Colossians 4:5 – “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
Even as we seek to walk in the newness of life we have attained through Christ Jesus, it’s all to easy (and common) for us to find ourselves slipping into the pharicitical notion that our standing with God hinges on our works. It is fundamental Biblical truth that sin creates a barrier between us and God (Isaiah 59:2); a barrier that we in our power can do nothing to break down.
Enter Jesus Christ.
We must remember that Christ’s subsitutionary death on the cross and resurrection from the dead wasn’t the propping up of a latter we could use to climb over that sin-barrier so we could get to God. No, rather God came to us, and His death and resurrection utterly destroyed those barriers from eternity past to eternity future (Romans 8:23). Because of this, we must keep our eyes focused on Christ and nothing less. Focusing on ourselves and/or our own works produces rotten fruit because we aren’t walking in the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:16-24).
One area I’ve found that’s particularly susceptible to this self-centered way of thinking, is evangelism. Christ commanded us to preach the Gospel to every nation and creature, and as saved sinners we should all have an aching burden to see the lost come to a saving knowledge of Him. Still, God’s Word often must remind us that this is a burden of love and concern, not one of obligation. It’s also not a time for us to show the world how many verses we’ve memorized or how we can turn their logic against them to make them feel stupid (Proverbs 4:19). Still, these shameful scenarios are ones I myself am all too aquianted with. And yet, God in His ever-present grace and love is faithful to grant me new mercies everyday (Lamentations 3:22-23). Our walk with the Lord is trying, but it isn’t without purpose. We’ve been set free from the power of sin so that we might know and glorify the God that’s given us life! The mid-week trip to the grocery store, weekend dinner out, lunch break at work, they’re all times and places we can give back to the Lord the breath he’s given us.
Praise God for places like the Pima County Fair. Events like this open up tremendous opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ because of the masses of people. This year we attended on “Wristband Night” also known as “Don’t Step More Than Two Feet Away From Your Party or You’ll Be Separated for Hours Night.” Thousands upon thousands walked the grounds of cotton candy, ferris wheels and waffle fries, but the walkers PAILED in comparison to the line-standers. Oh yes, the lines went on for days. The natural man would be frustrated at the hour+ wait for a twenty-five second ride (and I confess, my natural man made a few appearances!). But as ambassadors for Christ, God has opened the eyes of the Christian to see these lines for what they really are; a crowd beckoning at this stage set for the Gospel. Really, what better circumstance than having someone stuck in front and behind you for hours, literally begging for conversation!
We handed out tracts throughout the night and were blessed by a few one on one conversations. One in particular that really stuck out was an exchange with two teenagers we were standing in line next to. We started out by talking about the ride we were all waiting for (a pretty intense ride, I might add). Naturally, the conversation lead to that final outcome everyone hoped to evade, but had no certainty they would. They were left with one fearful truth: “I could die on this ride!!“ That of course lead to eternity, which lead to sin, which lead to Christ, which lead to the life-saving Gospel of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-8)! The two guys genuinely seemed receptive and we pray the Lord will continue to convict their hearts and lead them to put their faith in Him. Please pray for them as well as the others that heard the Gospel.
How is God so good as to be willing to use the saved sinner to preach His truth to the (completely) unsuspecting? I don’t know. But let us continue to recognize and seek out those moments, and pray that God grants us the grace to offer them up in His service.
Never miss an opportunity!!
Ephesians 5:15-16 – “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”