Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hey! You're sitting in my pew!!

I can't seem to get past a statement I heard a pastor say last week.  He said, "It's all fun and games until it costs me something."  He, being a pastor, was of course directing this statement to the people of his church.  And after hearing it, I started asking myself what that exactly meant to me and how did it apply to my church.  Our Sunday School class was discussing it NOT in great detail but just kind of tossing the idea around, and I, without hesitation, got on my soap box.  (I hate when I do that.)  But I have to admit that the thoughts I had swirling around in my head pertaining to this particularly statement were not new thoughts to me.  In fact, I had been thinking about this...not knowing really what I was thinking about...for a while now.

In regards to church and in regards to Christianity, in general, don't we do this ALL of the time?  I mean...aren't we okay with something until it starts costing us something?  Like our time and/or our money?  For example, we'll keep attending the same church week in and week out UNTIL we show up one Sunday and someone's sitting in our pew.  Or God forbid, someone has parked in our parking spot.  Or what about the Sundays when your pastor presents a challenge to you?  Like for example, would you be willing to seek out one person this week and share Christ with him or her?  Wait!  What?!  You mean I actually have to talk to someone about my faith?

Please excuse my sarcasm and please know that I, more than anyone, have experienced all of these feelings and emotions when I've been asked to step out of my comfort zone as a Christian.  Haven't we all?  But something the Lord is really showing me lately is that we are ALL called to step out of our comfort zone.  If we call ourselves Christians...if we claim to be a follower of Christ....then it is our duty, our responsibility to "go and preach the Gospel to every creature."  (The Great Commission...Mark 16:15)  So many of us excuse ourselves from this responsibility by simply saying,

"Oh, that is not MY calling.  That's just not me.  I wouldn't know what to say.  Someone else can do that....share Christ with others.  Now, who do I make my check out to?"

See, it's quite easy to write a check or stick cash in an envelope.  And there are definitely times when God calls us to do just that.  There's nothing wrong with supporting missions or another person's ministry.  But if that's all we choose to do, then we really are missing the mark.  And I would be even bold to say that if that is all we choose to do, then we really aren't doing what Christ has called us to do.  You have a mission field right where you are...your home, your neighborhood, your job, your circle of friends.  Everywhere you go is an opportunity to be Christ and share Christ with someone else.  And it doesn't have to start with you hitting them upside their head with your Bible or putting a Gospel track in their hands.  It simply starts with a conversation, a friendship, a connection, a relationship.  Just remind yourself how Jesus first revealed Himself to you.  For me, He became my friend.  And slowly, overtime, He started filling voids in my life.  He became my Heavenly Daddy.  He became my Secret Keeper.  He became my Savior.  He became my Redeemer.

I don't know if any of this is making sense.  Heck, I'm still trying to make sense of it for myself.  I just know the Lord has a special calling on my life.  I have purpose.  SO DO YOU!  And that purpose is centered around telling the world about who He is and what He's done in my life so that He, too, can do the same in others.  Right now, my mission field is my home.  Tomorrow, the Lord may grow my mission field.  Until then, I will make Him proud with what He's given me.  Or I will try my hardest.  I may not ever go across the world to tell others about Christ, but then again, the Lord may call me to do just that one day.  You see?  I don't have to wait until He gives me specific orders.  He's already done that.  He did that on the day I surrendered my life to Him.  It became my duty, my responsibility, my calling to tell others about Him.  AND THE SAME IS TRUE FOR YOU!  As a follower of Christ, I am not my own.  And neither are you if that is what you call yourself and really mean it.

You've been commissioned.  What are you waiting for? 

"Your very lives are a letter that ANYONE can read by just LOOKING at you.  Christ himself wrote it - not with ink, but with God's living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives - AND WE PUBLISH IT." -2 Corinthians 3:3 (The Message)

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