Friday, October 12, 2007

What Are You Here For?

Another day at the fishing hole (McDonald's). And hopefully it'll be another good one. Yesterday, I was able to talk with two people sitting near me -- and they even made it easy for me -- they walked up to me and started the conversation! I use good "bait".

First, I have a really neat but inexpensive scrolling LED badge. It lets me put six different messages on it and I can pick any one of them easily. Right now, it's scrolling "Did You Get One???" in a nice relaxing yet attention getting bright blue. And it didn't cost much. Just under $10 on ebay. I either wear it on my shirt or clip it to my computer backpack so it's visible for a good distance.

I just sit here and do my work on my laptop....such as posting entries on my blog (as I am now). When someone comes up to me and asks about what they're missing, I give them a "survey" tract from Living Waters. They never fail to get people to smile and they can't help but get the gospel....and I mean the real gospel, not some "seeker-friendly don't offend them" mess. And they always appreciate it.

And I'm wondering how many times I've sat back to rest my eyes and caught people across the room with their eyes locked on my "Are You a Good Person" screen saver. It's attractive and gets the point across really well. You may be talking to one person about the weather but their friend is standing next to them reading the screen with a very intense look on their face. The word "transfixed" comes to mind.

So, we sow seeds. And it's getting to where it's second nature. It starts as a choice...but as you do this, you can't comprehend not doing it before. Now, let me say this and remember I don't mean it in any judgmental way at all. I can't count the times I've seen people (Christians I know) who come in here and sit, eat and drink and laugh and make no effort whatsoever to reach the lost. You'd never know they believed anything. Am I any better than them? No! But after you 'get it' you wonder why it seems no one else does.

See, it is a matter of what we are on this Earth for. Remember your Old Testament? What was the purpose of the Jew? To worship God? Sure! To glorify God? Absolutely! But there are ways to do that. And the main purpose they existed was to reach out to the gentiles.

Did they? No. And it was due to their self-righteousness and unbelief. Period.

The same is true for the church, the Body of Christ. We are here to worship, yes. We are here to glorify God. Absolutely! But the only reason why the Lord doesn't take us off this globe is for the purpose of sharing the Gospel. And if we aren't doing that, we must ask ourselves if we also aren't guilty of self-righeousness and unbelief!

And that is too bad. Especially in a country as free as ours where we can share the Gospel in relative freedom from persecution and fear. We know relatively nothing of hinderances to sharing our faith -- save our own lukewarmness.

What an honor to be able to just be here and be available!

When Jesus said "Come Follow Me", He meant, basically, "Do what I do. Value what I value". We are to mimic Christ. Yet how often we expect the pastors and other leaders to do our work for us while we are entertained! Try that at your local gym. It doesn't work. It takes some exertion. And you'd be amazed at the results (at least in your own spirit)!

And at this point, I'm not talking about standing up in the restaurant and preaching. I'm just talking about being available and willing to speak to whomever you see.

It's really not hard. No pressure. You aren't pushing for "results" if that proves anything (Read about Jeremiah, Noah and others). You just sow seeds and let the God who is sovereign honor His Word and your faithfulness.

Right now, I'm aware of two people in particular who are here and profess Christ. And I suspect that when they leave, they'll approach me. When they ask what I'm doing, I'll just say "fishing", which no doubt will make them ask what I'm talking about. It'll be a great lead-in. I can then ask them "Don't you have your own fishing hole?" See, as with many believers, they don't understand the concept of going to where the fish are. They expect the fish to jump in the boat...which interprets to "go to church".

But that is not evangelism. Getting people to "go to church" isn't evangelism. The "Good News" of the Gospel isn't "you can go to church". It's "we're all sinners in need of a savior". And the goal is to be able to help people see their need by using the law, which Paul told Timothy is good, if used lawfully, or correctly.

So we bait the hook and cast it in. We wait to see the float bob up and down. We're waiting for a nibble.

You say "You just sit and wait? What about just approaching people and talking to them outright". Sure, I do that. It was a number of days ago that I did that outright with at least a dozen in a group that blew through. But I also just sit as I am now, doing what I normally do and wait for the tug on the line. That's when it gets to be fun. When you know God has brought them to you.

So, what are you here for? Entertainment? Food? Conversation? As you walk this planet on the few short years that the Lord has given you are you here for your own pleasure? I know. I've been there.

I'd rather be fishing.


Anonymous said...

Good message Tim! Stay strong and continue doing that which we are called to do. it get's easier to do each time you do it, doesn't it? I wish all Christians had a heart for the lost! We should be filled with such joy that it is completely overflowing from us to others!
Brian C

Anonymous said...

Tim, good message! If we aren't willing to share our faith about our christian life, then we must not think much about it. Maybe we have fallen for that friendship evangelism stuff. Jesus said "Go ye into all the world..." That means we have to go. Maybe some don't ever share because they don't know Jesus themselves?

scjohnson99 said...

Atta boy Tim! Love the idea of the scrolling id badge. We will give that a try here in Colorado Springs. Now we are doing regular fishing trips downtown, just walking around. We also go to malls and do the "name 10, get 20". Name all the 10 commandments and get $20. Haven't given away $20 yet. Great lead in to the good person test, and they can;t kick you out of the mall for just talking to folks.
God bless
Steve Johnson