February 14, 2010

Connecting the Dots

I loved today's sermon. Scott preached today about using every moment that we're given to sing the praises of God. When something good happens, we need to make sure that it all points back to Him. "Of course," we answer quickly. That's what we always do.

Is it really?

I went grocery shopping last night. I got in one of the only 3 lines they had with my cart full of groceries and unloaded everything onto the belt. But then I noticed a woman behind me with only 2 items. If I was her, I wouldn't want to wait in that line just for 2 items, so I let her go ahead. Then a man walked up and got in line behind me with only 1 item. Again, I let him go ahead of me. By the time I was done, 3 people had been allowed to cut in front of me in line. I do this all the time, although it's usually just one person. I was being nice and they thanked me. My response? "You're welcome." End of story.

But what if I had answered differently? What if I had said, "God bless your day"? Instead of them walking away thinking, "That was a nice lady", would they have possibly walked away thinking about God? Why didn't I do that? It would've been absolutely painless. And if they didn't like it? Who cares? Chances are I will never see them again in my life. It was on the tip of my tongue as the last gentleman thanked me and I couldn't do it.

I put myself out there all the time. Not as much since I've left high school and college, but on occasion I do embarrassing things. I love it. I'm all for self-induced public humiliation. I've mooned traffic from an overpass; I've performed as a mascot at a school that considered me a giant nerd; I've raced through an airport wearing my pj's, bathrobe, slippers and hair curlers; I've sung karaoke in a Teriyaki bar; I dressed as a clown for my kids' birthday party that was attended by more adults than children. And some of these I would do again (just don't ask which ones).

But mention God? Are you kidding me? What would people think? What would they think of me? What if they thought I was one of those weird Christian-types that was just trying to convert them? What if they got offended? Or uncomfortable? What if I got uncomfortable? What would I do then?

You know what I would do? I would suck it up and get over it. Will it make people uncomfortable? Quite possibly. Guilt does that at times. Will they think I'm weird? Maybe. Will I be uncomfortable? At first, yes. But when did God ever promise us comfort? When did He ever say that we should go and preach the gospel to other Christians who already know what we're talking about and therefore won't take offense? I believe that verse can be found in 1 Procrastinators chapter 1.

We are here to serve Him. Period. What does He want us to do? Tell others about Him. How can we do that if we never say His name? "Oh well, I'm just going to live a faithful life and others will know Him from my example." Great. But how do you explain why you do things the way you do? What are you going to say when they ask you why you are different? And are you different? You should be.

Something great happens at work? "Praise God!"

Enjoying a meal out? Offer blessing right there at the table.

Someone cussed in front of you? Correct them. They probably wouldn't do it in front of the boss or their grandmother so they are more than capable of refraining.

Your kids' friends come over and they use language you don't like or want to watch TV that's not allowed in your house? Tell them no and explain why. There's a good chance they will go home and tell their parents what you said. Perfect. Their parents may not even realize there's anything bad with the shows their kids are watching to begin with.

Sprinkle His name in. Blame all good things on Him. Call on Him during the bad times. Offer up comfort in His name to those who need it, whether they believe in Him or not.

If they reject you, move on. They are rejecting the love of the Father, not you. And if they do publicly, or even privately, reject you--move on. This life is not a contest to see who dies with the most friends. Bottom line? Some people just won't like you. It's a tough pill to swallow. Believe me, I know. But the point is, to make sure that every man, woman and child has heard the name of Jesus. Whether or not they choose to accept it is out of our hands.

When I was in AIM, Rex Boyles used to always say (and I'm paraphrasing here), "If you get doors slammed in your face all day, but one person seeks to know more about God, was it worth it? If you've gone all week with no one responding to your outreach except for one, was it worth it? If you work for months, even years, but you've only saved one soul, was it worth it?" The answer is YES!!

So put yourself out there. Make sure that all the dots on the page connect to Jesus. You may not see the results but you could be planting a seed for someone to come along after you and water. And if all you ever do is plant seeds, is it worth it?

YES!

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