Extra time is not something I usually have a lot of in my busy life. However, today I had a lot of "extra time". So I caught up on some messages, fb and email while I listened to a person talking about witnessing and sharing one's faith in today's world and how it has changed from years ago. He quoted Billy Graham as saying he would not do crusades like Mr. Graham had done in the past because it would not be as effective today. Essentially he was saying there is a new way of witnessing and we must stay current as to persuade unbelievers to come to Christ. Further, he stated it was our "job" as Christians to change as many minds to say yes to Jesus as we possibly can. I guess so we could proclaim so many saved through our efforts. Impressive to man....maybe...but not so impressive to the Lord.
When I looked to the Scriptures I was led to John 3:16. A verse that has crossed Christian lips a zillion times during the course of their lifetime. But I wonder if we ever pause and look at what the Lord was really saying in this verse. The first part of the verse is where we will start and where we will end. It says, "For God so loved the world...." God loved. He cared. He was concerned. He made a plan. He planned a way of escape. He prepared for us. He provided for us. He informed us. He LOVED.
When we are led by the Holy Spirit we love people. We see them trapped in their sin and circumstances. We feel compassion for their needs. We stop seeing them as projects or feathers in our caps. So often what I am seeing today with my fellow Christians are name droppers who use people to further their careers and ambitions. If they can't do anything for them they move on to the next. So their witnessing is really in and for their own name. I think one of the saddest statements I have heard is from a man who couldn't remember what it was like not to be saved. How then could you have the compassion and mercy on another if you don't remember what state Jesus found you. Or perhaps taking it a step further, where you find yourself so often still bound in sin. How can you really love if you can't relate to their eternal circumstance?
When you love someone you enjoy your time with them and you give time. You include them in your family. There is a relationship. So often I see Christians wanting to say a prayer with someone and be on their way. Clean and painless, we don't have to walk through their messes or troubles. No getting our hands dirty or sleepless nights of spiritual warfare for us! With a pat on the back and a "I will pray for you" we are on our way. The only problem we have is trying to find room for the next feather. With the four spiritual laws tucked safely in our pockets we move our boxes to the next project.
Today please take the time to ask the Lord to forgive you for seeing people as projects, means to achieve your own goals or feathers in your cap. This is faulty thinking with the only cure being repentance and then ask the Holy Spirit to give you a love for the world so you might be effective in your witnessing. Then witnessing isn't about you, your gifts, or intellect. It is about the Holy Spirit filling you and leading you to where you need to be to talk to those He came to save. Don't be like the Pharasises thanking the Lord they were not like "them". Don't be decieved sweet ones "them" is "you"! Now take another look doesn't it look different. Somehow easier to love and easier to reach.
I have often used this blog to encourage, love, and admonish. Today please take this as a small gift the Lord used to remind you of His love for you so you can remind someone else of His great love. So many need the reminder that.....that even while they continued to sin He sent His Son as a way of escape so that they could be free from sin and spend eternity with Him because ......God so loved the world......