On a date last Monday, Holly and I went to Big Lots, Food For Less and Goodwill. Though thoughts of speaking to cashiers about the Lord occurred to me, I did not mention Him. Honestly, I was very tired and did not want to have to engage anyone very meaningfully other than Holly.
Really? Not even a “God bless you” or “I’d like to share this online study site with you”? No. I only responded to them addressing me with things like “Hi.” “I’m well, how about you?”
Tuesday, after returning from a Community Outreach Study with two sisters, I engaged a neighbor (Tom) for 45 minutes with only moral and godly conversation, but no direct mention of God. I did not even end the conversation with “God bless you.” Why? I did not think he’d receive it well. Is that a good reason? Maybe, maybe not, but it is what I was thinking.
After ending the conversation with Tom, I took our trash to a dumpster across the RV park and addressed a woman walking with a crutch. I’d seen her walking quite a few times before and not felt I had the opportunity to say more than Hi. This time I began a conversation with her in which she included a reference to God. I played off of that comment and learned about her faith and situation. I also shared some of my own. Much was said about God, His church and faith. The conversation ended as the beginning of a good acquaintance and potential for personal Bible study down the road.
Not every day of my life is a powerful encounter with the lost. Many days, I feel weak in various ways, selfish and unwilling to move out of my comfort zone. I say little to people who need to hear about Jesus. Other days, are quite the opposite and much is said about Jesus and people’s need to know and obey Him.
Can you relate? Do you ever think you could say something about Jesus to others and then don’t? Do you have days where you are bold and speak to people of God followed by days you fail to even mention Him to others? It’s real right? Is it good? No, but it is real. Do we wish we could be strong at every moment, strong champions of the testimony of Christ in the world at every turn? Certainly! But alas, we are not.
Where does this leave us before God? Are we still useful to Him in reaching the lost for salvation? Yes! Or should we just leave evangelism to those who are “good” at it? Certainly not!
As Christians each of us to called to proclaim the excellencies of our God to a world in need of Him (1 Pet. 2:9). We can’t “get off the hook” unless we leave the grace that saves us. But we can embrace our weaknesses and trust God to find ways to use us to proclaim Him for His glory despite them. We can seek to embrace the truth about weaknesses that Paul came to embrace, “Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. and He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
You can do what God has called you to do with His help! Just imagine the courage people can gain in reaching out to the lost themselves by seeing what God is able to do with little old insignificant you/me! That’s how we feel about ourselves at times. I don’t believe it is the way God sees us.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:24,25