Connecting With Understanding
I was reminded of something this week that I often talk with God about and have tried my best to avoid during my walk with Him. I was in a discussion group and we were basically speaking on what we would say to the next generation to help them with their life. It was great and I loved hearing the different answers. However later in the week God started arousing my concern about how to speak to the youth and loss of this day, in a pointed yet simple effective manner and it remain biblically sound.
1 Corinthians 2:14 (NLT), But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. I can remember what it was like to have people (I didn’t want to talk to), quote a lot of bible verses at me, not to me (that I didn’t want to hear) and try to get me to say a prayer (for something I didn’t believe). I didn’t understand the verses, I didn’t want to deal with the confusion and most of all I didn’t want to be preached “at!” Bottom line, I felt that they were there to flaunt their holiness over me! Ergo, I am convinced that it truly helps both the hearer as well as the speaker when the speaker is in remembrance of 1 Corinthians 2:14.
1 Corinthians 2:12 (NLT), And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. With this verse at the for front of our minds, we must seek God’s wisdom on the most practical way to present His Gospel to the person or persons of His choosing. I know in my own life there have been times when Jesus wasn’t brought into conversation immediately as they gained a little trust in me and what I had to say. As I heard it said, All successful relationships start with a conversation, not a presentation! Just as I believe Jesus orchestrated the meeting, I believe and trust in His timing as well, I have to believe that He will work out the other logistics which may become involved. It seems that God realized from the beginning of His creation, that His ways would have to be absorbed by man in small doses. Even the most devout Jesus follower has limited understanding about the things of God! Everything has to have a beginning before we can know the end.
God is constantly reminding me that I have the upper hand because I have Hebrews 11:3 (NLT), By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. I have a much broader understanding of God today than 22 years ago and it is growing every day. However, as a disciple of Jesus, I must be able to communicate this understanding to those in need. It took me a while to realize the value in Colossians 4:6 (NLT), Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. Again, I am told in Ephesians 4:29 (NLT), Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. No overwhelming (big) words, nor condemnation or King James Preaching and certainly no self-appointed judging. Any one of these can cause the person to shut down and continue to shut God out!
Remember, most of the people we are to reach (for Jesus) are in denial and don’t recognize they, “are in need of help”. That is why I believe Jesus gave Apostle Paul the words in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NLT), Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love. This is and has been a real critical point in my maturing in Christ where Satan tries to convince me that I’m not good enough or I have no ministry degrees and the biggy, “I’m not smart enough!” This was the game Satan used to run on me and it worked for a good while, that is until, Jesus convinced me that it’s not as much about what I know as it is who I know! Jesus is truly all I need and because of my need the rest (wisdom, knowledge and confidence) will come from God with lots of love, a lot of effort (on my part) and a desire to know Him more deeply. A labor of love, which becomes so little to give, as I find so much to gain!
Jesus repeatedly instructs you and I as to how we should represent Him, and His will, as 1 Peter 3:15-16 (NLT), 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Jesus is telling us to explain why we believe what we believe and not deliver a sermon filled with reciting words or phrases that mean little or nothing to the listener. I must resolve to the simple understandable language of which they speak but it is equally as important that they see us living that which I tell them I believe. For me! I merely remember to KISS (“Keep It Simple Stupid”) my explanation and all works well under the leadership of Jesus.
My prayer this week is, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT), 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Amen. Nothing greater than Jesus working through you and I to accomplish His will yesterday, today and forever.
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!