I have always known that joy is a distinguishing mark of the Gospel. All religions carry with them a sense of sobriety rooted in uncertainty of whether or not we are accepted by God. There is fear that maybe our offerings or prayers were insufficient to please a supposedly displeased deity. The Gospel will have none of this. It is the liberating truth that we are accepted, not on the basis of anything we have done, but only because of what Jesus has done. Well, last night that joy was evident here in Kalimantan. It broke out all over the stadium.
It was like a heavy weight had rolled off of the shoulders of Buddhists, Christians and Muslims alike; our sins are forgiven, and it happened 2000 years ago at the cross. The people danced, sang, smiled, interrupted by a steady stream of testimonies of healing. They just didn’t want to stop.
Of course the lead up had been a preaching clearly outlining the opportunity for every person to receive the new life provided by Jesus’ resurrection. The people got it, and Jesus came to live in them by His spirit. Like in Samaria long ago, there was joy in Sinkawang, Indonesia. Thousands were waving their newly acquired “Salvation books” paid for by our partners. Faces were beaming. No more uncertainty whether we are accepted by God or not. Jesus’ death and resurrection are enough. Our debt obligation to God has been paid. All is well.
I will blog with a few testimonies tomorrow, but here is just one. Yesterday our tv team visited one lady severely crippled by arthritis. Two days ago she was on the platform testifying of healing, and now our Grace TV team wanted to follow up and see how the lady was doing. Well, they got more of the story. Being a conscientious housewife she had not been able to do any housework, except that she would sit in her chair by the sink, washing the dishes, then toss the dried dishes to a couch across the room. Then with much effort, she’d wheel herself across the room and put the dishes away in low cupboards. When our team visited she had been up all morning cleaning house for the first time in years. “Thanks to Jesus I can do housework again”, she said beaming from ear to ear. Every story is unique, but the joy is the same. It is a sure sign that Jesus is involved. Let me hear from you.