The Redeemed Life

a Christian blog cultivating spiritual growth

20 January

Everyday Faces

I love people watching.  Not in the creepy voyeur type of way, but simply noticing people in public places like coffee houses, restaurants, airports, etc.   Its so fascinating to watch people go about their daily lives, and I have a habit of trying to figure out what they’re thinking.  Some people are obviously in a rush and you can see on their face that they aren’t really present in anything that’s happening around them.  They’re thinking about someone, or something else.  Other people are out with friends and they’re smiling and happy, catching up on gossip or simply taking time away from the daily grind of life.  Others look sad or lonely, some bored, etc.

Its so amazing to think about these people in the context of their own lives.  They have families, friends, a history full of successes and failures.  These people have hopes and dreams.  They are unique and each have their own story to tell.

And in light of what we have been talking about here, these same people have eternal destinies.  Its hard to think about the realities of Heaven and Hell on such beautiful innocent days where all I want to do is notice and watch the beauty of people going about their daily lives.  But therein lies the rub.

The realities of Jesus teachings on Heaven and Hell are meant to do exactly that – shake us out of our comfortable nests and remember exactly who we are and where we are.  In the bigger picture of the Gospel story, we are people, just like those who come and go, who have had our eternal stories changed forever.  In the midst of the chaos of each of our lives, Jesus called our attention to Him and in effect, redeemed everything that we have ever done or will do.  In this time He’s given us, we find ourselves in an active battlefield where angels, demons, God and the devil all, wage war for people’s souls.

The business of Hell is meant to be an uncomfortable subject because the realities it presents confronts us personally.  Who are you friends with that you’ve never built up the courage to ask what they believe about God?  How many members of your family live lives devoid of God’s truth and love?  How many times have you felt God tug on your mind and heart to speak to someone about His goodness, mercy, and truth?  How many times, like me, have you ignored those “divine nudges” and opted instead to bow your knee to the god of “being comfortable?”  I know I have hundreds of times…

This last Sunday, I was invited to preach at the Portland Rescue Mission’s church service.  The passage was included John 14:6.  In it, Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

While I could tell you stories about how much I hated this passage before coming to Christ, I will simply tell you this: I have come to believe what Jesus said.  And that fact should always shape the way I interact with people.  Not that I’m to cram Jesus down their throats, but I am to be concerned if they know their Way in this life.

While I could give excuse after excuse about why it shouldn’t be me or why now is not the right time, the truth remains.  I have been called to tell people about the Way to Heaven, and as I think about it, I could very well be the only person that know the Way that God has placed in their lives.  That means responsibility and responsibility, for me, means discomfort.

But God never said it’d be comfortable, did He?

In the reality of that discomfort, Jesus reminds me of this truth, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”  He didn’t leave me alone in this task, but promises to be readily available when I for His help.

One last thing – we are not called to this task alone.  This is a team battle.  What support and prayer do you need as together we awkwardly walk into the moments that God has prepared for us?

Whose faces are coming to your mind?

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