"Be very careful never to forget what you have seen the Lord do for you…and be sure to pass them on to your grandchildren." Deut. 4:9 (NLT)
"Grandma, I have my coupons. Can we go eat pizza?" It was my seven year-old granddaughter, Brooke, with a handful of coupons in her purse.
I couldn’t keep from smiling. Brooke had seen me many times in her young life presenting coupons to the cashier. We had used them for groceries, for burgers, for gas, and many other items. And now here she was today with coupons she had found on a new calendar. It pleased me immensely that she was following in the steps of her grandmother.
"Brooke, I would love pizza", was my reply. What an enjoyable lunch as we selected our favorites, and ate our cheese bread sticks while waiting for the pizza to cook.
I am grateful Brooke chooses to emulate her grandmother in using her coupons, but it is more important that we pass on from one generation to another God’s faithfulness in our lives. Share answered prayer with your children and grandchildren. Read to them about God’s great miracles found in the Bible and tell them all that you see in Him do in your life daily.
"Come and see my new house! It was a gift from my father! It's beautiful! I want all my friends to see this wonder that I have been blessed with!"
Is this an expression of pride? Maybe; or, maybe it's just an expression brought on my exuberance and enthusiasm. Of course we want to share our good fortune with our friends - not to brag, but to let them also feel the joy of such a wonderful gift.
The greater the gift, the more we want to share. Sometimes we can be so exuberant that we become a bit obnoxious... it's all we talk about.
Days of talking about my new house would probably persuade you to finally agree to come and see. What if you came to see my new house and only found a foundation? You might cay, "Ron, you're nuts. You can't live there - it's not finished. Call me when it's completed and I'll come back and take a look."
Of course, you'd be right. You can't build a house without a foundation; but, you also can't live in a foundation. In fact, a foundation is not really a house. The construction must be finished.
Now, you can say correctly that I am a property owner; or, that I'm "part of" such-an-such home-owner's association and that I have a mailing address. However, if I don't complete the house, all that information is under false pretenses - I'm not really a home-owner.
Likewise, if we say we believe in Jesus the Messiah and that, by faith, we have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior; we may say that we are "Christians." Our enthusiasm for our new status may cause us to want to share this new status that the Father's grace has bestowed upon us with everyone. However, like the house, faith is only the foundation.
If we do not build on that foundation; if our faith does not prompt us to do work for our Father; then, our new status is only pretend,,, just like with the house, we're not really members.
"...faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." (James 2:17-19)
Works do not save us; work for the Kingdom is what people of true faith do. Give feet to your faith and action to your words. Then all who see you will know that your faith is from the heart and is rooted in the true Spirit of Jesus our Lord.
A man stopped for a yellow light at a busy crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. A woman in the car behind him was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection.
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up and took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.
After a couple of hours, she was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
"I'm very sorry for this mistake," he said. "You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him.
"I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.
Naturally... I assumed you had stolen the car."
Every time I read this joke I laugh... and then I feel very embarrassed. I feel embarrassed because this scenario is so frequently true.
We go to church two or three times a week, we own several bibles, have all the right accoutrements of a person who has Jesus in their heart... until we get out into the world.
Then, we swear, we tell jokes we wouldn't want our pastor to hear and we act like people who think Jesus is just some guy from the past with some good (but impractical) ideas.
You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Do not lose your saltiness or put your light under a bowl (Matthew 5:13-15). You may be the only bible some people ever see. Make sure they see the real Jesus.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 2:5
Bill was a truck driver who worked hard and didn't need God until he fainted next to the truck one day. He was sixty years old. Bill and his wife went to church that next week and you could tell that they weren't just window-shopping. They joined a disciple group. Bill had never prayed and didn't know Adam and Eve, but he was genuinely curious and when people treated his questions seriously, he was hooked on the Bible study. And then one night, he decided to pray for the first time.
He never looked back. That disciple group decided to take a Mission trip to Kentucky and Bill volunteered to drive. As the pastor was leaving that church to go to another field of service, Bill asked if he could take him out to breakfast. They got over to the restaurant and he looked at his pastor and said, "I've got to thank you because I was in trouble when I came to church. I never even figured church would help, and thought the roof would fall in on the day I visited. But I was surprised and the last couple of years have been the time of my life."
Beloved, many of you are involved in Bible Study groups at your churches and places of employment. People come to you with wounds inflicted by health, society and family chaos. Embrace them as you would your own children. Let them know how much God cares about their needs. But you can do more than minister to those who seek you out, you can go find them and share the best news they have ever heard. That's what a disciple is.
Andrew witnessed to his brother Simon. Philip found Nathanael and witnessed to him about Jesus. Generally, a witness is needed to help others "see" Jesus. You cannot adequately follow Jesus without also extending the invitation to others.
Bill and his pastor didn't know, but he had terminal cancer even at that breakfast and he wasn't going to see another year out. He had gone 60 years without God and then turned into a new guy who was having the time of his life. Don't wait to be a disciple.
GospeLines Prayer: Father, when you spoke to Moses from the bush, he wasn't ashamed to ask You to give the job to someone else. He said, "I can't speak very well, and they won't believe me." I hear your call of discipleship and answer, "Why me?" And Your response is always the same, "Why not?" Give me holy boldness and unconditional grace to overcome both my fears and my prejudices, so that I may become the mentor You expect me to be. Amen and amen.