Have you tried shutting up?

December 16, 2013 under Unlikely Christian
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Hey there good Christian,

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Got some people in your life far from Christ?

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I know right?  “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”  – Luke 10:2 

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I know you’ve read that before, so you know you have your work cut out for you and since the workers are few, that means you have to work harder right?  Because, “…..how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?  And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”Romans 10:14-15 

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So you’re telling them about Jesus, inviting them to church/encouraging them to find a good church home, inviting them to your Community Group/Bible Study/Life Group, giving them Bibles, etc…..

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And you mean to tell me that some of them still aren’t open to it?

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Hmm…..

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Well have you tried shutting up?

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No, the above wasn’t a typo, but before you call me a big meanie and go back to crushing more candy, please hear me out.

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We are called by God to help reach the lost, to be the light etc…..I get it, but we also have to be mindful of the possibility that SOMETIMES our actions, words and persistence could be doing more harm than good, especially if your attempts haven’t been received well.

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Look, I know you’re just doing what you feel like you should be doing as a Christian, but some people won’t see it that way.

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Let me break it down for you.

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You see yourself as a good Christian who’s just trying to save their soul.  They see you as a pushy Christian with an agenda.  #GoAway

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You see yourself as a good Christian who knows how much God has changed your life and you want it so badly for this person as well.  They see you as somebody who just doesn’t know when to stop.  #TheyRankTelemarketersHigherThanYou

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You see yourself as a good Christian who’s just trying to shine your light.  They see you as a three year old with a flashlight.  #DangMyEyes!  And while it’s true that Jesus used blindness to help convert Saul/Paul, you aren’t Jesus.   

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Seriously, some people just aren’t ready, and the more you push it, the more you are widening the gap rather than closing it.  Believe me when I tell you this, because I used to be that guy who wished Christians would just keep all that Jesus stuff to themselves.  You know how many of those Christians that continually beat me over the head with “Jesus talk” actually brought me closer to God?  ZERO.  They made me loathe Christians.

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Sometimes you just have to back off.  Even Jesus told His disciples that, If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave.” – Matthew 10:14

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Does that mean you should give up on these people?

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Umm…..no.

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Just shut up and…..

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Pray for them.  God is the one who changes people anyway.  It’s not your job to save everybody.  I know it might feel like it, especially if they are family, but it’s not.  Give it to God continually and then some more and then some more.  It may take 10, 20, 30 years, heck you might not even be around to see it come to fruition, but keep it up.  I’m the product of at least 15 years of continual prayer.

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Be a sermon instead of preaching one.  Actions speak louder than words so always be walking the walk. 

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And…..

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Love them.  #Verb

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We are not called to personally lead EVERYBODY we know to Christ. 

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This is God’s Orchestra.

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Sometimes He’ll let us get the song started with a beautiful cello solo, other times He might only call on us to strike the triangle a couple of times.  Sometimes we might get a big part – playing throughout the song.  And sometimes, If we’re lucky, He may let us play the final note in the grand finale, but sometimes, the song may not call for our instrument at all.  No matter how much we want to clang our cymbals, it’s just not meant to be.

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I know you want to, I know it feels like you need to, but don’t do it.

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Instead.

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Pray.

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Be a sermon.

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Love.

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And keep your cymbals at the ready, and your eye on The Great Conductor.

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Live Second – Where my workers at?

January 18, 2013 under Unlikely Christian
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So, a couple months back, I AM SECOND asked me to guest blog in their “60-Days-of-Second” campaign to promote their new book, “Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First.”  I was assigned ‘Week 10’ from the book and asked to write 4 posts, which would be featured on their official blog in December.

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Here’s is number 4.

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“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”Luke 10:2

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Eww…..I don’t like that verse.

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“Wait…..did he just say he didn’t like a verse in the Bible?!?”

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“I did indeed.”

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“Wait…..did he just say indeed?  Nobody talks like that, let’s get him!!!”

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“Hold up, let’s take a good look at this scripture and what it means.  “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”  What is the harvest?  The harvest is the lost, the people out there that don’t know Jesus. Who are the workers?  Christians are the workers.  So take the harvest analogy out of this verse and it’s, “The number of people who don’t know Christ is large, but the number of Christians willing to reach out to them is little.” 

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“Eww…..Right?”

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“Eww, indeed.”

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So what’s up with that? 

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“The problem is not in the harvest; the harvest is ready.  It’s the workers; it’s us.  We need to get to work.”Live Second – Week 10, Day 7

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 “We need to get to work.”

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Well alright then, time to get out there and share my faith with……Whoa, hold on there big guy.  You sure you want to do that?  I mean, you do that and you’re out there.  That’s some toothpaste that can’t be put back in the tube, if you know what I mean.  You start sharing your faith and there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to think you’re one of them ‘crazy’ Jesus fanatics.  And once you’re labeled that…..I mean, say goodbye to hearing the “good” jokes, the party invites etc….

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Hmm……..

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Which of the following is most important to you?

A.  A “good” joke

B.  A party invite

C.  A saved life

D.  What others think about me

E.  Comfort

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“Well that’s easy, I’m a Christian so I’m going to go with C – A saved life.”

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“Is that your final answer?”

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“Yes, that’s my final answer.”

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“Okay……..The question was “Which of the following is more important to you?”  You answered C – A saved life……………Ohhhhhh, I’m sorry, the correct answer is D – What others think about me.  We would’ve also accepted E – Comfort.”

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“Wait…….What?!?!?!  How can that be?!?”

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“Okay…….Well thanks for being a contestant on “Based on my Actions!”

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Eww…..I don’t like that game show. 

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But isn’t there some solid truth there?  We know the right answers, but our actions tend to fall short in this area, so much so, that a scripture written back when there were only a handful of Christians as compared to today is just as relevant as ever.

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So workers, why are you few?  Why aren’t you out in the fields getting your harvest on?  What is it that’s been keeping you from sharing your life-giving faith to the lost?     

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Comfort.

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What others think about you.

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Your qualifications.

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Somebody else will take care of it.

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Sharing just isn’t my spiritual gift.

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Fear of rejection.

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I’m waiting for them to come to me.

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Not sure what to say.

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I’m an introvert.

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Whatever your excuse is, and I’ve used all of the above, it doesn’t excuse us from the work that needs to be done, the work that Jesus has called us to do.

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Christians, WE are it.  WE are the workers.  WE are Christ’s ambassadors; God makes his appeals through USWE are speaking for Christ, Himself when WE plead, “Come back to God!” – 2 Corinthians 5:20.  If WE don’t do it, it won’t get done.

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The number of people who don’t know Christ is plentiful, the number of people willing to reach out and share their faith with them is few. 

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WE need to change that.

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WE need to get to work.

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So…..“Where my workers at?”

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2 Timothy 2:15 NLT“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval.  Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.”

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Hashtags:  #StakesAreHigh #WorkHard #LiveSecond

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