Let’s start a revolution
If you are like many American Christians in 2012 who have a passionate and thriving relationship with the Lord, something that should rank fairly high on your list of concerns is how to get people to see the Jesus that you see, how to show them that they are missing out on something incredible, which they can freely take part of. It’s not a burden, it’s a labor of love. To be like Christ, we must care for the lost as he does. This is something I have often found myself chewing on, not wanting to stand before God one day and be told that I did nothing will all I was given in an effort to point those around me to our sweet savior. In my personal life, the idea of standing before the God that I love so much and being told that I missed the mark, that he had such great plans for me which I didn’t fulfill sounds like the ultimate failure. If I get to heaven, and he points me towards souls which cannot enter and says “I wanted you to be the one to help me reach those people”, I think my heart will shatter like glass.
Also if you are an American Christian in 2012, you know that speaking the name of Jesus in this climate is not necessarily met with the awe-inspiring fervor you might remember learning of Jesus with. Between Bill Maher, Westboro Baptist Church, Fanatical politics trying to invade as religion, Scandals with pastors, scandals with other church staff, evolution, a growing population of agnostics, false prophets, Hollywood’s interpretation of Jesus, The Da Vinci Code, Christian hypocrites in churches, all combined with a highly offensive culture, a general lack of respect for authority, a political system which is more polarized than it has been since the Civil War …..you begin to see why even bringing up the topic, let alone having someone engage in a serious discussion, is highly improbable.
This can’t be an impasse. We must find a way around the brick wall that our culture is building to block the truth of the gospel from being spread.
We are a generation that is over-stimulated. Sights, sounds, tastes, smells…thousands and thousands a day, all vying for our attention, all dishing up a buffet of things that apply to our senses. We have been “worded to death” with every theory, idea, movement, fact, and opinion out there on topics that work against the movement of the gospel. Everything is about feeling good, looking good, tasting good, serving self! Self! Self! Clawing our own way to the top, serving number one, and number one alone. This is our crisis: much of our society has “turned off their ears” to anything related to His gospel. What they don’t realize is that they aren’t hearing the genuineness of his name. Having never sampled a morsel of his glory, they don’t know the exquisiteness of the real product from a cheap knock-off bought on the corner.
Just because they have stopped listening does not give us an excuse to stop speaking. We must adapt and learn to communicate in a way we can be heard.
I propose….we take a grinding halt.
I propose we go back to basics.
I propose that in a climate where we have been exposed to every extreme idea, every lifestyle, every argument on the enemy’s docket that we do something unexpected.
We stop speaking.
We stop speaking. We start doing.
If the language of Jesus is love, the currency of Love is service. Take note that neither of these has to do with verbal communication.
To be Christ like, to operate in the kingdom, you must know the language and be able to exchange currency.
If your voice was forever taken away from you, you may find you could speak Jesus into people louder than ever.
By focusing on the “doing” instead of the “speaking”, we nullify the enemy’s attempt to turn the gospel into “rhetoric” or “propaganda”. Don’t hang up on me…this isn’t a permanent alternative, but it IS a preemptive strike back.
When we feel we have to “talk people into Jesus” with our powerful words and encouraging phrases, we void the Holy Spirit from doing a wonderful work in the equation. HE is the teacher. Sure, he may use your words to speak into someone, but he is not limited to words or the exchange of speech. By continually doing this, constantly trying to coin the right phrases, say the right things, we have put an arsenal in the enemies hands. He’s taken our words into a perverted culture, and he has turned Jesus into a joke. Undoing that kind of damage is no longer something on our scale of damage control…it’s time to invite the Holy Spirit to move again. Player, up.
By being obedient to the Holy Spirit in our SERVICE to others, we can help him open the door for people to begin searching for the right questions. By seeing you serve, love, and give selflessly, people will slowly begin to put pieces together that they may have never been open to. The questions that they have been conditioned to “turn off” to when coming out of your mouth suddenly sound plausible again in their own brain.
“Why would this stranger see worth in me?”
“Why in this dog eat dog world is someone giving without expecting repayment?”
“Why does this person do these things just to be nice or to help?”
“Could it possibly be that there is a God who feels the same way?”
Suddenly they have opened an introspective door into their own heart and the Holy Spirit is free to begin his work…and this can be done without you ever saying a word! The enemy will try of course will try to bring into ridicule the things they are considering, but now that the door is open, we simply wait, and let God do the work.
The Christian church has often been at odds with itself about faith vs. good works in terms of our salvation. We have fought long and hard, interpreting and using scriptures to justify against each other whatever point it is that we are trying to make. Consider something…. If my faith is what saves me, what if the good works I do are what creates faith in others to be saved? What an interesting thought…could be a long shot, but it’s worth thinking about. We know that our faith is counted to us as righteousness, that we are made whole through the Grace of God, and that if we accepted our salvation through faith and died in a hospital bed ten minutes later we would still be saved and enter Heaven. Yet the apostle Paul speaks of good works as part of the equation…could it be that that in part, our good works help lay the foundation and open the door for the faith of others? Could it be that that is why they are stressed as important, that they have little to do with our own salvation and much to do with others?
Regardless of whether that is true, or just a facet of my imagination, we are called to serve. I am not nullifying the importance of spreading the gospel through the spoken word, or meeting together to encourage and teach, through the spoken word, and I am certainly not implying that we should not speak about him when asked. I am only saying that something more is now needed. And for the first time in American history, I do believe it is time for the Christian people to shut up or put up.
It is time to make “LOVE” an action verb again, instead of just a noun.
Challenge yourself to that this week. Imagine that you had 5 days to take someone who had never experienced the love of God, and prepare them for a very real meeting with Jesus at the end of the week. You had to help prepare their hearts to understand love, to understand selflessness so that they could begin to understand the love and selflessness of Jesus that offers us salvation. The only trick? You couldn’t mention anything about him. What would you do? How would you act? Now ask yourself why you don’t act that way regularly.
I think God is looking for “servers” and “doers”. When looking for a better way to serve God, the first step is realizing that to serve God, you must serve OTHERS.
Do you own a business? When is the last time your business gave or donated to someone in need?
Can you perform a service? Look for someone to serve who will never be able to pay for your service.
Do you have anything in excess? I’m sure there are many who lack the things you own too many of.
There are children who need to be loved and taught, struggling families who need financial help, elderly who need easy and basic volunteer work done just to get through the day.
If you have a car, you have a tool which can be used for many people, making deliveries, giving rides, taken to appointments.
Even if you had none of these things, you still could serve. Let someone in line ahead of you, offer to take the least appealing option in favor of giving someone else the best appealing option. Pay for the drink of the person in line behind you.
Take coffee to a coworker, when the neighborhood kids come to play, take the opportunity to show love and care to each one of them instead of rushing everyone back outside to play (you never know what they are getting at home), Ask someone close to you on random occasions if there is anything they need help with or that you can do for them.
DO NOT WAIT for things to be convenient for you, for if you do that you are no longer SERVING, you are only fulfilling what you believe to be an obligation. At all times we are being watched by our father, we are being shown opportunities not only to serve, but to SERVE WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE. Don’t miss the opportunity to be blessed in return in this life, and in heaven, by being too busy, too frustrated, or too selfish to help those around you.
In this exchange we will find the essence of Christ among us. We will sleep at night knowing that not only did we accept his grace and mercy into our lives, but we let ourselves be used by him to give that opportunity to someone else. You will never regret service given to someone else.
Let’s start a revolution. A revolution of ACTING on our love instead of just feeling it. May God touch mankind through us in a way that he has never been able to.
Matthew 25:35-40, Matthew 5:16, Matthew 10:5, John 15:12, James 2:14-17, 1 John 3:17, Romans 12:13, Romans 15:1, Galatians 6:2, Philippians 2:4