Sunday, September 7, 2014

Danger Lurks

Last night I watched a program on the Weather Channel which was basically a quiz to see if you would know how to handle a variety of emergencies. They included what to do if hiking and approached by a snake, swimming and a shark hones in on you, golfing and a lightning storm arrives, driving in a storm and getting swept away in your car by a flood, and skiing when an avalanche overtakes you. Just for starters.

I had turned to the Weather at bedtime just hoping it would slow down my own thoughts that were keeping me awake. Settle me down so I could get to sleep. I stayed up late after all. I wanted to memorize all these emergency do's and don't's.

After seeing all that could go wrong by venturing out my door, I thought, 'Wow, better to stay inside and not venture out - with all those scary things lying in wait for ya!'

It made me think of how paralyzed Christians seem to be today to venture out and share our faith with the lost. What do we do if while handing out tracts, the police arrive and tell you that you can't do that on the public street? Or, if you put a Jesus bumper sticker on your car and a God-hater tries to run you off the road. What if you are speaking to a group of unsaved young people and they ask you something you can't answer? Or the worse possible scenario, someone's challenges weakens your own faith.

These fears can stop the spread of the Gospel in its tracks. It can send all potential evangelists into the recesses of their own homes where they can 'feel' safe. And send many sinners to hell who have not heard the Gospel call to repentance unto salvation and the Good News that the LORD is coming soon!

I think that is why the Holy Spirit impressed upon the first evangelists to strike out into the world fearlessly. They had even more reason to fear venturing out of the comfort of their own homes in the first century. But they had assurance that the LORD would protect them.

"They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them." (Mark 16:18a)

We need to pray for the 'Baptism of Boldness' in these perilous times -- the hour is late and we're looking at people who will be under the penalty of the judgment to come when a good word from us in due season just might be the catalyst to snatch them out of the fire.

Let's wake up and get out there!!

"In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
And made me bold with strength in my soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O LORD,
When they hear the words of Your mouth.
Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
For great is the glory of the LORD.
Though the LORD is on high,
Yet He regards the lowly;
But the proud He knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
The LORD will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands."
Psalm 138:3-8