S and D are serving in a Namestan location. This is S's first year as a Team Leader and D's second. "The Lord has consistently provided opportunities to share with students", D writes. "I have even occasionally been surprised at how 'easy' it has been to share Christ with students in a natural and relevant way. Ozzy is one student I meet with regularly. Ozzy knew our team last year and when I was able to reconnect with him this year he was in a place of brokenness having just been betrayed by his best friend and girlfriend. He told me that he felt very stupid, very lonely and hopeless. Ozzy listened as I shared that true acceptance and true freedom from our mistakes is found in Christ. Since then we have been able to discuss the Gospel several more times. Slowly he is understanding that the Gospel is about what God does for us, not what we do for Him. Though he is not ready to accept the Gospel for himself, he knows he needs to investigate who Jesus is because the opportunity to hear from Christians is rare here."
In their city where S and D lead are also ICS. D says, "One of the unexpected blessings of serving in my city has been the chance to know the long-term staff here. While we do most of our ministry by ourselves as a STINT team we get to spend time meeting, praying, and socializing with the long-term couples and families. This is not only great because is provides a social outlet but it also enable us to experience life with some slightly older and more experienced people. I have especially been blessed by the chance to get to know older men who are married and have children. Through talking with them and watching them lead and love their families I have learned a lot about the challenges and joys of marriage and family. It is an unexpected blessing."
Speaking of family, this morning, I read the story of David and Goliath to my boys acting out with a real slingshot and all. (If you haven't figured out yet, I Samuel is my December Book of the Month.) It helps that they know the story from Dave and Giant Pickle.
David is called a Man after God's own Heart. God sought after this type of leader since Saul was such a disappointment. You know the deal when in chapter 16 God sends Samuel to view Jesse's boys and look through sons 1-7 and none of them where the one. After seeing the first strappin' young buck, God tells Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
God doesn't examine the way we do - He looks at the heart. God seeks after leaders who have his heart. What does the heart of this type of leader look like? *
A heart that loves the Lord (Dt 6:5; Luke 10:27)
A heart fully committed to the Lord (I Kings 8:61)
A heart that rejoices in His Salvation (Ps 13:5)
A glad heart (Ps 16:9)
A trusting heart (Ps 28:7; Pr 3:5)
A pure heart (Ps 51:10; Matt 5:8)
A broken and contrite heart (Ps 51:17)
A steadfast heart (Ps 57:7)
A heart that confess sin (Ps 66:18)
An undivided heart (Ps 86:11)
An upright heart (Ps 97:11)
A heart with the Lord's word hidden in it (Ps 119:11)
A guarded heart (Pr 4:23)
A cheerful heart (Pr 17:22)
A wise heart (Ecc 8:5)
A heart that seeks God (Jer 29:13)
A compassionate heart for the lost (Matt 9:36)
An untroubled heart (Jn 14:1)
A circumcised heart (Rom 2:29)
A believing heart (Rom 10:10)
A heart where Christ dwells through faith (Eph 3:17)
A heart that makes music (Eph 5:19)
A heart set on things above (Col 3:1)
A heart soft to the Lord (Heb 3:8)
A sincere heart (Heb 10:22)
A heart that loves others deeply (1 Pet 1:22)
A heart that has set apart Christ as Lord (1 Pete 3:15)
May we have a renewed heart for the One Born in the City of David this Christmas!
* These are taken from a post I did two years ago about my dad who is a leader who has a heart after God's own heart.