[Update: Don, who asked the question that started this blog post, now lives in heaven. I look forward to seeing him again.]
I had just finished recording the message for this past Sunday and our second campus when Don (he always says “from Tennessee”) asked an important question.
The message he had just heard was from Philippians 1:12-18. It was the first message in the second series of messages from the book of Philippians.
Title for the Book: Refuse to Live without Joy
Title for the Month: Living with the Inconsistencies of Life
Title for the Message: Celebrating What Seems Absurd
How do you learn to celebrate what seems absurd?
- By focusing on the extension of the gospel (12-14)
- By refusing to focus on the motives of others (15-17)
- By maintaining an eternal perspective (18a)
- By making a decision to rejoice (18b)
Don’s question was something like,
“How do I learn to see and take advantage of the opportunities to advance the gospel in the circumstances of my life?”
We had a brief conversation at the end of which I gave him three pieces of homework to do in relationship to his interactions with non-Christians:
- Pray for boldness regularly.
- Declare (early) your ultimate loyalty in some way
- Ask if you can pray for the person at the end of your conversation
- You get up in the morning and pray for boldness to proclaim Christ. Now you are looking for God to work.
- Later, you are involved in a minor fender bender. You and the other driver pull over to make sure one another are all right, assess the damage, exchange information and try to carry on with your now more complicated day.
- You: “Are you okay?”
- Them: “I think so.”
- You: “Me too. Cars can be replaced but you and I can’t. I’m a Christian (ultimate loyalty is proclaimed). Would you mind if I prayed for you and just thanked God that we are both okay?”
You will be amazed at how something as simple as this opens up new opportunities to share your faith, and proclaim Christ as well as give you a multitude of new avenues to express the love and compassion of Christ to your neighbors. Try it and see, and you don’t have to have an accident to start. Just start praying for boldness to open your mouth and declare who is the Lord of your life. God will begin to use your open heart to be used.