“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
(Romans 1:16 ESV)
“In conversation, the disciple who is truly poor in spirit always leaves the other person feeling, my life has been enriched by talking with you. This is neither false modesty nor phony humility… The poor in spirit are the most non-judgmental of peoples; they get along well with sinners.”
The above quote from Brennan Manning was the initial spark which lit the flame of my now persistent and burning desire to serve Christ and become His evangelistic servant bathed in His everlasting mercy and grace. It would be untrue to lead anyone to believe this did not come without great struggle and outright debate with my Savior by trying to rationalize every reason in my finite mind to explain to Him why I am not the best and most qualified candidate for this sacred position but the flame persists and He fuels my flame with daily doses of increasingly greater intention.
Servant Evangelism, in my personal opinion is the only effective way to evangelize the lost and hurting among us. It was refreshing to learn there has been a shift from the fire and brimstone type of evangelizing to a new relational, authentic, and transparent approach. I desire to serve Christ as an authentic and transparent servant as I begin to embrace the brokenness of my own shattered past. For it was in my broken past where I learned to become dependent on Him and His words of promise for a brighter tomorrow. My great dependency on Christ grew more intense from the struggles and challenges of my own personal life and now I am willing to share my past to brighten someone’s tomorrow with hope in a Savior and eternal life.
“Jesus was transparent. True, He did not have any bad to reveal, but He grieved, and expressed it; He sorrowed, and He wept.”
My only desire is to simply be His transparent servant. In spite of our weaknesses and imperfections, God still chooses to use people to communicate His message. The knowledge of my past weakness and imperfections forces me to be a humble and non-judgmental servant to others. It allows me greater understanding into the lives of people who struggle with sin and despair. I have no Christian subculture to temporarily exit from for I have never known the boundaries of “perfect” Christian living void of challenges, hardships, and struggle. Perhaps this is the very reason He is calling me to join Him in His mission, His prodigal with enduring wounds and intense regret. I only have to recall the price He paid to reconcile my rebellion and I’m left kneeling at the foot of His cross begging for His mercy. There is no greater reward this side of heaven then to join with Christ in sharing the gift He gives so freely to those who only have to receive. How can I possibly keep this gift a secret?
I will still wrestle with Christ regarding the requirements of this sacred position. The responsibility of representing Him to a fallen world is significant and causes me to panic. My greatest fear is misrepresenting His love and grace. How could I possibly take on this type of responsibility? The testimony we have around other people is of utmost importance. People are watching how we react in the normal ebb and flow of life. And I love Him so much and only desire to please Him so how can I continue to say no to a Savior who gave His life to allow an unworthy, unlovable, and unclean soul like me to have one? There is a world just outside my door that is hurting and lost and I know without doubt Jesus loves them as much as He loves me.
“It is not the prostitutes and tax-collectors who find it most difficult to repent; it is the devout who feel they have no need to repent, secure in not having broken rules on the Sabbath.”
How can I remain silent and not share with them the good news? …What began simply as a spark and turned into a flame, which has now become a persistent and burning desire is beginning to slowly engulf my panic and fears….
It has been well over a year since my promise was made to You…and yes! I now feel and now realize Your strict discipline to my broken promise….
Jesus…Please help me believe I can do this!
“Fear not, for I am with you; for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
(Isa 41: 10 ESV)