That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...
Philippians 2:15-16a

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Working and Witnessing

Work has been good this week :).  I'm thankful for the opportunities that I had this week to be a witness at work.  Witnessing at work is always a bit of an uncertain thing.  My priority in my life is my Christianity, but I have a responsibility at work to my students and to their parents.  I must be wise at work and not cross a line of professionalism.  However, that doesn't mean that I just keep my mouth shut and say nothing about my faith.  The nice thing about where I work now is that I'm my own boss :).  At least I don't have to worry about being fired from my job or offending my employer if I speak about my faith.

Usually my rule is this.  If a student brings up something about God, then I don't keep quiet about my beliefs.  If they ask a question, I give an answer.  If they mention something about God, I share my faith and beliefs.  I don't purposely talk about God every week, or try to force the topic.  I do talk about God when it naturally fits into the conversation.  I try to keep my statements brief, concise, and to the point.  I don't argue, and I try not to take up too much of my student's lesson time talking about God.  There have been rare occasions when I have had more lengthy discussions with my students about my faith.  I try to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and if He is working then I'm going to take the time to talk!  I guess a good word to describe my witnessing at work is balance... not too much, but not too little either.

This past week I had the opportunity to give a student a Bible and some tracts.  She told me that she doesn't really know what to believe because there are so many different religions.  I simply told her that if she wants to know the truth she should just read the Bible.  When she told me she didn't have a Bible, I asked her if she wanted one.  She said yes.  What's really awesome is that my church is less than a block away from my store.  I asked me Mom to walk up and get a Bible, and that student left her lesson with a Bible and some tracts explaining the plan of salvation.  Will she read it?  I don't know, but I hope so.  Regardless of whether she does or not, God's Word is in that home, and that seed has been planted.  Now I can pray that God will use that word, and keep the seed growing in that family.  

I had another opportunity with a student who was telling me about her philosophy class at school.  We discussed a few things she had been learning about such as the existence of God, truth, atheism, agnosticism, intelligent design, and religion.  She believes that there is a God, but she is unsure about religion.  Again, I tried to point her to the Bible.  If one believes in God then the best thing to do is to read God's book.  That is the only thing that will steer you in the right direction about religion.  God is not about religion anyways, but that's a whole other topic to deal with.

I've had several students this week ask me what I'm doing for Halloween.  It's a bit humourous to see the look on their faces when I tell them I'm going to church :).  That's the good thing about Halloween being on a Sunday!  I usually also mention something about the fact that I don't believe in celebrating Halloween because I'm a Christian.   Most people have no idea how to respond to that, and it catches them really off guard.  Hopefully it also triggers their curiosity.

I actually just got back from passing out tracts tonight.  I'm not sure how many tracts we had, but my group passed out 175.  I think we had over 500, and now they are all gone!  That's more of God's word that got out tonight and is not going to return void.  Not only that, it was such a blessing to see the church come together and help in the effort.  Last year there were only 4 of us who passed out tracts.  This year we had 9 people, so we more than doubled!  Praise the Lord!  That's not counting the other families who were passing out tracts to the children that came to their houses tonight.  A couple of people said no when we handed them the tract, but most people gladly accepted them.  Even though a few people said no, they were still kind and friendly.

I am truly blessed by the opportunities I've had to speak about the Lord this week.  Many seeds were planted in hearts and lives this week, and God promises to honour that.  This morning in church Pastor Bauserman spoke about how our responsibility is to be the messenger.   Jesus commanded us to Go...into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).   It's so simple.  We are just to go and preach.  What people do with the message that we bring is up to them.  The fact is that the majority of people will reject our message, but that doesn't lessen our responsibility.  Jesus didn't say "Go ye into all the world and only preach to the people who are nice to you, or who are at church, or who will listen to you."  No, He said to preach the gospel to every creature.   It's not up to us to convert people, make them believe everything we believe, or try to force them to be religious.  We are just to be obedient and carry the message.  

Even though many will reject what we say, God does promise to bless our faithfulness if we do carry that message. Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  I hold on to that promise every time I pass out a gospel tract or get to share a verse with someone.   That's also why I believe getting the Word of God into homes is so important.  It's through the Word that the Holy Spirit works.  Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  If we fail in our responsibility to get the word out then people will not hear.  People who do not hear will not be saved.  Many say the world has changed and passing out tracts is no longer effective.  Well, God hasn't changed.  His method for reaching the world hasn't changed, and He has commanded us to reach the world through His Word.  The way I see it is that anytime the Word of God is put into the hands of an unbeliever God is going to use it.  I believe 100% that gospel tracts are effective because I've personally seen the fruit of those efforts.  I also believe they are effective because they enable me to obey God's command to be a messenger.  God's Word simply cannot be ineffective!  It's impossible!  Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The blessing of planting seeds is that now I have something to pray for.  I can pray that God will use those 500+ tracts that were given out tonight.  I can pray for my student to read the Bible I gave her.  Just as God's Word is a powerful tool for the Christian, prayer is powerful too.  James 5:16 ... The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  

One more verse to share.  Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth...

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