Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Can You Find Jesus?

I really appreciate all of your comments on my last post. They all had me thinking a little harder on the subject "How Much is Too Much?" and got me digging a little deeper into Scripture than I had originally planned. (We're gonna have to do this more often! I've really enjoyed it.)

The Lord brought me to the passage in John 4 that speaks of Jesus' conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. The conversation began by a simple request for a drink, which had a whole slew of meaning in itself, and ended up in her salvation and a two day stay for Jesus, the longest He ever stayed in one place during His public ministry. I'm pretty sure that she didn't expect a life changing experience with God at the water hole that day. Jesus took advantage of an everyday situation and used it for God's glory. I believe that we are called to bring Christ into everyday conversations with everyday people He puts in our path. It's lifestyle evangelism.  Amy responded that one's heart has to match one's words. I wholeheartedly agree. If your walk doesn't line up with your talk, you immediately lose credibility with anyone whom you try to share the Gospel. You can't use lifestyle evangelism if your lifestyle isn't evangelical. His Jules said, "If the condition of our heart matches the words that we are saying, if we are loving the unlovely, forgiving ALL those who hurt us and reaching out and accepting those who others will not accept then and only then can our authenticity be seen." Absolutely. But what about those Christians who really, truly do have a walk with the Lord and aren't afraid to tell you so despite the situation, like Angela observed?

Jonah got a book for Christmas from Grammy and Papa.

This book pretty much sums up my whole vision for this blog: finding God in everyday situations. I want to be able to train my kids to see God's hand in everyday life so that He's relatable, personal, and available to them. He won't be real if they never see His work in their little lives, right?

"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:5-9

I don't think that God meant for us to literally strap on our favorite verses. I do think He meant to bring Him into our everyday lives, in our daily comings and goings, and in our routines. Even if He did mean it, what a great conversation starter! "Hey, Tobias! What's that weird thing strapped to your head? It's not your "Here's your sign" sign, is it?" But the question still remains....when do you talk about Him and when do you not?

When first faced with this question from others a few weeks ago, I immediately thought "You can't balance Jesus!!!". We should all be consumed by Him so much that He pours forth in everything we do. Then, like Ansley, the Lord convicted me of past eyerolls, sighs of contempt at similar comments, and scornful thoughts towards those in my history. He softly spoke to me, "Do you really believe that? Because if you did, why do you struggle with these?" So, I reevaluated my heart. I reexamined my attitudes. It wasn't pretty.

I can tell you that I've thought how silly others sounded when they dropped comments referring to Jesus in everyday things. I thought that they sounded so.....homeschool-ish. (Forgive me, all my friends who homeschool! I fully respect your calling and mean no harm in this stereotypical comment. This was all when I was younger and a bit spiritually immature and my thought process reflects such.) Yes, I had a love for God and a desire to please Him...but all with balance. I didn't want to be one of those all-consumed freaks that go a bit extreme with everything. I still sought acceptance from the world because I feared being an outcast.

I believe Matthew 10:16 holds the answer.

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

Well, we got the innocent part down. Life must match your speech. Check. I loved all of your responses but I think Lone Butterfly said it best when she wrote, "You have to earn your right to tell someone else they are wrong in what they believe." A relationship must be built before you throw Jesus in their face. Can you give Him credit and/or acknowledge Him to complete strangers? Absolutely. Plant seeds as often as you can. But we also are called to be shrewd.

     1. astute or sharp in practical matters: a shrewd politician.
     2. keen; piercing.
     3. artful
     4. discriminating; intelligent.

We should be artful in our speech of the Gospel. We should discriminate when is the proper time, sharp in practicality, keen in knowing when it will be well received and when it won't. We are among wolves in this world and we will be devoured if we are not shrewd.

Can there be too much Jesus? Never. Can we refine our zeal and passion to a more productive ministry? So, others will look at our authenticity and instead of seeing Jesus in us as too much, they will say "Oh, I wish I had that!"? Yes- and I'm thinkin' it's gonna take me more than this lifetime to perfect. What about you?


Allison said...

I love the verse and analyzation of being "shrewd." I think it is the key that many of the Christians that get the "eye rolls" miss.

BTW....I found a post on another blog design site explaining the off centered banners you pointed out. Can't remember where but maybe google it and see what comes up?

His Jules said...

OMGoodness!! Kristen - I loved your answer and the word study on "shrewd", your answer is says what my heart wanted to say but my words would not come - I still have a lot of work to do in this area, I am sure. Thanks so much - this was fun!

Erin said...

I find that I am much more likely to slip Christ into the conversation with some people than I am with other people. And of course it shouldn't be like that. There is nothing for me to fear!

Angela said...

And if we are willing to "slip" Christ in with one person, what is it that makes us "afraid" to do so with another.

What I like about you Kristen is that you don't just take someones word for granted--your basis is always scripture. The way you raise your kids, the way you love your hubby and the way you teach us!!! It is so easy to do something just because Pastor Ronnie says that it is right. While God did put him in our lives to teach, I am sure he wouldn't want us to just do what he says without being totally convinced by scripture that this is what GOD says. Like on day 4 of the fast!!! Why in the world am I fasting? right now, it is because Ronnie asked us to do it as a church. It hasn't become a heart attitude yet. It is hard to have that heart attitude when you are cut off from society by ICE!!!! Do I even know what I want to come out of this? NO, not yet. My Christian side says that there are so many things to pray for and I do, but when things get tougher around here because I am, my attitude toward them doesn't get any better and then I feel cut off. Maybe God wants me to talk to Him about it, maybe, but I am so cranky when something happens that I can hardly think straight. How can you go to God in prayer like that?

Ok, rattling on and if I come to the 23rd and have realized what it was that I was supposed to learn--I will share!!

His Jules said...

Kristen - I thought you might like to know that I used your post in teaching my Titus 2 class last night - thanks so much! Love ya,

Tales of a Peanut said...

Great post! Love it!

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