Week 12 -- the last week -- of the Daniel safari. It is unbelievable that we've finished a full 12 week tour of the book of Daniel! (Mad props to self: I studied the entire book of Daniel!! Yes, I did!!*pats self on back* ) My jeep is filthy, my boots have a few holes in them, and I'm ready for a real shower! Frankly, though, I am a little sad, like at the end of a great vacation when it's time to get back to the "real world" and you just don't wanna go....especially when I've had such amazing safari sisters along the way! I've grown to know and love these gals who have opened up their lives, their thoughts, and their blogs to me!
So we finish with a real BANG. Daniel 12:3 was our key verse: "Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who turn many to righteousness will shine like stars forever."
Did you catch the phrase "those who turn many to righteousness"?
Yeah, I did too.
Witnessing. Sharing the gospel. Sharing your faith. Giving a testimony. Telling others about Jesus. Proselytizing.
No matter how you phrase it, it all comes down to talking. Something I'm very, very good at. You could even call it a gift. (Once, when I was 9, my aunt offered me $10 if I could not talk for one hour. I lasted for 45 minutes and then fell into a perpetually talking heap.) But when it comes to talking about my faith, something that I claim is my most prized possession, I fail. Alarmingly so. Ashamedly so.
Every year, I vow to myself and to God that I will do better. I make what I think are reasonable goals. "I will share my faith with one person per month." I am embarrassed to even write that. People all over the world give their lives to share the gospel. I can't even summon the courage to tell the cashier at Target.
My children *so* don't have the same problem as me. They are bold witnesses. They go to a Jewish school with children of all faiths. Both boys have shared their faith with schoolmates on more than one occasion. To them, it is imperative. Griffin came home alarmed one day, telling me we must pray for Kartik, who does not believe in God. Tucker has offered to his Jewish classmates a simple solution to their not believing in Jesus: just read the New Testament.
And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 18:3
To my children, it is elementary. There are people they care about that do not know Jesus as their Savior. They feel an urgency to share with them life changing information.
So....if I care about others, wouldn't I feel an urgency to share this same information?
When I assess the "why" in my reasons, it all comes down to rejection. I don't want to be rejected or made fun of. I don't want others to see me coming and say "Oh, there's the crazy lady talking about Jesus again." I don't want unsaved family members to un-invite us to family functions because they don't want me to go prattling on about God. I don't want my co-workers to say, "Oh, crap, I have to work with her again." Rejection. Embarrassment.
"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..." Romans 1:16
When I think of what Jesus did for me, I am beyond ashamed of my fears. I am rather mortified.
If I truly cared about others, then I would not want them to be separated eternally from God. More than the eternal separation, which is enough punishment as it is, there is the reality of hell.
Hell. A place of torment, burning, and punishment. For eternity.
So next time I go to Wal Mart and am checking out, I'm going to make a conscious effort to look at the woman (or man) in the eye and think of those words. Hell. Torment. Burning. My prayer is that out of a heart of love, I will ask her if she knows Jesus.
If she laughs at me or just shuts me out, I will consider it what it is.
A mere splinter on the cross.