The Gospel . . . and a Cup of Tea
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Sam Kamaleson, the vice president of a worldwide mission organization, told a tremendous story of a seventy-year-old lady who came to faith in Christ.
Like many newly-converted believers, her desire was to serve God in any way possible, but she had one troubling question for which she had no answer: how could she best be used in God's service? She eventually approached her pastor with the dilemma and said, "I believe God has called me into some sort of ministry; what should I do?" Since he had no idea what might suit her, he replied, "Maybe you should go home and pray about it." Now, this is Pastoring 101—if you don't know the answer, suggest prayer!
After returning home, she followed her pastor's advice, and sensed that God wanted her to do something to reach students who attended a nearby university. Thinking of how to connect with them, she hurried to the drugstore, bought a pack of 3x5 cards, and wrote on each one: "Are you homesick? Come to my home for tea at 4:00." Then she added her address.
She took her stack of cards and went around the University of Melbourne campus, putting them in places where students were sure to see them: bulletin boards, dining hall, restroom mirrors, car windshields—you name it. She went back home and began preparing tea. When four o'clock came, no one knocked at the door. Day after day, no one showed up. Instead of becoming discouraged, she continued to pray and prepare tea . . . just in case.
At last, on the fifteenth day, an Indonesian student was at her door, homesick and as eager to talk as she was to listen. Excitedly she served tea and gave him a listening ear as he intently told his story.
When he returned to campus, he told all his friends, "Hey, you won't believe it! I met a lady that's just like my grandmother." The young man's visit was the beginning of other students going to her home at four o'clock for tea. Soon her house was filled with college kids eager to talk. What started as a simple God-given desire to minister to lost souls led to ten years of one-on-one ministry for a woman who sought God's direction in her service for Him.
When she died there were no less than seventy pallbearers, all of whom were Indonesian, Malaysian, Indian, and other international students who had come to her home for tea and conversation—and had found Jesus Christ.
The moral of this story is simple: God has called you for a purpose, and you have been uniquely gifted for it. No matter what your limitations may be, God can use you to touch the lives of people who need Christ.
So, if it's putting on the kettle and setting out an extra cup—there are still people out there who are in desperate need of the gospel . . . and a cup of tea.
Prayer Point: Pray right now, just as that woman did, for an opportunity to share the gospel with someone else, or the opportunity to help a brother or sister in need. Ask the Lord to impress on your heart some specific way you can serve as an ambassador of heaven. Then thank the Lord for giving His life in service for you, setting the perfect example of humility and love.
Extra Refreshment: Read John 13:1-20.
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