Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I spent today writing and sewing. Life is good.

My sewing project went well - it was a dress for my older sister. My writing moved forward a little slower than the sewing, but steadily and better than it has the past few weeks. Have I told you yet what I'm working on? I don't remember if I have. It's a story along the lines of this story bit, but slightly different and much longer - I hope it will become a full-fledged novel! (A good novel.) Maybe I'll share some pieces as I work on it.

As I write, I'm listening to thunder roll. (Yes, I know you're suppose to shut off electrical stuff during a storm. I'm a little nervous...) We're in the middle of a splendid display of God-made fireworks. Tonight it made me think of Mt. Sinai. I wonder what it was like to stand a short distance from the foot of that mountain (not right at the foot - remember why?) and watch the cloud, or lightening, or whatever was going on up there. I wish I could have felt the trembling in the air and among the people when God actually spoke to the nation from atop the mountain. That's one thing that makes the ten commandments special, you know that? God gave all the Levitical instructions, the priestly laws, the temple descriptions, etc., to Moses, up on top of the mountain, and Moses relayed the instructions to the people, but the ten commandments - those God gave right to the people Himself. What an experience!

Do you make use of the law? It's such a valuable tool when you're soul-winning.

But then, I wonder... when was the last time you went soul-winning? I don't mean to sound like I'm shaking my finger at you. God knows (and I'm saying that respectfully) that I am not active enough in that myself. But the fact is, we are commanded to go out and preach the gospel; we're promised blessings if we do, we're told the Lord will be with us, we're assured that the harvest field is white and that the Lord does have His people waiting for us to bring them in, ....all this, and yet we don't DO it! Why not? What hasn't He provided for the job?

But tonight I was thinking about how the law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Do you use it that way? Do you use it to show people what a high standard "perfection" is? Do you walk them through the law, and let them see their sin, before you show them their Savior? Do you show them Mt. Sinai before you show them Calvary?

It's important that a person understands his own sinfulness when you're trying to tell him about Jesus. A Savior won't make sense until there is something he needs to be saved from. He needs to see he's a sinner. And not just in a general "all have sinned" sort of way - he needs to know "I am in big trouble, because I lied yesterday, and I have had adulterous thoughts, and I have disobeyed my parents many times, and I have taken God's name in vain, and I am incapable of keeping these ten commandments." You don't have to sound like you're accusing or judging a person to get them to realize their true state before God; just show them the law and explain it to them! They'll do their own convicting - if God's working on their heart.

I can't tell you how many times I have spoken with a person who claims to be saved, but then when I start explaining the law to them, they see themselves as a sinner for the first time, and they shake their head and say "I never saw it that way before!"

Yet they claim to "be saved." They say they "go to church." Why in the world hasn't someone told them all this vital stuff before now? It makes me so sad!

But it makes me excited, too, because now they have heard - and I had the privilege of being the one to tell them!

(Ooo - that was a BIG boom!)

I'll tell you a secret; I have yet to share the gospel without crying. I get so excited, so moved by the dear, old story. Ache so much to have them understand its beauty.

If you've never had the experience of sharing the gospel with someone, you don't know what you're missing. Find out. Tell somebody. If you're shy, find a stranger - somebody you'll never see again....unless they accept Christ. :)

The first few times I tried to witness, I didn't enjoy it the way I do now. I liked it, yes, but I was more miserable than happy after the conversation was over. Had I said everything the right way? What was she thinking of me? Did I forget anything? Was my heart right? Had I prayed enough beforehand? I dreaded and feared the next time I talked with someone about Christ, and yet I wanted to do it again, too, so I would have another chance to "do better."

Things began to change with practice. And as I listened to older believers talk about how they share the gospel. But what really helped was when I stopped thinking of soul-winning as a play. I wasn't an actor, reciting lines. I couldn't say the magic words, and have every person respond the same way each time. And I wasn't talking at anyone, either. I was having a conversation. I was trying to be a teacher, not a lecture. I was trying to show them something, in a gentle, leading way.

It wasn't a routine. It was a purposeful conversation - I knew where I was heading, and I knew what I wanted to say, but I could say it however I wanted to. It needed to sound like me. It needed to be tailored to my listener. It needed to be genuine, spontaneous, and filled with love.

Then I thought I had the hang of this "soul-winning business." I started to enjoy talking with people. I stopped having so much guilt at the end of each conversation.

I didn't know I was missing the most wonderful part.

Love from God.

No, I'm not talking about love from God for other people, although that's important. I'm talking about the love of God for me.

I've really started to discover - in a small but wonderful way - how much He loves me. ME! It's been so recent, and so wonderful, and so amazing......It thrills my heart, and knowing that He can love somebody else that way spurs me on to tell them about it, in a way I can't describe.

Think about it - if you lived in a different culture, and you had the job of going to a young, blushing, girl and telling her that a handsome, wonderful young man was in love with her and was asking her to marry him, through you, wouldn't you have the most wonderful time telling her about it? I mean, wouldn't you just get a kick out of it? Me too!

And knowing that He loves me, in a way that's not dependent upon my performance, that He delights in me, even when I'm not perfect (who are we fooling? I'm never perfect!), that He is there, and is never going makes me feel so safe. I can talk to someone about Him without feeling like I'm "out front," out of my comfort zone, in harm's way, pushed to the front, vulnerable, etc. I'm just wrapped in His loving arms, talking to somebody because He wants me to and I want to. It's

I love it.

You will, too.

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