Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Call to be Different

This week, I have really been focusing on the idea that I will stand face to face with Jesus and give an account for everything I've done.  Whether you are excited about that or not, we can be sure of one thing, we will all stand and give an account of how we lived our lives.  Every word, every action, every thought, Jesus will analyze it and it will be on display without shade or cover.  What has intensified this idea for me is the idea that I live my life knowing that God has given me His prescription for living, through His word.  I've known this before, but it hasn't been a truth that really changed the way I lived.  Recently, however, God has brought the full weight of this idea to bear upon my life.  What I am, does not belong to me, every moment of this life belongs to Jesus.  I am alive because of Him, I am redeemed because of Him, I carry out no action independent of Him.  My next breath is at His behest and is His gift to me.  
It has been said and I certainly agree with this assessment, that we in the United States have entered the post-Christendom era.  Much like Europe in the past 2 decades, the United States is entering a period when Americans are saying, "I've seen Christianity, its been tried and we don't want anything to do with it.  Why would we step backwards?"  Oh what a painful statement in light of the fact that a Holy God sent His perfect Son to die on our behalf, to redeem us and set us free from slavery to sin.  
Tonight, I am asking about you, the reader.  I'm asking for you to give yourself some honest self-evaluation. Does the life you lead as a believer look any different than those around you?  What are hard question to ask.  I've had to ask myself that question several times and in some areas, I look the same as those around me.  My conversations didn't scream Jesus enough and my attitudes at times pointed to no God to speak of. Spending was perhaps my greatest failure.  I was investing in myself and not in the things of Christ.  With every dollar I spent, I voted against what God considered of paramount importance.  What kind of votes are you casting with the resources that God has entrusted to you and what will you do with this type of information?  
As I've wrestled with these very difficult questions, I am refining my decisions because I know that He will ask me one day about all that I did with all that He gave me.  What will you say on that day?  Were you investing in others, or were you investing in yourself?  
God has countless opportunities for us to invest in His Kingdom and what He is doing in and through believers here on this earth.  As a former stockbroker, I can tell you that the single greatest investment you can make is in what God is doing in people.  There is no shortage of dividends when it comes to investing in people.  As well, this type of investment helps you stand out as different in a nation that so desperately needs to see the light of Christ.
The Christmas holiday is coming and I'm going to ask all of you readers to take a challenge with me.  I'm going to ask you to invest in a people that you may never see until that day when we are all rejoicing together.  I'm asking for you to take God at His word and give out of the abundance of what He has given to you.  I am asking for 100 people to do whatever it takes to trim $50 a month out of their budget to help send Debby and the kids and I to Uganda.  The average family spends $225 a month going out to eat.  The average family spends $235 on entertainment a month.  I'm asking you to cut those in half and invest in the Kingdom.  I don't want Christmas presents, this is what I'm asking.  Get on board and help send Debby and I to Uganda so that we can preach salvation to the lost, disciple the brothers and sisters of Christ and proclaim freedom to the captives.  Is there any other way to live as a believer?  Please, help us, I'm speaking directly to you the reader and asking you to directly to take this challenge.  I'm looking for 100 people at $50 a month through the end of January.  Please, get on board with us and spread the word, we are ready to go and work with Ugandans.

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