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KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 ALL THINGS

The apostle Paul is known very well for some very difficult sayings, that if many of us were to dare repeat, we might find ourselves professing a lie. For example, Paul was able to say that he was crucified with Christ, and that the life that he now lived in the flesh was the life of Christ. In another place he said that he wish he were cut off from Christ if it could bring about the salvation of the Jews. And in another place the great saint professed that he was the chief of sinners. Recently the Lord woke me from my sleep early one morning and I heard another hard saying of the apostle Paul whispered in my ear by the Holy Spirit: "I do all things for the sake of the gospel..." (1 Cor. 9:23)

Then as I lay there pondering the verse, the Holy Spirit asked me, "Well, do you?" My heart became heavy as I lay there in the presence of God, and as I began to search my heart I quickly resigned myself to the Lord and answered a somber, "No." For the next several hours as I got up and went to work and pondered this, I felt more and more increasingly grieved. Here I am, one who deeply loves the Lord, a graduate of Bible college, actively involved in ministry, with a solid devotional life, and a zeal strong enough to drive me out into the streets to regularly preach the gospel to anybody who might happen to be within the sound of my voice. Yet when asked of the Lord, if I do "ALL" things for the sake of the gospel, I found myself having to say no. Then it occurred to me, if I had to say no to the Lord, how might my other brothers and sisters in the Lord respond?

Can you say of yourself, "I do all things for the sake of the gospel?" Well, do you? Do you go about every moment of every single day looking to expand the kingdom of God? Are you constantly aware of the calling of God on your life, and ready to minister at the drop of a hat? Whenever you do something, do you measure the value of it by what it shall be worth during eternity? Do you do everything so as to give offense to none in hopes that you will not burn a bridge by which you can witness to a lost soul? Do you just talk about Christ when it is comfortable? Do you just talk about Christ when it is convenient? Do you just talk about Christ when you have nothing to lose by doing so?

Perhaps you are one of those sad souls who attempt to do nothing but be a so-called "silent witness?" You know the type, the one's who sit around and mind their business, doing their job at work in hopes that maybe somebody will see what a great job they do, and somehow ask them about God (yet they never do)? Perhaps you think you have done your job as a witness by simply telling people you go to such and such Church and are involved in such and such ministries, or have hope of being a pastor one day? Perhaps you are even so bold as to invite people to come to your Church- never mind that inviting people to Church is not witnessing!

What happened to this burning desire in us as Christians to tell everybody we could about our risen Lord? What happened to this fiery baptism the early Church experienced through the Spirit, that consumed them with the fact that God had brought a dead man named Jesus back to life, and that this same man was made Lord and Judge of all the Earth, and was coming back soon for judgment? Think about it, JESUS CHRIST WAS BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE! How can you and I ever remain the same? How can you and I ever be silent about the most amazing fact in all of history? How can you and I remain complacent to say nothing day after day? How is it that you and I can profess to have the love of Christ within us, yet not have the same longing for souls that He had? Everywhere around us, souls are drowning in the depths of their sin, and we have the ability to save them, yet we don't so much as worry about the fact that they are drowning, yet alone reach out to them to snatch them from their watery graves.

Does is not bother us that folks like the apostle Paul were so full of the desire to preach the gospel that he actually did it? Does it not bother us when we read in Acts how within a 2 year time period, the apostle Paul and 12 disciples were able to evangelize the entire region of Asia Minor, a province roughly the size of the state of Minnesota? Does is not bother us that within a 10 year time period, the apostle Paul was able to write to the Romans that he had successfully evangelized the region of the world he was in and that he could say that there were no further places for him in those regions and that he must now pess on westward to Spain in order to preach the gospel to those that have never heard it before? Does is not bother some of us that many of us cannot even say we have shared the gospel with everybody that we live with in our own homes?

---
Do you see, do you see, all the people sinking down,
Don't you care, don't you care, are you gonna let them drown,
How can you be so numb, not to care if they come,
You close your eyes and pretend the job's done.

Oh 'Bless me Lord, Bless me Lord,' you know it's all I ever hear,
No one aches, no one hurts, no one even sheds one tear,
But He cries, He weeps, and He cares for your needs,
And you just lay backand keep soaking it in, oh, can't you see it's such sin?

Cause He brings people to your door,
And you turn them away, as you smile and say,
'God bless you, be at peace,' and all Heaven just weeps,
Cause Jesus came to your door, you've left Him out on the streets.

Open up, open up, and give yourself away,
You've seen the need, you hear the cry, so how can you delay,
God's calling and you're the one, but like Jonah you run,
He's told you to speak, but you keep holding it in,
Oh, can't you see it's such sin?

The world is sleeping in the dark,
That the Church can't fight, cause it's asleep in the light,
How can you be so dead, when you've been so well fed,
Jesus rose from the grave, and you, you can't even get out of bed,
Oh, Jesus rose from the dead, come on, get out of your bed.

How can you be so numb, not to care if they come,
You close your eyes and pretend the job's done,
You close your eyes and pretend the job's done,
Don't close your eyes, don't pretend the job's done.
Come away, come away, come away with Me, My love,
Come away, from this mess, come away with Me, My love.

(Keith Green, "Asleep in the Light")

---

Oh dear brethren... let us not be as the song mentioned, and asleep in the light. Let us not be like Jonah, and run from speaking the word of the Lord. Let us see that Jesus indeed rose from the dead, and let us get out of our bed! Let us abandon this attitude of "How can we get sinners to come to church to hear the gospel?" Instead of figuring out clever ways to attract seekers to "come," let us instead fulfill the great commission Christ gave us, and "go." Let us do all things for the sake of the gospel. Let us manage our finances for the sake of the gospel. Let us raise our children for the sake of the gospel. Let us obey our parents for the sake of the gospel. Let us use all our time for the sake of the gospel. Let us do all things for the sake of the gospel!


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Jimmy H

 2005/8/16 16:37Profile
moreofHim
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Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re: ALL THINGS

Jimmy, this is an awesome and convicting post! I can imagine for you especially since you were the 'hearer' of the message first hand.

I had a similar thing happen to me one night when i woke up to these words: "are you willing to lose your place in this world?" it had me thinking for days. Am I willing to give up everything for Him? My reputation, my rights, who i want to be in the eyes of men.

Do I do all things for the sake of the gospel? I will definitely be thinking about this one too.

May the Lord bless you with grace and peace.

In Him, Chanin


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Chanin

 2005/8/16 21:41Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Indeed, it's made me more alert to being more purposeful in everything I do, constantly keeping my eye on the gospel. Today at work I was training somebody in my office and as my trainee grew increasingly comfortable with me I kept looking for more and more chance to witness. At work because of various rules and such I try to be much more subtle and less blunt than I am on the streets or at church. So, I generally start off by getting to know the person, and their background, and when they come to learn about me more and more, I hope when I say I attended Bible college, and am going into seminary, and other such things to make a more natural flow into witnesing the very specifics of our faith, to see if perhaps saying those things might spark of an interest in the things of God. For some people it has, for some people it hasn't. I think some tend to get a little defensive when they know I am involved with such stuff. Being that after I train this one person Thursday I won't probably see them much more (as they will work on days opposite of me since we are in a rotation), I hope to explain more about the hope that is within me.


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Jimmy H

 2005/8/16 21:57Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4526


 Re:

Hi KingJimmy...!

That was a very convicting post. And that song ([i]Asleep in the Light[/i]) by Keith Green has always stirred my heart.

Thanks for the post! May God continue to give us the unction and strength to spread the truth with boldness and unquenchable love!

:-)


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Christopher

 2005/8/16 22:45Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Glad you liked it chris.


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Jimmy H

 2005/8/17 11:52Profile
arielle
Member



Joined: 2004/1/15
Posts: 52
usa

 Re: all things

kingjimmy,

thank you so much for this post...very convicting and something i always need to remind myself. ah, to do all things for His sake...

[i]it is time to quit playing church and start being the church.[/i]
- keith green

thanks for sharing what the Lord has put on your heart. be blessed :)

your sister in Christ,
arielle


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arielle

 2005/8/21 17:49Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Thank you arielle. As Ravenhill once said though, "The question isn't whether you were challenged, but were you changed?" :)

It's very interesting this matter. I don't know if it's just the evangelist in me sometimes. At the student orientation this weekend I went to for the seminary I'm starting to attend this Fall, I had a discussion with one man who said if he had to rate his evangelism level, it'd be a -20 (at least he was honest about it). It really made me ponder the rest of the weekend how is it that somebody who has enough zeal to want to study God's word at a deeper level doesn't have enough zeal to want to share that word with the lost. I hope to print off a few copies of this article and make it avaiable in the break room or library.


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Jimmy H

 2005/8/22 16:00Profile





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