Saturday, April 5, 2008

Live the Life

Preach the gospel to all the world, and if necessary, use words. -st. francis of assisi

Were passengers aboard the train
Silent little lambs amidst the pain
Thats no longer good enough
And when its time to speak our faith
We use a language no one can explain
Thats no longer good enough
And God knows its a shame
As we look to pass the flame
We are not the worthy bearers of his name

For the world to know the truth
There can be no greater proof
Than to live the life, live the life
Theres no love thats quite as pure
Theres no pain we cant endure
If we live the life, live the life
Be a light for all to see
For every act of love will set you free

Theres something beautiful and bold
The power of a million human souls
Come together as one
And each in turn goes out to lead
Another by his word, his love, his deed
Now the circle is done
It all comes back to one
For it is he and he alone
Who has lived the only perfect life weve known
-- Michael W Smith

Interesting discussion today at men's fellowship breakfast about again living your life as flawed as it is and loving folks. One ancedote shared by Allen Hickox about a guy he meets in the gym who was constantly telling dirty jokes that Allen really didn't care to hear. How do you tell the guy you really don't care to hear them without coming across as judgmental? I can't remember now his exact response but it was along the lines of "I don't really relate to those -- what other jokes do you have" Another comment Allen said to him jokingly when these would come up was: How does your wife tolerate you? The guy replied, she doesn't. I wish I could remember the exact line he used because it was really good and not judgmental. As it was the guy did have some other stuff - like conservative jokes (the guy is liberal) so they did have some stuff they could banter back and forth. This opened up a quasi-friendship so much that the guy felt comfortable sharing that he was having some problems at home. Allen simply asked if he could pray for them and then followed up the next time they were in the gym.

I guess these are the kinds of things we should be looking for when the song says to live the life. And when scripture says to be ready to give an account of the hope that is in you...

And I guess we should be praying for these opportunities. O one other thing - 12 guys spent three years with Jesus day in and day out. We know one of them betrayed him; might know the names of 3 or 4 others - 6 max I would say. What about the ones who never wrote scripture and we hardly remember their names? What did they do? How come we don't hear about there efforts in spreading the gospel? Maybe its to remind us that simply living our lives and loving each other and other people is all we are really called to do. Just be faithful....


Greg said...

This morning we were discussing witnessing in the 12th grade class, using a chapter called "On Being A Signpost" from a book called "The Fight", by John White.
He says "A signpost points to a destination. It matters little whethe the signpost is pretty or ugly, old or new. It helps if the lettering is blod and clear. But the essential features are that it must point in the right direction and be clear about what it is pointing to." He goes on to say "Unfortunately, witnessing is not seen by many Christians as a simple telling the truth or being a signpost. It has become a complex matter focusing at times on technicalities of witness and on irrelevancies." The closer we get to Jesus, the more natural it will become to constantly point to Jesus in all circumstance w/ all people. We don't need more techniques or clever one-liners. In my experience, when I am close to God the Spirit gives me the words to meet people where they are w/ the Truth. When I'm distant from God, due to sins of commission or ommision, I have no desire to share Christ because it feels phony. I've always liked the analogy of witnessing as one begger telling another beggar where to find bread. I don't have all the answers, but I do know who the answer is. Praise Him!

Greg said...

P.S., Great quotes by Francis of Assisi and Michael W Smith :)

Richie said...

Great post...Allen's situation is common. I don't always know how to respond to situations in a way that doesn't create enemies. It seems as though Allen was able to respond effectively. Stevie had a similar experience with a bartender. In both cases, what was said was a bridge for a real relationship.

Greg is right in mentioning the Spirit's direction. He will give us the words.

Tim said...

Good questions, which I will comment on later, but I thought I would take a few minutes over lunch break to see if I could name the twelve disciples. If somebody would be willing to check my answer, I would appreciate it, so here goes:

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon (also called Peter), Simon (the Zealot), Levi (called Matthew), Thomas (also called Didymus, I believe?), Judas Iscariot, James son of Alpheus (wait, was this the brother of Jesus?), Nathaniel ("the true Israelite" according to Jesus), Andrew, Phillip (I think?), augghhh, and the twelfth is....uh,I don't know. I want to say there was a second Judas, but that's probably wrong. Or is James son of Alpheus different from James the brother of Jesus?

Chad said...

I was going to say Bartholomew, but turns out he's the same guy as Nathaniel.

Then I said, "Wait, there are 2 Judas'!" And then I had to look it up to make sure. But then there was only 1 Judas on the lists I was looking at. Turns out, Thaddeus is the last, but Luke calls him Judas.

There ya go =D God job Tim, impressive. Especially remembering their alias'. I wonder if those were their Halo names ("theZe4lot" haha).
I have some ideas I will post later, but I am going to chew on them for a bit.