This weekend I had the privilege to attend a conference at church. It’s aim was to get men to focus on God. To stop being fence straddlers and live for Jesus. Part of me was dreading it earlier in the week, and another part of me was encouraged. It was exactly what I needed in this busy time of my life.
Time for a confession: I imagine some of you may be like me. You’ve come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but you’ve gotten busy due to life and compartmentalized Jesus away. I’ll give Jesus this day or that relationship, but not my work friends. Or I’ll give Jesus this money, but that side income shouldn’t count for tithe because I want a new xyz. I’ll work on developing this relationship because it’s easier than reaching out to new people. I can flirt with this sin because I can handle it unlike others. I can act one way with one group of friends but pretend God doesn’t exist with another group of friends. And on and on it goes. We rationalize it away in our mind.
I’m guilty. I’ve gotten complacent. I’ve gotten lazy. I’ll amen the sermon on Sunday, and be telling people where to get off at work the next day in no uncertain 4 letter terms. I’ll rationalize it all away with the best of them. “I’m still doing pretty good.” “I’ll talk to them about Jesus next week.”
Except I don’t.
When I get distracted and busy, I live like hell. Sure I’m a decent person, but you wouldn’t know from any of my actions or words that I’m claiming the name of Jesus. Then I let my failures beat me down and talk me out of witnessing. For FAR TOO LONG.
God kicked my butt this weekend. I needed it so bad. I’ve gotten so distracted and lost focus of what really matters. The saving power of the Gospel is ALL that matters. Not my job. Not selling my house. Not my career. Not my four kids. Not my stress and anxiety. Not my marriage. Not my studies. Not my Army career. Not my money. Not my wants. Not my level of physical fitness. Not my Ego. Not my need for affirmation. None of those things matter. I’ve let all of those take 1st priority at some time and not kept God in focus. Sure those things are important to manage and attend to, but I hadn’t been putting God first for far too long. I had just let life consume me and I was barely treading water while my heart grew dimmer and dimmer from not focusing on God.
So I’m starting afresh. I don’t care about the outcomes anymore. I’m giving it all to God. I can’t keep trying to fix everything myself. Only God can do the fixing in my heart and yours. I’m not ashamed to claim Jesus as my Savior. I want to tell you about it as well. I don’t care if I loose my job, either my civilian or military career, my church friends, my work friends, or my family members. And trust me, being a husband and father of four children, giving my career,(my livelihood, my method of providing for my family) over to God was not an easy task. He wants it all. He’s waiting to meet you right where you are if you’ll just turn from your idols (no matter how well intentioned they are) and come to him at the Cross.
And yes, some of you who know me from different aspects of my life will scoff and say, “See, he’s no better than me. Those Christians are a huge hypocritical joke.” And you’re absolutely right. I am a hypocrite. I am a sinner. I am flawed. Massively. I struggle with sin. A lot. I fail A lot. Only by God’s grace can I say, “Yes I’ve messed up a lot and majorly at times.” But I give that to God. I would point you to the cross and the gospel of Jesus. He came to Save and heal the sick. And it’s not a one time thing. God is continually working in us to make us better after he saves us. When you can finally put your Ego to the side and accept God’s forgiveness and learn to forgive yourself as well, it’s ok to be a flawed human and tell others about Jesus. I don’t think he would want a perfect person to tell about him anyway. It might come off as snobbish.
Acts 20:24 says “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.”
May our lives point others to the gospel.
I am no longer ashamed. I will work to be bolder and share Jesus with others. I’m starting with admitting that online which is a big part of our lives and personas we present to others. I want to be authentic. So ignore and block away if you must, it won’t hurt my feelings. I will shake the dust of my feet and move on. I would love to talk with you about Jesus. The bible commands me to be ready to share. So I’m going to be ready. That’s scary for an introvert like me. But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I urge you to seek out Jesus if you don’t know him in your life. Starting with these verses.
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin id death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 10:9 – That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.
Romans 10:13 For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be Saved.
John 3:16-17 – For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.
It really is as simple as those verses explain. Believe it. Confess your sins and turn to Jesus. Have Faith the Bible is absolutely true. Even if you don’t understand it all yet. Learn to study it and live by the principles it provides. Find a Bible believing church and have fellowship.
If you have questions or want to talk, please reach out to me or others. I would be happy to do my best to answer them or guide you to better resources than just myself.
And Finally, if you are already a Christian, and you find yourself off the path, distracted, bogged down in the business of life, parenting, work, disease, hurt, and more. Find a way to get away from that all. Reset your priorities and focus on God. Start living the great commission unashamed. Our purpose is to glorify God. Not have comfortable middle class lives and cool church friends. Tell people about Jesus as if their eternal resting place in Heaven or Hell depends on it. Because it really does. We often loose focus and don’t consider the reality of hell and the eternal separation of God that it is. Read up on it. It’s real. All we have to do is tell others about Jesus. God will do the work and the saving. No need to worry about the hard stuff. Leave that to God. He can do amazing things in your life. If you’ll just let him.
I pray you will find the Love of God.