I can justify and rationalize this way:
I go to church almost every week! “Good for you! So do countless other of people, many of whom do nothing else but that!”
I lead a couple of small groups with Bible studies! “You can know all about God and the Bible, but not KNOW God as Lord and Savior!”
I believe in God and I believe in Jesus! “So does the devil!”
I tithe of my time, resources, gifts and talents and money! “Good deal! That makes God happy! But it is not enough! Does He have your heart fully?”
I participate in mission trips, I give to the poor, I sponsor children in 3rd world countries through various organizations! “And that does NOT go un-noticed by the Lord! He’s so proud of you for that, as you are fulfilling much of the Great Commission in so doing. BUT…does your TALK match your WALK?
God does not NEED us to defend Him! He’s God and He can do that all by Himself! However, He has chosen us, as Christ followers, to “Go ye, therefore, into all the world, preaching and teaching all that I have commanded you to. And, lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the age” (Matt. 28: 19-20). We should be honored that the God of the Universe would choose us to go and share His message. So why do we find that so difficult to do? Is it fear of rejection? Is it fear of being made fun of…being called a “Jesus freak”…is it laziness…is it lack of experience and information? There are times, however, that in speaking out we do so in an almost angry defensive way~and what do each of us do when someone speaks to us in that way? We tune them out! No one is going to speak to me in that tone of voice plays in our head, and we may even be bold enough to speak it aloud! Right then and there, the testimony is shot! The walk (the attitude of our heart) does not match our talk…and folk then tune us out! We’ve lost an opportunity God has placed in front of us…all because our words may have become a stumbling block rather than a building block!
Romans 14: 1- says: “Accept him whose faith is weak without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him…you, then, why do you judge your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ‘As surely as I live’, says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me, every tongue will confess to God. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way…do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil…let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification…” (NIV).
We need to learn to bridle our tongues: “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless” (James 1:26, NIV). And we need to try our best to look at others through the eyes of Jesus. THEN, and probably ONLY THEN, will our testimony be effective and will God be honored and pleased!
Are you a stumbling block or a building block?
I am preaching to the choir here, just so you know! I believe God ordained my writing this post today because He had a word for me! Ooochie-aaachie! I need to change my building materials! Do you?