Friday, July 31, 2009

Once Christ got hold of Paul's life he went about business in the way that it seems he always had, full force and with passion. He went about trying to reach people for Christ the way he had gone about persecuting believers before God revealed himself to Paul (then 'Saul') outside of Damascus.

In Acts 20:22-24* he says: "I feel compelled to go to Jerusalem. I'm completely in the dark about what will happen when I get there. I do know that it won't be any picnic, for the Holy Spirit has let me know repeatedly and clearly that there are hard times and imprisonment ahead. But that matters little. What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extavagant generosity of God."

In Acts 21:13 when friends and a prophet tried to dissuade him from going into Jerusalem he persisted: "The issue in Jerusalem is not what they do to me, whether arrest or murder, but what the Master Jesus does through my obedience. Can't you see that?"

This passion, this level of faith tends to elude me. I am not a theologian or Bible scholar and I can't say that the great commission to share the love of Christ demands this level of commitment and action from every one of us. Certainly, we are all different and made up differently personality-wise. But don't we too often use this fact as an excuse? I know that I do. Still, we as believers are all part of the body of Christ and this is an example of the type of faith we should strive to achieve. This was the level of fire I saw growing in BJ as he grew into his teens and is the reason that he was so passionate in his faith and his desire to see others come to know Christ.

The consequences of sharing are much more extreme around the world than we se here, though some of us tend to shy away from sharing Him because we fear we will be rejected or ridiculed by those we share with. Being able to connect our faith that God provides for us -no matter what- can get caught up somewhere between our hearts and our brain, mouths and feet.

One of the beautiful things about the people God uses in scripture is that they are all flawed. None but Christ lived perfect lives and many of them lived lives far from perfect. This should reassure us as we struggle with sin and confusion. In spite of their failings, whether it was speech impediments, fear, timidity, lust or even murder, there was a time that they stepped up and served Him to achieve great things for the Kingdom of Heaven. These "heroes" of the faith were simply men and women that set aside their limitations and let the Lord lead them into a higher place. Do you hear him calling you?

Brad

*scripture references from The Message

3 Comments:

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the Brad.

God Bless.

 
At 3:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend lent me "I would die for you" & this book is speaking to me in amazing ways. BJ has taught me so much already.

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Marti said...

Brad,

I think you have captured the heart of BJ's message: his life was amazing because He served an amazing God. Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whitney emphasized often that BJ would never have wanted a book that exalted anything about him. I know you know that, too. His life and his book point to a God who can take ordinary lives and fill them with his extraordinary strength and power.

Brent's Panama team (returning home today) understands this. You may have read the story on the Awe Star site (Brent can give us the details later!). One day, they went out to a local park to perform the "Freedom" drama and observed two police offers monitoring the team. While the team prayed, the leadership and the local contact went with the officers to obtain appropriate permissions. One phone call, two offices, and much time/patience later and the team had the permission they needed. After they performed the drama, the students went out to minister to anyone who was interested in learning more. Both policemen sincerely gave their hearts to Christ!

God can use anyone whose life is surrendered to Him. The heart of I Would Die for you is that God does not call us all to die physically but He does call us to die by surrendering our lives and hearts. Brad has done that in giving up his time, thought, and effort to continue this blog through the summer. Brent and Deanna have done that by giving their hearts, lives, and time to help students take the Gospel around the world.

Blessings to all and I'll continue

praying in pink
with tender love!

 

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