Let’s force Christianity on people…

Wait a minute…  Maybe let’s not.  Sounded almost militant didn’t it?

OK, that’s a poor way to start when putting thoughts to paper, but the fact is, I struggle with this stuff.  What are we supposed to do as Christians?  Are is not necessary to spread the Gospel?  There’s some low hanging fruit from scripture we can apply like Matthew 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

We know one of the basic tenants of acting in true Christian faith is sharing and spreading the word of God to others, right?  We take that notion, wrap it up with a bow, and hold ourselves in a kind and loving fashion during our presentation.  That’s nice.  That’s fine.  But…  There’s a big portion of this that’s hugely personal.  In precept, isn’t it supposed to be that way?  Don’t misunderstand me, as I realize that we should, and do, share with complete strangers.  Rather, what I’m struggling with how to pass that fellowship we hold so dear with the friends we cherish.

I have friends I pray will find the Lord.  I want it for them so bad it literally hurts me to see them without.  As a young man that wasn’t terribly interested in God, I was asked several times by several people to participate.  The “Churchies” would show up and throw up, and I would bide my time until they were gone.  Every now and then they would manage to irritate me with their shear perseverance.  I’d be a liar if I said otherwise.  While not particularly proud of that reflection, it is none-the-less how I felt at the time.

God manages to show us the definition of irony often, especially when you may not be paying attention otherwise.  In this case what gives me the distinct tinge of liquid metal as I sip my morning orange juice out of an aluminum cup, is I’m dangerously close to going overboard with a few of my friends.  Ordinarily, I’d play the standard “Michael card” and ignore the reality and live under the familiar auspices of “I’m doing what’s right, therefore nobody should be butt hurt over it and if they are, it’s their problem, not mine.” This tends to be standard operating procedure in Michaelville.  Unfortunately, the “Michael card” isn’t welcome or appropriate, and Michaelville only exists in my warped little beanie…

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.  If I know in my heart and hold conviction in my thought that the Word will benefit and help my friend, how am I to bring this to balance when they neither show interest nor take any solace from listening to my request for he or she to come to God?

Let’s get real folks.  If you have life long friends, you’d really love to see them embrace the Lord Almighty, yes?  Maybe they think they have.  Maybe they have and you don’t understand it or see it; it’s possible, but not likely.  Maybe they’re just not ready.  Maybe my approach is wrong or flawed.  Maybe, maybe, maybe…

If I can’t manage to convey the comfort and importance of holding Him dear, then what kind of Christian am I?  By definition, I’m a pretty average one at best to be brutally honest.  I struggle with this one.  Big time.  We all know there’s about a dozen really good methods of outreach.  We also know you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t beat the horse over the head with a shovel, use a cattle prod, lash him with a fresh willow limb, or force his head down in to cool fresh water for a quick drink.

What does that leave us?  Perseverance.  Yup, the same perseverance that gave me a rash earlier in life is the ticket.  The key is delivery and timing I suppose.  I need some schooling on those apparently.

Hebrews 12:1-3 – Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Typically when I set to adding a blog entry I like to bring the thoughts full circle.  I prefer the culmination of text, imagery, and more to illicit a tuned response from you, the reader.  In this case, I know why I need to share my Faith.  I know who deserves and needs it.  I believe they’ll rejoice in Him and be forever glad they testified.  I, to this point, have lacked the poise I need to handle this well.  It looks like I’ll need to turn to the same Lord that I ask so much guidance from for yet another thing – patience.  Romans 8:25 – But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Stop.  Think.  Listen.  I walked outside to take a moment for myself and reflect, and what did I notice?  The overwhelming smell of fresh lilacs right outside my door.  I’m gonna make it.  So are you.  Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.


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