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Brother Andrew is one of the great Christian heroes of the Twentieth Century. He would protest me calling him that, I'm sure, and say that he's just an ordinary man who believes in an extraordinary God. One who has taken God's love for the world seriously, day after fearless day, for over 55 years.
I heard about Brother Andrew for the first time very early in my Christian life. Yesterday I heard him speak for the first time, and today I am different because of the experience. Many of us are.
I'm pleased that many young Christians and those exploring the faith had the opportunity to hear him. To me, as someone who's lived out her passion for Jesus pretty steadily for 30 years, Brother Andrew stood as a beacon showing me that I still have far to grow. I'm reminded that there is no limit to the depth of knowledge we're invited to gain as we walk with God, and no end to the challenge to live in daily obedience. When an 81 year old man can still inspire like this, you know he has lived well.
I can hardly begin to capture his impact, but here's my response to Andrew's challenge:
Hunger more for God's Word Of all yesterday's challenges, this is the one I'm the strongest in. But Brother Andrew stirred up in me the desire to be more ready to teach and to share the reason for the hope I have. Studying the Word at Jesus' feet is what lifts him above fear, he said. "It's the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world. There God holds me head and shoulders above all those who would pull me down." I've decided to add reading through the Bible this year to my regular daily discipline in the Word. This morning I opened up my Daily Bible (ordered chronologically) to February 15th and landed at Deuteronomy 1 just as Moses begins to review the history of the Exodus before people enter the land. It was a great place to start!
Love better Brother Andrew exudes love for the world and shows it in radical ways. Back in the 1950s he lived on the streets of Amsterdam so that he could understand the plight of the homeless. Today he meets regularly with the leaders of terrorist organizations and fearlessly shares the gospel with them, determined to reach out to people for whom Jesus died, and aware that they may not have a chance to meet him in any other way. Andrew reaches out in friendship, serving, listening, seeking to understand and then, confident he has earned the right, speaking boldly of what Jesus Christ has done for them. He finds them open to Jesus, though they may be closed to what they see in us. "You cannot share the gospel with your enemies," he said. "You can only share it with your friends." Oh that I would become a better friend!
Pray more "A person who is not prayed for is prey for the devil," Andrew proclaimed. He asked us if we'd prayed for Bin Laden today. Some would consider that scandalous, and he has lost more than a few friends over his practice of praying daily for the man. I thought back 20 years to when the Iron Curtain fell and I heard Bill Bright speak about having prayed for 40 years for the Soviet Union. Then what had once seemed impossible became a reality, and prayer and faith played a huge role in the unfolding of history. Do we dare to believe so boldly for the sake of our world again? I don't know that I'm called to pray for Bin Laden daily, but I did pray for him today. Along with many others. By praying more I want to expand my world which, too easily, becomes way too small.Brother Andrew's latest book is Secret Believers.