THREE WAYS TO LOVE MUSLIMS
By Renod Bejjani
Let’s talk about love, one of five interlocking essentials every Christian should know and do: love Muslims as God loves them in thoughts, words, and actions. Love is the most powerful ingredient that makes the other four essentials effective and lasting.
The Impact of Love
We first met Jacob* when he attended an iHOPE workshop at a local church. He was curious about Muslims, but he felt like crossing a religious and cultural divide to share Jesus was insurmountable. Yet that iHOPE workshop demystified the Muslim worldview for Jacob. It inspired him and gave him 5 simple biblical essentials that suddenly seemed completely doable.
With his new knowledge, Jacob immediately began practicing all five essentials. At first, he felt doubtful and lacked confidence—a normal experience for anyone trying something for the first time. He relied on the Holy Spirit’s help as he practiced those five essentials with one Muslim at a time.
When Jacob went to his first iHOPE Workshop, he never imagined having a large impact, but today he has shared the gospel with over 100 Muslims, and several have accepted Christ! He has even closely discipled one who decided to start a full-time ministry of his own.
Can you imagine having that kind of impact with Muslims around you? You can. Just start with small acts of love toward Muslims.
Small Steps to Love
Jacob intentionally does three things to love Muslim “persons-of-peace” in his daily life.
First, Jacob schedules time to love. Jacob’s a busy guy. He’s a husband to Lauren*, a father to Mallory,* and a corporate executive who travels frequently. Lauren says that one of the things she loves about Jacob is that he’s so intentional about engaging and loving Muslims. He schedules time for love. Jacob’s learned that if he doesn’t schedule time for loving the unreached, he’ll get sucked into juggling family, work and church activities. Then, months and years go by without him ever “making Jesus known.”
Next, Jacob models loving Muslims for his family. Jacob takes seriously the command to “be fruitful and multiply.” So, he and Lauren look for ways to model authentic loving relationships with Muslims for their daughter, Mallory. The family has shared countless meals and Gospel-centered conversations with Muslim immigrants and refugee families around their family’s dining table. They’ve taken dozens and dozens of Muslims to church. And they’ve had many Gospel-centered conversations long into the night with international students, from closed Muslim countries who were spending the night at their home. (Note: a “closed” country means sharing the Gospel to convert a Muslim there is illegal.) Jacob and his family have decided, “We going to eat and go to church anyway, so we might as well bring a Muslim family along!” Jacob and Lauren are not only talking about what it looks like to love Muslims as God loves Muslims with their daughter, they’re showingher in words and deeds.
Finally, he seeks ways to be an ambassador of Christ’s love.Recently Jacob had a unique opportunity to befriend a group of international students from Saudi Arabia,* a closed Islamic country). Here’s what he shared about the experience:
“I knew God brought me into their lives to be one of their first American friends, and more importantly, an ambassador of Christ’s love. We shared meals and pieces of our cultures. They dressed me up in traditional Saudi clothes and cooked homemade Kabsa, the national dish of Saudi Arabia*. As they shared their love for their culture, I showed my care and interest in them by asking questions about their home and family.
As our friendship developed, I invited them to come to church with me, and some of them accepted. Many of them accepted my gift of a study bible and one of them even trusted me to call me in an emergency.”
Jacob never imagined making such a meaningful kingdom impact. He just consistently practiced the five essentials. You can do this too! Start now, with small acts of love toward Muslims. Here are some ideas to get you started…
- Schedule time to love. How might you be intentional about scheduling your time to love Muslims around your life? Remember: What gets scheduled gets done.
- Model loving Muslims for your family. How has Jacob’s story inspired you to involve your family in loving Muslims? What small next steps do you need to take?
- Seek ways to be an ambassador of Christ’s love. Pray for and notice Muslims around you. Look for opportunities to be an ambassador for Christ’s love.
*note: Names and locations have been changed.