I had just spoken to one of my ESL students who said she has little or no hope for the world in which we live. Her vocal tone was almost a monotone and she rarely smiles. I am not sure how I can help this beautiful young woman. I want to help. I want everyone to understand that they were put on earth, at just this time and place, because God has a plan and purpose for their lives. Then I came across this book – Gospel Bound by Collin Hansen and Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra.
The authors of this book suggest that the key to living a hopeful and rewarding life is ‘to think big and small at the same time.’ What does that mean? Thinking big for me means trusting God for everything. Thinking small means helping others. Buy a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk and take it to the young mother who commented she didn’t have any. Call the friend who is making some tough decisions and simply listen to her talk. Giving what I can when I can is often just a little thing but it makes a God-sized difference in someone else’s life.
One of the problems in the US right now is that we do not understand or perhaps even recognize the amount of suffering that is going on around us. We have isolated our thoughts and actions to our own small group of people and rarely reach out to others. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. The question becomes – is what I’m doing making any difference at all? Gospel Bound suggests that it’s rare to be able to change someone else’s habits. But we must keep on helping others. Some will eventually see the Light. Others will go on as they always have. The Bible doesn’t say each endeavor will be successful, it just says do it! (Be obedient!) We are not asked to do miracles, that’s God’s job anyway, we’re asked to use what we have been given and get on with it.
How do we show God’s love in this topsy-turvy world? Here are a few examples from the book:
God’s Word is and must be our guide.
Live and work with integrity.
Give the best we have in all circumstances.
Show hospitality by sitting with newcomers in worship.
Volunteer in ways we never thought we could.
GET INVOLVED. Don’t just sit back when you see a need.
Be holy, godly, diligent, at peace (2 Peter 3:11,14).
Work while we wait because our minds are set on heaven.
Invest your love (of Jesus) in all your relationships. Take the focus off yourself.
Visit the lonely, feed the hungry, care for the sick.
Do what’s right even when you don’t want to. Even if no one notices. In other words, live with honor. Romans 12:17
Plant a church.
Pray through all your decisions and then stick with them.
Favorite Quote: “When billionaires like Bill Gates give away their fortunes to fight diseases and help the world’s poorest people, we recognize God’s provision, even if Gates does not recognize God.”
Although I recognized the value of this book I was a bit disturbed by some vulgar language and way too much explicit description of sexual activity. I simply want to warn you with this statement. I hope it doesn’t keep you from reading it.
Blessings to you and yours!
This book will be published on April 6, 2021
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Net Galley/Walter Brook & Multnomah Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”