Sunday, June 26, 2011

Three Recent and Hasty Conclusions - My stumbling way of encouraging other restless believers.

Last week, my friend Jamie and I talked about vision for our church, evangelism, and boldness. At one point, he said, "We should hang out more often. It only took ten minutes of talking with another believer for me to feel encouraged." I felt it too. Spending time with other passionate Christians does encourage me.

I've realized a few things since that conversation.

1. I'm restless and I think more Christians should also feel restlessness. Until Jesus actually comes back, we should always feel a tug in our insides like there's something for us to do. The commission Jesus gave in Matthew 28 to make disciples, baptize people, and teach is called the Great Commission because it's such a dang big job. The world lives in darkness. People walk calmly to their destruction. Doesn't that make you want to do something? It makes me want to do something.

2. I don't feel like I do very well when it comes to telling people about Jesus. I get hung up by telling myself it's not the right timing or that the direct approach would only make the gospel noisome to unbelievers. I felt especially lame after reading Hebrews 10:38. "But my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him." Yeah, I know the author was referring to a messianic prophecy given to Habakkuk, but that doesn't make me feel better. It says elsewhere in Hebrews that without faith it's impossible to please God. But isn't faith a gift from God? It has to be. I need encouragement to live out my faith. I need the Holy Spirit to give me boldness.

3. I sometimes allow people to intimidate me. But who intimidates me more? People or Jesus? Lame people like me or the risen and triumphant King of all creation? Where does my confidence lie? I asked myself these questions this morning while reading 1 John 2 when it said in verse 28, "Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming." John's tone is gentle, like he's talking to his kids. I think he knew these people loved God. I think he knew these believers may have already recognized their lameness. I think he knew people needed encouragement to live out their trust in Jesus. This is a comfort. God's aware of my shortcomings, so He offers encouragement instead of making me feel like a loser. He wants to help me do good with my restlessness.

You can expect me to think about how to spur you on to live our your faith and tell people about Jesus. And, you know, if any of you feel compelled to do that same for me, I'd totally appreciate it.

Have you ever come to any of these three conclusions?

Has anyone or anything encouraged you to live out your faith in a new way?