July 16, 2010
Tonight’s message is the message that has always brought my toes right up to the line of breaking down and giving in. The message that has always made me feel like I was the only one in the room or like there was a big neon sign pointing at me. The message that has driven a thousand nails into my heart and chiseled openings in the stone wall built around it.
I am glad to say I heard the message from the other side of the line tonight and my heart is permeable enough to let the nails pass through to work on the other stone hearts in the room while I watched and prayed for them for once.
Not to say that I was not convicted by the message, as I am no perfect person and have a million and one things I need to change about my life. But I listened with open ears and an open mind and an open heart and immediately let the message work through me.
The point of the message tonight was to work it out.
Don’t work FOR your salvation (life,grace,salvation is FREE), work OUT your salvation. If salvation is in you, let us see it. The reality is, if others can’t tell whether or not you’re a Christian, your’e probably not a Christian. I want to be careful with this statement, because everyone makes mistakes..a lot of mistakes. Even as Christians we sin all day e’er day. But we are affected by grace in a huge way that sets us apart from the dead and it should affect us to the point of change in lifestyle and change in attitude.
This is one of the drastic and remarkable differences between being dead and alive. If you were watching me last year, you certainly would have no way of knowing I was a Christian. I would have told you I was had you asked, but Christianity is about living it, not saying it. By all means, profess your faith and be bold in your witness, but as Mark Walker used to always say, “If you talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk, then sit down and shut up”. This statement has followed me around and many times, because of my staggering walk, has taped my mouth shut. I am grateful for that tape because all though I missed out on a lot of professions of faith and held my tongue a lot, I believe we do worse damage when our speech is drenched in hypocrisy than when we don’t speak at all.
I’m still a flawed, broken, sinful and struggling human being but it’s my hopes that people can see life in me. I know I’m alive and it’s pretty hard to hide when you’ve been brought back from the dead.
People used to tell me all the time that I was a closed book. Unreadable. Cryptic. I don’t blame them. I walked around with masks on every day being who I needed to be for each person while burying my self underneath. But enough about the past. The past is gone. I now have a story to tell and that story is one of a dead girl that came to life. I want so much for everyone to understand how drastic and remarkable it is to come alive.
And I want so much for everyone to understand now, before it’s too late. If you’re spiritually dead today, you have problems because you’re on a collision course with physical death.
In case you missed that, If you’re spiritually dead today, you have problems because you’re on a collision course with physical death.
Death is not my enemy because I know I’m alive through Christ, but I can’t help but stop and remember that death was the enemy of a friend of mine much too recently and recognize that death is still the enemy of far too many of my friends today. It’s may be biding its time waiting to strike, but I’ve learned a little lesson about biding time. We can’t afford to bide our time, because we don’t know how much time we have to bide. Maybe we have 70 more years to relay the message. Maybe we have one more day or one more conversation. I burn with shame to know that I haven’t seized each and every opportunity to witness to my friends and I am becoming more and more desperate to see the walking dead around me come alive, because I know the person who can give life and I don’t intend to keep that news to myself anymore.
The stakes are high. Living like you’re alive takes sacrifice, it takes work, accountability, discipline, risk. I promise it’s a risk that is worth taking. Are you willing to take that risk? Are you even alive today? Are you living like it?
Jesus was obedient to death, not just to bring us life, but to BE our life. Let’s be obedient to His life so that others may see it and come alive..before it’s too late.