This summer I served in Los Angeles for five weeks. It has been the most incredible experience of my life. We did many service projects to serve and love the city, but our leader’s main focus was having us leave the summer with a deeper relationship with the Lord and a love Los Angeles. He definitely succeeded.
There were so many things that God taught me, reminded me of, opened my eyes to, etcetera. There is no way I can touch on them all, but I will say my biggest takeaway this summer was learning about what having humility towards other people means. Having humility towards people is seeking to win them, instead of arguments. It’s realizing that only God knows their true motives. It’s leaving the judgment of the heart in God’s hands.
Being in California I’ve realized that many Christian people in the South think that to be a Christian you have to think and believe exactly what they do. I was one of those people, but that’s not true. California’s culture is drastically different, but there really are so many people out there who desperately love the Lord. It’s not about what politics you agree with or don’t agree with. You can’t judge people for the way they talk or act. Everyone sees and interprets things differently. The most important thing is that they have Jesus and are speaking His name to the world.
The best example I can give is of Justin Bieber. My team served with an organization called 1 Day LA. We only served with them the last day, but it was a week-long service project for many other people. Through serving we got free tickets to see Justin and many more people that evening in concert to celebrate all that God had done that week. During the concert, I got to see how deeply Justin loves the Lord. Back home I have heard many people say he isn’t Christian because he still cusses in songs. I am here to confirm just how much he truly loves the Lord. He had Judah Smith come out and speak, and he presented the gospel beautifully. What was amazing was that there were many more people there than just those who served. There were many people who didn’t know God but got to hear and experience His presence. Justin had Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes end the evening with “The Blessing”. What a testament to his faith. He could have easily ended the show himself and got all the glory, but instead, he stood off to the side and worshipped, giving all the glory to God.
All of this to say, we can’t try to say people do or don’t know the Lord. God knows their hearts and where they are in their walk with Him. We have to understand that not everyone thinks as we do, and we can’t force them to. The only thing we need to do is make sure they love Jesus and are glorifying and walking with Him.
Join me in praying for Los Angeles. Pray that the hearts of the people would be softened towards the gospel. Pray for the backlash Christian celebrities face. Pray for people who feel like God is calling them to move to Los Angeles to love and serve the people there. Pray for wisdom and guidance as they continue to follow that call.
Thanks for listening and praying!