Monday, March 19, 2012

Never Take For Granted What's True

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." 
- Colossians 4:2-6

Spring Break is over.

Back to reality. The grind. The way things are...

I spent my week-long hiatus in Panama City Beach. Most people going to this beautiful place on this particular week are there for any number of reasons. Partying. Drinking. Sex.

Why was I there? To share my faith. To connect with God. To get away from Miami. Rid my mind of distractions that had been clouding my mind.

I honestly had no idea what to expect and I was fortunate to be surrounded by other FIU students and over 1,000 other college students from around the country here for maybe the exact same reason (and probably many others). Big Break 2012.

For four straight afternoons, we went out on the beach and dove into conversations with random strangers. Talked about life. God. Their answers. Their questions. Their beliefs. Or lack of beliefs. I'll confess: I was petrified. Part of me didn't want to do it. Part of me would have rather been doing nothing. Laying on the sand. Watching TV. Reading a book. I hate that part of me. I silenced that part of me. The Gospel is bigger than my own comfort.

You learn a lot talking to other people. People from so many different places. Different backgrounds. Different social status. Different everything. But what shocked me the most was the misunderstandings people have about God. Some who didn't even know who Jesus was or what He did or why He did it. And who He did it for.

For so long I took for granted what I know is true. I let lies and subtle agreements settle in my mind for so long. Lies like "People know about Jesus. They've already made their choice."

Never again. Never again am I falling for that lie.

As I told my story to this skeptical guy from George Washington University, I could see in his eyes that he needed something more than what he was doing. As I saw this kid from Indiana thank my friend and I for sharing our faith with him, I knew more needed to be done.

I started thinking of home. What about my friends? My classmates? My co-workers? My family?

Now that I'm home, things have changed. I have resolved to make sure they have. How am I looking at those I claim to love? Am I really loving them like I should? I've never met a person God does not love. And I never will.

I can't change lives. You can't change lives. Only Jesus can change lives. Only a relationship with Jesus can change lives.

All we have to do is set up an invitation.      

People are dying. I've been hearing that. Seeing that. But I haven't been living like it.

Enough is enough. I'm not going to leave things the way they are. I've done that enough times.

Friends, never take for granted what's true. Never take Christ, our Lord and Savior, for granted. Never take for the Gospel, the hope of the world, for granted.

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