Whoever is not against you is for you

In Luke 9:49-50 there is the account of Jesus' disciple John getting all bent out of shape.  It appears that he saw someone driving out demons in Jesus' name - which in itself isn't a bad thing at all - but what bothered John so much is that this person who was doing this wasn't one of Jesus' followers.  Can someone who isn't a follower of Christ still be one who is used to build His kingdom?

I believe that this is possible.  Yesterday my family had the privilege of being a part of Community Serve, an extension of the ministry of Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC.  We joined several others in going door-to-door in an inner city community, passing out invitations to a community-wide cookout that was being held Friday night at a local recreation center.  We met at the church and were split up into teams, and since the whole Griggs' clan was going our team was already pretty big.  But a woman who was there by herself was asked to join our team and we were more than happy to have her come along.

As we rode in our van to the neighborhood where we would be canvassing, we begin to engage this woman in conversation.  It turns out she had participated in this community outreach through Calvary for many years and she was originally from India but had lived in America for many years.  Fascinated by her cultural background, my wife asked her when it was that she gave her life to Christ.  She half-sheepishly responded that she was not a Christian but was rather a Muslim.  However, she had witnessed what she considered to be such a genuine and heartfelt outpouring of love from this group of Christians for their community that she knew she had to be involved.  So here she was, going door-to-door inviting people to be a part of a greater work of God.

As she shared her story with my wife I began to pray specifically for two things.  First, I prayed that this woman would see the true light and life of Jesus Christ and that her life would be transformed from doing the work for God's kingdom to becoming a part of His kingdom.  I also prayed that God's own people would serve with the same zeal and passion as this woman who did not even have a relationship with Him.

Jesus told His disciple John that he shouldn't stop this man from performing miracles in His name "because whoever is not against you is for you."  There is a chance that someone that this woman encountered yesterday will come to this community cookout and embrace the gospel of Jesus for the first time.  It is true that we don't draw men and women to Christ - His Spirit does - yet we also can't deny the role that we are allowed to play in God's plan for people.  I was humbled by this woman's willingness to be involved in a work that was intended to lead people to a Savior that she herself didn't believe in.  What fire might be ignited in her heart if she were to come to salvation in the glorious name of Jesus herself!   

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