Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10

AND YE SHALL BE WITNESSES

images1.jpgGiving testimony to the saving power of Jesus Christ is perhaps one of the highest priveleges given to any person. How disappointing that it takes about 130 Southern Baptists one year to win one person to Christ. I’m not really picking on the Southern Baptists. They have been the standard bearer for decades in evangelism among protestant denominations. Evangelism across the board has become less of an imperative in these days of post-modernism, where everyone’s belief is valued as equal to another’s no matter how ‘whacky’ the belief system may be. It is one thing to respect another person’s belief system, but it is an entirely different matter to place equal value on something that is not of equal value. But…I digress.

My purpose for writing today is to give praise to God for ‘evangelism in simplicity’. Our oldest son, Chad, shared something the other day that reminded me that true evangelism may not be a massive program of visitation on Tuesday night each week or a large crusade at the local stadium in the summer. Rather, it may be little more than one person, who is commited to Jesus sharing him with another, who is not. Our son and his family were on spring break from school last week and decided to get out of town for a few days rest. They drove north about 4 hours to spend some time with some dear friends. Their visit was a good one with times of talking, laughing, eating, and playing. Upon returning home Chad told us that his daughter (AND OUR GRANDDAUGHTER), Hayley (age 10) informed them that her friend, whom they had just visited had been saved. He said, ‘What do you mean’? She said, ‘Mattie was saved’. Upon further questioning about the situation Chad related the following information. It seems that Hayley and Mattie, who is a first grader, were in Mattie’s room playing with dolls, when Mattie suddenly told Hayley that she had been having bad dreams. Hayley asked her if she had prayed to Jesus. Mattie asked what she meant by that and Hayley asked if she had asked Jesus to help her. Mattie again asked what she meant. Hayley said, ‘Have you asked Jesus into your heart’? Mattie said she had not. Hayley asked her if she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart. Mattie said she did. Hayley then led Mattie in the ‘sinner’s prayer’, having her repeat it phrase-by-phrase. After leading her friend to Christ Hayley told Mattie that she could now ask Jesus to help her with her bad dreams and he would send angels to help her and protect her.

Well, needless to say, Hayley’s grandparents are wonderfully proud of her. But I have been thinking about this event for a couple of days. The greater portion of Christians has no idea how to lead someone to Christ or are too embarrassed to try. Hayley loves her Lord so much and knows that he is always with her. She knows He has helped her through some difficulties and fears. To let her little friend in on such help was as natural as…well…sitting in a bedroom floor and playing with dolls. Jesus said, “…whosoever shall humble himself as this litttle child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2). Maybe the Southern Baptists (and all Christians) should take a page from Hayley’s book on being a witness for Christ.

March 20th, 2008 Posted by | Witnessing | one comment

A MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION

As I meditate upon the events which took place at this time of year two millennia ago, I am struck with the freshness of the message. I never cease to be amazed at the uniqueness of our Lord. Although he was the consummate and representative man for all men, and although he faced everything every man has had to face, there were areas of his life that cause me to scratch my head and ask questions. Fortunately, the asking of those questions often results in a perspective upon the uniqueness of Christ and the challenge that uniqueness presents to the corporate Body of Christ.

There were experiences in his life that are very ‘telling’ as to what separated him from the rest of us. I was reading through the gospels recently and came upon a specific character trait that I thought was interesting. Jesus had times when he was obsessed. In Luke 12:49-50 Jesus said, 49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened?(pained) till it be accomplished! He had a fire to send and a baptism to be baptized with and he could hardly wait until he could get it done. The fire he hoped to send was a cleansing and a purging of the earth by the spreading of God’s Word and the baptism of an old rugged cross was the means of the accomplishment.

When you pause to think about that statement, it is quite unusual that he had the thought, much less obsessed about it. Of course, this was the same person, who made it acceptable to lust. Yes, I said acceptable to lust. And he said unto them, ‘With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer’:” (Luke 22:15, KJV). An alternate word for ‘desire’ is ‘lust’. With lust I have lusted to eat this Passover with you…” Of course this is not to say that Jesus approached the Passover with the same enthusiasm as a glutton might salivate over lamb chops and mint jelly.

Apparently, spiritual lust properly motivated can be not only acceptable but also preferable. To have one’s deepest desire to be for God’s glory and to desire for it so much that it lies at the root of all you do and all you are was the essence of who Jesus was and should be the goal of every believer. The obvious cry of ‘thirst’ from Jesus on the cross carries with it the interpretation of a physical body needing water. While this is certainly true, might it not be possible that in the midst of that physical cry was also the cry of One, who was thirsting for the streams of living water? Jesus desired from the depths of his being that he could return to the glory he shared with the Father before the foundation of the world (John 17.5), and that his select ones could share in that same glory (v. 24).

Interestingly, the process through which Jesus would see all this accomplished would be through his own suffering. How or why would such a process be necessary? James and John made the request to be one on his right and one on his left. Jesus asked them if they could be ‘baptized’ with his baptism. They responded in the affirmative. He granted the baptism and, however, left the promotions to the Father. There is never a cross without a crown. There is never a victory without a battle. Jesus desired from the depths of his being to spread a fire of God’s word across the earth. He wanted to kindle a fire that would never go out. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that in bringing many SONS to glory…the Captain of salvation would be made perfect through suffering. Thus, if the Captain achieves his Magnificent Obsession through suffering, then, we, like James and John, will have our own baptism. I, too, ‘lust’. But my lust is more often than not for those things which I believe will make my life a little easier. My ‘pained’ desire is that I might sit on the right or the left of my Lord. I think I may have spent much of my life trying to get Jesus to do something for me he never was willing to do, because he wanted my desires to be salted with fire. So, my prayer is that I will have such a longing in my heart for the will of God that I can hardly wait to get started in the process. I pray that my very being will drip with desire to both see and be with the risen and eternal Christ in all his glory. Frankly, in my weakened and very human state, I’m not up to much in the way of suffering but I believe God is able to help me and each of us to take one step at a time.



March 19th, 2008 Posted by | Discipleship, Uncategorized | comments