One of the problems with reading the Bible as plain English is that sometimes the commands given are written….in plain English. What am I supposed to do with this?
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
It’s that whole whopper of a two letter word in there, following the action command of another two letter word: Go YE….
Me? No thanks, Lord. I’d rather just keep You all to myself and we could just interact and You could just bless me and hear my prayers and bring others to Yourself all by Yourself because isn’t that what You really do anyway with all that power so why do I have to be involved with telling anyone…?
I’ve yet to win an argument with God. Not that I don’t try. Just yesterday I tried to excuse the promptings God gave me to GO YE but when I followed up with peeking into the Bible, He greeted me out of the blue with:
Isaiah 63:7-8 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.
I tweeted my friends what I was up to so that they could bug me about it later. Nothing like accountability, I say.
So, it was a beautiful day and my friend canceled my babysitting her children anyway so I couldn’t stay home (nice touch, there, Lord). I gathered up my tracts and my children to go on some errands and then head to a park, where, I hoped, I could talk with some other mothers about Jesus.
I will tell you that I have talked with others about the Lord, so it’s not foreign. It’s just never easy. It’s a whole lot of fishing into an agnostic post-modern pond, and no one gets up in the morning raring to gather rude comments or dirty looks. So, my typical tract tact is to just leave them in places. Like public restrooms. Or shopping carts. That sort of thing. Stealth evangelism. Safe.
Store number one. Forgot the tracts in the van. Oh well, I couldn’t go back to get them, could I? (Although….would I have gone back for my wallet?!)
Went through a drive through. Didn’t give them out to the rushing employees. Strike two.
And then…pretended I didn’t hear the Lord when I was in conversation with a mom at the park. Lalalalalala…oh look it’s time to go….
How wretched do you think I felt? I will tell you. PRETTY STINKING WRETCHED!!
And then……and then……my friend tweeted me on my cell phone. Something akin to “how many have you given out yet?”
I commenced imaginary multiple head bashing against the steering wheel.
“Ok, Jesus. I hear you. Let me get rid of the stack in my pocket before I get home. To REAL PEOPLE. Help me not be so stupid and weak.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
(Yes, you too can have memorized Bible verses pop into your head in the middle of Costco at the most opportune times)
So, we sought out every sample lady we could find, sampled her sample and then gave her a “million dollar tip”. We gave the bagger at the check stand one, too. And you know what? All were gracious and happy to get them. They thought they were cool. And best of all, my pocket was empty when I got back into the car.
I don’t know if I’ll ever give out hundreds of tracts or lead another person to Christ. I hope I do! All I am sure of is that God’s commands are pretty clear, and that He saves others using weak folks and foolish preaching.
So, I say…teach me, Jesus, and grow in me a heart that sorrows more and more every day for the lost and perishing. Give me Your voice. And let me grow to love You enough to obey, and to love people enough to tell them about You.