Family AffairNovember 21, 2006
As I come out here tonight, I’m not certain as to how to write the things that are on my heart. My fervent desire that all in my household would be right with the Lord. There is nothing in this life that concerns me as does this. We know that in the last days, families will be torn asunder as some membrers of a given household will have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior while others reject him outright, or they try to get into heaven through a window. (rejection with a title) For those who are saved, it’s a heart wrenching situation as those who are so close to you just don’t see the urgency of this “issue above all issues.” The devil knows every trick in the book on how to keep a person in darkness. (The same tricks that he once used against you) He uses pride, he uses friends, love for particular forms of sin, and anything at his disposal to keep folks from coming to Christ that they might have life. Likewise, we wrestle with the temptation to become discouraged when we don’t see things happening. (Let me suggest that you check out “Aline Baxley” on the blogroll as her story testifies to the power of prayer and determination) To further complicate the struggle, we must strive to keep from saying things or doing things that would drive them away from Jesus instead of gathering them into the hopusehold of faith. This battle goes on 24/7 and we dare not let our guard down for a moment. Only by walking in the Spirit and being sensitive to his leading can we be effective ambassadors for Jesus.
Like all who have been born again, I struggle with these issues. Often in prayer, I ask the Lord to not allow me to say anything or do anything that will hinder the work that I know he’s doing. Likewise I pray to be ready to speak words of truth whenever the opportunity arises. While the old man occasionally “gets one over on me” the Lord has brought me a long way in learning to put down selfish motivations and pride. (The “it’s all about me” mentality is completly destructive. It’s no wonder the divorice rate is so high.) It’s kind of like the old game called “Operation” where the board consits of what looks like this patient lying on an operating table and you have to remove various items from him. Each item is placed in a hole surrounded by a metal rim. If you touch the rim, the guys nose lights up and he beeps. (The things that we entertain ourselves with) This is how it is with a household of folks that don’t see things as you do. You try to be ever so careful because if you make one wrong move, you can do a whole lot of damage.
I Peter 3:15-16 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsly accuse your good conversation in Christ.”
Last Thursday (Nov 16) my wifes sister passed away at the age of 44 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Such situations as this always cause you to reflect on and ponder things. My wifes family is scattered somewhat and over the years, we only visited with her sister and family on a few occasions. Those “few occasions” were always very pleasent ones. Yesterday, (Monday) the funeral was held. When someone is to deliver a message; be it a sermon, an eulogy, or even a wedding, one can usually tell within a few moments if that person has a relationship with the Lord Jesus. The preacher that delivered the message yesterday is most definately born again and it was reflected it his words; spoken with sincerety and assuredness. He mentioned how he had visited with my wifes sister several times during the past two years and he testified that she indeed knew Jesus as Savior and Lord. This he stated with all confidence. Had this not been the case, I’m certain that the eulogy would have been done differently. I can say that while the service was done in a like fashon as are most, the salvation message was all through it and I KNOW that Gods word doesn’t return void. Likewise, I’m certain that my sister in law is in heaven at this moment. She leaves behind a husband who stood with her through all that she endured and two really sweet daughters. Their family has a strength that you rarely find these days.
To really be ambassadors for Christ is far more than just saying words or joining a church. It’s being a city that’s set on a hill, giving light to all who pass by. A light doesn’t say anything; it performs a task. What we do says a lot more than the words that we speak. Our conversation should always be sincere, and the gospel of Jesus Christ should be foremost. Our life MUST line up with our testimony because folks can spot a phony from a mile away. In June of 1983, a girl with whom I had been friends went to live with her aunt and uncle as her situation at home had basically become unsustainable. I was, in the days of my adolescence, a totally confused kid with such a convaluted take on things that only a miracle could bring me around. The aunt and uncle were christians and during the summer of 83, they were really concerned with their neice. Although I visited often throughout the summer, they said very little outside of casual talk. They had no idea that while spending time with them and just being around them, my stony heart with its thick coating of sarchasm was beginning to soften. It was three months later, in september, that I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. While I’ve since had growing pains along with several semesters spent in the “school of hard knocks”, it was at that moment, when I met the King of glory, that my lifes path was forever altered. It was on that day that I woke up a passenger on the hell bound train, and went to bed on a train bound for glory. We grow in the Lord, we change from glory to glory, we become more Christlike as time goes by. But that Friday morning in September of 1983 was a day that I’ll never forget. I can’t remember the exact date, but it was the second Friday at around 11:30 am that my name was writen down in glory.
Well I need to close this out. As saints of the most high God, we need to stand in the gap like never before. To be the best ambassadors that we can be; that when folks see us, they see Christ in us. This means being the best spouse that we can be. It means being the best parent, best employee, and best neighbor that we can be. These are things that we all must work at continuously. (I know that I certainly do) If Christ is working in us, we’ll bear much fruit and be a vessel unto honor. It’s my sincere prayer that we would all do all that we can for the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is able to make one free indeed.