Jesus, the Teacher, the Truth Teller, Holy Son of God, the Messiah, gave instructions to a group of his followers, about 70 of them. Given authority and power, they were told to mingle, to go out amongst the towns, the cities, to be grateful and to convert those to the Kingdom, to share the Hope. Jesus knew that they would face some negative attitudes, disrespect, out right unbelief and possibly persecution. He told them not to have fear. He knew the ending. Jesus always sees the bigger picture, the Harvest, the many that need to know, need to hear, need to believe.
We sing the song, "Give me Your eyes, Lord..." But do we really want to see?
Today, I saw the movie, "Do You Believe?" --A powerful story of how lives become interconnected in a few days and how God can use a few faithful to spark a difference.
It was a movie... ( a well-done, inspiring and encouraging movie, I may add, with some well known actors).
Our world is smaller now because of technology, yet really, we take on more, see more because of technology. It can be overwhelming...it is overwhelming to me just in the first 10 minutes of the nightly news! What did this movie contain that we see in every day lives around us?
Grief, criminal behavior, lack of a father figure, stage 4 cancer, cynical and arrogant attitudes, ungratefulness, desperation, loneliness, stress, fear, uncertainty in a future, unwed mothers, childless couples, lawsuits, "political correctness", selfish attitudes, guilt, homelessness, hunger, greed, power, war and its after affects, suicidal thoughts...death.
What part of this is not real in today's world? If we really had the "eyes of Jesus..." wouldn't we be in tears and torment all the time for this world, for our neighbors, for our own families? Can you love and forgive in a moment?
I can't. Not in my own strength...
Jesus instructed these 70 "do not rejoice" that I overcome the world. He wanted the "rejoicing" to come in the Harvest. He wanted these disciples to focus on the fact that they were not a part of the world, but a part of His plan. He wanted the rejoicing to take place when new names are written in His Book of Life. He reminded them that the Harvest was plentiful, the harvesters...few.
We can spend a lot of time, rejoicing, praying, thanking Him for His provisions, His protections, His mercy and grace...and that's all good, but don't miss someone who needs to know this same Hope.
...Give me your eyes, Lord.
The message of the movie came from the scripture: James 2:17 "Even so, faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself."
I write this as a challenge to myself, to you, to Believers. This world needs the Hope of the Risen Savior. In sharing the Gospel, you will encounter serpents and scorpions. Leave the scary stuff to One who overcomes and step into your faith with action. Play out the script He wrote long ago, you as His "extra."
* my faithful servant...____your name ___________shared with this precious one.
#savedbythefaithfultestimonyof____your name ________.
My friend Christina upon exiting the theater, asked the young man employee waiting to clean-up,
"Do you believe?"
He smiled and said, "Yes, I do."
Way to go, Christina! Only God knows His heart. After he gets off work tonight, he just may make a decision to not attend a certain "party" or he may apologize to his mother for being rude, or he may just show up at a church service the Sunday after Easter...continuing the search for what stirred him up last week...
It took three words..."Do you believe?"
Roll the credits: forgiveness, unconditional love, grace, mercy, plans for a hope, not depair, Heaven!
Lord, you've saved me and in that I am most grateful, yet with that saving comes a great responsibility. You've called us to plant the seeds for the Harvest to come. You've shown us how and given us the authority and power to do just that. You've given us strength and courage. Why are so many of us still on the continuum of receiving, when we should be giving? Lord, you've granted us gifts. Show us as we pray how to use those gifts in Your Harvest. Lord, give us the focus and the eyes to see as You do Lord, as You do Lord. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours, and let it not be me in disobedience to Your calling. Amen.