What’s your favorite pair of shoes?
When I was a high school kid I had several … for every occasion. I had work boots, cowboy boots, dirt bike boots, hiking boots. (Truthfully, it was probably one pair bought at Yellow Front that covered them all.) I had 3 pairs of cleats depending on the sport. I had bowling shoes, camping shoes, basketball shoes, shoes I wore for riding my skateboard (the more duct tape the better), and then … oh yeah baby … my hip hop dancing wingtips! Vanilla Ice had nothing on me!
BUT all these shoes were a DISTANT second to my all time favorite …
No that wasn’t a typo. Don’t get your eyes checked.
My favorite was definitely NOT a pair of Reeboks.
Meeboks. Meeboks are the shoes I put on in the morning most days without even thinking. It’s the pair I put on no matter what activity I’m doing. In fact, I put on Meeboks even when I’m physically wearing a different pair of shoes.
Get it yet?
Now, before you judge me … look down. You may be PHYSICALLY wearing Tom’s new flavors, some sweet Puma kicks or even some cross breed Chucks … BUT chances are you’re wearing my “go to” pair too – BUT they’re yours … How’s the Youboks feelin’?
See … Meeboks/Youboks take ME/YOU exactly where I/YOU want to go. They take YOU/ME AWAY from people I/YOU we'd like to avoid. They move ME/YOU wherever YOU/I prefer to go, despite our purpose. In fact, these shoes make it easy to avoid ANY place Jesus would go because when I wear them I'm not concerned with Him-I'm concerned with ME. The problem? Although God loves YOU and ME-His plan is unwhole until it's WE. Still confused?
Enough about the shoes … let’s talk about our lives. Wait, I am. That’s my problem! I’m talking about MY life … not OUR life. It's not really OURS … not if you’re HIS. (Gal.2) His life 10 days out of 10 was always about OTHERS. Unfortunately, for me, it’s about ME 9 days out of 10 … not WE. Whose WE? It's Everyone who has yet to recieve the Gospel.
Here's a lesson I'm trying to learn. The Gospel is never Just about YOU or ME-It's about US. My problem is that it’s much easier for me to take what I want FROM the Gospel without doing my part IN the Gospel which is ALLOWING Jesus to use me to reach OTHERS. Yes-I did say allowing Jesus. The Gospel is both TO us and THROUGH us. One doesn't go well without the other.
Look at what Paul said in the 5th chapter of his Second letter to the Corinthians:
"Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we (believers) persuade others (pre-believers) … For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live (those who are now saved) might no longer live for themselves (Meeboks) but for him who for their sake died and was raised … All this is from God, who through Christ RECONCILED US (saved us) to Himself and gave US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION (saving pre-believers); that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and ENTRUSTING TO US (You and me) the message of reconciliation. (HUGE-God has given us His ministry of winning the lost) THEREFORE (THIS IS ABOUT TO BE HUGE!), we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal (An earnest or urgent request) through us. Weimplore (Begging someone earnestly or desperately to do something) you (pre-believers) on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God."
WOW-basically, God is appealing therefore we are imploring-literally begging that those who are far from God would come to Jesus to be saved. God cares for the lost so much He’s trying to appeal almost beg through us [This is GOD by the way] imploring for the lost to get saved through me. Who am I to stand in His way of reaching OTHERS through me?
I owe Jesus and everyone else who’s ever encountered me and survived an apology. Sorry when I've gotten in the way-I want to help, not hinder, your message Jesus.
OTHERS is the point. Jesus is consumed with them. I should be too. Now what do we do?
COC-did you know that EASTER is the highest attended church service of the year?
QUESTION - who is the Easter Story and the Gospel aimed at? -the lost
Did you know that nearly 70% of non-Christian Americans and/or non-church attending Christians surveyed say they would come to a Christmas Church Service if invited.
The issue is ... WILL I INVITE?
You know, I've personally been changed by Jesus because someONE INVITED me a long time ago. For that I'm forever grateful for Sandra Armer.
She taught me the intent of the Gospel is to save those who are lost. I was - So were you - So are they. The Gospel should NEVER stop with me. If it does ... I stand in the way of someone encountering God. The Gospel is both FOR me and THROUGH me. One never comes without the other.
Read what Paul says in Romans 10
“… Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them. And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
IMAGINE how excited Jesus would be if in the next month if all our Celebrators walked across the street and invited their neighbors or visiting relatives ... we have a 70+% chance of Yes.
Now, I know there may be some who would read this post and say ... Not all Others will be brothers. God is sovereign. He'll save who He wants with or without me. Here's what I say about that. I'd prefer that God's sovereignty doesn't include you or me being a total and epic failure at doing the one thing every believer was saved to do ... DUPLICATE. Buried treasure was only cool for the pirates NOT JESUS.
Join me in trading in my Meeboks in for Weeboks.