Monday, January 26, 2009

Signs

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible, an account of my journey to become closer to God.

I believe that Ginny in NY is an angel helping me to find my way. She often sends me encouraging notes in response to my remarks on this blog, and I welcome all of them. Just the other day she said this in response to my post about being fearful of praying out loud before others: “We need to remind ourselves that when we pray, whether in silence or out loud, we are speaking to someone who loves us immensely. Simple words of adoration, thanks, and petition are all that God asks of us.”

That drives it home clear as crystal, I think. Now if I’m called to pray at one of the meetings I attend, I believe I will be ready.

My post on Friday has haunted me since I wrote it; it seems everywhere I turn my recent shortcoming as a witness is pointed out to me. Not in a punitive way, thank the Lord, but in an instructional way. At the same time I’m reminded of my error, I’m also reminded of the opportunity before me. It’s as if I’m now being encouraged daily to confront my fear of speaking about God to those who are dear to me but who I know do not have God in their lives.

For example, on Saturday I drove past a church and on its marquee was the simple question, “Have you worked for God today?” I was glad I could answer Yes, but I also took that literal sign to be a figurative sign from God reminding me of what else he would have me do – invite the unchurched into church. Along with my ministry work, my acts of mercy and service to needy strangers, and my prayers, I am also to evangelize if I truly want to do God’s work, for Jesus said, “I have come to call the sinners.”

Furthermore, I’m reading, along with the Bible, “Speaking the Truth in Love: How to be an Assertive Christian.” It is a great book about putting faith into practice, especially among people who don’t yet know Jesus as Savior and Lord. It tells me that to fully live the Christian life I must be proactive and lovingly assertive with those who don’t yet believe. Not to be proactive and lovingly assertive, it says, is to decide to ignore another’s spiritual danger.

If I wouldn’t ignore my brother’s, cousins’, or father’s physical danger, why would I ignore their spiritual danger? The simple answer is, I cannot.

I have to stop here as it is nearly 10PM Sunday night and I still have much to do. Jill and I spent 9 hours in church this weekend and I’m eager to write about what we did and learned, but I am also flying to Chicago for a few days and have not yet done a thing to prepare. I’m supposed to give an inspirational talk and all my thoughts are still floating around in my head in a very disorganized fashion.

Tune in on Thursday for more news about Living the Word.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for me and my family. Now go out and hug somebody!

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