Do you ever notice your life matching the seasons? Mine has started to slow down. Relationships that were a drain on my time and attention are starting to fade away. It is like my spiritual life has begun fall early. I know we go through seasons in our life as God prepares us to move into new growth. If we don’t realize that the change is for our own good, we waste even more time fighting to hold on to what we have. Hate getting caught in that thought pattern.
I know I am supposed to go into the ministry at some point in my life. I wish I knew when, but it will come and that has to be good enough for now. In the mean time, God is preparing me for that new growth opportunity by removing things from my life. I will struggle at first to hold on to them, but He is good to tell me to let go and when I do, He shows me why I didn’t need it at this time.
This time isn’t all about decay though. While I am shedding the dying leaves from my life, He is still teaching me. I feel like with less distractions in my life, I am able to hear Him better.
I have started walking a couple times a day while working. It is nice to get away and get some exercise. There are usually 4 of us walking. The other day, one of the guys (Mark) was telling us about his Sunday experience with the youth ministry at his church. As he was talking about a skit, another guy (Jake) was making a joke about how you have to stand on your head while praying or you go to hell. Mark got flustered and lost his train of thought on the story and started quoting verses from the Bible.
Jake and I have talked a lot about religion. He is saved, but not practicing due to prior offenses from the last church he went to. I have been trying to encourage him and his family to go back or go to a new church. I believe that the worship process is necessary as well as time with other believers. Plus the offense needs to be forgiven so he can move on. That all comes in time, right.
The next day, it was just Jake and myself walking and we discussed the prior days activities. Jake mentioned that he really thought that Mark didn’t think he was saved and that is why he started quoting from the Bible. I tend to agree with him to a point. Mark is a nice guy, but has a hard time when a religious joke is made. I am not saying they are right, but he doesn’t need to take offense at them. Anyways, I started thinking about the use of quoting scripture while trying to convert people to Christianity.
It dawned on me that Jesus didn’t take that approach. Neither did the disciples.
Now I am going back to make sure, but I cant find a place where Jesus said “it is written” unless he was answering a question / attack from the religious people. When Jesus told people about God and coming to Him, it was all about forgiveness and love. It was about a better way then the way they were living. When the disciples encountered people, they told about what Jesus did and the new life He offered them.
When did we get so focused on preaching the Bible to people to tell them their way of life is wrong and that they are going to hell?
I have known that the way to reach other people is through my own testimony. It is all about what Jesus has done for me and the way my life is different. It appeals to those that can relate to where I was and went through. Not everyone will be moved by my testimony, but that is why there are others out there with their own testimony. It was nice to have that revelation that I was on the right path in my thinking.
On a funny note, as I was talking it out to Jake, he was trying to be funny and asked if I was saying Jesus wasn’t a good Christian. I said no, he was a Jew.