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STUCK! Chapter Three: Why Should I Care?

18 Jul

Perhaps one reason many Christians get stuck is that their eyes are too often on themselves, their needs, their families, their comfort. But here is where the gospel of Jesus Christ really becomes invasive. If the gospel is true, it demands us to open our eyes to those around us who are lost, separated from the love of God, outside the family of God, presently under God’s wrath.

A Vision Problem
I suspect many of us have a vision problem. We don’t look at others as desperately needing the gospel. Our vision is blurred or blinded by many other concerns. One of the blind people that Jesus healed said, “I see men as trees.” We often don’t even see the trees! How we view others is critical to getting unstuck in our Christian lives.

I’ve had a recent experience that has made me acutely aware of my vision. My right eye began showing signs of macular degeneration, a condition in which small capillaries leak blood in the eye, eventually leading to blindness. The cure? I had to have several months of injections into my right eye! The first injection was terrifying as you can imagine, but the doctor’s assistants did a great job of numbing my eye. All I felt was a slight pinch when the doctor gave me the injection. That first injection was followed by seven more spaced over a year. When I showed up for my last injection, the doctor looked at the high-res picture of that right eye and said, “You’re done. You don’t need any more injections. The medicine is working.” You can imagine my relief. Now, whenever someone tritely uses the expression “Just stab me in the eye”, I don’t hesitate to tell them of my real life experience!

Lost About the Lost?
Is that what it’s going to take for you and me to start seeing lost people? As a theologian I wonder if many followers of Jesus somehow inwardly think that those who die without Christ will somehow still be okay or that God will judge them on the basis of their good works or that they will somehow have a post-mortem (after-death) opportunity to believe the gospel. None of those options are supported biblically. One receives salvation in this life, on this side of the grave, before death. That’s why evangelism and missions are so important!

If I am thoroughly convinced that the gospel is true, that there is only one Savior and His name is Jesus, and that a person is saved only by believing in Him, then I will have to open my eyes to the lost — and really begin to care about reaching them.

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?
(Keith Green)

Homework:
1. Read my short book Unlike Jesus: Let’s Stop Unfriending the World. Pay particular attention to the story in Chapter Three “‘I Haven’t Got Time for the ….🎶” (a discussion of Luke 7 where Jesus says “Do you see this woman?”). How did Simon the Pharisee need his vision corrected by Jesus?

2. What specifically are you going to do to further develop your passion for lost people? Do you have a prayer hit-list which you use everyday to pray for the Holy Spirit to bring conviction of sin to the hearts of those you love?

Some of our witnessing is a one-and-done experience. We might meet someone on a plane or have a brief conversation with our plumber. I call this “evangelism by strafing.” In other words, you might not see that person again. I believe God honors a gentle boldness when we step out in faith and share the gospel with a stranger.

A while back we were getting a lot of telemarketer phone calls. It’s easy to be rude to such people. But I made a promise to the Lord and He quickly gave me the chance to keep my promise. A telemarketer called and I said, “I’m really not interested in what you are selling, but can I tell you about a promise that I made to God a while back?” Silence. Then, “Uh, sure.” “I promised the Lord I would share the gospel with every telemarketer that called me for the next month. Do you know what the gospel is?” Some listened. A few hung up on me! But I kept my promise. Do you have an idea for a similar bold effort you can make in single conversation encounters?

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2022 in STUCK!

 

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