Life in the Center (and Other Notable Quotes)

Tonight my church hosted an amazing guy, Jordanian pastor Nabeeh Abbassi, Provost of Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary. Nabeeh is a die-hard, wonderful man who is being used by God — in the public eye — to serve the Christian church in Jordan and stand up for religious rights in his country. He shared many stories from his experience (which I will not share for security and privacy reasons) but one theme that was woven through them all was the sovereignty of God. Even in the harshest of religious environments, people are coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Some have lost their families. Some have had to flee for their lives. But they all seem to say that dying for Christ would be an honor if they were asked to do so. Some make the sacrifice. Others are spared this outcome.

Nabeeh is a father and husband, too, and wears many hats in ministry and vocation. He talked of long desert car trips at night in places where it was safe and in the daylight in places where it was dangerous. He spoke of security checkpoints and a constant awareness of danger. Yet Nabeeh said he would gladly give up his life if it was for the sake of Jesus Christ. He isn’t afraid of being captured by terrorists or radical Muslims. It’s all right as long as “I’m in the center of God’s will,” he said.

Over the past two weeks I’ve heard from some amazing witnesses to the power of Christ. In addition to Nabeeh, I’ve heard from John Ray with YWAM and John Dekker, a 92-year-old former missionary. Here are a few quotes I wrote down.

  • “If God has something in mind and we’re open to Him, it’s amazing what he can do.” — John Dekker, Partnership International & Long-Time Missionary to New Guinea.
  • “This is Christianity: To exhibit Jesus who lives in you.” — John Dekker
  • “The kingdom came not to give us control over circumstances but to give us power to get through circumstances.” — John Ray. He explained that this is not what our “Christian” culture wants to believe. We want to believe that we can pray our way over circumstances.
  • “Seeing His kingdom come starts with us giving up our own.” — John Ray, YWAM (Youth With A Mission)