It's rainy here this morning. The only sounds are coming from the rain drops on the hydrangea plants outside the partially open sun room windows and from the chickadees as they fly back and forth from the feeder to our apple tree. If I was a coffee drinker, this would be a good morning to wrap my hands around a warm cup of java. There is a slight hint of fall in the air.
Yesterday was different. The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze blowing as I waded through the crowd of people at a local cheese and sausage festival. I was on my way to hear a friend of mine who was performing at a Christian music stage.
I had no idea where I was going really - just kind of following the crowd. It's easy to get lost in a crowd. Everyone kind of blends in with one another and everyone feels safe - kind of like a school of fish swimming in the ocean. Kind of like . . . church, in many ways.
Eventually I came upon a tiny park tucked off to the side. A Christian radio station banner flapping in the breeze. The stage faced the street and all of the people as they went walking by. What a perfect outreach opportunity. Maybe some of the "fish" swimming out there in the street would come into the "pool" for a look see. Maybe. But more likely it would be the words of the performers that would be interacting with the people in the street.
When I first came to believe in Jesus, I told my friend, the one who had led me to Christ, that I felt as if I had stepped through a curtain upon receiving justification through my faith in Christ. It was as if someone called my name and I stepped out of the crowd and into God's family.
Looking out at the crowd from the area of the stage that day, it was as if I was seeing the image of my conversion experience come to life. We were separated from the crowd by an invisible curtain - the curtain between those who believe and those who choose to simply walk on by. Sadly, it was almost as if were weren't even there.
So how does that curtain get breached? How can we get the attention of an unbelieving world? Some suggest that if we just live out our "beautifully perfect" Christian lives that others will notice and want to be like us. Really? Why would they change THEIR lives so they could be like someone they've never been? That strategy might work but don't think it works as much as we think. No, it's God's Word, the gospel and the Holy Spirit that do the changing. We are the ones who must venture out, beyond the curtain, and deliver the gospel.
Having the music there was good, the lyrics were encouraging and uplifting for the believer but what did it do for those walking by in the crowd. Sorry to say this but my guess would be that it did little or nothing. Maybe Jesus popped into somebodys head for a second but . . .
So what can we do as believers to reach out to the lost - to get the attention of those who are perishing? I believe we have to get up off of our butts and interact, one-on-one. We have to get involved in someones life, take somebody a meal and pray for them, buy someone lunch and tell them about Jesus. WE must deliver the gospel. That's it! God can do the rest. But we need to be His willing vessels, making a difference, one person at a time.
I'd be willing to bet that there is probably someone you know who is desperate to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus has COMMANDED us to go and make disciples. How long are we going to sit in our comfy chairs and ignore a direct order from Almighty God? Frankly? I am frustrated with myself for doing exactly what I am preaching against. I am typing this from my comfy chair. But God WANTS us to do this for Him. So how are you and I going to respond to that command today?
"16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:16-20
The following is a song by my friend and her band. Please listen to it and may it encourage you to complete your share of our Lord's Great Commission.
He Wants To Believe by Tammy Borden
Tammy Borden's web site