, Love

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” Romans 1:16 (NKJV)

I was about twelve years old when the accident happened. At the time, I was standing on the balcony of my parents’ 5th floor apartment. I loved to watch from above as the tiny-looking people scurried along, but that day my attention was drawn to a young lad crossing a street. He hadn’t checked for traffic before leaving the sidewalk, and from my vantage point, I could see something that he could not see from his: A car, driving well over the speed limit, was coming his way.

“NO!” I yelled, but the word was hardly out of my mouth when the boy was struck by that speeding car.

Even though I didn’t know him, I felt so sad. Would he survive?

It is an innate reaction for us to want to warn people about catastrophes. It’s our way of showing we care, for who in their right mind would ignore someone heading for catastrophe?

When we lived in Tucson, Arizona, 30 years ago, we sometimes experienced days when it rained so much that some of the roads became quite dangerous. Anyone crossing these roads would be in danger of being washed away, and eventually of drowning. Anyone would do anything to warn these people: “Don’t cross! It is very dangerous!” Shouldn’t we be the same towards the lost world?

In keeping with this, just before Christ was taken back up into heaven, He gave us a mandate: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NKJV)

His last words shouldn’t surprise us. After all, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ASV). If Jesus cared so much for each one of us, shouldn’t we care as well? Wouldn’t we want to warn them that there are only two options? “He will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant {they seemed}, you failed to do for me.’ These people will go away into eternal punishment, but those with God’s approval will go into eternal life.” Matthew 25:45-46 (GW).

The first century Christians took Christ’s mandate to heart. They spread and spread, announcing the good news to everyone. According to Acts 2:41, the church grew from 120 to 3000. Acts 2:46-47 tells us Jesus added to their number daily. In Act 6:1,7 we see that the numbers were increasing rapidly. Acts 9:35 states that the churches were strengthening and multiplying, and we learn in Acts 11:20-21 that many Greeks accepted Christ in Antioch. Within 19 years, the disciples were accused of turning the world upside down. 30 years later, the number of Christ’s followers had multiplied 4-hundredfold. By the fourth century, there were more than ten to twelve million Christians, and they just kept on multiplying. Why? Because they cared. Jesus gave them a mandate and they followed in His footsteps.

Shouldn’t we become like these first disciples who broadcasted the truth all over the world so that none would miss the opportunity to receive salvation? It is true that some of us are not too keen on witnessing. We are too afraid of ridicule. After all, no one likes to be mocked. At the same time, however, would we prefer to ignore them, and thus be the cause of them eventually missing the boat of salvation?

The first century disciples endured way more than we will ever have to face. Check out the following texts:

“You suffered with prisoners. You were cheerful even though your possessions were stolen, since you know that you have a better and more permanent possession.” Hebrews 10:34 (GW)

” “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, at the feet of Gamaliel, educated according to [the] exactness of the law of [our] fathers, being zealous for God, as you are all this day; who have persecuted this way unto death, binding and delivering up to prisons both men and women.” Acts 22:3-4 (Darby)

These early Christians lost everything, but though we would think they would be in despair, they weren’t: “Dear friends, don’t be surprised by the fiery troubles that are coming in order to test you. Don’t feel as though something strange is happening to you, but be happy as you share Christ’s sufferings. Then you will also be full of joy when he appears again in his glory. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed because the Spirit of glory-the Spirit of God-is resting on you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14 (GW)

Do you see that kid crossing the street? Look! That car is out of control!

What will you do about it?

Rob Chaffart


A Simple Gesture