The comments on the last post were terrific, and I loved them. Thanks guys for taking the time. Those comments alone, inspired this 3rd post on the subject. It started with the question slw asked in his comment "What's the most practical place to start telling? " and the very next line says, "Everyone who takes that commission seriously,..." he went on, but those two lines had me. The rest of his comment and Marks comment only added to what had begun.
Place to start...where do you start witnessing? where do you start telling people that Christ saves? where do you start preaching the gospel?
You start only once, right this second, where ever you are at.
And then you never stop.
Don't we stop now? You're in the middle of watching some sporting event, when an opportunity knocks right on your shoulder, and not only have we stopped ministering, but we've completely forgotten that we're ministers. We forget that we're here to preach the gospel, and not work 40 hours a week at whatever job you hold. We forget that we're here to minister to the hurting, and not keep a clean house. We forget that we're here to cast out demons, and not be current on the latest movie that just came out in theatres. We forget that we're here to seek out the lost, and not become a better writer/singer/musician/teacher/handyman/cook/gardener/sports player.
We forget that our friends need a Saviour, more than they need our friendship. And we forget that we need our friends to be saved, more than we need their friendship.
The saving knowledge of Christ should be ever on our lips. When we head to the grocery store for milk and eggs, what would happen if our mindset was set to go to the store to minister, to seek the lost and hurting, and hopefully get some milk and eggs before you return home?
When we pull over at a gas station to refuel, what if our mindset was such that we pulled over to minister, and while we're there get some gas? And before you tell me it's a matter of waiting for an opportunity, let me point out that entire city was impacted because Christ simply asked for a drink of water.
So often even when we do think about praying with someone or telling them about Christ we find ourselves picking up those milk and eggs first and then walking out realizing we completely forgot to witness to the person.
Have you ever gotten so focused on witnessing that you forgot the milk and eggs though?
What I'm talking about, ultimately, is love.
Being so fully saturated with Gods love, fully saturated in loving God, and fully saturated in loving others that you can't help but want to witness. That the milk and eggs aren't even on your mind the moment you see someone with a struggle or a pain pass you by. A love that both fills you with joy that the world can see in your actions and words, but also with an ache that the world can see in your actions and in your words.
When you tread into dangerous ground on someones heart, it's that overflowing love, that will retain your friendship. And, in some cases, it's that overflowing love that leaves you willing to lose a friendship just because God has ordained an opportunity to save their souls and you love them too much to let it pass.
It's a love for God that spills out of your words with every step you take, from the waitress, the store clerk, the co-worker, to the next door neighbor. It simply spills out. It's a love that you wouldn't hide, or be ashamed to speak of any more than you would your love for your spouse or your children. You love them. And it's as simple as that.
You don't start witnessing, simply because when that complete and utter saturation of love is there, then you have never stopped witnessing. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." It's also yet another word that I've been chanting over and over again to God. Unabashed. Unabashed. Unabashed. May God make me entirely unashamed, unembarrassed, and unhindered in my loving adoration of my King. May He give me that same unabashed love for the loud kids in my workplace, the rude waitress, the inattentive sales clerk, the unresponsive policemen, the rude church members, the hard to love and the easy to love.
The bible constantly describes Christ, and the Word of God as the "light" but it seems to me that the fuel that keeps that candle lit is love. Do you love? Do you really love everyone? Because everyone is everywhere.
I guess that's why I like reading David D'Louhy's blog (the one that started this whole thing). Because he goes out looking for people to show his love to. I've got a lot to learn. I've got a lot to learn about living this principle out in my own life. Loving, as God would love, because I just can't help it. And, to be honest, I can't make myself love everyone. But God can put it in me. So...
A conclusion to this candle series.
I'm going to love God... with everything I have.
I'm going to practice being willing to let you see my love for my Saviour.
And then, by His mercy.
I'm going to love you... with everything I have.
And I'm going to practice being willing to let you see my love for you.