Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Preach It

I've mentioned, haven't I, that I absolutely LOVE being in Precepts and studying the book of Acts inductively. That is, God is speaking to my heart, encouraging my faith, and convicting my spirit through this study. And I am delighted by His work.

Therefore, I feel compelled to share about our study again. About what I learned this past week, and how God continues to move.
I have spent the past seven days studying Acts 8. (This is the chapter in which the persecution of the church begins, and a whole lotta preaching about Jesus takes place.) And, let me tell you - in addition to holding the universe together in perfect balance, and attending to all the details in your life - God has spent the past seven days speaking to me through His Spirit, about speaking of His Son.
That is, I read about the church being persecuted and scattered - yet continuing to preach Jesus.
I studied the details of Philip traveling to Samaria and proclaiming Christ to the crowds.
Then Peter and John came along to invite the Holy Spirit to come upon the new believers, and as they went back to Jerusalem they preached the gospel in Samaritan villages.
And then an angel of the Lord sent Philip to preach Jesus to an Ethiopian eunuch.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Everyone was talking about Jesus.
And lots of people were being saved.

Then came the question: Am I preaching Jesus?

In answer to that question, I could not deny the sinking feeling in my heart.
While I freely share that I am a woman of faith, though I live every day to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus to the people with whom I cross paths, albeit I'll pray with and for anyone at anytime, and even though I encourage individuals to trust God with their struggles daily, I could not name the last time I shared the gospel with anyone. (Well, except for in Sunday School. But I'm not counting those instances - since sharing the gospel is typically "on the schedule.")

I imagine you've heard this quote:

I fully agree with the heart of the statement - that our every action should exemplify Jesus. But my spirit was convicted through the study this week that the gospel needs to come forth from my mouth, not just from my actions. It is highly unlikely that a person on the receiving end of my kindness is going to wake up the next morning saying, "Hey, I bet that lady was nice to me because Jesus Christ died to pay the price for my sins, that He was buried and raised again to give me eternal life, and I can experience that life if I will just receive the gift of salvation He offers."

Know What I mean?

I intend to continue living so people will be lifted up and pointed to Jesus by what I do. But I want to take it further. I am asking God to fill me with His Spirit and give me courage and boldness to preach Jesus everywhere I go.


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