Answer 202- “GROWING GOD’S WAY”

Key Verse

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
— 1 John 2:15

Different From The Crowd

Numbers 13:17-33; 14:22-24




Kennedy learned the importance of taking a stand for Christ.

Kennedy could feel the butterflies fluttering around in her stomach as she waited, wondering if she would be called on to give her testimony tonight. It was an old familiar feeling. Would she ever outgrow it? Somehow it always sneaked up on her in new situations, especially when she was taking a stand for Christ. She chuckled to herself as she remembered the first time . . .

On that day there was the usual bustle and noise of a busy school cafeteria. She picked up her food and moved across the room to her small group of school friends. She had always done whatever it took to fit in with the crowd, but she knew that this day would be different. Just the night before she had given her heart to Christ at a youth focus. She sat down and gathered all the courage she had and then bowed her head to pray. Oh, how the butterflies in her stomach fluttered. As she finished praying she couldn’t help noticing how quiet it was around her.

Since that day she had always been different from the rest of the crowd. At times she remembered hearing a few snickers during her lunch time prayers. But, in general she had gained the respect of her peers, much to her amazement. They often came to her when they had problems, hoping she could help. One day, as she was hurrying down a hall at school, a boy who was quite popular stopped her. She smiled now as she remembered. He had wanted to tell her how much he respected her . . . that he noticed she was different—in a good way. He liked the fact that she always wore modest clothing instead of what most other girls wore. Kennedy had never forgotten that. It had really encouraged her.

Even now it encouraged her as she sat in the juvenile detention center with some other Christian kids and watched the young women file in. Soon they were all sitting together in a big circle.

Now settle down, Kennedy said to herself . . . especially to her stomach. She had never been here before and it had to be the scariest thing yet. She wondered what she would say if she were called on to testify. She was almost too nervous to think. One by one the Christian young people shared what Christ had done for them. Kennedy noticed some of the young women who were listening had tears in their eyes. Later, she was startled when one of them spoke to her.

“Kennedy, don’t you know who I am? I went to school with you. Remember?”

Kennedy was shocked. It was Chloe Pierson, one of her ex-schoolmates. “Yes, of course I remember,” she answered.

“I always knew you had something real, Kennedy,” Chloe said, trying to choke back the tears. “I watched you almost every day. I became so curious about you that I began to watch your brother and sister too. I knew you had a real Christian family. I wish I could have had that kind of family too. But now I’m in a real mess, as you can see. I’d like to ask you a question, if it’s okay?”

“Sure,” Kennedy answered, hoping she could help Chloe.

“What did you do when things were hard? How did you cope with the problems of life?”

Kennedy hesitated. She had not expected this. Lord, help me now, she prayed. She knew how much Chloe needed Jesus in her life.

“Chloe, I prayed. Every time a hard situation arose, I prayed—I turned to the Lord and asked Him to help me. I could never have been a Christian if I had tried to do it on my own. But Jesus helps me every day.”

“Kennedy, I want what you have. I’ve always wanted it but never knew where to find it. Is it too late?”

“No, Chloe. That’s why we came here tonight. We can pray with you, and Christ can make a real change in your life too.”

Kennedy realized now that the Christian life she had lived at school was really paying off. Here was someone who had been directly touched by her life for Christ. And now she would have the wonderful privilege to pray with her. Her heart felt like one big, beautiful butterfly, soaring very, very high. And she knew whatever happened, however she felt inside, it really did pay to take her stand for Jesus Christ.