In Zambia, the school year begins in January and ends in December, so all the “Back To School” posters are up in the stores right now. With the C.R.O.S.S. Project, we also completed our term in December and are now gearing up to start a new term with fresh churches in the next couple weeks.
As we think about a new year, a new term, new churches, and new individuals, I got thinking about what we really want to accomplish through C.R.O.S.S. Our main goal is always to approach the huge and complex issues of HIV/AIDS at a heart level with the Word of God. (This is the forgotten or overlooked approach – most other organizations target behavior by promoting condom-use or abstinence or even encouraging male circumcision).
But when I read 1 Thessalonians 1:5 the other day, I realized that we need to do more than address cultural issues with the Word of God. This is what the verse says…
“…Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.” (ESV)
Words are just words. Even words in the Bible are just words…unless the Holy Spirit comes in power to awaken dead hearts and stimulate dull taste buds and open blind eyes and then brings conviction of our need for a Savior.
Since reading this verse and then starting the daily Bible reading plan, my prayer has been that God would work 1 Thessalonians 1:6 in me – that I wouldn’t just read words in the morning, but that the Spirit would illumine my heart to taste and see the goodness and glory of God each day.
And may God do that in the C.R.O.S.S. Project as well. Please join us in praying to that end.