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They Compass Sea and Land

March 2, 2007

Zechariah 8:16  “These are the things that ye shall do; speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute judgment of truth and peace in your gates:  And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.”

Whenever I link to a post, I almost hesitate because there are so many that warrant linking to.  Therefore, I tend to not do so unless the topic has really hit me more than the usual “hitting” that I take while reading the posts of others.  We need to be continuously challenged as we grow into the fulness of Christ.  The following links hit really close to home on a number of fronts.

www.novicechristian.wordpress.com/2007/03/02/witness-like-a-pharisee/ 

www.heaintthroughwithmeyet.wordpress.com/2007/03/01/ministering-to-a-coworker/

This touches on an issue that cuts through my own household.  There are folks all around us who we rub shoulders with daily that, if they should slip into eternity before tomorrow, they’ll be lost forever.  This is something that we are all aware of.  In fact I wonder if some of us have become dull of hearing concerning it.  As I read the above link, I found myself thinking on all of the blown opportunities over the course of time.  Moments in which carnality or foolish jesting was prevailing.  Things that, on the surface, seem harmless, but they generate and atmosphere of lightness and folly.  Moments where someone comes to me with a question and suddenly, I have to take off the clown suit and get into a spiritual state.  Not being as “in close” to the Lord as I should be at that particular moment, the window of opportunity isn’t utilized propely. 

I Peter 3:15  “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh of you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

Before coming to Jesus, I was on the receiving end of evangelistic methods which led to scattering.  I’ve since been guilty of doing the same thing on several occasions.  There is absolutely no substitute for walking in the Spirit concerning such matters.  Not just once in a while, but 24/7.  The spiritual battles go on continuously and, as a result, we are in constant spiritual warfare.  This is an issue that must be approached with the utmost of diligence because reaching the lost is the very reason that Jesus came into the world; to seek and to save that which was lost.”  This is why I’m striving all the more to ensure that no more opportunities slip away.  To put away the foolish jesting once and for all because of the serousness of the times.  By the grace of God, the foolish jesting under much greater control than it was, even a few weeks ago, but it requires a dying to daily.  (Sometimes hourly) 

The verse at the top of this post was my one and only new years resolution.  To simply proclaim the truth.  To sow the seed and water the seed whenever I pass by.  I just thought of something while typing so I’ll “think out loud” as it were concerning it.  When I plant seeds in the garden, I always make sure that I don’t plant them too deep or too close to the surface.  I make sure that I keep them watered and I will do everything to ensure that they have the best opportunity to grow.  God sprouts the seed; in the ground where observation isn’t possible.  How he does it; I don’t know.  Why some fail to come up; this I don’t know either.  All that I can do is to ensure that the environment is proper. 

I used to be amazed at the diligence of those proclaiming a false doctrine; another Jesus, if you will.  The group that my sister is involved with is very diligent about evangelizing.  They really do compass sea and land to make one proselyte.  This isn’t an excuse for not going forth, but it is, partly, an explaination of why this takes place.  They don’t have to fight the enemy.  The devil would love nothing better than for a muslim rivival take place.    He would love to see kingdom halls having to constantly build additions to their meeting places.  When they go out to “evangelize” he doesn’t whisper in their ear “This would be a great day to go fishing.  What about the lawn?  You told your wife that you would get it mowed today.  You’re tired.  You were up blogging all night and you really need some sleep before going to work.” 

Likewise at work, the same battle takes place.  “Look over there.  That guy needs to be hit in the head with a glove ball.” (a common method of goofing off at American Axle)  Or “here’s something that will get a laugh.”  I battle this daily!  By the grace of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, I don’t struggle with notable sin that would ruin a testimony.  (I have in times past)  I struggle with the little things that keep one in a state of “goofiness.” I know that humor can have a place, but it can also wipe out moments which could lead to a new name being written down in glory.  This is why the post in the above link had such an impact on me.  There is nothing more serious than reaching the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Proverbs 24:9  “The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomnation to men.”

Philippians 4:13  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

The problem, and the solution to the problem.  The Lord Jesus has been granting victory over this area of my life.  Without a doubt, if we abide in him and the Holy Spirit abides in us, we are indeed more than conquerors.  I need to close this post which reads like a “beating myself up” session.  I pray that we all would be all the more diligent about evangelizing.  All the more so as this age is quickly running its course.  I’ll close for now and leave off with a passage of scripture that I quote quite often, but it fits the post.  In fact it could be the topic of a post in and of itself.

II Timothy 2:24-26  “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

I Corinthians 3:6-7  “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” 

I pray that we would all be diligent in planting and watering.

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8 comments

  1. Hi,

    We’ve never met, so only you know for sure, but I think if you have a goofing-off personality, God will use that in your witnessing. I know people who are so kind and funny, and everybody loves them, and I would say they have the gift of evangelism. It sounds to me like you have a great personality.

    I have a horrible personality. I have trouble making friends, and I’m introverted, but I think God uses that to reach certain people. I think that anything I’ve done in witnessing, God has given me the ability to overcome my weak personality, and I definitely don’t have the gift of evangelism, but that doesn’t excuse me from being obedient.

    I hate to sound like an advertisement, but if you’ve never heard of “Way of the Master,” I would highly reccomend it. “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” is fascinating, to me anyways. After listening to it, you feel great, because it’s so chock full of Bible verses.

    Bill


  2. Greetings Bill. Thanks for such encouraging comments. We all have weaknesses which cause us to realize that we simply can’t do it in our own strength but through Christ we are victorious in all things. I can always tell if I have been not spending time in prayer as I need to. The old nature starts banging on the cage and wanting out. That’s always a clear indication that a level of drifing has taken place and needs to be addressed.
    Thanks for commenting. I’m about to go to work but I’ll have to get by your site when I get a chance. The Lod is doing a mighty work in the lives of all who place their trust in him and look for a city not made with hands. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Enjoyed reading here. I admire your commitment to “living your beliefs” and think Bill makes a good point.

    Just doing a trawl through “Spirituality” to see what people are saying and happened by your blog. We share the same backdrop BTW.

    Take care,


  4. Hi Timbob, thank you so much for posting another wonderful post. You do have a wonderful personality, even thoug I never met you neither. And thanks so much for linking to my site 🙂

    In Christ
    Andrea


  5. Greetings timbob!
    You have it right in needing to be led by the Spirit when evangelizing. There is no one formula that works, no one right way. The Holy Spirit knows exactly what each person needs to hear and how best to reach them. The gospel must never, never be watered down or diminished, but the Lord is so faithful to personalize it to the hearer if we as the deliverer of the message will just yield to His leading.

    May the Lord temper your humor and use it for His glory! He is more than able to do so 🙂

    Have a blessed weekend brother!

    Susan


  6. “foolish jesting” is definitely counterproductive at times but so is a humorless face of stone. 😀

    With the help of the Holy Spirit we will know the exact style of witness for each person. As timbob said, we must be “in the Spirit” at all times.

    I also believe that Jesus sets us up with the right person, at the right time. Some cannot hear me, while they might be more open to others. That’s fine.

    My son says if I had been born in an earlier time, I would have been one of the prophets blowing a trumpet in someone’s ear. So much for my warm personality. 😀


  7. While I would agree you have a tendency to be very hard on yourself, I also understand why this is so. The good news however, is as you have said: “Without a doubt, if we abide in him and the Holy Spirit abides in us, we are indeed more than conquerors.” For in spirit and in truth, He alone is our hope and the hope of all who reside within this world. The good news is that you realize this. May you never, ever loose sight of He who is our hope! He alone is our confidence, our sufficiency, our qualification. He alone is the one who saves us completely and is the guarantor of that work which he has genuinely begun in us. Yes, Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

    Keep on Keeping on brother, with you eyes fixed upon he who is our author and finisher, the Lord Jesus Christ!

    Blessings in the Lord Jesus Christ!


  8. Hi timbob. Wow, you made a point here that I never thought of, and it rocked me: the fact that, of course, Satan would have no interest whatsoever in thwarting the efforts of people professing other gods and other doctrines. So they will probably be very successful, by worldly standards. Then this links back to the scriptures about the prosperity of the unrighteous!

    Anyway, I digress. Thanks for a great post, thanks for the link, and if you get the chance, listen to the recording that Bill talk about. It is here:
    http://www.wayofthemaster.com/audiolessons.shtml

    Blessings in Christ,
    Catherine



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