Every year my church participates in a local parade. We 'dress up' our outreach trailer, part of our "Taste & See" ministry that hands out free coffee and often hotdogs at local events in the city in the hopes of opening doors to witness to people and invite them to church, and we walk the parade handing out Gospel tracts to those watching. But I had been fighting a cold that made it hard to breathe, and my parents were feeling under the weather a bit, the excuses just piled on. Really I just wanted to be lazy, so I stayed home. So I did.
I said I was disappointed in myself. I have a confession to make. I wasn't disappointed that I'd not been able to share Jesus. I was disappointed that I'd skipped out on one of the items on my list. I was more focused on my goals instead of God's goals for me.
But, as often happens when we take (or try to take) or lives into out own hands, God had a better idea for me anyway.
You see, walking the parade is definitely something that fits safely in my comfort zone. I hand these peoe a price of paper that does all the work for me. I don't have time to talk to them and answer questions. I have to keep moving to keep up with my church. Instead, last week at the a I or study I attend, there was a couple of people who admitted they didn't believe in this Jesus we were talking about. And they had some very different ideas of spirituality, of religion, and of who Jesus might be.
Unfortunately a lot of half answers were being given. Those that spoke up were speaking the truth to these two, but not always all of it. Missing one important bit here or there. That still small voice kept saying "You know that little bit Steph. It's important. Say it."
I didn't want to. What if these people came back next week? They might remember my face. And worse yet, what if I didn't know an answer next week? (Cause, you know, perfect Christians know the answer for everything. And perfect Christians exists in the first place, also I must be one of them)
No, I can't -
"You're fortunate enough to have sat under a pastor who, through Me, gives you what you need to lay the whole truth out for these people. And you won't share that gift with others?"
"I'll give you the words if you let me. You don't even have to do the work. Remember, I did all the work already. You just have to tell them that."
I don't remember what was said anymore. I just know that once I said the one thing I felt promoted to, the flood gates opened and all of my peers had answers too. I think that May have been what God used me for that night. Not necessarily to give those two the Gospel itself, but to help Him push my peers out of their comfort zones and to be better prepared to give an answer next time they were called upon. I think in a roundabout way, that is sharing the Gospel. The Good News.
For those of you who don't know, the good news is that even though we have screwed up, we've sinned against our perfect Creator. He loves us. And He loves us even when we are sitting there wallowing in our sin. Enjoying it even. But He knows the consequence of wallowing is misery, eventually. So he sent His perfect, sinless Son Jesus (who, by the way, came 100% willingly) to die a horrible death, paying the price, taking the consequence for our sin. Your sin. My sin. He died and took the just punishment for the sins you had commited. The sins you were commiting. And those who have yet to commit. Because there is a chance that someday, you might look at yourself in disgust and want out of it. And there He stands, ready to wash you clean with the blood He shed. All it takes is admitting you are a sinful person. You did wrong and ONLY God can make it right. There is nothing, no work, that you can do to make it go away. When we are willing to admit that we are wrong and God is right, we become clean and can have the fellowship with Him we were created for. And finally that hole in your heart? That hole you tried to fill with drugs, sex, alcohol, relationships, money, etc.... It's filled.
That's the good news.