Sunday, December 2, 2012

Target Practice

Mission: Point Others to Christ

Image from http://marshfieldrodandgunclub.com
In reference to our life-long mission as followers of Christ, I like to think metaphorically in regards to a bow, arrow, and target/destination. We are the bow, and the word of God is the arrow. The target – God. The bow (us) is useless without the arrow. It seems pretty simple to put together the combination of the bow and arrow to efficiently reach the target, but it can be a challenging task in reality.

In John 1:6-7, we are introduced to John the Baptist – one of the greatest evangelists of all time. Why was he great? His aim was right on target – when that arrow was shot, he didn’t let himself get in the way of the destination – God. He didn’t want the glory, and he made that clear.

John 1:8 (NASB) – 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

There are times that I find myself getting in the way of pointing others to Christ. In what ways can that happen?

1. Is it for God’s glory or my own?
Do I want even the slightest bit of recognition for serving Sunday after Sunday in the nursery changing dirty diapers?...then it’s not for His glory, but my own. Do I want to be noticed on stage singing in choir?...then it’s not for His glory, but my own.

2. Un-confessed sin creates a barrier in reaching others for Christ.
Have I sat down and quietly searched my heart for any wrong that has not been brought to the Lord’s attention? Our hearts must be pure and clear of any sin.

Isaiah 59:1-2 (NASB) – 1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

3. Am I willing to sacrifice time, convenience, comfort for the benefit of God’s kingdom?
It takes full sacrifice...not partial. I'm reminded of the video "God's Chisel."
"God, you can change this part of my life, but my job is fine like it is. Thanks..."
Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but you and I do it all the time.

In what ways can I point others to the Lord?

We are all given various spiritual gifts in order to efficiently carry out our mission as the universal church of believers.

Romans 12:4-5 (NASB) – 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Many of these gifts include:
Administration (Proverbs 17:2)
Evangelism (Ephesians 4:11)
Exhortation (Hebrews 3:13)
Giving (Matthew 10:8)
Helps (1 Peter 4:10)
Hospitality (Romans 12:13)
Leadership (Romands 12:8)
Mercy (Matthew 5:7)
Discernment (1 Corinthians 14:1)
Service (Galatians 5:13)
Shepherding (Psalm 78:72)
Teaching (Matthew 28:20)

I know God’s still shaping me. And it takes practice on my part...target practice. I miss the mark numerous times, but I’m called out by the Holy Spirit when that happens. I have to adjust my aim and make sure there is nothing in the arrow’s path to keep it from reaching it’s destination.

“We’re of greatest use to God’s kingdom when we reshape our lives to direct all attention to Him.” – David Nasser

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