Pastor Thoughts for November 22nd
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” Philippians 2:3-5.
After reading these words from Philippians 2, we can all admit that we can do better. These verses can be read as a moral imperative, even a “hallmark-ian” platitude of sorts. I think all people can agree that humility is good. Thinking of others? Yes, it is beneficial. The interest of others before ourselves? Of course!
But remember, it begins with who you are-your being. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus”
In our evangelism bible study-Everyone His Witness, we have gone over so many impactful ways to which we witness to others. Over the past several months, we have studied scripture and covered important topics such as “Listening, asking, sharing, seeking, inviting and encouraging” [This is a valuable study for each and everyone of you. I encourage all of you to join us on weds in January 2020 as we continue this study]
However, as we learned, it’s easy to put the cart before the horse. Likewise, it is easy to make evangelism something about what you do. And if this is the case, we tell ourselves [as the devil also echoes these thoughts], “I’m not good enough”. “I’m not a good speaker”. “I’m not strong in the scriptures”. “Do I have the answer to every biblical question? What if I don’t?” Yes, these are daunting apprehensions that all of us have.
Yet, evangelism is not a burden nor is it a job. Rather it is a privilege. For, evangelism begins in who you are-your being.
In other words, what goes in, must come out. Through constant equipping in the Word and Sacrament, we receive the joyous gifts of God’s forgiveness. And thus, as we hear and receive, study and learn the Word, the Holy Spirit sustains our being and roots us in the one true faith-Jesus.
Through the joy of forgiveness, we [in our being] live the set free life. Yes, we still struggle. Yes, we still are tempted and we also fall short in sin. Yet, the Word points us to the Lord’s death and resurrection. In the empty tomb we find our being. And what a joyful being it is!
Forgiven. You are!
Eternal life. You have it!
Salvation. Is yours!
This is who you are. And in faith, this is The Way we go. Through His love, we love. Through His forgiveness, we forgive. Through His Work, we speak and proclaim His liberating truth.
What a wonderful and most blessed gift to be able to open our mouths and declare His praise. “For no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” [1Cor12:3].