I was reminiscing today about the way Christians lived the Gospel in the old days (notice I said lived-not preached). Something was different then, and I cannot point it out. I am not sure what has changed, but something has changed. In the trajectory of my life, I have seen the true Gospel of Jesus Christ change lives; I’ve seen it in action through healings, salvation, miracles, and through expressions of love.
I know my generation has been very critical to the older generation for “living in the past”, but can we blame them? When I think back at my childhood and remember the faith of my parents and of my grandmother as well as the faith and influence of the very first Christians I ever met, I feel a bit nostalgic, but I also feel great pride and joy. Being carried by their stories for many years, eventually I encountered my own moment with God; and what a moment it was!
So here’s a look back at the faith of our fathers and hoping that today this story will encourage you to move forward without relinquishing the beauty and passion of those years gone by. Enjoy this story I copied from http://www.sermonillustrator.org/illustrator/sermon1/brotherandrew.htm though I am pretty sure it’s originally from the book “God’s Smuggler” By brother Andrew.
In the early 60s, Brother Andrew, a man from Holland, smuggled a load of Bibles in his VW across the Romanian border and past communist guards. He checked into a hotel and began praying that God would lead him to the right Christian groups – the ones who could best use his copies of the Scriptures. That weekend Andrew walked up to the hotel clerk and asked where he might find a church. The clerk looked at him a little strangely and answered, “We don’t have many of those you know. Besides you couldn’t understand the language.”
“Didn’t you know?” Andrew replied, “Christians speak a kind of universal language.” “OH, what‘s that?” “It’s called Agape.” The clerk had never heard of it, but Andrew assured him. “It’s the most beautiful language in the world.”
Andrew was able to locate several church groups in the area and managed to arrange a meeting with the president and secretary of a certain denomination. Unfortunately, although both Andrew and these men knew several European languages, they found they had none in common. So there they sat staring at each other across the room. Andrew had traveled thousands of dangerous miles with his precious cargo but there seemed no way of telling whether these men were genuine Christian brothers or government informants.
Finally he spotted a Romanian Bible on a desk in the office. Andrew reached into his pocket and pulled out a Dutch Bible. He turned to 1 Corinthians 16:20 and held the Bible out, pointing to the name of the book, which they could recognize. Instantly their faces lit up. They quickly found the same chapter and verse in their Romanian Bibles and read: “All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet on another with a holy kiss.” The men beamed back at Andrew. Then one of them looked throughout his Bible and found Proverbs 25:25. Andrew found the verse and read: “Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.”
These men spent half an hour conversing and sharing – just through the words of Scripture. They were so happy in this fellowship that crossed all cultural boundaries that they laughed until tears came to their eyes. Andrew knew he had found his brothers. When he showed them his load of Bibles, the Romanians were overwhelmed and embraced him again and again. That evening at the hotel, the clerk approached Andrew and remarked, “Say, I looked up ‘agape’ in the dictionary. There’s no language by that name. That’s just a Greek word for love.” Andrew replied, “That’s it. I was speaking in it all afternoon.”
I highly recommend brother Andrew’s books. I have read several of them and they are life changing. Brother Andrew is also the founder of Open Doors a ministry to persecuted Christians worldwide.
For a list of his books go to: http://www.bookfinder.com/author/brother-andrew/