Archive for June, 2013

So you say you’re a Christian….

SO YOU SAY YOU’RE A CHRISTIAN?

One thing’s for sure….this mission the Lord has me on to show the world what death and dying should look like if you’re a Christian has been an eye-opener so far!!

It’s starting to penetrate this thick head of mine that not everyone who says “Yes, I’m a Christian” actually is. Some of them are just being flat-out deceptive. They’re saying what they know others want to hear, regardless of whether it’s true or not. Those type of folks are pretty easy to spot because their behavior, speech and attitudes are light-years away from anything even remotely Christian. Some of them carry on as if they’re fooling everyone around them,and maybe some people are taken in, but to REAL Christians?  These folks might as well walk around with the word LOST tattooed on their foreheads and be done with it.

When I meet one of these individuals, the first thing I do is pray. Then I introduce myself, make a stab at getting acquainted, try to get contact info if I can, etc. I will honestly try to get to know this person if at all possible. Because some things I’ve absorbed in this Christian race I’m running is that #1: God puts folks like this in your path for a reason. If you just shake your head, say tsk-tsk, and walk away then you’ve passed up an opportunity to change a life, plant a seed, start a conversation and maybe, just maybe, impact a life for Christ.

Then you have the folks who really are Christians, they’ve been saved, accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But these believers aren’t all the same as I’m discovering every day!! They do seem to fall into 3 categories so far, though.

Now I firmly believe that salvation doesn’t come with a faith-back guarantee —- once you’re God’s child, you’re His forever. But I also believe that Jesus never intended for the Christian life to be a parking lot!  It should be a launching pad!! He came, He suffered and died to save us, He rose from the dead to defeat sin once and for all, then ascended into Heaven to be with His Father. But BEFORE He left, He gave us a job to do! “Go forth and make disciples of all nations!” In other words? Proclaim His Name! Spread His Gospel! Be His disciple!! He came to make us “fishers of men!!”  We catch ’em…..He’ll clean ’em!!

But the three categories that believers settle into appear to have 3 different temperatures!

STONE COLD Christians: These folks probably answered an altar call in church or at bible camp when they were 9, & with grandma proudly seated in the front row, got themselves baptized. But now that they’re older, you’d never know by observing, listening to or working with them that they were Christians. They seldom think about their faith or their Father, or the Savior who suffered through so much rather than live without them. They seem perfectly content to live their lives with God on the back burner. Prayer is not part of their routine and probably not even in their thought process. They don’t own a bible and they’ve never spoken to anyone about Jesus or the Gospel under any circumstances.   And talk about fishing for souls? These folks don’t even have a license to fish!!   I’d like to be a fly on the wall when life deals them a crappy hand and all of a sudden they need God!! Will a God they’ve been ignoring most of their lives be there to answer their desperate prayer? Absolutely! Jeremiah 29: 13 says “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart!”  Nothing like REAL trouble (serious illness, financial issues, job loss, etc) to get your WHOLE heart involved! But wouldn’t it have been easier to not have stayed so far away from Christ that you need a spiritual MapQuest to locate Him?

Then you have your LUKEWARM Christians: Again, at some point, they’ve been baptized with initial fervor and enthusiasm. Maybe as a child, or even as an adult. But somewhere along the way, they lost that excitement they had as a new Christian. Oh, they make sure to stay visible….they represent.  They have the fish emblem on the family car, attend a church and tithe regularly. They pray, usually a quickie at night and grace before meals.  They certainly own a Bible….even if they couldn’t tell you where it is at a moment’s notice cause in all probability it hasn’t been opened OR read in quite some time. And when it comes to fishing? These folks have a license for sure, and most of them probably own a fishing pole….that’s stored in the garage somewhere…(some with the price stickers still attached!) When trouble rears it’s ugly head in the lives of these Christians, they generally have Jesus on speed dial, even though it’s maybe been a while since they’ve actually spoken with Him personally.

Then you have the third group!! ON FIRE Christians: Some of these folks have been burning since their Baptism!!  Others started out as lukewarm until something jolted them out of their comfort zone and they woke up to realize that time’s a-wasting!!! (That would be me!!) They not only own a Bible, the one they own is probably in notoriously bad-shape from hard use!! (The first 40 or so pages of mine are scotch-taped to the binding right at the moment!)

It’s their handbook, guidebook, map, journal, and atlas all in one! My grandma used to say “Most bibles that are falling apart usually belong to people who aren’t!!”  ON FIRE Christians are no strangers to prayer either. The one word they seldom use however, is AMEN. Because that means the prayer is ended and theirs usually don’t. It’s more like an ongoing conversation with God that lasts all day!  Trouble doesn’t usually faze these folks cause they walk so closely with the Lord that when calamity strikes?  They don’t have to go looking for Jesus or try to get His attention…..they walk through every day holding His hand, so He knows what they need and when and they KNOW they can trust Him.

These folks are excellent fishermen!! They have the license, the pole, the vest, the hat, the tackle box, even a bucket of worms handy and are constantly on the lookout for anyone who looks like they need some seafood!!!

The whole point of all this is that we’re living in the end times….getting closer and closer to the whole mess described in Revelations!! If you’ve never read THAT book? Go take your Prozac and give it a whirl….not recommended bedtime reading, though~ Seriously, we’re running out of time. If you’re a STONECOLD Christian? What will it take to start a fire under you? WE NEED YOU!! LUKEWARM Christians….we need you too!! Jesus didn’t go through everything that He did so we could live our lives on cruise control!! There’s work to do!! People to meet! Introductions to be made!!

If you start out each day with the joy of the Lord in your heart, praying that He’ll use you to reach, connect and touch other people for His Kingdom, believe me, that’s a prayer that will be answered quickly! Who knows how long He’s been waiting for you to ask! Isaiah said, “Here I am, Lord……send me!”  He didn’t wait long and neither will you!!  There’s too much to do!!

So join the movement….stop being a stonecold or a lukewarm Christian….it’s never too late….forget what was and focus on what’s gonna be!! After all, God put your eyes in the front of your head for a reason! No sense looking back—we’re not going there again….keep your head up and your eyes on Christ…that’s where the action is!!   So dive on in……they’re biting!!