I took a test recently that’s supposed to show people what their spiritual gifts are. I thought mine might have been giving. Or teaching. According to this test, my biggest gift is evangelism.
Let’s see if that’s accurate. I’ll let you decide.
First, I grew up kind of shy. I really didn’t like talking. Not in front of people. Not in front of strangers. And I used to stutter a little bit. Trouble with all that is, it was Moses’ excuse too, and God got angry with him (Exodus 4:10-14)
Second, you should know that none of this is me. Not the old me, at any rate. The old me sees all the evil going on in the World and thinks, “Fine, let them all go to Hell. It’s what they deserve.”
Here’s the thing though. That is not the heart of God. That is the heart of the Adversary, who wants to take as many people down with him as possible.
A New Heart
Remember the story of Jonah? He didn’t want to do what God wanted him to do because he knew that God was ready to forgive them if they turned from their ways. And when they did turn and God did forgive them, Jonah got angry. (Jonah 4:1-5)
I don’t want that to be me. I pray, like David, “Lord create in me a new heart.” (Psalm 51:10)
So, that said, I’m about to share with you what I think are some of the scariest portions of Scripture, for a believer. And that is a good thing.
We all believe that God is Love and his biggest gift to us is his Grace and Mercy. Yes. God is all of that. However, he is also Judgement. The God we worship is also the God we read about in the Old Testament, and He doesn’t change. Let’s compare old and new.
Solomon writes that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10) (though in this case fear can and does also mean respect)
Paul, possibly the greatest evangelist ever, writes that everyone should work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)
Much is Expected
Jesus said that to whom much is given, much is expected. (Luke 12:48)
He also said “Why do you call me Lord, and then not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46)
He also said that many would come to him on the that day (Judgement) and call him Lord and he will tell them, “Get away from me. I don’t know you.” (Matthew 7:22-23)
Note that Jesus is saying all of this to his followers, to disciples, to the church.
Remember the illustration he gave of the men who built houses? The wise one built on a foundation of rock, and the foolish one built on sand? (Matthew 7:24-27)
The builders are both believers. The houses they build are both the words they received. We’re not talking about unbelievers here.
The one who built his house on the sand is not expecting it to get washed away. He thinks he’s fine. Notice that Jesus gave this illustration right after telling people, “Why do you call me Lord, and then not do what I tell you?”
He started this parable with, “He who hears my words and does them is like…”
Faith vs. Works: Which one is right?
Some of you may now be thinking of the whole faith versus works issue. This seems to be a paradox in scripture, and like any seeming paradox, there is a deeper truth to be found and when it’s uncovered, there is no paradox at all, and the ideas complement each other perfectly.
People asked Jesus what work they needed to do and he told them that the only thing God requires is to believe on the one he sent. True. (John 6:29)
Your faith is what saves you, but your results are the measuring stick of your faith. If Jesus tells you something, and you don’t act on it, then you have to ask yourself, did you really believe it in the first place?
If someone tells you hey get up and get out, the building is on fire, do you move or do you think yeah, yeah, when I get around to it?
Your House is on Fire
Picture this. You’re at home with your family, late at night, and you’ve just awakened from a deep sleep. You smell smoke. You go out of your bedroom to investigate, and sure enough, there’s a fire.
Do you (a) run out of the house immediately to save yourself, or (b) wake up the rest of the family and make sure they all get out?
How about co-workers? If your office building is on fire, would you let everyone burn? Or would you warn them? Would you say to Hell with them, I’ll save myself? Well, when your heart has an unwillingness to share, you very well may be doing just that.
Here’s another convicting scripture God gave us through Ezekiel. Did you know that if you know that someone is living in sin, and you don’t warn them, and they end up in Hell because they didn’t get a chance to repent, then God will hold you accountable? (Ezekiel 3:17-21)
If that doesn’t light a fire under you to get out there and say something then I don’t know what will.
Well, enough about doing what God expects of us out of fear. Next time I’ll talk about what Jesus said about rewards. And just to be clear here, again, good works will not get us to Heaven, which is why Jesus did what he had to do on the cross, and our only “work” is to believe.
However if your vision of Heaven is that we’re all going to be equal there, you would be mistaken. Jesus had quite a bit to say about the kinds of things that will be rewarded in Heaven. More about that later.
The Treasure that Lasts
Ever heard the expression you can’t take it with you? That’s a lie. Sure, you can’t take all those possessions. But, there is something that you can take with you. Something that will definitely be part of your treasure in heaven. Other people.
Think about that next time you have a chance to witness to someone. That’s your treasure standing in front of you. Go get it.
Since I’ve talked about fear here, I want to wrap up by saying something about love. It’s not really fear that’s the biggest motivation for me to share my faith. It’s love. Picture this…
You love someone (say your spouse). You know that you’re expected to do the dishes. You know she/he will be disappointed if you don’t do your share of the chores. Your love will be your motivator to do something you don’t necessarily want to do.
How much more so when the “chore” is other people. How much more so when the person expecting this from you is the Creator, and after what he’s done for you already?
The Movie Everyone Should See
Here’s another one: Let’s say you’ve just come out of the theater after seeing the most amazing movie ever. 3D, wonderful special effects, truly inspired story and plot, super-talented actors and actresses. It just doesn’t get any better.
Do you tell your friends about it? Of course, right? Why would you not? Everyone should go see this!
How much more so for what you’ve already got inside you right now? It really is the Greatest Story Ever Told.
So go tell it already.
Another Call to Action…
I say another because the first one is the sentence above. If you’re reading this, on this website, then you probably already have a desire to share your faith. Just two points & requests…
- Please do read & consider & pray over the scriptures I shared. The links take you right over to BlueLetterBible.com so you can read them online. Do read them in context and get the real impact of what God is saying to you. I didn’t quote chapter & verse here just to prove my points. My hope is to get people reading & pondering God’s word, not my own words.
- Can you put your desire to share the Good News in your own words? Please do comment here. We’d love to hear from you. Remember you’re writing not just to us here at the TechServants but to any and all seeking to do what Jesus told them. That’s what this site is about, after all. If you’ve not signed up yet, do consider doing so via one of the links to your right.
[image via Josué Ribeiro]