Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sent To Share

There is absolutely nothing in this world so significant that it supersedes the fact that our Creator God has personally reached into our lives and given us new life, that our Sustainer God is continually working to make it so that we can stand in the midst of any circumstance, and that our Healer God has committed through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to renew us to the image of Christ and to lead us into eternal perfection.

Our God does not go on vacation. He is not fickle. He is not impotent. He is the all-powerful, all-seeing, everywhere present, always in control, compassionate, merciful, long-suffering, just and loving God (the list could go on and on) who has made Himself known to us. He encloses us before and behind. He holds us with His strong right hand, and He is intimately acquainted with absolutely every big and little thing about us (Psalm 139). This is the God who we are to look to for everything, and He absolutely will not fail.

So, while the world wishes things would get better and tries as best it can to put in place policies or humanitarian efforts, the end result might only be making eternal death a little less painful to approach. As children of this most incredible God we have real hope, a hope that we can share and a hope that when we engage maybe in those same activities that the world does that we can do so pointing people to the God who cares deeply and has the power to do something about their deepest needs. This is real hope, and it is not limited to us who already know.

In our mid-week Romans class we worked our way into Romans chapter 10 where last week we look at what one must do to be saved, which is really very simple. Romans 10:9-10 says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Many children’s ministry programs use the ABC’s to talk about salvation where “A” is admitting that we need God’s help and that we have sinned against Him, “B” is believing that Jesus is who he claims to be and that He indeed did die on a cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day bringing to us new life. And “C” says that we confess or call on Him with our mouths, which really means we talk to God and simply ask Him to do what He said He would do. To this Romans 10:13 says, for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” It’s really that simple, as simple as A,B, C. We also read in Scripture that this faith that it takes to believe is itself a gift that God gives us (Ephesians 2:8-9).

But, as we are looking at this week, there is a hitch. And that hitch is getting those who need to know the information. In Romans 10:14-15 Paul asks, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” These are some important questions, and before we scramble searching out for one of those sent ones, we should also know that we are them. In Acts 1:8 we read, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Then in Acts 8 we read of the persecution of the early church leading to the believers being scattered everywhere. Of them verse 4 says, “Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.”

We live scattered all over our world and all around us are people who we can share the good news of Jesus with, realizing that it is God who does the work in their hearts. I learned a definition of witnessing a years ago in college when I was involved with Campus Crusade. It goes like this, “Success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.”

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