The freedom that comes with appropriate confidence was the main thrust of the sermon yesterday. A freedom to speak the gospel into the lives we come in contact with everyday. A freedom born from our confidence in what Scripture teaches us and a faith in Christ that the Word testifies to. There are times in life when we put on a mask, a false sense of bravado, to get us through one certain situation or another. In those times, we aren't free to act. Quite the contrary, usually we are fearful that someone may pull off our mask and reveal who we really are in front of others. In the world of the Church, we know it happens with folks... playing church on Sunday and living a totally different life during the week.
I would mention 2 things about this. A) It is quite easy to point the finger at other church's or even people in our own congregations, but therein lies the problem. That indictment that would be cast on others that you or I might be quick to point out, simply points a few fingers back at ourselves... We are all called to come alongside people and help them through what they are going through, to bring them into a closer walk with the Lord, to be in fellowship in a place where we can help them be real. There is no excuse good enough. The Lord has clearly told all of us that discipleship is an ordinance that He expects to be followed. B) Discipleship is a blessing for the one learning AND the one teaching. For the one being discipled, learning and gaining a better understanding of what the Word has to say is an obvious place for spiritual growth and maturity. With doing that rather than donning some "mask" of righteousness, they get to walk with a reverence for His Word and with freedom and confidence in His righteousness! For the one doing the discipling, it is a great way to make sure our own spiritual life is in order; that any disarray is dealt with, cleaned out and replaced by holy living. This too gives the discipler a way to set the bravado aside and humbly walk with confidence and freedom as well.
Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Questions for you:
1) When was the last time you shared the gospel with someone? If you think you aren't able to, why? What is preventing you? What do you need to ask your local pastor for to better equip you to do so?
2) If sharing the gospel is something that seems too big a risk, what about scripture... can you share a scripture with someone this week? What about church... how about inviting someone to church?
3) One way to actively begin these sorts of relationships is to be part of a midweek Bible study. Pray about starting or being a part of a small group at your church.
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