It can be uncomfortable being a Christian in American society today. Sins of our fathers, and the shifting of cultural norms, have created a perfect storm of hate for anything that has to do with Jesus. What was always meant to be a message of hope and love has often been delivered as judgement and hate, and many churches have moved to an extreme message of grace, where there is no more need for living a biblical lifestyle, to throwing in the towel altogether. Reasonable, loving and mercy-filled Christ-followers seem to be in the minority, and their voices are often drowned out by the competing versions of “the church.”
And yet in today’s world, where fear and doubt reign supreme and many marinate their souls in polarizing rhetoric, there is no greater time than now for the purity and soothing truth of God’s love in our lives.
Sometimes, it can be hard to discern the where and when to share our faith – the tension between maintaining relationship and being true to our biblical mandate to share the good news is not always easy to navigate.
Ezekiel 2 The Message (MSG)
It said, “Son of man, stand up. I have something to say to you.”
The moment I heard the voice, the Spirit entered me and put me on my feet. As he spoke to me, I listened.
He said, “Son of man, I’m sending you to the family of Israel, a rebellious nation if there ever was one. They and their ancestors have fomented rebellion right up to the present. They’re a hard case, these people to whom I’m sending you—hardened in their sin. Tell them, ‘This is the Message of God, the Master.’ They are a defiant bunch. Whether or not they listen, at least they’ll know that a prophet’s been here. But don’t be afraid of them, son of man, and don’t be afraid of anything they say. Don’t be afraid when living among them is like stepping on thorns or finding scorpions in your bed. Don’t be afraid of their mean words or their hard looks. They’re a bunch of rebels. Your job is to speak to them. Whether they listen is not your concern. They’re hardened rebels.
“Only take care, son of man, that you don’t rebel like these rebels. Open your mouth and eat what I give you.”
When I looked he had his hand stretched out to me, and in the hand a book, a scroll. He unrolled the scroll. On both sides, front and back, were written lamentations and mourning and doom.
While we are to share (show, speak, create, nurture) the good news of the saving love of Jesus Christ, it is important to remember that our job is to share – to plant. It is God’s job to water. And, when (if), we are asked to introduce others to Him, we then get to take part in the harvest. God does all the hard work – we are only called to sow and reap.
Today, plant a seed of love, follow it up with prayer, and be a good steward of what you have been given. Recognize where and when you have been placed where you are, and embrace the fact that you are in the right place a the right time. We should always be ready for God to open doors for conversation, and remembering that the end result is up to Him, gives us the boldness to love one another better than perhaps we ever have before.
It’s time to spread the love.