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Googling God

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Googling for God

We are in a fallen world.  Isn’t that a normal response and constant for those of us who are raised in and regularly attend church.   As time passes and we get more and more comfortable in church, the less we see this.  We become more insulated from the fallen world.  We are surrounded by Christians, we hang out with Christians, and we see the world through a tinted glass.  We have to purposely step out of those norms to experience the lost and fallen world. 

Can you relate?  Are we so comfortable in our world, that we fail to see the lost and fallen world all around us?  Who do we interact with regularly?   There is safety and comfort in being surrounded by like minded people.  We are herd people.  Quickly, we find ourselves in the herd and not looking around. 

I would like to tell you about a telephone call I received.  A lady called the church and wanted to be baptized.  I realized she was not an attendee of our church and certainly not a member of a church.  She did not know what baptism is, how its done, or how to get baptized, but she felt compelled to be baptized.  My wife and I arranged to meet her.  I was truly blessed to be part of what God was doing in this lady’s life. 

As we talked about Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, salvation, baptism, God’s love for us, and on and on and on…. our eyes filled with tears.  I could see the cloud of confusion leave the lady.  She understood and believed what was being shared and supported in scripture.  I asked if she had ever confessed her sin, asked for forgiveness and accepted HIS free gift.  She said yes.  Armed with the information from our conversation and a portion of her story, I asked how she knew what needed to happen.  She said she “looked it up” and had prayed two days prior.  “Looked it up”  “Looked it up”…..really?  God pursued her, showed her love, and called her to Him.  Googled God, I hadn’t heard that before.  I thank God, He led her to call Glen Meadows. 

The lost and fallen world is around us.  There are people seeking Him.  Some of those people know no one that can lead them to Him.  How impersonal is a Google search?  What information is out there - good or bad?  We have to be alert and looking for opportunities to share His love.  We have to be His witness and be available to be the personal Google search that points to God.  When someone interacts or sees us, our lives should draw them to “click here for more information/download.”  If they are “searching” your life, will they be drawn to the TRUTH?  Are you Googling the lives around you to share the Truth?  It starts with a simple “search” that can result in a whole new world/Kingdom.     

Act 1:8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. 

Power-full Conversations

Power-Full Conversations

Acts 4:29-31

“‘And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your servants may speak Your word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand for healing, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.'  When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God boldly.”

“Don’t challenge anyone’s beliefs”, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion”, “Live and let live”, “What you believe to be true, is truth”, “I am glad that Church thing works for you but it’s not for me”, “Many roads lead to enlightenment”, and the list goes on… Trying to share the Good News in today’s culture can sometimes make you feel like you are climbing up a muddy hill in a white suit. The outcome is a mudslide, and at the end you are no closer to the top than when you started, just muddy, tired and discouraged.

So, what is our response to this ever changing and neutrally grey culture? We adapt. We take on a new approach that is less intrusive and confrontational. We develop our own belief system… “I will be the silent witness that sets a good example”, “I will share the Good News, only if someone asks me”, “I am afraid to invite them to my Church because it might freak them out”, I will get a bumper sticker so they know I am a Christian”, “I won’t get a bumper sticker because it might turn them away”, and the list goes on. We have become a Church that backs it’s way timidly into the arena of evangelism and hope for the best.

Don’t get me wrong, the list’s above in themselves are good and necessary. We are called to be a light to the world (Matthew 15:14-16). However; We were also called to “go”; better translated “as you are going” (Matthew 28:18-20); and take the Good News to the entire world (Acts 1:8).  Unfortunately, along the way we have lost our boldness.

The early Church knew what they needed to do and cried aloud to the Lord asking for the boldness necessary to spread the Good News (Acts 4:29) and the Lord responded with His Holy Spirit and the spoke boldly.

So, how do we reclaim that boldness which comes from the Holy Spirit? We begin by having ‘POWER-Full’ conversations with God, our own families, our church brothers and sisters, and then the world. A POWER-Full conversation is the core spiritual disciplines that are acknowledged by the church and biblically necessary to experience a sanctifying and active faith, that in turn, helps us accomplish Christ’s mission. Let’s take a quick look at what these disciplines look like…

P - Prayer

O - Obedience

W - Word

E - Exalting the Father

R - Relationships

FULL - Dependance in the Holy Spirit

Our lives are to be fully set aside to the Lord, we begin by applying these disciplines daily in our relationship with the Father. This disciplined relationship then overflows into every conversation with those around us. I find it amazing that I unintentionally reveal where my heart is by the nature of conversation I have with those around me. If I am excited about something I am going to find a way to “sneak” it into every conversation, just ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that they are aware of my new love for motorcycles because I can’t shut up about it. What is in our hearts comes out to all around us (Luke 6:45). If we are living a spiritually disciplined life, our actions, conversation, and obedience to spreading the Good News will be evident and overflow out of us wherever we “go”.

I recently began meeting with a member of our church body for the purpose of discipleship. I cannot begin to tell you the excitement that has bubbled out of this relationship. Each time we meet we can’t shut up about what it means to live a POWER-Full life. We encourage one another, we pray together, we spend time in the Word, we celebrate and “go” out from this time together to intentionally share this joy and excitement with those we encounter. Make no mistake, there is an undeniable difference with a conversation that is driven by the Holy Spirit and a conversation that is void of the spiritual disciplines. A spiritually disciplined conversation strengthens and prepares us to “go”. A conversation void of these components leave us with acute spiritual atrophy.

What do our POWER-Full conversations look like? Are we meeting with others just to shoot the breeze or are we “boldly” taking the Good News to all who are in our life circles? It is time for us to be intentional with our relationships and begin with a POWER-Full conversation.

Pressing on Toward the Goal,
Jim Booth
Discipleship Pastor

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