Thursday, May 06, 2010
Today’s Topic: Impacting Our World for Christ
Today’s Text: Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah. (Isaiah 1:9)
I’ve had three days to think about what I wrote on Monday. Three days to see how well I do at impacting the world around me for Jesus. I’ve discovered it’s much easier than I thought, as long as I truly care enough and am compassionate enough to do it.
Monday evening and Tuesday were spent at our daughter’s house at the special invitation of our grandson. He didn’t want me to miss his spring music concert at school. I didn’t want to miss it either. My wife and I travelled the 3 hours (road construction delayed us) to Sun Prairie to see the kids. It was hard to leave all the work piled up on the “to do” lists that have become oversized since returning from Africa. But caring about people and impacting them with love is more important than any list of things I need to do for me. Acting on it impacts our world for Christ.
While there I stopped in a sporting goods store to pick up a stool to sit on while turkey hunting. My season started yesterday. I spent some time with the cashier as it wasn’t busy, and had the opportunity to say just one thing to him of any value. We talked about turkeys and calls and guns, but then the conversation got serious for just 20 seconds. He made a mistake on the cash register and had to start over. Under his breath he cursed and said “Jesus Christ”. I spoke gently and said, “Oh, I know Him. I have a personal relationship with Him? Do you know Him too?” He froze, and did not respond. He simply finished the transaction. Loving Jesus more than loving the praise of people impacts our world for Christ.
Wednesday morning arrived and the alarm scared me at 3 a.m.. I couldn’t find the button to shut it off. I quickly got dressed in my hunting clothes, ate a breakfast bar, and headed out for my son’s house to pick him up. By 4:45 we were sitting at the base of two trees in the woods waiting for the first sounds of turkeys. Shortly after light, Jason began striking the hen call. If there were any toms in the area they would let us know by gobbling. It was silent. For the next 75 minutes it was silent. We decided to move so we could find the turkeys. We weren’t comfortable staying in a place that didn’t lend itself to accomplishing our goal. So it is with our spiritual lives. If our goal is to impact our world for Christ, we must keep moving out into the world to find the people.
We parked the vehicle a little closer to the center of the property and started walking. Suddenly there was a tom sneaking across the field. We dove to the ground and avoided detection. I saw where he was headed and told Jason I would cut him off. I thought I could move that way unseen. I was wrong. He saw me and turned and ran the other way. I tried to stalk him but spooked him instead. He knew I wasn’t supposed to be there. The way I looked and behaved and moved gave me away. He didn’t want anything to do with me…just like a lot of unsaved people who may be spooked by the hypocrisy of my life when I look and behave and move like a sinner rather than the follower of Christ I have told them I am. Consistency impacts our world for Christ.
After the turkey flew, Jason struck the call again to see if there was another tom in the area. Way off in the distance to the west we heard a gobble. A turkey’s hearing is amazing. Every time Jason yelped with the call, that old tom would gobble. We decide to pursue him. We walked about 800 yards, using trees and thickets as cover, to a place we knew would be the perfect ambush location. We crawled on our bellies up to two trees and sat down. Jason started calling. I was so blessed that my son, who shot a huge tom last year, chose to spend his one available hunting day this year helping me get a turkey. What a servant heart he has. Serving others impacts our world for Christ.
As Jason Called, the gobbles got more distant-sounding. But that was only because he was two ridges away and had gone down between them. When he reached the top of the nearest ridge, we knew he was coming for us. Well, not really for us. He was searching for the hen that Jason’s calling was imitating. It took almost an hour, but suddenly, rising up over the edge of the hill in the field in front of us, was a nice tom turkey. He was on full alert, looking for the hen. Jason stopped calling. We both froze. But I froze in a prepared position with my gun raised and aimed right at him. He kept coming. Jason told me later he wondered how long I would wait before I shot. At 20 yards I fired, and the turkey fell.
Immediately Jason jumped up and shouted, “That was an amazing hunt.” Wait a minute, I shot the turkey. Yet to him it was an amazing hunt because he participated in harvesting a bird. You see, teamwork impacts our world for Christ. As does searching for the lost. As does calling them to Christ. As does being prepared and in a position to give them the Gospel when they come close…both barrels if necessary.
We have all been called to have the compassion of Christ for others. We have all been granted the heart of Jesus that cares for people and serves them. We have all been called to go and seek the lost. We have all been called to witness. We have all been charged by the King to make an impact on our world. It’s time to get started…I hear the alarm going off.