Do we take the love of God for granted? What would happen if the reality of His love took hold of our hearts? Ed and Wayne share key passages exposing how the true nature of God’s love should be demonstrated in every part of our lives. See how this truth is put in action as FEBC shares the love of God around the world…Until All Have Heard..
Podcast Transcript[Wayne]: Ed, many of our listeners know we have a radio program called FEBC Today, but this podcast gives us a chance to be a little more casual, a little more in-depth behind the scenes, so to speak, of the motivation for why we do what we do at the Far East Broadcasting Company. [Ed]: Yes. And you know, Wayne, one of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about as we’ve done these FEBC Today programs this month and concentrated a little bit on FEBC’s commitments to ministry and this sort of strategic elements that drive how we do what we do. We’ve had the opportunity to read a number of letters from listeners and I’m struck at the consistency with which I read people’s appreciation for our broadcasters’ love for the listeners. Their outreach, their actual concern and care and involvement in the listeners’ lives. [Wayne]: Right. Regardless of the country. I mean, we’re talking about cultures that are widely different in different parts of the world and yet the listeners responded much the same way, don’t they? [Ed]: That’s exactly right and that’s the point that I wanted to concentrate on. I mean, you’re right, from countries that are primarily Muslim to countries that are primarily Buddhist. when our broadcasters demonstrate truly the love of God to our listeners, the listeners respond in exactly the same way; gratitude, commitment, appreciation. For example, we’ve read this letter from a listener in Thailand who said he’s partially blind. He’s confused about many things. He feels like he has to pay back karma for the debt he owes to them. So, obviously this is a man who’s not deeply entrenched in an understanding of God’s Word but yet he has been listening to the Gospel broadcast for a very long time. He says, your team members who broadcast to him and also mailed to him the Bible Correspondence Course and answer his questions and grade his papers, and mentor him and nurture him in God’s Word, he says, “The team members are the only people who give me advise and encouragement.” Then he goes on to say, “At least, I have the program and the team as company and motivation to keep living and fighting.” When I look at the commitments of FEBC to how we do ministry and think about the fact that we’re committed to demonstrate God’s love to our listeners, it’s more than just putting broadcasts out. It’s doing these very things. [Wayne]: That’s not a simplistic statement at all, that we are motivated by God’s love is actually a very complex statement to make. [Ed]: Right. Here’s a blind man who’s confused and probably doesn’t have many friends, and he says “at least.” I love that part of that last sentence, “At least, I have your radio program and the team as company and motivation.” I think how important it is in the lives of people who are lonely, who don’t have the support that we often think about in churches here in America and small groups and friends that are Christians. Here’s a man all alone, partially blind, probably living a really difficult life and he’s grateful because at least, he has the radio as a friend and an encouragement. It makes me mindful that even in my own life, concentrating on sharing God’s love with other people is something that I need to do more and probably all of us need to think about and learn from this man. He’s so grateful to have a radio program and somebody from a radio station who write him a letter and motivate and encourage him, then it’s important. [Wayne]: I’ve said this for many, many years, radio is a relationship. When you think in terms of Christian radio and the program of Far East Broadcasting Company in all these different countries, when that relationship is based on God’s love, communicating God’s love, how much even better is radio a relationship? But I think that’s what we’re hearing from this letter and so many thousands and tens of thousands of other communications we get back from listeners. [Ed]: Right. And we just don’t make that up. That’s what God says. Jesus told his disciples, “They will know you are my disciples by the love you show one another.” At the beginning of this program, we were reading actually, Wayne, from John Chapter 14. Can I read verse 23 and 24? [Wayne]: Sure. [Ed]: Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he’ll obey my teaching. My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own, they belong to the Father who sent me.” So, Jesus told his disciples, “People will know who you are, that you’re my followers and my disciples by the way you show love for one another.” Then in this verse it says, “If anyone loves me, he’ll obey my commands.” So, as we are commanded by Jesus to love others and we love God, we will obey Jesus’ teaching and go and demonstrate that love to other people. I think when we obey what God has taught us and instructed us, then He will provide ministry that fulfills His will, and His will was fulfilled when we hear listeners saying things to us like, “I’m so encouraged by the broadcasts. They give me advise and encouragement, and they give me motivation to keep living and fighting.” [Wayne]: As I observed the various broadcasters at work in different countries, working with FEBC, it always amazes me that they all have this in common. They all have this desire to be relatable to the listener, to communicate God’s love to the listener. This is not something we have to train our people in, is it? Because they have a commitment to this. They have an innate commitment to communicating God’s love to the people they serve. I’ve done a lot of radio through the years and I have to admit that sometimes I’m not as listener-focused as I need to be, but boy, these folks who know what’s what, and they do it right. [Ed]: We’re so blessed to have so many dedicated, faithful Christians in our service. They really don’t need us to write ministry commitment statements, it’s in their heart. They truly love other people. I’ve had the privilege in many countries, Wayne, to see the way people serve others, not out of their abundance, but from their basic life. I have in my mind a picture of one of our broadcasters in Thailand who’s actually a cripple. She had polio at birth and struggles greatly to walk but doesn’t let that get in the way of putting broadcasts together. She sits in the studio all day long doing radio programs that go out on over 20 stations in Thailand. In the evening, she goes out to meet with listeners and she’ll gather people in little province, cities, and small towns and share with them the Gospel. They’ll go on the radio and say, “We’re going to meet you tonight.” She’s giving up herself over and over and over, which is the demonstration, once again, of love. And God just really honors that. People love her and they love her message. They love the fact that she demonstrates God’s love to people, not through the broadcasts only but through her commitment to meet people, to share with them. She has a beautiful smile. I wish I could share that with you on this program. You’ll just have to trust me on that. [Wayne]: Yes. I haven’t met her yet. [Laughter] [Ed]: But there’s many. And it’s not just FEBC, of course. This is what we witnessed all the time. I’m sure, as listeners, you know people that are like that and they’re probably popping in your mind at this very moment. Maybe your grandmother or a kind person in your life when you were a child and they’re reflecting God’s love. If you read in Galatians 5:22, the fruits of the Spirit, it’s demonstration of those very things…“The fruits of the Spirit are these: love, joy, piece, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” These are what Christ has promised us would be the outflowing of the Spirit living in your life. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7, “By their fruits, you will know them.” So, “People who demonstrate these fruits of the Spirit are evidencing the world that they are my disciples and you will know my disciples by the love they show for one another.” It’s a loop. It’s all connected and it’s all the way that I see dedicated Christian people serving, and in my life recently, it’s the way I’ve seen so many of FEBC’s broadcasters giving deeply of themself above and beyond just to broadcast to demonstrate their true commitment to the listener, their true commitment to share God’s love with people all around the world [Wayne]: Yes. How about this in 1 John 4 verse 7? “Dear friends, let us love one another because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love, does not know God, because God is Love.” [Ed]: Yes. That’s good, Wayne. [Wayne]: That motivates us. [Ed]: Yes, that does. As I have the opportunity to do this these kinds of broadcasts, these podcasts, I learn every single day from reading these things and thinking about what we see. And I trust that this podcast gives you, who are listening, the opportunity to reflect a little bit on what we can learn from places that we otherwise might not think are educational opportunities. We’re learning from partially blind people living in remote regions of Thailand, we learn from listeners in Japan who reflect on us, telling us putting God first in their life is so important to them as opposed to anything else. It’s a process by which as we love others, as we demonstrate God’s love to other people, that love comes back to us in ways that we wouldn’t expect, and I get the opportunity, Wayne, to see that over and over and over as we worked through the ministry of FEBC in all these remote countries. [Wayne]: Yes. Do you feel like in the years now that you’ve been at FEBC and had exposure to these servants who are on the radio every day and see all the listener response, do you feel like it has changed your perspective at all? Has it deepened your own commitment? [Ed]: Oh, absolutely. One of the most impactful moments I had – we were in India. It was 110 degrees and we had been in an unairconditioned car for five hours driving on bumpy, dusty roads, and the driver who was with me was just a wonderful servant of Christ. He’s a minister in his own right. He does broadcast for FEBC but he’s also serving by driving on these difficult roads in India. It was late at night, 10 o’clock or 11:00, it was pitch dark, there were cows in the road and bicycles in the road and he couldn’t really see, and he was struggling to drive and I was just trying to make conversation. I said to him, “Well, at least I hope you can get a good night sleep tonight. I have to get up at four o’clock in the morning to go to the airport.” So, I said, “I hope you can rest and sleep in a bit.” With a huge smile on his face, he turned and looked at me and says, “Oh, no. My wife and I get up at four o’clock every morning and pray to God, a blessing on our staff and gratitude for what He has given us,” and it had humbled me so much. Here, I was just sitting in the car worrying about being hot and dusty. He was working and driving in this difficult circumstance, and when I shared that I was complaining that I had to get up in the morning, the joy of the Lord beamed across his face as he said, “I would be happy to get up in the morning so I can give thanks to God.” [Wayne]: That’ll change you, wouldn’t it? [Ed]: It’ll change you. And I wish I could reach out to that gentleman right now and tell him how much that his example and his demonstration of his commitment to the Lord encouraged me to be better. [Wayne]: Yes. But we have to be willing to listen, and so many times we look at someone in a circumstance like that, driving that unairconditioned car down a dusty road and think, “What have I got to learn from this person?” But we have to humble ourselves and learn. [Ed]: We do, and we go right back to the very first verse we started with in John Chapter 14 – I’ll get there in a second. Sorry. Bear with me here, Wayne. Because when we first started this program, this podcast, we said “If anyone loves me, he’ll obey my teaching.” And so, if we truly love God and we want to demonstrate that to others, we’re going to obey God’s instruction, Christ’s teaching, not because we’re trying to obey but because we love Him so much. We want to do what He wants us to do and – I don’t know. To me, it all comes together in that. “If you love me, you will obey my commands.” Not you will try to, or you will be forced to, or you will demonstrate that, but you will do it because you want – “That’s what I want to do. I want to please my Father because I love Him so much.” And that’s a great lesson for today, isn’t it, Wayne? [Wayne]: Yes, it is. We don’t that as a sense of duty but a sense of devotion. Well, I think we’ll stop there, Ed, but it’s such a helpful conversation thinking about the love of God motivating us, and I hope those who are listening to us will take this and apply it in your own life. You may not be a broadcaster, you may have a completely different occupation or role in life, but somewhere along the line, you need to be motivated and be a reflection of God’s love to someone else today. That’s what I’m getting from the conversation, Ed. [Ed]: Well, yes. What I want to get from the conversation is that anyone who is listening, I appreciate the fact that you’re listening. I appreciate that if you have some interest in the ministry of FEBC, which is committed to proclaim God’s Word to the least reached people around the world, and I’m just very, very grateful to have people praying for us, participating in the ministry in whatever way they can so that we can be faithful to God’s command out of our love for Him. [Wayne]: Yes. Don’t hesitate if you have questions about the Far East Broadcasting Company. Contact us and let us know. We’d be happy to answer those questions. Of course, you can learn a lot about us on our website, FEBC.org, and as we mentioned at the top of this conversation, we have a little radio program called FEBC Today. You can listen to that on the website or on many radio stations around the country. FEBC Today. Ed, Thank you. We’ll talk again. You’re in the best place.