For the Love of God
Last year, Carlie attended one of our Christ in the Passover presentations at a church in her area. The speaker, Karl DeSouza (branch leader in Montreal), was introduced to Carlie that day and arranged to meet with her the following morning. After learning about Carlie’s Jewish background and reviewing some Bible passages with her, Karl passed Carlie’s name on to me, since she lives in the DC metro area where I serve with Jews for Jesus. I have been meeting with her for many months.
For several years, Carlie has tried to make sense of the how the promises of a Savior and descriptions of a messianic age from the Old Testament fit with the New Testament’s description of Jesus. As you can imagine, I am grateful for the opportunity to open God’s Word with her to help her find the answers.
Throughout our time together, we often discuss the topic of love. It’s been a difficult subject for Carlie since the divorce from her husband (of 32 years) and the abandonment by her children. I told her that although she has suffered a great many ups, downs and disappointments, God loves her and is the only One that she can fully rely on. He loves us with a greater love than any human being can offer. I explained that sometimes God uses situations in our lives to draw attention to Himself. But Carlie’s disappointments and pain make it difficult for her to believe that God loves her so much.
Carlie has even referred to Jesus as the Redeemer and understands the concept of sin but insists (as so many people do) that she is a good person and that should be enough to gain her a place in heaven. And she stumbles over the fact that Jesus is the One on whom she can totally depend. He will never leave or forsake her as her family members did.
We’ve often discussed some of the miracles that Jesus did and how they confirmed who He was. “If God loves me,” she asks, “then why do I have all these physical handicaps? If He performs miracles, then why can’t my body functions be spontaneously restored? Repairing any one of them in my life would get my attention,” says Carlie. “Any two would have me praying to God with gratitude and wondering if Jesus were interceding on my behalf. Three or more falling into place would convince me, because it’s unlikely that would happen on its own.”
Recently Carlie asked the Lord to open her heart with miracles that are unmistakably sent to her because she asked and because she is loved. She asked for God’s love and His protection from any more calamities.
I’m not sure that God will answer her specific prayer requests, but I do know that if we approach Him with an open heart He will make Himself known to us. Carlie is desperately searching for the truth about Jesus. Will you pray that God will reveal His truths to her and that she will come to know the love and peace that only reside in Him?
At the age of seven, one of Deb's gentile friends took her to church. This began what turned out to be a 30-year search to find out why there was, as she then thought, "one God for the gentiles and another God for the Jews." It was not until the summer of 1996 when she received a tract from one of our New York City summer witnessing campaigners that the search finally ended. Deb began attending the New York Jews for Jesus Bible study and visited one of their Shabbat services, which ultimately led her to the knowledge that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. Three years later, she joined the Jews for Jesus staff and met her husband Larry, also a Jewish believer in Jesus. Deb and Larry have also served in our New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and South Florida branches.