by Justin Huffman
Imagine you were about to move to a new area.
Not just a new location, but a whole new part of the world – surrounded by a new culture and new faces, and without any familiar friends or contacts. Besides the personal, emotional challenges of such a move there would obviously be some significant spiritual challenges to anticipate. Whatever spiritual habits you have in place will be changed or challenged; the fellow-Christians by whom you’ve been encouraged and to whom you’ve been accountable won’t be nearby to help you.
This theoretical case, in many ways, will soon be a reality for a young man in our church. Chuanxian will be moving back to China in order to finish the PhD he moved to Cincinnati to work toward.
Although he is from China, Chuanxian has never before lived in China as a Christian.
Through God’s grace, and the gospel with which Chuanxian came into contact here in the States in the last couple of years, Chuanxian has become a believer in Jesus Christ and was baptized last year in March. It certainly has been a blessing getting to know him, but with his departure soon approaching, many of us have been trying to show him extra love and give an extra gospel shot in the arm.
When one of our church members recently took the opportunity to do that, I was very touched and deeply impressed by Chuanxian’s reply, excerpts of which I share with you below by his permission.
Last Sunday I shared a message based on this email, entitled “How to Finish Your Course and Keep Your Faith: a sermon by Chuanxian”.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to order a copy of the message.
"I will be going to a pagan world: China… I hope when I walk through my whole life’s road, I will be able to boldly say as Paul said: I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept my faith. Our God is a faithful God, an amazing God, a gracious God. Nothing is impossible in Him. There are several things I will do daily to keep my faith when I am in China:
1) Hide God's words in my heart. Psalms 119:11. This is my weapon to fight with the devil.
2) Live a prayerful life. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
3) Love God, love others. Isolation is the playground of the devil, it is very important to keep contact with other members in one body. So I will find a church in China and worship God with others.
4) Endure in sufferings. There might be some trials in China, but we know, blessed is the one who stands firm, the one who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13).
5) Examine myself daily. Jesus said, whoever wants to be my disciple would deny himself, take the cross daily and follow me.
Our sinful nature makes us unable to enter the kingdom of God by our efforts, and it is because of our sinful nature that we always forget God, forget what Jesus did for us: He paid it all for our sins by His blood. So now we can put off the old self and put on the new one…always remembering God's amazing grace: I was lost but now I am found."
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