Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Dare You to Share Him

It was a long drive to the Cleveland airport--at least for antsy kids--but my husband's flight made it safely to Florida yesterday. The closest "real" city to our township is Akron, but their airport isn't very impressive so we opted for the longer drive to Cleveland.

He's in Florida to check on his 92-year-old father, who refuses to move here or go to an assisted care facility. And he's already called us three times. He misses us on these trips, that is clear. Absence makes a man's heart fonder?

Maybe, or just more grateful.

His flight was delayed so he spent some time talking with an Albanian college student who wanted to know more about Florida, where he was going to visit family. Husband asked him about his life in Albania, and then attempted to witness to him about the Hope and Life found in Jesus Christ. Husband started that arm of the conversation by mentioning that he once knew some missionaries in Albania.

"Missionaries?" questioned the Albanian. "Are those the people who walk around with the Bibles?"

Hesitantly, husband said yes, hoping the Albanian wasn't referring to Jehovah's Witnesses or Latter-day Saints.

"I always stopped to talk with them to work on my English", explained the Albanian.

Husband and I shared a laugh about that, sure, but it reminded me of something.

We never know who is ready for the Gospel, which is why we should try to bring it up as a rule, whenever we have the opportunity. If someone appears not to be a seeker, or is not the least bit interested, we can stop, so as not to annoy or harass, but some percentage of the time we will come upon someone ready to receive the Hope and Life Jesus freely offers to all who believe.

Now, perhaps if my husband had an incredible testimony of wretchedness-to-glory, he could bring more people to Christ. We just don't know. He was saved at age 7 and has never looked back, so there's no drama, just steadfastness.

Those of us who have a more dramatic testimony? We should look upon it as a special opportunity to share the reason for our transformation...the reason for our hope.

And the rest of us can be ready to tell a story of God's faithfulness in our lives, or try to always bring a missionary book of incredible stories (Missionary Stories With the Millers is a great one, and each story is short), or something else we can share that will make a person marvel and ask questions, so we can at least open them to the possibility that Christ is Life.

We make our lives about so many things; we complicate daily life in so many ways, but really, life to a Christian should be Christ, period. To live is Christ, to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)

I'm not much of speaker, being the shy sort. But I love to write and random people come to this blog all the time, even though I'm not successful as a writer or blogger. I've been at this since 2007 (two years on a different blog, in which real names were used) and there's been no growth to speak of. Readers come and go.

I haven't the time to do the things necessary to grow a blog, and I'm not a business woman at all. Social media of any kind, other than this blog, would just cause me to neglect my family. This is the forum God allows for me, knowing that the stress of having special needs children would draw me into escape mode with social media, wasting my mothering time. If there is ongoing stress or insecurities in our lives, social media can be more of a detriment than a help. God will let you know how many "medias" you can handle for His glory.

Incredibly, God uses this small blog. I wrote a post on self-pity as a sin years ago which brings a lot of hits, and a few on marriage that bring people. And because I write a good number of spiritual posts, I get random hits on all sorts of spiritual topics. Also, I have my testimony as a page on my blog, although not everyone finishes what they start reading, I dare say, depending on whether they're a seeker or not.

If you, like me, aren't much of a speaker and you don't travel frequently, and you don't minister in inner-cities or other places allowing you to share the Gospel, I encourage you to start a blog. It's free and it doesn't matter how many people read it, really, because God can bring the right people at the right time to your heartfelt words--people who may be either profoundly changed or prepped for the Hope in Jesus.

It doesn't matter if you're never aware of the spiritual success of your blog; comments don't matter, though they're nice when you need personal encouragement. Think of it as an obedience, if nothing else. We all have little testimonies of the work God is doing in our hearts and lives. These are stories meant to be told and in the information age we no longer need to get on a plane, train, bus, or vehicle to share the Gospel.

Maybe that is ideal because it's more personal, but with a little courage we can be personal with our words, even though we can't reach out and hug or share the joy in our eyes, with the recipients.

Just pray for the random hits, pray for your readers, and pray for the transparency needed to be up close and personal about God's work in your life.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

And if you share with other moms and other Christians, if your house is a mess, don't pretend that is isn't. If your house is modest and the veneer is chipping off your dining table, don't try to hide it. If you're a spiritual mess because you didn't read your Bible for a week or a month, don't try to hide that either. Talk about the glory of going back to the Word, and back to your Peace, because the Lord guarantees your success as a Christian. 

He never leaves you nor forsakes you, and that means also that he produces spiritual fruit in your life, guaranteed, even if it means making you miserable when you forget or fail to make time to read your Bible and pray.

Talk about all of it, while protecting your children with some amount of anonymity, if you deem it necessary. But don't try to be someone or something you're not. Be who God created you to be, in all your messiness, because it isn't about you at all. We're merely passing through here, with our eyes on Eternity, while we take advantage of the down payment on our inheritance--the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

If you hate writing but love creating, then make quilts, dolls, stuffed animals or whatever, and attach a Gospel message or spiritual story and donate your items to hospitals, perhaps, for patients who may be looking for Hope? Whatever work God has given you to do, do it for Him, boldly, and let go of the outcome. 

Because the outcome is His.

Scriptures about victory in Christ:

2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Deuteronomy 20:4 For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

Luke 1:47-49 And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Romans 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

What work has God given you, allowing you to share the Gospel?



Anonymous said...

Yes, me too. I know that all God wants of me right now is blogging (and taking care of my family, of course). And blogging is for me, rather than anyone else, although of course I always want to share what God teaches me, who wouldn't? Blogging can be so cathartic, especially when it's anonymous.

Tesha Papik said...

I think it's a great idea to encourage moms to start blogs to share their testimonys! After all we defeat the devil by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony! I have to say that I have bared my heart and soul on my blog before and I regretted it but my blog is not anonymous and many of my friends and family read it. Of course the regret was more in my mind and could just be pride. I love reading blogs where the author is real and transparent.