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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

After writing all those posts about the Bible etc., I really felt God putting this on my heart.  I know He did it for a reason, and you will probably see why as you read further on.  We (I...) need to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing!

I learned this phrase from Pastor Baker while I was in Bible College.  He said it often!  "We need to keep the main thing the main thing."  Some of you will know what that means.  Others will wonder... what is the main thing?    It made sense for Pastor Baker to use this phrase a lot (the other pastors and teachers used it too).  Even though I was in Bible college, it was very easy to become distracted from what should be the main focus of the Christian.  After all we were studying all kinds of theology, eschatology, soteriology, and a bunch other "ologies."  We were learning about principles, convictions, and standards.  We were being taught how to make good choices regarding dress, music, conduct, Bible versions, church practices, and all sorts of other things.  We were reading, singing, studying, writing, practicing, and working.  We were involved in various ministries of the church, and many of us worked outside jobs to help pay the tuition.  With all the busyness it was VERY easy to become distracted.  It was VERY easy to stop keeping the main thing the main thing!

Life since Bible college isn't much different.  It's still busy.  It's still very easy to get distracted from the main thing.  However, it's the main thing that the Lord wants His children to be busy about.  Okay... I know for those of you who have NO IDEA what I'm talking about, the suspense right about now must be killing you.... LOL!  Yes, I am laughing at you... sorry :(.

The main thing that Pastor Baker was referring to is what should be the main focus of every single Christian.  Preaching the gospel.  Matthew 28:19-20.

19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
The main goal and purpose of everything we do should be to preach the gospel to a lost and dying world.  Now that doesn't mean we have to stand on the street and pass out tracts 24/7.  However, there are many ways to "preach."   Keeping the main thing the main thing is an action, but it is also a mind set.  It is a way of thinking that weighs everything we do in relation to how it effects our testimony of the gospel.  The Christian's life is an open book.  We should be asking ourselves what our dress, conduct, and speech are telling the lost world about the God we serve.  Is our conduct drawing people closer to Christ or leading them farther away from Him.  Is our speech honouring the Lord?  What if someone heard me talking and I didn't know they were around?  Would they hear a curse word slip out of my mouth?  Would they hear gossip?  Or would they hear kind, gentle words?  What about our attitudes? Are we kind, cheerful, and encouraging, or are we bitter, negative, and complainers?

Even though it's not necessary to pass out tracts 24/7 or to constantly be preaching a sermon, God does give us many opportunities to share our faith.  Do we take those opportunities to mention His name or do we let them slip by?  Did I invite that person to church when I knew I should?  Did I pray for the person the Lord laid on my heart, or did I just shrug off that thought?  

It's easy to become distracted from the main thing by other good things.  I think this is one I struggle with the most.  I get busy with the good and forget the main.  It's good to be involved at church.  It's good to spend time with family.  It's good to work hard at your job.  It's good to have friends and spend time with them.  There's nothing wrong with listening to good music and reading good books.  However, these are not the main thing.  When they distract from the main thing then they can become a hinderance to effectiveness for the Lord.  

I wanted to write this post mostly as a personal reminder to myself.  I write about a lot of different spiritual topics.  Doctrine is important, and so is the Bible.  In fact they are vital!  But I can have all the right doctrine in the world, and if I'm not out sharing the gospel with lost people it means nothing (I Cor. 13:1-3).  My right doctrine is useless if I cannot use it to bring others to Christ.  When it comes right down to it, I'm a pretty lousy witness for Christ.  I barely ever hand out tracts.  I let so many opportunities to speak about the Lord slip by.  I'm trying to get better.  I don't just want to "say" I keep the main thing the main thing.  I want to "do" it!  James 1:22.  

I would encourage all my Christian blog readers to try and find one practical way this week that you can keep the main thing the main thing.  Remember sharing the gospel is the main thing, so whatever practical thing we can do to accomplish that will bring glory to God.  Try to be creative.  Handing out tracts is definitely a good way to share the gospel, but it's not the ONLY way.   Preaching a sermon isn't the only way either.  Let's face it, these two things may not even be realistic for us to do all the time!  But, maybe you could do something as simple as trying not to complain about the weather so you're a better testimony to those around you.   Maybe you can give out Christmas cards with a Scripture verse printed on them in your office.  There are SO many ways we can be a witness.  I'd love it if you left a comment and shared your ideas or what you did this week to get the gospel out.  My practical way of keeping the main thing the main things this week is to invite my students to the Christmas Cantata my church is putting on.  It will be an opportunity for many to hear the gospel.  I hope this post will encourage us to get the gospel out into our communities this Christmas season!

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