One evening this week a group of us were out and about inviting people to join us for Hallepalooza and Soccer Bible Camp for kids. I happened to meet some people on their front porch, talk a bit, and then actually get invited in to share the good news of eternal life through Jesus to a living room full of people. One of the residents in this small group home was an 80 year old man named Frank. Frank had been taught about Jesus as a boy, but he never paid much attention to God. In fact most of his life has been spent ignoring God and stubbornly insisting he's ok on his own without God. But lately a trip to the hospital and a confrontation with his mortality has made Frank somewhat more open to hearing about God.
So here I am in his living room. I got to share the law and the gospel with Frank. He needed to see his sin before he was willing to see his need for a Savior. And so I got to share with Frank ultimately the confidence God wants us to have of life after death because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Sin and grace. Plain and simple. Where these people live, they don't get to hear about Jesus. There was no doubt in my mind that God brought me to talk to Frank and that living room full of people. I told him so. I urged him to believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior and be at peace with God. I don't know if Frank was totally convinced in his heart, but he was sure listening. And the neat thing is…I get to go back. Frank would like to talk again. I'm hoping that maybe even we can do regular ministry with the residents of this group home. God opens up doors... including the doors to people's hearts. I'm thankful to God for the opportunity to talk with Frank before his time of grace is up.
Every time I get to have a conversation with someone like Frank, God reminds me how important the message of Christ is...for everybody...for you and for me too. There are times, I'll be honest, when I'm low on energy, distracted, under a lot of pressure, my spirit is weak...and I wonder if it's all worth it. But then God brings me to someone like Frank who takes me back into God’s Word. This stuff is the real deal. It's life and death. We're talking eternity here. I am nothing...Christ is everything! How much more important can you get than this?! And yet there are a thousand things in our world custom designed by the Enemy to lull each of us into spiritual slumber land. I meet so many people like Frank who’ve hardly spent any time seriously considering spiritual things...and don't want to. They're just so...busy.
Busy spending hours playing golf, hours taking endless Facebook quizzes, hours running here and there, hours doing anything but paying attention to God and his Word...all the while expecting that, if there is a God, he'll pay attention to me when I need him to and he better be there to do what I want.
I don't know what all those things are that distract you from God. But I've got them too. I understand that we swim in a culture where it's easy for faith to drown. And I want you to know as I type this out, I'm praying for you...all of you who might happen to actually read this far :) that you would take a time out and consider how important your connection to Christ is. I'm praying that God would keep you from being lulled into spiritual slumber. And I would ask you to do the same for me.
You know, that's really what being part of a church family is all about. Caring for each other, praying for each other, encouraging each other as we follow Christ and trust him to bring us one day home to the never ending bliss that is heaven. And if you need a little encouragement in your spiritual life, I would invite you to join us at Victory of the Lamb on a Sunday when we come together to spend time listening to God's Word.