Friday, May 29, 2009



“Satan is in a time bind, therefore, like the heat of Nebuchadnezzar’s blazing furnace, he’s turning up the fire on every modern-day Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego”- Beth Moore

Lately, the Lord has reminded me of the sense of urgency we should be feeling about faith. We are running out of time; this is an emergency of the most dire persuasion: eternal life and death. Jesus could come back at any second, perhaps while you are reading this. Are we prepared? I’ve heard it said that those who plan to come to the Lord at 11 o’clock often die at 10:30- why risk the wait?

As you probably know, Josh and I have gotten involved in a local youth group, a ministry we’ve come to love. This month the talks have been centered around missions, and on Friday (5/29/09), I will be speaking about missionary persecution, specifically my experience serving in China.

What they will discover is that my message actually has less to do with missionary persecution than with the persecution of Chinese citizens and citizens of other countries that outlaw Christianity. Thousands of people die all over the world each year in the name of Christ. We have no excuse to not believe, and no excuse for not living out our faith.

Thinking about the people I worked with in China also brings to mind another dimension of urgency: sharing the Gospel. Even in this day of technology, internet, international travel, and Bibles being translated into thousands of languages, there are still people who have not heard the Good News of Christ. And why not?- because we don’t feel like going, supporting, reaching out, speaking, or praying? Are we really willing to allow our greed, comfort, laziness, and egocentrism get in the way of someone else’s salvation?

And what about those around us? Do they know the Truth? We cannot make decisions for others, but we can certainly provide them with the information needed to make an educated choice. How many times have I not shared my faith with someone for fear of them not receiving it well or looking down on me? It is completely ridiculous that I have placed my own insecurity above their right to know Jesus!

It often seems like we are all waiting for the next guy to step up and take responsibility. We are too busy, or too, important, or to unaffected, or too distracted; besides, it’s just easier to let someone else take care of it:

“ ‘A pastor friend of mine said, “Our problem is that we no longer have martyrs. We only have celebrities.’ Most of the time, when I see Christian superstars like Jerry Falwell or Al Sharpton, I feel like I’m watching professional wrestling. There’s a lot of shouting and sweating, but the people seem too superhuman, and I’m not convinced all the moves are real. And as with any sports event, there are tons of spectators, desperately in need of exercise, who sit back and watch a handful of people who could really use a little break, or maybe a massage.”-Shane Claiborne, Irresistible Revolution

Tonight, we watched a DVD at our team meeting that reinforced this message: it is all of our responsibility. We can not just leave the work to the next person; the job is too extraordinary. Please view this video of a sermon entitled "Fruitcake and Ice Cream"(by Louie Giglio). I will warn you that it’s about half an hour long, but it is well worth your time. It may just change your life.

Seriously, please watch it before you read on. Yes, this means you.

This compelling message convincingly reinforced the sense of urgency God has laid on my heart, urgency to share with people here and at home.

After watching, we listened to the song mentioned in the video, "Mighty to Save" For the last couple of months, this has been my favorite worship song, and the “coincidence” didn’t escape my awareness. In case you don’t know it, I’ve included the lyrics:

"Mighty to Save"

Everyone needs compassion,
Love that's never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.
Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Saviour;
The Hope of nations.

Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

So take me as You find me,
All my fears and failures,
Fill my life again.
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in,
Now I surrender.

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus (x2)

Here’s my challenge to you: listen to this song, and think of those around you who haven’t dedicated their lives to Christ, or who may have fallen from their walk with Him. Pray for them, and ask God to show you how you might encourage them to draw closer to Him. Then act on it- we are running out of time.


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