Friday, October 19, 2012
Welcome to Day 292 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Job 5:27, “We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself.”
Interesting, though… Eliphaz’s take on Job’s situation was wrong! God wasn’t correcting Job… He was validating his faith to make a point to Satan!
Psalm 108:4, “Great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”
Acts 10:33, “I [Cornelius the Centurion] sent for you [Peter] immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”
Acts 11:2, “So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”
18 “When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, ‘So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.'”
Situations like Peter was invited into is what I live for…
“Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”
Ok, Peter… er, Scott… the floor is yours. We are waiting…
I pray that an angel visits people around Dayton and says, “Send for Scott… A holy angel told us to have you come to his house so that we could hear what you have to say.”
I have been in similar circumstances… people are often curious about faith and are looking for someone they can trust to tell them about it.
Sometimes it comes in the form of “needling.” “Hey, Scott over here is a pastor… What are you doing here, hanging around us heathens??”
I’ll make a joke back to them to break the ice and let them know I can take it.
Something like, “I love heathens!”
At some point, I’ll usually say something like this… (There are a lot of Catholics/former Catholics in Dayton…) “I almost converted to Catholicism just for the fish fries!” (That almost always gets a big laugh. If you’ve been to a fish fry, you know why!)
But then, they will start telling me their personal stories of how they grew up in church, used to teach Sunday school, or how they were hurt in church… Usually in a one-on-one situation…
People are people.
I am now operating under a new set of assumptions…
That people, deep down, want what we have.
I am happy. A fun guy. I live a purposeful life. I care for people. I love what I do. I have been happily married for 26 years…
There are a lot of people out there who can’t say much of that…
When you can strip away all the religious facade and just be a normal person who is a Christian and can still relate to those who aren’t… People will open up to you.
Trust me on this…
This is the world I live in, outside the Vineyard.
Even many people who attend our church are still searching.
Billy Graham said it best, “Evangelism is one beggar showing another beggar where the bread is.”
Be a normal person, generous, full of the Spirit and the love of God, not judgmental, always ready to give a reason for the hope that you have… with gentleness and respect…
And God will use you…
And people will listen.
Lord, I will go anywhere you want me to go to share the faith that I have. Anywhere.