I’m a total news junkie. I always have been…so when I read about never-seen-before-storms-and-flooding, wild fires, earthquakes, and rogue nations working hard to militarize electromagnetic pulse bombs (EMP) and I’m not reading a science fiction novel, my mind starts to wonder: are we really in the Last Days? Last post, I talked about how the Lord has put on my heart to “get my house in order for the time is near.” If you missed it, read it HERE.
One thing I’ve noticed is that when people are faced with mega-natural disasters, they start to pray. I mean really pray. And they don’t pray to the “god of positive thoughts” or to themselves or to money or to their dog, they pray to the God of the Universe because embedded in each of us, when everything is stripped away, is the basic knowledge that there is a God and He has great power and we are very small.
So how can we appropriately share the good news of Christ, the one true God, with those around us and encourage them in the Way, the Truth, and the Life when they are scared and hurting, just like us? Yet, if you are in Christ, there is a hope and truth we can stand firm on and find comfort in that isn’t of this world, but how do we share Him without awkwardly saying, “Hey Man, do you know Jesus?”
So often, it’s not as complicated as we think…
Sometimes it’s just planting a very small seed. Sometimes it’s just telling someone you’re praying and what you’re praying. Sometimes, it’s just listening and praying silently to yourself. Most of the time, it’s loving on people because God is Love. I’ve never been so convicted as when I was re-reading 1 John a few years ago. If you’ve never read it or it’s been a while, go read it. It’s amazing. John goes as far to say, if you don’t have love in your heart and your actions, then you don’t have God.
YOWZA that one hit me hard. At the time, what I felt the most was criticism and judgement, hurt and fear, worry and anxiety, guilt and shame. Those were my primary feelings. That was where I was living my days. NOT in peace and love and joy. So how on EARTH could I share peace and love and goodness and grace with those around me when what was filling my tank was those nasty things? The answer is, I couldn’t. My butt had to go through the car wash and fast.
It was time for me to start living out what I said I believe. It was time to give those patterns up and let the Lord teach me His way and for me to stop my complaining and get to work. The blessings that have emerged from this process have been unimaginable. Just like His Word says: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has even conceived what the Lord has in store for those who love Him.” But for this process to start, I had to get off the fence and decide if I was all in or all out.
If we are in Christ, then we are Vessels of Light, Let’s Start Looking Like it…
As vessels of Christ, we carry inside of us a Light of the Holy Spirit that the darkness cannot stand against. More times than not, all we have to do is offer a genuine smile and ask how someone is doing. We thoughtfully and selflessly share what we have with those in need and expect nothing in return. And PRAY. Many times, all we are called to do is pray for those we come across and those the Holy Spirit impresses upon our hearts. If someone keeps popping into your mind and you don’t know why, start praying for that person.
So often, we’re not even called off the bench and up to the plate to really tell the Good News of Jesus so much as we are called to BE & LIVE the Gospel as the hands and feet of Christ by joyfully loving on people. But, we are called to be watchful and prepared for those moments when a true door opens to verbally share the story of Jesus Christ and His role in our lives. We do that by being able to articulate what we believe and why we believe it. And really keeping it about us and our own beliefs and be able to speak them with conviction and passion. The Holy Spirit does all the work. All we’re called to do is tell our own story of how God has intervened in our own lives.
I am a terrible evangelist. I’m WAY more natural at encouraging those already in the faith than I am sharing the Gospel with someone who maybe doesn’t know about it. However, we are all called to share the Gospel by Jesus Himself. Why?
Because your story touches someone that mine cannot. Your way of saying it registers with someone, that mine cannot. Your voice is important to someone that mine is not. And Christ knows that.
I’ve often wondered, “why is it so hard for me to share the Gospel with someone who isn’t a Believer?” One, I think it’s because it’s so intimate to me, that I prefer to have a strong bond and relationship in place first. That’s why I ask the person a lot of questions about themselves first and what they believe. You’d be surprised how thirsty people are to share and talk about what they believe. I listen first. And then, if they ask me what I believe, then I know they are interested in hearing my perspective. If they don’t ask or throw the ball back in my court, then they likely aren’t interested or it isn’t the right time. In that case, I just love on them and pray that the Lord would turn their heart toward Him and that He would put in their path someone they can connect with to share the Truth with them.
What do I believe?
I believe there is one God of the Universe. I believe He is three persons in one and created the Heavens and the earth and we are a part of that Creation. I believe He is the Chief Scientist, the Ultimate Artist, the Most Precise Engineer, The Perfect Man, The Perfect God. I believe He deeply loves His creation and when sin and selfishness separated God from His creation, He stopped at nothing to restore and redeem His Bride, His prized possession, which is the body of His Believers. He does this because it’s who He is; it’s His character. I believe He is tangible and I believe His character is good and loving and stable over time.
I believe God designed us to receive His love, care, intelligence, and nourishment through the senses in our bodies–that it would be a full body experience and connection, but sin and selfishness corrupted these sensors and blocked the receptors. I believe over time, this condition became worse and worse. So even though the God of the Universe is all around us, our bodies are numb to Him. That is, until we acknowledge and accept the fact that we are sinners, saved by grace through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. At that point, the Holy Spirit enters our bodies and starts to open those sensors and transform us to what originally intended: that we are fully and completely yoked, connected to, and dependent upon our Creator forever.
Through my own intense wrestling, I’ve come to the firm conclusion that Jesus is the Way to God, He is the Truth of what matters, and He is the Life. Next post, I’ll share some of my research and pray it will be helpful to you as you wrestle and seek the face of the Lord and share it with those around you. But first, go read 1 John! It’s not long and so wonderful!