As I prepare myself during my daily studies of the Word, I keep coming back to one question.
That question can have many meanings, but there are two specifically that are in my thoughts. The first one has to do with material things. Here in America, specifically the beautiful state of Oregon, we have many good things. Lori and I have great jobs that provide handsomely for our needs. We have health benefits, good income, great opportunities. So from the standpoint of work... we live the good life. We have the ability to travel the state and all around the nation and marvel at the beauty of creation. We can hike, bike, ski, surf, sight see... you name it, this area we live in is beautiful. We live the good life when it comes to recreation. And as far as relationships go, we have amazing friends and family. We fellowship at our local church with great people. We have connections there that will last our entire lifetime and into eternity. We have kids and extended family that we love and cherish the relationships we have with them. When it comes to relationships with people, we live the good life. But is that enough?
The second thought I have has little to do with the good life for me materially, but how I live my life as others see it. Is how I live my life in the lens of other people enough? I have heard it many times said, (and I have said it much myself) "Oh, they know I am a Christian... and if I live a good life in front of them, then that is enough."
I am discovering that this response to my faith in Christ, for me, is a real cop out. It is a way to not face the challenges that come from sharing my faith in Christ and "hoping" that people will see my life and that is enough. My thought process in my head goes something like this.
God: Keith, I want you to share the Gospel with your neighbor.
Me: I don't really need to share the Gospel. I live a good life, they will see the difference.
God: This person is going through some real challenges right now, they need to hear about the hope they have in Christ.
Me: All I need to tell them is I go to church. Maybe they will want to go with me and then they will see how awesome it is and they will get saved.
God: How will they hear if no one tells them?
Me: I don't cuss, I don't drink, and I don't sleep around. That is enough for them to see Christ in me.
God: I have asked you to share my love with everyone. To proclaim me to the nations... that includes those around you right now. Are you willing to do that?
Me: I live a good life. That's really enough!
What a sad testimony to the call of God we all have on our life to share the Gospel. To tell of the good news of Jesus Christ, not just attempt to live it. The truly sad part of this line of thinking is that most of us don't live any differently that our neighbor, so we are fooled into thinking that we can share the love God has for them through how we live.
So as I prepare for Uganda, God has challenged me to step out in faith and obedience and share the Gospel with those I encounter. To realize that living "The Good Life" is not enough. We must speak the truth of Jesus, not just live it. So I challenge you today. Are you just like me? Too fearful, too worried, or too concerned about what others may think to share the Gospel?
Step out in the power of Holy Spirit today and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those you encounter.