Johnny-On-The-SpotMay 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.