BE Different

Don’t just make a difference; we need to BE the difference!

I walked into McDonalds to go to the bathroom and get a large drink. Little did I know that I would encounter a rude and angry customer berating the people behind the counter. Other customers just moved out of the way. He never got physical but his rant seemed to be over the top. The manager did an excellent job of trying to manage the customer’s anger and bring resolution to his issue. Even after the manager met his demands, he continued to complain.

I spoke up. I wasn’t angry or hostile, I just simply told him he had made his point and it was time to move on. Unexpectedly, he stopped yelling and simply left. I went to the counter, complimented the manager on her customer relation skills and told the employees behind the counter that I appreciated them. Oh and by the way, they messed up my order but I didn’t say anything. (NOTE: I was so stressed out I ordered a strawberry shake and got chocolate instead).

All around us we hear anger. The cry of the victim is all around us. Some of it real and some of it simply based on perception. We begin to feel mistreated, misunderstood or cheated. We feel tempted to join in on the tirade and give people a piece of our mind. We display it in road rage on the highways. We see it in hotels, restaurants, stores, shops and so much more.

BUT, shouldn’t we be different. 27 “But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either.
30 Give to everyone who asks you, and from one who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. 31 Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them
. Luke 6:27-31 (HCSB)

This passage is not about letting people rule your life. It’s about an attitude that we as Christians should I have. God is first, others are next, then my own needs. Wouldn’t you like to be treated that way as well?

Three things you should know when you share the gospel

Why is it so hard to have a conversation with a lost person about the gospel? Honestly, it’s never easy. Please know this, God wants you to tell others your story. He wants others to hear how He changed your life so that they can know how to experience that same kind of relationship with Almighty God. Let’s take a look at some of the dynamics at work when we share the gospel.

There is a Spiritual Battle – In the spiritual realm, there is a battle raging for the soul of mankind. Satan wants to keep as many souls as possible out of heaven. At the same time, God continues to direct our lives into divine encounters that draws others to himself in an eternal relationship with Him. We may not see the battle that rages for the souls of those we encounter; but know it is always there. (Ephesians 6:12)

It’s your words, but God’s message – We get hung up on saying the “right” thing, knowing the “right” words. While you are debating the words to use, God is already at work in your heart and mind. While you are talking, God is at work in the heart and mind of the person you are sharing with. Trust me, they are hearing the gospel even if our words are not as “perfect” as we would like them to be. Don’t misunderstand me, attending classes and training seminars on how to share your faith are important. Do what you can to improve your witness. Just don’t overlook the work that the Spirit of God is doing in our lives and in the lives of those we share with.

Just Share – I have had the privilege of training lots of people in sharing their faith. On every visit, I encourage those with me to take a leap of faith and just try. I am always there to bail them out if needed. However, in all of these years, I have never had to. When it is all over, I almost always hear these words, “thanks for giving me the opportunity to share”.

You need someone to go with you? Get someone. You need to practice? Find someone. You want to learn how to share your faith? Just do it!

Living Missional; 4 arenas for missional living

18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. John 17:18 (HCSB)

“Living Sent” – When we received the gift of Jesus Christ, eternal life, the forgiveness of sin, and so much more, we were adopted into the Family of God. We are heirs, God’s children—family. Our privilege and responsibility is to now invite as many people as possible to join God’s family. But, how can they hear unless someone tells them? How can they see unless someone shows them? How can they know unless someone leads them?

People are watching. I’m not trying to freak you out, but people around us are observing what we say and do. They notice where we go and don’t go. They see how we live. Years ago I had a neighbor named Fred, (that really was his name). For months we talked over the fence about normal stuff. We laughed a lot and shared stories. One day, Fred asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was a Baptist Minister. Things got real quiet. Then Fred said, “Sean, if I had known that months ago we would not have been friends”. Fred had had a bad history with some church folks in his past and it left a bitter taste. Fred got to know me by the way I lived before he knew what my titles were.

People need the chance to see the Jesus in you. They need to hear the hope that is within you. Our world is selfish and desperately needs to see someone who loves them—unconditionally. They are desperate to be a part of a family like the one we have: God’s family. Take these truths and apply them to these 4 arenas of your life.

Your family – The people that really know you the best are those that are with you the most. Be careful to live the kind of life every day that glorifies God.

Your church – If we can’t love those who are part of God’s family, what does that say to the world who is watching us. 34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (HCSB)

Your Work or School – For many of us, these are people we see almost every day. How we live our life indicates what we value most. People at work or school need to see that Jesus is the most important person in your life.

Your Community – Every smile you give to a cashier, every kind word you say to a waiter and every door you open for others shows your heart and love for people. Give generously. Volunteer your time, your gifts and your resources to help others. Be Jesus in your community everywhere you go, everything you say and everything you do.

Christianity is 24/7. #Live4God