Monday, January 30, 2012

LOL: Scooping

Memory/Meditation Verse: As He was walking along the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea, since they were fishermen. “Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people!” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him..." ~ Matt. 4:18-20 (HCSB)

Living Out Loud (LOL). We continue our journey into what this means...

Looking at our scripture above, what one key thing does Living Out Loud require? What action needs to be present to Live Out Loud? Notice I said action.

“Follow Me”

However, there's an action within an action required to follow Christ. It's a willed obedience, a choice, a denying of self. Its an action required every day. It's an action that will make you a witness for Christ.

“and I will make you fish for people!”

Living Out Loud. Drawing others to Jesus. Maybe not so easy within our human efforts but as we draw closer to Him have you noticed how much more you want to share Him with other? So how do we share do we bring other to Him? Is there a right way to do this or a wrong way?

I remember as a teenager growing up in a strict evangelical Baptist upbringing and going door to door passing out tracks and asking strangers:

"If you were to die today do you know where you would go?"

I remember how uncomfortable it would make me. It wasn't that I wasn't strong enough in
my faith to share about my Jesus, it was the emptiness I would feel with this approach. I remember a few times these perfect strangers would pray the prayer but then we would never see them again, they never crossed the threshold of our church doors though we had invited them to.

Bringing others to Christ can be done this way. Many lives have been given to Christ meaningfully but it definitely took me out of my comfort zone. Salvation is clearly about a dying to self when one accepts Christ into their lives. They change. Their life changes. Yet the approach I had learned and the emptiness I experienced in doing this seemed to be tied to the unseen fruit of it.

Though I may have accepted Christ as a young child, I didn't really grasp the relationship part with Him until I was broken and all I could do was seek Him. That was a transformation that went far above anything else in my spiritual life. It has been with this transformational process that I now have something to share that is more convincing..more producible in the realm of eternity. Not to offend anyone but I find this manner of sharing Christ more believable. A faith that is delivered from a foundation of love and grace in action.

As I was examining the book Mornings with Jesus 2012, I read the following from the January 20th post:

"What if winning other to Christ involves casting a net-with the help of others? And that net-cast by a community gathers others into the community, where they experience life-changing love and grace? What if we thought not of "hooking" unbeliever, but of scooping them up into community where they are convinced not by arguments, but by seeing and experiencing the love of Jesus lived out?" Keri Wyatt Kent, Mornings with Jesus 2012

Keri's written words really struck a cord in my heart. Yes, like her, as a child I would sing the childs song "I will make you Fisher of Men" while animating the casting of a fishing rob. But look at the above passage again. There were no rods...just nets. Jesus gather people into His community to experience His redemptive love and grace.

As a teenager, I was taught to witness by what seems to me to be a hooking technique. And now, I practice a scooping technique. My net? His testimony in my life. Where am I scooping? In my community Bible study. At work. Though outreach programs at church. Prayerfully in my home and community. Am I doing this on my own? No. My church family, my Bible study girls, we are all in this together because we can't keep silent about His love, His grace, His healing.

"I want to store up so many treasures in heaven that heaven will feel familiar the moment I arrive." Stormie Omartian, Just enough Light for the Step I'm On leaves me feeling spiritually gratified that I have added to kingdom work. Storing up treasures in heaven. Living Out Loud in a non-threatening way but by a life changing love and grace. Amazing.

Living Out Loud~ Pamela

1 comment:

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Thinking about my net today and in the context of community! What must we all do, together, to bring others into the fold? Scooping requires many hands, not just mine. We can bring a friend to church, but if the church isn't willing to love and embrace that friend, then the witness of God's love and grace gets lost in translation.

Community, community, community. Yes, and amen!