The Big IF
This edition is for professing Christians.
"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow—perhaps it all will."1
And as Jesus said to His followers, "But you will receive power when the Holy [God's] Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."2
Recently in a Sunday morning worship service our church congregation was singing with great enthusiasm the old hymn: "Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born," while the reality is that far too many of us don't even "go tell it" across the street. We have excellent community services, but we mostly don't even make any helpful gospel literature available.
I remember reading years ago the tongue-in-cheek comment of a fellow Christian who in a take off on the hymn, "Onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war," said we should really be singing, "Like a mighty tortoise moves the church of God, brothers we are treading where we've always trod."
The sad reality is that, according to the highly respected Barna Research Group, the church in the U.S.A. today is in decline. Furthermore, according to an adjunct professor from Fuller Seminary, "The fastest growing church in America today is the church of none." That is, more and more people are dropping out of the organized church.
Jesus commissioned His followers saying that they were to "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone,"3 and again, Jesus said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."4 Thus, if we are not actively involved in fishing for lost souls, are we truly following Jesus?
Some years ago I prayed and in my prayer I said to God, "I hate witnessing and I'm quitting because I am too scared. However, God, if you want to use me, I'm available, but You'll have to do it through me because I'm too afraid."
A few hours after that, I was traveling on an airplane, sitting alone reading Hal Lindsay's book, 'The Late Great Planet Earth.' At one point a fellow passenger got out of his seat, sat down in the empty seat beside me and, after introducing himself, asked me about the book I was reading.
I told him it was a book about the return of Christ to earth coming for all His true followers. He asked, "Do you believe that Christ will return to earth?"
When I told him I did, he said, "Will you please tell me all about it?"
Now I love to witness like that and it all happened because I admitted to God that I was afraid to witness, but that I was available for God to use me to share the gospel message with others—and I've been sharing the gospel with mega thousands of people ever since, primarily through the printed page, e-Mail and the Internet.
After all these many years I still pray the following prayer every morning and plan to keep doing so for the rest of my life. I encourage you to do the same:
"Dear God I am available again today. Please make me usable and use me to be an effective witness for Jesus today, and please help me to be 'as Jesus' in some way to every life I touch. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen.”
NOTE: for practical tips, helps and tools to easily keep on sowing the seed of the gospel and be an effective witness for Jesus go to: http://www.actsweb.org/people_power02.php
1. Ecclesiastes 12: 4, 6 (TLB).
2. Acts 1:8 (NIV).
3. Mark 16:15 (NLT).
4. Matthew 4:19 (NKJV).