Tag Archives: share the gospel

No Monkeys at Camp!

monkey 2

I really don’t know at what point in my life I was introduced to the gospel. I was brought up in church from birth, and yet didn’t come to the saving grace of Jesus Christ until the age of 34.

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Are those verses not amazing? Theologian Francis Junius told of how as a youth he was “infected with loose notions in religion,” as he puts it. But by the grace of God discovered faith in Christ by “accidently” reading John 1:1-5 which his father had purposefully laid in his way. Loose notions of religion… how appropriately does that describe our world today? Because of the light hand taken with the gospel at many of the churches I grew up in, the light of God did not penetrate my soul and I too had loose notions of religion. Oh, I believed in Christ (as does Satan), but I had no real comprehension of Who it was that Christ was. I believed that God created the universe, but what about those monkey’s people told me about in school? I didn’t really believe it, but it cast enough doubt into my mind that I was confused as to the creation of mankind, after all learned people were telling me these atrocities. Adults wouldn’t lie, right? My idealistic world of two Ozzie and Harriett parents didn’t prepare me for secular teaching and liberal preaching did solidify anything in my mind about Jesus Christ.

Tears well up in my eyes when I think of what children today are being exposed to. At least, Hallelujah and praise His Holy Name, I had a decent foundation. I had good parents. But the world is harsh.

When God gives that final exam in Heaven… “What did you do in your life for me?” There are going to be some educators who are going to stand before Almighty God and give an account for why they preached a monkey religion and cast confusion in the minds of children. “But it was a State Mandate! They’ll cry…” And God’s response… I don’t know. That’s for God to deicide, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be good.

That was a station break, now back to my sin. From the creation God was. Christ was. From 1962 Shari was (in human form anyway). And even as a child, in the pit of my soul I knew there was a Creator. God revealed that to me, but I was in darkness and I comprehended it not. I didn’t understand until I heard the Word of God preached in 1996 and it was literally as if God flipped a switch in my soul and I said, “Oh Jesus! Thank You for causing the darkness to flee, I’ve been scared and alone for 34 years.”

This morning I woke up in teen camp 2014. I fear that the switch has not been turned on in all of my campers, I’m pretty sure of it. They won’t get any monkey religion from me or any other leader of Victory Baptist Church this week; they’ll get the gospel. Please pray for our youth and our leaders. I hope to have some awesome stories of salvation this week!

A Very Social Gospel

It was a rant on Facebook yesterday that absolutely made my stomach roll over from a woman that I don’t even know; an attack on God. Through profanity she spewed words of hatred provoked by words of gratitude for which her Facebook friends where posting for November. She isn’t one of my social media “friends”; I came by her post through someone else pointing it out to me, and my first reaction was to shut her down in my mind. She wasn’t someone I would likely have contact with. And I didn’t know if I would even have the words to say that could change her mind should we ever meet. And then as God so often does, she is there in my mind this morning and I’m not shutting her down I’m praying for her; that a friend of God will cross her path today. Or maybe perhaps through this post or face to face, I’ll have the chance to tell her why it is that I and others feel so blessed.

I don’t know why it should surprise me that people turn away from God, look at Israel.  God’s chosen nation, delivered out of Pharaoh’s hand, pillars of fire, manna from Heaven, water from the rock and yet still they murmured. Imagine if they’d have had the tool of Social Media!

SMH, Rather be DOA by the Lord, TISNF, Egypt rocked. BBL, walking in the wilderness S2D.

For you non “Facebookers” – Shaking my head, I’d rather be dead on arrival by the Lord, this is so not fair. Egypt was such fun. Be Back later, walking in the wilderness starving to death.

The Real version: Exodus 16:3 ~ And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

These words came from people who had seen God up close and personal. So there should be no shock when they are spewed forth from someone who may or may not have been raised in a Christian home. Who may work with the murmur-ers, or perhaps is in the battle of a lifetime, and cannot understand why a merciful God would allow it. How do you explain that? How do you explain to someone in 140 characters or less (Twitters maximum post) Who God is, What He Does, and Why it happens?

You can’t. God is beyond what we can imagine, so how could you possible sum Him up in 140 characters? You can however be the link.

My blogs generally run from 500 to 700 words. Too many for a social media post. But with just a few words I can, through the power of social media, draw you into my blog where you’ll read the 500-700 words.  The same is true when dealing with a lost person. If I can just drop a few Words of interest, perhaps they’ll be drawn into a deeper desire to know the Christ of Who I speak. So what are those words? There is no magic conjunction, but there is a commonality.

Christ spoke:

Acceptance to the outcast.

Peace to the broken.

Healing to the sick.

Provision to those without.

His words were circumstance specific. And so must ours be.

To the woman who spewed venomous words I must have the antidote. She spoke hatred, I have to speak love. She questioned God, I must prove Him. That’s how it works. It won’t likely happen with one happenstance visit. But if over time, little by little she sees the love of God working in my life she just may be drawn in to know more about this man called Jesus.

So… would Jesus use social media? He was a very social Guy, so maybe – “BBL BFF. Really! Be ready!

Mining for Grace

Colossians 4:1-5 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

To think of Apostle Paul penning this letter, or having it written for him, while sitting in prison humbles my heart immensely. He pleads with this Colossian friends to pray that God will open a door for him to share the gospel and speak of the mystery of Christ. And here I sit today on a comfortable couch, not penning but composing the words on a computer, thinking about the day that Christ was no longer a mystery to me and wondering why I cannot muster the yearning within me that was within Paul. I may not want the answer to that question, because the answer may come in very hard place. But like I Paul I do desire your prayers that God would open up doors for me in the ministry. Key words being that “God would open” them, lest at any time Shari gets in the way.

There is a constant awareness in my soul that I am not redeeming the time, a time that grows shorter and shorter. And my speech is not always a seasoned grace. Just as salt season’s food, making it more palatable, and preserving the food; so does grace. Matthew Henry explained it well in his commentary when he said “Grace is the salt which seasons our discourse, makes it savoury, and keeps it from corrupting.” It is the grace of God that speaks to the heart of those we witness to and it is the Holy Spirit that imparts wisdom through us, enabling us to share the gospel of Christ.

But someone has to mine the salt. It doesn’t just magically appear on the table. It requires hard labor, deep digging and refining it into the savory seasoning that makes our food delicious. The same is true about the Word of God. God will gladly give us a taste of His glory, but not without us digging deep into His word and allowing it to season our soul with wisdom. It has to be absorbed into our bodies that we might have it ready to dish out to those we are given the opportunity to witness too. If you read my blog yesterday you know that I’m inclined to shortcuts. There’s not short cut on the wisdom of God either. He gives it to those willing to read and study His word.

Once you’ve had salt on your food and developed a taste for it, it’s hard to go back. It enhances the flavor. The same is true when you’ve tasted the Word of God. You want more! And the awesome thing about the Word of God is every time you taste of it, it has a new flavor and an endless supply. It enhances your life, strengthening your soul for the day to day battles. That’s why it’s so important to share it at every opportunity.

God’s blessed me with a platform to share the gospel from comfy couch in my living room. But I need to walk in the freedom that God has given me and get off the couch while there’s still time. I thank you in advance for your prayers, and I’m praying that God burdens your heart as He did mine this morning to be more like the Apostle Paul and pray that doors open to share the wonderful thing called grace.