Hello again, friends!
If you’ve been following Macey’s Place Online for the past few months, you’ve read that my word for 2018 has been this one: CONVICTION.
God has been doing such a work in my life since I became a Christian seven years ago, but He has been doing an immense work in my life in the last two years. Ever since I humbly chose to follow His will in all areas of my life (instead of being stubborn and hardheaded and doing everything my own way), I’ve seen so many doors opened! It has been such an amazing journey thus far, and I cannot wait to see what He has in store for my future!
But following God’s will for your life is not an easy thing to do. It’s extremely difficult… For me, it’s mostly difficult because I am stubborn and hardheaded and love to control every detail of my life… and mostly because that’s where conviction comes into play.
When I’m deliberately not following God’s will and plan, I feel that twinge in my heart… that prick of my conscience… that sinking of my stomach. I feel anxious until I obey because the Spirit inside of me is grieved concerning my actions.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
Recently, I felt the twinge, prick, and sinking over a thought that I had. It concerned the classes that I teach at church… I was upset because, for many Sunday mornings and Sunday nights, I would show up ready and excited to present a message that I believed that God has placed in my heart and mind to teach to those precious children. But Sunday and Sunday, I would show up… and I would be teaching a class of one (you guessed it–I was the only one!)
I would do personal Bible study for about an hour and then head out into the main worship service… in a funk because I wondered why I was putting in so much money, time, and effort for there to be no “return” at all. I wasn’t seeing many (or really any) come to Christ in salvation or grow in their relationship with Him or feel called to spread God’s Word. Why? Because nobody showed up.
Very recently, I became frustrated. I “threw in the towel” so to speak. I decided that I wasn’t going to waste my money, time, or effort anymore. I was going to gain so much more by staying home and spending quiet time with God by myself and attending the main worship service only.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him… Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Colossians 3:17, 23
When I finally began to listen to God about the situation and pray about the situation, I realized that “throwing in the towel” was selfish of me. If God had called me to teach those classes (and I firmly believe He did), then I needed to be obedient despite how many showed up (or the amount that didn’t show up). There were times when only one or two came to class, and instead of a lesson, we talked about other things. I’m ashamed to say it… but I felt like just one person wasn’t “enough to have a class.”
Oh, how Satan blinded me! How grateful I am that God forgives sinners like me… and uses sinners like me despite our mistakes!
God convicted me through the words of my boyfriend. I remember him asking me one Sunday how the lesson had gone that morning with my one student who had came to church. I told him that we didn’t have a lesson because only that one person came. I can’t quote his exact words, but the sentiment was this: that person needed to hear the Gospel today.
Now, did my boyfriend mean to step on my toes? No. God used my boyfriend’s words to convict me of my sin.
You see, each person has a soul… and that soul is either saved and headed to heaven, or it’s condemned and headed to hell. When we view people as souls that are saved or lost, it should help us understand that there is no limit to the money, time, and effort that we should spend in order to get the Gospel to each one.
There have been many times where I have felt like God was telling me to buy Bibles or Christian books or Bible studies for individuals and I didn’t. Why? I had bills to pay that month. I had things that I wanted to buy that month.
But how much does a soul cost?
Our souls cost Jesus His life in order to save them.
There should be no limits to the money that we spend to further the Gospel. Hear me when I say (or I guess type) this: I’m not saying to empty your bank account so that you can’t pay your bills. I’m saying do you really need that third Starbucks coffee this week? Do you really need to eat out every day? Do you really need that item off Amazon? Could you stop yourself from buying non-essential items so that you could sponsor a child or support your local church or support a missionary?
There have also been times when I have forgone attending church activities or ministry opportunities because I wanted to hang out with my friends, because I “absolutely had to do laundry,” because I had homework that was due, because no one was going to show up anyways, etc. The list was literally endless.
But how much does a soul cost?
There should be no limits to the time that we spend to further the Gospel.
Lastly, there have been times when I just haven’t put in 110%… in my Sunday morning classes, my Sunday night classes, my Vacation Bible School classes, in our Wild Game Day Events, in youth activities, in church youth camps, etc. Why? There’s a list of excuses for this one too: I’m too tired. I do so much already. It’s someone else’s turn to help. I have work tomorrow.
But how much does a soul cost?
There should be no limits to the effort that we exert to further the Gospel.
The fact of the matter is that there are people all around us who are unsaved and lost. They have a need for a Savior, and we have the cure they need. We have the knowledge and truth of Jesus. Christians, we have to share it! At every opportunity! Why are we keeping it to ourselves?
The fact of the matter is that there is always a younger Christian that we can mentor. We need to make sure that we are investing in others so that their Christian walk with God can be strengthened.
So, will you take up this challenge with me? Will we challenge ourselves to be truly open to what God wants to do with our money, time, and effort to further His kingdom? Will we have faith that God will work, even if only one shows up?
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
“Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”
Lord, help me to “practice what I preach” and truly give all that I have to advancing Your kingdom for Your glory!
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Pictures are not mine.