Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘gospel’

Not for sale

I am a marketer. I specifically enjoy online marketing, making the world wide web work for my clients. I enjoy every aspect of the sales process, and have learned that everyone is selling something all the time.

Of course, there are times when marketing is not appropriate to the situation. For instance, no one appreciates having the job of washing the dishes “sold” to them. The more one extolls the virtues of dunking your hands repeatedly in soapy, greasy water to get a semblance of clean on to the dishes, the less delighted the listeners are bound to be. We do some things because we have to, not because we want to.

My job affects my life. Sometimes, it seems like my job is my life. And that affects my every day interactions with other. As I walk more closely with my Lord, I become more aware of His desire to see souls saved.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

I share the burden for lost souls more and more, and feel that it is my duty to win those souls for the Kingdom. Single-handedly. I find myself trying to package” the gospel in pretty wrapping to make it more appealing. I show the benefits, trying to make it more relevant, more current. I downplay the negatives.

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.

I can’t actually do it alone.

Now, the gospel really is the Good News. It is full of life, hope, peace and joy. Jesus eases our burdens and strengthens us along the way. But that doens’t mean there won’t be burdens, or that we don’t need strengthening.

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I tend to show the joy and peace (even when I’m not feeling it). I act as if there are no burdens. That doesn’t help anyone – not the lost souls I’m trying so hard to reach, nor the newly saved I’m trying to minister to. All it does is make the Way seem unattainable. I create the impression that, in order to be a “good” Christian, one needs to be perfect.

Needless to say, I am not perfect at all. The stress of trying to present the gospel or the Christian life in my version of a way that honours God, is exhausting. He assures us that His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30), so if I am finding it heavy going, that means I’m living it wrong. What I’ve been learning recently, during my Quiet Time and in various Church services, is that I need to live an honest Christian life, warts and all. It’s not about how I portray the gospel, it’s about responding to the challenges of life in a real way, out of the abundance of a Spirit-filled heart. And the only way to achieve that is to be filled with the Spirit. John 15:5 tells us that abiding in Christ allows us to bear much fruit. In other words, I need to be saturating my daily life with His Word, and let His Spirit take care of the rest.

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Salt of the Earth (Sugar & Spice part 3)

Read the first part of this post here and the second part here.

Secondly, we preserve.

Words of truth grant life. Not just long life, eternal life. In Proverbs 11:30 we see that “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” In other words, the harvest we reap, the natural outworking of being righteous, is life. Not just our own, but that of every soul we touch. We have the gospel: “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;” according to Paul in Romans 1:16.

Here’s an illustration the girls gave me in school a few weeks ago. Heaven is a beach. The ocean is the world. It’s beautiful and terrible: wild and majestic, appealing and terrifying all at once. The Bible is the two little flags on either side of the Narrow Way: the bit of ocean where it’s safe to swim until it’s time to get out on the beach. The problem is, for some reason, we can’t resist the appeal of the rocky, dangerous waves all around the outside of the narrow, safe swimming space.

Sometimes we get ourselves into deep water. We’re being pulled out to sea and it seems like nothing can save us. Certainly our own efforts are worthless. We need help! The gospel is one of those funky red-and-white life preservers thrown out to rescue us from peril beyond our ability to solve. The lifeguard who throws it is Jesus, and our job? Tell the blighters to grab the ring! We can’t save the drowning, but we know Who can, and it’s our job and our joy to tell them, before they drown and it’s too late – they never see that beautiful beach, or bask in that glorious Son.

Just an aside: today is my anniversary. As you read this, Papa Bear, Goldilocks, Red and I are headed up country to reconnect with some folks (and do some work), and we’re going to show our offspring where we were married, and where they were born. 16 amazing years of Life with a capital L, shared with my BFF.

Gospel Parables from Red Riding Hood.

Truthbrush

Truthbrush

I’ve mentioned before that my girls are great at parables, and I know I promised to share some of them here. The most recent one came from our youngest, who explained life to me in this way:

All the humans on earth are teeth, and we’re all covered with plaque. The person whose mouth we’re in is God, and he hates having dirty teeth. (Who doesn’t?) So He brushes His teeth with the Truthbrush, which is Jesus. The Truthbrush cleans us and removes all of our plaque, making us clean and shiny.

Unfortunately, not all the teeth want to be clean. Some of them stay plaque-y, get cavities and fall out. When they fall out, that’s when they die and go to (what she calls) “the Other Place”.

Isn’t it great? A little shaky around the teeth-making-their-own-decisions bit, but she is, after all, only six. I loved it.

It does rather give one pause for thought as far as Wisdom Teeth are concerned … are they the pastors?

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