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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Go & Tell

I shared the devo this week at Morning Carelink and deviated from Proverbs 31 and instead chose to share a bit of my story that tied in with our Pastor's message on Sunday. Hope this reminds us all to engage in faith-filled conversations and not be afraid to tell others about Jesus!
My theme today is coming from a piece of Sunday's message:  GO & TELL.
Sunday, Pastor Brent shared a message out of Matthew chapter 10. About our mission: GO & TELL others about Jesus. Knowing it will cost us. Knowing the message won't always be well-received. The cost for the disciples was physical torture & death. The cost to us is insignificant by comparison though no less real.
Fear of rejection keeps me silent. Comfort keeps me pacified. A busy life keeps me distracted.   Isn't the mission: GO & TELL , more important to me than what I fear losing? The mission gives people hope. Shows them love. Leads to eternal life.

I was 21 when I prayed a prayer with a friend and asked Jesus into my heart. I didn't go to church growing up. Never read a Bible. But we were "good" people; moral people. Then I went to a Christian college and roomed with Christians, played collegiate sports with Christians, attended chapel requirements with Christians.
But I had zero personal faith. I really don't know how that was possible - I was surrounded by all-things Christian. And I wonder who each of us may know...someone who is surrounded by the living water but still walking away dry.  Who do WE know who is EXACTLY like Isaiah spoke of and Matthew repeated:

Matthew 13:14-16
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.
No one ever asked me if I knew Jesus. I don't fault them. Perhaps God had hoped they would pursue His mission: GO & TELL (me). Or maybe his first plan for me was always to meet a farm boy from Nebraska while on a trip in New York City.
The farm boy posed a simple question, "What do you think about Jesus?" That's all it took. Bob made it personal and at that moment I realized God had laid open a gift for me and was waiting for a response. It wasn't religion. It wasn't a list of do's & don'ts.
I went home that summer and was on fire for the Lord. I drove my family away. I seemed extreme. Conversations were stilted. It took years to find common ground again. Faith has been a hard subject to broach. Most of the time I'm too scared to say much regarding faith.
Someone in my sunday school class this week, said we should "pray for divine appointments." to GO & TELL.
It was a year ago this week that my Grandma passed away. Discovered cancer at Christmas, home on hospice and gone in two months time. I knew I had to GO & TELL. But I was mortified.  Several trips home, finally some time alone. I asked. She answered. We prayed. God confirmed. And she passed away a few days later.
I have NEVER, EVER felt more alive and exhilarated than I did on my way home from that time with my Grandma. She was ready. I obeyed and the Holy Spirit didn't disappoint. Out of that came opportunity to speak to my Grandpa, aunts and parents about my conversations with Grandma. To share my beliefs and the peace I have knowing she is in Heaven. 
Every time (only a few) I've had the opportunity to share the gospel message, the hardest part as been starting the conversation. Fear paralyzes me until the first sentences are formed and leave my lips. But God has always met me there and helped me through. 
So often we say people will see Jesus by how we live. I hope that's true, but that sure wasn't my experience. I just think we need to find the courage to TELL people. To ASK people. That may be the final watering their faith needs to burst into life!

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