In Discovering Jesus in the Least, you’ll walk alongside veteran outreach worker, Chris Ramsey, as he uncovers the depths of God’s love not only for the “most overlooked and ignored” folks in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood . . . but also for himself.
Ramsey welcomes the reader into his world through a wide variety of short, poignant observations amassed over 25 years. What he discovers will undoubtedly challenge you to examine your own views regarding the poor and the homeless of our 21st century American society.
Chris Ramsey’s Blog
JESUS; “HE’S A LOT BETTER THAN I DESERVE!”
I was on my way home one afternoon last week when I ran into Kevvin. He, too, had just exited our Sylvia building when I struck up a conversation with him.
It was only a minute or two before his strong belief in Jesus emerged seemingly out if nowhere. “ When we see the depths of his unconditional love for us, then we’’ll learn to trust him more,” he remarked.
I was a bit taken aback. “Yeah, whoa, that sounds real good,” I said. “But that’s not easy to grasp, is it?”
“No, it’s not,” he said. “But God wants treat us all as his children, and he’ll work with each one of his children in a different way. Say, you’re a father who’s got ten children. Well then, you’re going to relate to each one differently, according to where each one is at.”
“Yeah, that makes good sense,” I responded.
“Yeah, because that’s how God shapes us, each one of us, he loves us so much,” he said. And another thing, it’s all about relationship. It’s like, ‘If you don’t go through something, how can God show you his faithfulness?’”
“Yeah, that’s true,” I said.
Kevvin went on to tell me that he had worked all his life, but that now he was down on his luck, but he wasn’t going to let that get him down. He said that he was blessed to attend the “House of Prayer” church in our Uptown neighborhood.
We chatted a little more, and I told him that he had just blessed me with his heart for God, and I asked him if I could share a few of his words with my blog audience.
He readily agreed.
“You know, God said, “The just will walk by faith, not by sight.” And to me, that means that if the Holy Spirit and the word of God give you peace about something, then either you do it or you don’t do it.”
Now that sounded good to me. How about you?
“And there’s one more thing I’d like to share,” he said.
“Yeah, sure, go on ahead,” I said.
“You know how you hear people say, “God is good…. all the time!” Well, all I know is that He’s a lot better than I deserve.”
Thanks Kevvin for sharing your heart with me and all of my readers. It sounds a lot like God’s heart towards us all.
Thanks for stopping by, Chris.
WHAT’S HIS END-GAME FOR THOSE WHO FOLLOW HIM?
A FEW THOUGHTS ON REVELATIONS 7:13-17
Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat upon them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center
of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to
springs of living water.
And God will wipe away
every tear from their eyes.”
These verses paint a spectacular picture of what’s in store for those who have chosen to give their lives for the sake of Jesus Christ and his gospel.
But first of all, let’s notice that this passage starts off with a little humor. We see one of the elders in the high courts of heaven showing the apostle John an astonishing scene that will take place in the future. And he asks John if he knows who these folks with the “white robes” are, and where did they come from?
John answers, “Sir, you know.” It’s like John was saying, “If you’ll excuse me for a moment, sir, you’re the one who’s showing me this “vision,” so I think I’ll go along with whoever you say they are.”
And the elder responds without hesitation. I can even see him with a comforting gleam in his eye, as he so proudly declares exactly who these folks are.
“These folks have come out of the great tribulation,” he says. And I believe he’s clearly defining these souls by saying something like: “These are the people who realized that Jesus’ shedding of blood for their sins was the gift that they did not deserve, and so they were willing to lose their “earthly lives” for His sake.”
And what is the result of their surrendering their “lives” unto Him for his honor and glory?
They are then rewarded with being permitted “to hang out” before God’s throne. But they’ll be doing more than just “hanging out.” They’ll be actively serving Him 24-7!
Now some folks might be thinking, “What? More serving, more surrender? What’s so great about that?”
But I don’t believe these folks will be thinking along those lines. No, I believe these folks will be so blessed to serve, to engage with, this God who is so far beyond our wildest imaginations. And why is this?
Because they have been granted their deepest desires that they had so faithfully been longing for “all their earthly lives.” And what were those deepest desires? To be accepted, to be loved, to be given a place their own ( John 14:3 ) , a place they will feel so secure and where they will be a willing participant of something so much grander than they could even imagine.
I believe it’s like God is saying, “Hey, don’t worry, I got you covered. And when I say covered, I mean covered. I mean, you’ll never ever be hungry, thirsty, again. And oh yeah, you know, when those temps on earth that reached almost “deadly levels,” like so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk hot, well there’s going to be no more than that to endure!”
And why is God so inclined to act this way towards these folks? It’s because this Lamb, this Jesus, who laid down his life for these folks is now simply fulfilling his promises to them. And notice, that even now, this Lamb, who is also a King, who is at the center of God’s throne, is acting as a “loving Shepherd” of his sheep. I guess it’s just a part of his nature!
This Lamb of God, who was the Good Shepherd during his earthly life (John 10:14-15), will simply continue on with his mission, and bring to fruition his desires for those who would follow him.
And a focal point of his “endgame” is that he, this Good Shepherd, will be overjoyed to give these followers real-life—eternal life! They will drink always from his “living water.” And I’d like to think that these “blessed” folks will also bathe in this living water.
And what happens when these folks are immersed in God’s eternal, living water?
They are so comforted, so relieved, so thankful, that they can’t help but shed tears of joy for God’s immeasurable grace and forgiveness towards them.
But then we see this God, wiping away every tear cried in humility, for being a “chosen one.” It’s sort of like God saying, “Now that you’re here with me, there’s no more need for the shedding of tears. That’s over with. Now it’s time to continue on “living.” After all, you’ve made it. You’ve arrived! Now we can continue on together—eternally—which is what I had in mind all along!”
Thanks for stopping by.