Friday, July 4, 2008

The Word Will Not Fail

Scripture will blow your mind. I recently read through the book of Matthew & Acts and have been deeply transformed by the mission and intentionality of Jesus and the apostles. As I read, their zeal for evangelism and proclaiming the Gospel was impressed upon me more than ever; while at the same time, I've been convicted by my own faithlessness. Why do I think that I would respond to the Gospel, but someone else wouldn't? What makes me different from the guy who serves lattes next to me on a daily basis? What do I have that I did not receive? God may save anyone! And the Father has been reminding me lately that I need not shrink in my faithlessness anymore.

When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, he responded with an exhortation to love God (Deut. 6) and to love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19; Mark 12). So what I want for myself, I want for neighbors and those I love. If I desire to love God with perfect affection, I will want that for my neighbor as well. Here's the realization that struck me: But I am not loving my neighbor as myself If I am not trying to persuade him toward the greatest and best aspect of my own life--my reconciled relationship with God. (Augustine once wrote, "For you do not love him as yourself, unless you try to draw him to that good which you are yourself pursuing.")

How much evangelism do we find flowing out of our mouths? What does that suggest about our love for God? (Matt. 12.34)

These are the questions that have been convicting me this month.

I ask that you please be in continued prayer for me in the coming days/weeks/months that my life would commend the Gospel with word and deed.
I plan for so many less important things. Pray that I will plan for evangelism.
God doesn't use gifts so much for evangelism but faithfulness. Pray that I would remain faithful. Pray that God will sustain such faithfulness.
Pray that I do not fear my own ignorance.
Pray that I fear the Lord.
Pray that I would not protect my pride at the cost of their souls.
Pray that I can balance my honesty with urgency and joy.
Pray that I will continue to pray for those whom I love and are lost.
Pray that I will be able to wield the Sword of Truth in a way that will be winsome and give glory to God.
Pray that I will ask good questions and listen.

Pray that God will use me as a faithful messenger of the good news. Pray that I will see others saved from God's good punishment from their sins because they accept the good news of Christ's substitutionary death.

When the message of the cross captures your heart, then your tongue--stammering, stuttering, insulting, awkward, sarcastic, and imperfect as it may be--won't be far behind. As Jesus said, "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matt. 12.34).

What is your heart full of?
What do you spend your words on?

We cannot fail in our evangelism. God has said that his Word will not return void; it will accomplish his purposes. We fail only if we do not faithfully tell the gospel at all.

3 comments:

Matt Snyder said...

Casey, bro, let me encourage you for a second (and I hope you read this):

1. You're a gifted evangelist. I say this because of the ease you have in conversation when talking about Jesus. You're passive in your boldness; in other words, YOU ARE BOLD! You're just afraid of it and, frankly, need to get over it.

2. God's gifted you with ears. You genuinely hear what people are saying and for some reason, you grasp it, and you're not afraid to probe deeper.

Just go out there and BRING KINGDOM, brother. miss ya guys.

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