Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gospel, Outcasts, Lost People

Have I ever told you how proud I am of my soon-to-be graduate, Luke? Well, I am. And here's why; Luke is chasing after God and people and he is not only influencing Ames High, but he's building the Kingdom. I could have no greater joy than seeing my son living for--and thriving in--Christ our Lord! To God be the glory!

Last week, Luke and a few friends were in charge of youth group senior night at Escape 22. For his part, Luke decided to write the underclassmen a letter. Here is what he said:

"Sharing the Gospel, Outcasts and Lost People"

Dear Escape,
Looking back on the last four years I have learned so much, it has been jam-packed with things that are so obviously God. One thing in my life that has been transformed is my understanding of the gospel. I always knew it per se, could recite the words and the right verses and everything, but it had no power to me. One of the things that has been instrumental to this shift has been my understanding of missions. Missions are a lot more like James Bond or Rambo than like a geometric proof. The gospel is a war over the souls of people. There are eternal consequences. God has a part for every person to play in his plan to have all peoples come to know him.

All of that is exciting and great, but I thought, “I am only a high school student, what can I do now?” I looked around my high school and saw lost people, happy on the outside, but desperate on the inside. I saw outcasts that no one else would even have a conversation with. I will never forget the response I got from one kid I reluctantly and awkwardly just sat down and talked with, “Thanks, no one has ever done that for me before.” I think of the countless stories of desperation and hopelessness I have heard and how perfectly the gospel could break into those lives. One thing I’ve learned is that people are most receptive to the gospel when they see daily the consequences of their sin.

Up until about a year ago I had never really shared the gospel. It made me feel guilty and sad and I wondered if my faith was even real. In this last year I have shared the gospel many times and I have seen people come to know Christ. I have felt the Holy Spirit come down and have experienced joy and elation that can come only from God.

In everything, Escape, don’t forget love. This year I applied to go to China, and one of the parts of the interview was sharing the gospel. I shared it the best I knew how and thought I did a pretty good job. Stan said I did fine, but that I didn’t really mention God as a creator or explain the deeply caring relationship between God and his Son. In short,"love". I said alright and went on my way. A couple of weeks later I was meeting with a friend over lunch. He was very eloquent in his words and shared with me what he believed and how he couldn’t accept Christianity. What puzzled me was that it sounded like he was sharing the gospel with me! Everything he was saying was so close to the truth. Not knowing what else to say I said in parting. “Well, you keep on looking for truth, but don’t be surprised if what you find is God and he is madly in love with you” It wasn’t until after the conversation I realized all my friend was missing was love.

I had a vision to reach my high school, to create a revival to have many people come to know Christ. I wanted people to tell stories of what God had done at Ames High. Of this vision, I saw very little come to be. I’m pretty much done with high school; it’s up to you now. Escape, don’t live your life with regrets.

" The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"
Matthew 25:40


  1. Tori, I am so glad you shared this. Brandon came home and told me about it the night Luke read it. It is so meaningful for them to hear this from Luke. I'm so proud of him! And I'm so glad I got to read every word.

  2. I wanted to let you know that I shared this with my high-school girls group -it facilitated some great conversation and I felt it left my girls encouraged. Thanks for sharing!