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It's Bigger Than Me

“What are you doing that is so big if God does not intervene it is doomed to fail?”  This was the question presented to me by one of my young adult pastors several years ago.  I had just graduated from college and I was leading the college students and singles at my church.  We were taking a mission trip to Brazil, and I was asked to lead the trip.  Having worked for a missions organization, this was not a new experience for me, except that this time I was the primary leader…completely in charge. 
 
As the pastor presented this question on that Sunday morning, I immediately thought of this trip.  It was bigger than me!  It was so big that if God did not prepare the way, I knew that I would fail at some point.  All I could do was be completely obedient to what He called me to do and trust Him for the rest.
 
The day of our trip arrived, and by this time our itinerary was arranged.  We had a connecting flight in Brazil, and we had no one with us who spoke fluent Portuguese.  We would need to get our luggage, go through customs and recheck our luggage before changing planes.  The missionaries would not be there, so there was no one familiar with the airport or the language to meet our team.  I was a ball of nerves, but I kept trusting that somehow God would take care of things.  This was bigger than me, but it was not bigger than Him.
 
As we got off the plane, I stayed to the back of the group to make sure that everyone was together, and as I was coming through the gate, I heard people calling “Ella, ella!”  My team finally realized that the people were looking for me.  As we connected, I learned that the missionaries had called ahead of us and arranged for some of the airport staff who spoke English to meet us and walk us through customs.  Not only did we get through, but it was easier than it would have been otherwise!
 
God will always direct our paths if we trust in Him.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.  I was not required to “take care of everything.”  I was only to trust God with all my heart and acknowledge Him in all of my ways.
 
If you are like me, when I heard that we were going to do a series on evangelism, I had the same feeling of anxiousness that I had before this trip.  I always feel that evangelism is so big that if God does not intervene I am doomed to fail!  But shouldn’t that be the point?  Evangelism is not dependent upon us.  God is the Evangelist.  He has simply asked us to join Him and to be “all in.”
 
This week we will be looking at a man in the book of Luke.  His name is Levi.  You may recognize him as Matthew.  God called Levi and said, “Follow me.”  Luke 5:28 says, “And leaving everything, he rose and followed Him.”  In the next verse, Levi is hosting a party for all his friends who did not know Jesus so that they could meet his Savior. 
 
You will find that Levi was “all in.”   He didn’t worry about success or failure.  He didn’t half-heartedly follow.  He didn’t wait to see how his friends would react.  We aren’t told the outcome of this party.  We are simply told that he left everything to follow Christ and introduce those in his circle of influence to Him.
 
I am challenged by Levi to remember that evangelism is bigger than me.  It is so much bigger than if God does not intervene, it is doomed to fail.  My part is simple…go all in!  Are you all in to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ? 

 

Posted by Bethany Lay with

Come Hell or High Water (Part 2)

Matthew 28:18-20

Last week we discussed Hell and for the discussion on Evangelism today, I want us to view Hell as the foundation for a house. Hell is the foundation and evangelism is the remainder of the house- one is incomplete without the other. Let me explain- as a stated last week, if I am a Christian and I choose not to evangelize, then I am like a doctor who does not warn my patient of their heart disease. Or think of it within the arena of construction, I’ve built the foundation, but never finished the house- no can live there, right? The same is said for a Christian who does not evangelize, we are only partly obeying God. But what about evangelizing without a notion of hell? I’m glad you asked! If I evangelize but have no mention of hell or thought of eternal damnation in my mind, why am I evangelizing? To spread the Good News? Well, how can that news be good if there is no bad?

            In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus commissions his disciples to “go.” To go and make disciples, to baptize them, to teach them to obey His commands and to take heart knowing that Christ is with them even to the end of the age. How lackluster is the evangelism that comes from a Christian who cares little of hell!The reality of Hell- as Pastor Shaun stated this past Sunday- is the eternal separation from the presence of God’s grace and the eternal union to the presence of God’s wrath. Simply put, the worst place in which one could spend eternity in is Hell and last week what we read in Luke made it very clear that all those who find themselves there will know where they are. So here we are, doctors who continue to practice medicine but refuse to warn of the impending doom and I am fairly certain that all of us would agree of such practice is wrong. Yet, we live as if it were right. We let the fear of man keep us from fulfilling the great commission. 

What would happen if we built the whole house in our lives- evangelizing our friends, families, neighbors, coworkers etc. out of an urgency that comes from knowing where they will spend eternity. How can we give gifts for birthday’s and holidays, send cards when they are sick, but not share the greatest gift and reveal the only cure? I would say the reason for that is that we have more urgency when we accidentally send a text to the wrong person than for the saving of the lost. We care more about not appearing weird or “super Christian” by always talking about God and asking people about their faith. However, we must be careful so as not to be lukewarm Christians. For Rev 3:16 clearly states that God will spit those people out of his mouth. Come Hell or High Water, everyone who is lost is going to Hell, but do we care? If we do, let us show it in our actions and words! How wonderful would it be if we said with Charles Spurgeon“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay.” How many souls would be saved from an eternity of torment if we simply said: “come Hell or high water, I will do whatever it takes to see the souls of the lost saved.”

 

      

Posted by Joel Arcieri with

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