Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day Thirteen Friday August 13th, 2010

Day Thirteen
Friday August 13th, 2010

They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion
-Psalm 22:13

Sometimes, when we share Jesus with people, they get offended. Sometimes, it’s our fault for being rash or saying things rudely, but other times, it’s because they are truly offended at Jesus. People who are doing wrong and know they are doing wrong don’t want to be told that they are doing wrong. They try and make up reasons on why they were born that way or why they have to do what they do. They try to justify their sin and proclaim it someone else’s fault that they are not perfect. Still, it does not change the fact that they aren’t perfect. A lot of cults are based on this. The blame has been placed on everyone from past lives to hollywood to technology to aliens. Children blame their shortcomings on their parents and their upbringing and parents blame their lack of sanity on their children. I understand that bad situation don’t help things get better, but at some point, everyone is going to have to stand up and own to their own sin. Christians have done this. A Christian has admitted (confessed) that he or she is a sinner and have sinned against the Holy God. We know we deserve death and we ask for forgiveness from the only one who can. And I agree that Jesus is offensive. The reason that we don’t like to hear the word, “repent” is because we don’t want to believe that we have something to repent of. We want to see ourselves as perfect, needing nothing. However, the irony is that we only need nothing when we trust God for everything. I gladly confess my shortcomings and even admit that my longcomings are not long enough. Whatever I am good at, it’s not good enough to give to God. I can only give Him a perfect gift and I cannot, as an imperfect creation, create one myself. All I can do is hand back the gift that God has given me. I can love Him back. And as a large amount of water can wash away a little bit of dirt, I know God can make me clean. The enemy of God may gape. He may rage and roar like a lion, but I know my God is for me. I know I am for Him. What have I to fear? So I share Jesus with people. I share His Word, His Truth, His Love. If people are going to be offended, I wish to live my life and speak in such a way that they are offended because they refuse Jesus, and not because I’m abrupt or rude. How about you?

2 comments:

J said...

I too want to live a life that points people to Jesus. I think there is something valid and powerful in a life lived according to the Lord's precepts. It is what God wanted from His people Israel...what He taught them in the wilderness--to be holy and set apart. My mind recollects hardly any direct calls to evangelism in the Old Testament...but there were many standards of living by which Israel would be seen and identified throughout the world.
I remeber talking to Pastor Don a few years ago and mentioning to him that I didn't feel like I was doing enough for Jesus. I was heavy of heart because I was trying to figure out the very best way I could arrange my life to best serve Him. He smiled at me and asked me where I worked, how many Christians there were there, what influences I had made, and if anyone knew that I was Christian. It was as if a bomb went off as I pondered my answers (they were not good by the way).
I was the only supposed Christian at my work...the only one and I wasn't letting anyone know. My work was a heathen wilderness!! (Kinda reminded me of Canaan as Israel prepared to cross the Jordan!) I didn't need to manipulate/change/twist my life. I was right where I needed to be...I was right where God wanted me.
I prayed for wisdom and strength and the Spirit's guidance. A year later found just one Christian at my work...me--but now everyone knew it. And though I have not seen any converted lives, many seeds have been planted and much love/friendship handed out.
I am no evangelist. I have dreamed of what it would be like to evangelize but more often than not I am struck by how carnal those dreams can become (pride and ego often become feature players). But I have seen the power of a life lived consistently in Christ. I have seen troubled souls seeking rescue run from their "boys" and reach out to arms of love. I do see that evangelism is a gift from God...yet many in ministry have (by virtue of their own calls) placed undue pressure on it while skirting the more potent commands of our Lord. If every person that came to church were to live life governed by faith, hope, and love; if every Christian grew the fruits of the Spirit each day they wandered off to work, school, play, shopping, vacation, sports, whathaveyou.....I wonder if a single tract, cold call, TV show, or crusade would ever be needed. Again, there are many exhortations given in the New Testament concerning the Christian life. The church was young, brand new, and in need of instruction...yet, interestingly, there are very few calls to direct evangelism. The focus is on the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life.
I pray that my life will draw people in to ask and that the Spirit guide me through any ensuing discussions. I pray that I be encouraged/committed to time in the Word. Dry times of spirituality are irrevocably linked to dry times in the Word. I pray that I pray. And I pray that when those times to evangelize come that I do it humbly and with a heart of love.

J said...

I humbly stand corrected. The Lord has brought to me 2 Timothy 4:5 and Genesis 12:1-3 this week and I couldn't get them out of my head...and then He placed a young college student directly in my path and told me to tell him about Him. Lord, forgive me and my arrogance; bless this young man--may Your Word grow in his heart.