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Johnny-On-The-Spot

May 9, 2007

 Matthew 10:19-20  “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your father which speaketh in you.”

Colossians 4:5-6  “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how to answer every man.” 

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 you a reason of the hope that is in you.”

The first pasage may not seem to fit the topic of this post, however, I place it here as to demonstrate the need to be atuned to the Spirit; not only in times of trying, but throughout our daily routine.  I was thinking recently of just how many unsaved people I rub shoulders with every day.  Be it at work, in the marketplace, on a road trip, what have you, the sheer volume is alarming.   I find myself, once again, posting on something which I’m hardly qualified to talk about in that, over the years, I’ve failed to capitalize on more opportunities to share the gospel than I care to think about.  I’ve mentioned struggling against foolishness and this is why it’s so important.  We absolutely must be sober-minded and continually thinking in terms of the eternal as we go about our daily routine. 

I sometimes look at my present situation and almost despair. (complain)  It seems as though my life is filled with every form of obligation imaginable.  Things which must be tended to, but fall into the “mundane” catagory.  (Work, pay bills, etc)  It seams as though my entire day, save for blogging, is filled with earthly occupations.  I find myself lamenting (whining) because I miss the days when I could take a bible along with a handful of tracts and just head out into the street.  To go, without a care in the world, except to share the gospel.  Street preaching; a weekly outing at my church in Virginia, is something that I haven’t done since moving back to Michigan.  While one may argue as to its affetiveness, it was an awesome time and the word of God “will not” return void.  (I think it scared some folks because there would sometimes be about 15 of us on a given corner, taking turns preaching)  In writing this, please understand that I love my household dearly and their eternal well-being is at the forefront of my mind.  Tragically it seems to be the last thing on the mind of my wife and kids which, when seeing the urgency of the hour, is heartbreaking.

I say “seems” because we never know what’s going on in a persons heart.  For this reason, it’s a the more important to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh.  To understand the mechanics of deception and be actively engaged in spiritual warfare.  When a domestic-dased dispute arises, to not react in a manner that would cause a scattering as far as the gospel is concerned.   To always have the focus on the eternal and not the temporary in any situation; be it one of conflicting ideas or something casual such as watching Ryans little league games.  To always be in prayer and ready at the drop of a hat to share the hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ.  For this reason, I rejoice greatly for the victory over runaway foolishness which the Lord has granted.  While spontaneous wisecracks are still present, I no longer “pursue” foolishness.  This victory is truly a “first” in that I’ve wrestled with this problem ever since coming to Jesus in 1983.

Lately, I’ve noticed something at work.  Most of the folks there are wrapped up in the day to day, as are most these days.  Doing their own thing and having no desire to hear about Jesus who shed his blood for them on an old rugged cross.  A few, however, seem to notice that the worlds situation is going in a contrary fashion.  They take note of the loss of jobs, globalism on the move, the middle east situation, the array of questions concerning the safety of the food supply, the bizarre weather patterns, the array of seizmic events, and they know that “something’s up.  These individuals desire to know whats going on and an opportunity to share the gospel emerges.  Thus, while I may feel bound by the mundane world and can think of a thousand places where I would rather be, it may well be that this is the right time and the right place.  Because when it all “comes apart” (and it is, without a doubt, coming apart) folks; even some of those who aren’t interested now, will suddenly want answers and the answer is to be born again and know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. 

This is a risky paragraph, but a thought just came to me.  I notice at work, a few folks, while not professing to be christians, are wanting to know “whats up” while a number of christians seem to not give such matters the time of day.  I’m wondering if when it all falls apart, if a number of folks will give their hearts to Jesus while a number of professing christians will be so caught off guard as to not know what to do.  (even though they should)  I almost see a radical “realignment” taking place with folks coming to Jesus while, at the same time, the great falling away is in full force.  We see through a glass darkly on such matters; yet this almost seems to be what’s shaping up.  These are indeed “very treacherous times” and we must hold fast the profession of our faith. 

Another risky paragraph.  (Blog like there’s no tomorrow)  When Jesus walked the earth in a body of flesh, a major realignment took place.  (Actually, it was already there, his presence just brought it to light)  We know that the “religious community” seemed to be largely hypocritical as they would put on a show in order to show how spiritual they were.  The common people heard Jesus gladly.  So often, he upbraids the pharisees and scribes and so often those who may well have thought that they were beyond hope (the thief on the cross) found forgiveness and eternal life.  When Jesus heals a mans withered hand; the religious folks don’t see a miraculous deliverance.  They see Jesus doing something on the sabbath day.  Instead of praising God when the sick are healed and devils cast out, they see a man who eats with publicans and sinners.  

II Timothy 4:2-3  “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”

To be always on the ready.  To always be thinking in terms of the eternal.  To always be in rememberance that everyone will stand at the judgment seat of Christ.  To do everything we can to reach the lost.  For me there’s nothing more frustrating than to be in a carnal-minded state and suddenly be asked about the hope that is in us.  Changing gears in mid-stream is hard.  And noticable!  The best way to avoid this awkward situation is to always walk in the Spirit.  (I praise God for this victory over foolishness.  Sorry to keep harping on it, but it was almost like being delivered from a bondage to physical substance.  I don’t know how else to explain it.  I also think that by talking about it I’ll be more diligent to not let it creep back in)  I pray that as the times unfold, we’ll all be steadfast and soberminded as these are veery sobering times. 

Well, I’m going to close for now.  I apoligize for not commenting as often as I would like.  This third shift schedule is a hinderance somewhat, along with this year seeming to be busier than normal.  It’s as though the world has a unlimited supply of “obligations” to throw at us and keep us in a perpetual state of “running to and fro.”  As such we have to “take it by force.”  Make time for bible study, make time for prayer, and if it’s on our heart to do so, make time for blogging.  (Like blogging through supper as I’m doing now.)  In any case, I need to go.  I wish a great evening in Christ to all.

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15 comments

  1. Hi timbob,

    This is a convicting and sobering post for me. Just today I was caught up in the flesh and responded with a ‘spontaneous wisecrack’. Thinking I was being witty when, in fact, I may have caused someone to stumble. I felt very hypocrytical when I realized what I had done in that brief moment of not walking in the Spirit. My speech is not always with Grace and seasoned with salt as sarcarsim can be a bad habit of mine. I really need the Lord’s help in this area.

    Sometimes I get so caught up in my own little world of mundane tasks that I don’t look around for those divine appointments that are always around me. To think that every individual we interact with presents an opportunity to share the love and grace of the Lord Jesus! I have squandered so many chances to share the good news.

    Have you ever read the book ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’ by Brother Lawrence? It is a short book that was written 300 years ago but it is so relevant for today. Brother Lawrence found a way to live constantly in the presence of God even during mundane experiences. Your post reminds me a bit of this little book. I think I will read it again soon.

    May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with your spirit. Amen.
    Scotti


  2. Greetings Scotti. It’s likewise a sobering one for me as this has been a problem for me ever since I first came to the Lord. The book that you mention by Brother Lawrence sounds very interesting and the title is something that has likewise been on my heart lately. The Lord is always with us and as such is always as close as the mention of his name. Thanks for commenting. I apoligize for being behind in responding lately, but this third shift schedule is weird.

    Have a blessed evening in Christ.


  3. Great post! I think we all need to hear this. I remember having a conversation with a young lady one day and at the time we were both working at a Christian real estate company. She told me she wished we had more opportunities to be a light to unbelievers and I told her that I think God gives us more opportunities than we realize. One of the things I like to pray daily is that God would open my eyes so I don’t miss any. I don’t want to stand in the presence of God one day and have Him show me all the opportunities He gave me to reach out and because I was so caught up in myself, I missed them. The thought breaks my heart.
    Like you said, we get so busy and we are focused at the task at hand and when we get gas, go to the store or library or whereever, that is our opportunity. We don’t necessarily need to stand on the corner and preach, although we can 🙂 but a smile and simply an acknowledgement of another person being near is a great way to start a conversation.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    On another note, please pray for me, we are taking about 100 teens to BattleCry this weekend and I know God is going to do something extraordinary!
    Blessings In Christ-
    Rachel


  4. “I was thinking recently of just how many unsaved people I rub shoulders with every day.”

    I have the opposite problem, I meet so few people on any given day. Yet even with so few, I still do so little.


  5. Greetings Rachel. I’ll definately keep you and the 100 teens this weekend. Thanks for stoping by. Indeed, what you mention is something that crosses my mind a lot. I pray that we all would utilize every opportunity to share the gospel and to be led of the Spirit in all things.

    Have a blessed day and a great weekend in Christ.


  6. Greetings J Keiaer. Something that I have been frustrated by lately is the feeling of being “stuck. Yet my household is not saved and this is a primary misson field. It’s a very small one (5) but each soul is priceless and it’s heartbreaking when those closest to you don’t see the urgency of the situation. It’s a situation that demands walking in the Spirit 24/7; even in moments such as when just waking up and not being mentally “with it” yet. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to comment.

    Have a blessed day in Christ.


  7. Timbob, it seems the LORD is bringing many to a place of crying out to Him for MORE! The situation like yours that just breaks my heart – to know your family is blind to the things of God when Christ is within their midst. Another who is longing for his spouse to join him in ministry, but, because of hurt feelings, she stays home and will not join him.

    Your post is very good and Spirit-given. I hear your heart crying out and my heart joins in with you. I pray the LORD will replace the hearts of stone in your family and give them hearts of flesh. That He would teach them His statutes and cause them to walk in them. LORD, draw them to You. Give them ears to hear and eyes to see. Make this family unit ONE in Christ. Bring them to repentance of self-rule that they would set You up as ruler of their lives. Destroy the strongholds, the arguements, the pretentions that would set themselves up against the knowledge of God so that they may take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

    LORD, bless Tim and his family abundantly. Let Your healing rain soak them tonight in Your great love.

    All these things I pray in the STRONG name of JESUS! Amen


  8. Greetings Marie. Thanks for taking time to comment. I was wondering if you have a blog because your insights are really a blessing. This has been the best part of blogging. Meeting folks who really love the Lord Jesus and have their hearts set on things above. The world to come where there is no ending of days and we will forever be with the the Lord Jesus who purchased us with his own blood. Such a great salvation. We’ll never be able to thank him enough, but we are certainly able to worship him forever. Thanks again for commenting.

    Have a most blessed evening in Christ


  9. Timbob, I DID have a most blessed evening in Jesus Christ! There are a few of us that gather for “Prayer Force” on Thursday nights and we had an awesome time in the LORD.
    We were praying about the very things you post about. And I prayed again for you and your family. Oh that the LORD would pour out His Spirit and give us strength to walk out in His faith and touch those who are blind and minister Truth into their lives.
    I don’t have a blog site – don’t know the first thing about such matters! But it seems the LORD is calling me to pray for men and women like you and I am privileged to do so.

    A greatly blessed day in the LORD to you, Timbob!


  10. Greetings Marie. Thanks so much for praying. I have likewise been keeping you in prayer as well. I have a book in which I keep the names of all whom I come into contact with for this purpose. I really think that this has been one of the main reasons for this venue coming together. To encourage each other and pray for each other as these are very trying times.
    This may sound strange, but where I live, it seems hard to find saints that are so dedicated to the things of God as those whom I’ve met through here. I’ve met some really serious minded saints here, and when you come across such folks, it’s like a supernatural “bonding” as it were. I John 1:7 comes to mind often when praying for these folks. Thank you again for being in contact and for praying.

    have a blessed time in the Lord Jesus always.

    timbob

    P.S. I really wish that I could gather with you all on Thursdays. I’ve heard Phil and Susan talk about being with saints in places and they all spend the whole time in prayer. I praise God for this, but “oh how I would love to gather with such like-minded saints.”


  11. Timbob, where do you live? I am just west of Atlanta, Ga.


  12. Greetings marie. We live in southwest Michigan, about five miles north of the Indiana border and west of the town of Constantine. I knew some saints who lived in Wildwood GA, however they have since purchased land in Tennessee.


  13. Timbob, my husband and I have some goooooddd friends that grew up in Indiana somewhere! (They live here now) They have MANY friends worldwide, including Indiana. If you would like I will ask if they know of a solid group of saints that you could fellowship with.

    I don’t really know your situation, but I do know how important that deep fellowship can be. Now that I have experienced it, I don’t ever want to live without it again!

    The LORD be your source and your portion. I pray he will lead you to other like-minded saints in your area. God be with you, Timbob!


  14. Timbob, what a good and very insightful post. Your risky paragraphs are right on with what the Lord has shown us. Many who are religious will be so taken unaware while the “folks” as you call them, will be open and crying out and ready to recieve the hope found in Jesus Christ gladly.
    May the Lord have mercy and help us to be ready, awake and alert that we may be prepared to bring the harvest in.

    Bless you, bless you!

    Susan


  15. Greetings susan. I’m glad that things in Scotland were so awesome. I was thinking earlier today and it fits in with a shifting of boundaries. I know of a few unsaved folks who are aware that “somethings wrong.” Most have no clue but a few can see it. This also seems to be reflected in the church. A few seem to realize that thhings aren’t as they have always been, however, most seem oblivious to it. It’s reflected in the things that they occupy their time with. (Like American idol) We have to just hold the fort, uphold truth, pray for the lost, and pray for the saints who are sincere for the Lord but not aware of just how late the hour is. Thanks for stopping in.

    Have a blessed day in Christ.



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