Wednesday, January 4, 2012

40 Days of Discovery- Day 3

Today was a day of discovering something old.  The Holy Spirit brought me back to the basics of my life's mission:  sharing the gospel.  Everything should come back to the gospel, right?  If the gospel really is good news, why would I not want to share it?  God has chosen the church, his followers, to be the means by which the mystery of the gospel is revealed.  What an awesome privilege!  God certainly doesn't have to use us.  He's God!  He could have a donkey to proclaim it.  He could write it on a wall.  He could have the birds to sing it.  But He chose people like me.  And I've neglected this great privilege.  Oh, Lord I repent.  Forgive me.

There are people around the world dying because they're sharing the gospel.  They're just that passionate.  They're just that committed.  And I don't want to offend.  Poor excuse.  I was reading an article a month or so ago about a woman and her husband in Iran who prayed EVERYDAY that God would show them who they are supposed to share the gospel with.  Everyday!  And this is in a country that is hostile to Christianity!  What's wrong with me?

So I asked the Spirit this question:  How can I share the gospel in a relevant way?  with creativity, boldly, wisely, lovingly  The gospel message isn't foreign here.  Many have heard it, and tune it out.  I'm asking for fresh creative ways to share the ancient message of truth.  I'm asking for passion, and power to do this great work.  Creativity means nothing if there is no power.  God's power changes people's lives, not my convincing words.

I echo the prayer of the early church when they were under persecution, "Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."  and the response  "After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly."  (from Acts 4:29-31)

Here are a few other scriptures that the Spirit gave me as I asked the question:

 Colossians 4  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. [4] Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. [5] Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. [6] Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Give me an awareness of the opportunities that you provide me--those doors that you open for the message.  Enable me to proclaim the message clearly and allow my actions confirm my beliefs and bring you honor.

 Matt10: [16] I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

Holy Spirit, give me practical ideas, a great sense of discernment of people and situations, and intelligence beyond my physical capability so that I am able to speak with sincerity, boldness, and simplicity.  Do this for my children, my husband, and all of your people. Awaken your people to great boldness in proclaiming the gospel.

I do need to give myself some grace, for God has lavished His grace on me.   I tend to be hard on myself.  I have shared the gospel.  I'm just not nearly as committed as I should be. Thank you Holy Spirit for revealing the truth.

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