SO, HOW ARE YOU REALLY DOING?
Some time ago in a ministry class the instructor challenged us to step way out of our comfort zone to survey complete strangers regarding their spiritual beliefs or lack thereof and what reinforced their beliefs. One of my fellow minister classmates seized the opportunity to venture into a busy mall seeking out individuals who might seem to be a bit off the grid as it were. Where better to start than in a video arcade center where he approached a young man dressed in black, with chains hanging all around his clothing. The minister began the conversation and after a few questions, the young man stopped him abruptly by asking “excuse me, but if you were not doing this survey as a requirement of your class would you even have stopped to talk to me in the first place”? Without an answer or even another word the young minister turned and walked away in the shame of the moment.
We all have a favorite restaurant, clothing store or vacation spot that when asked we are excited to tell others about, but quite possibly when the opportunity arises to proclaim the love of Christ, we wax cool. Christ proclaimed to you and I, not the Church, that we are to live His great Commission: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”Matthew 16:15. To say we are Christ followers but striving to live out the great commission is the sin of omission. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17
Each day, we should seize the opportunity to live in faith, with the same love and boldness as Paul “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13
When was the last time you told someone outside your Christian circle, “Jesus loves you”, “God Bless you” or even ask the real question “So, How are you really doing”? It’s easy to walk down the isles of the store passing individuals and saying “How are you doing” only to keep walking, never really expecting to receive an answer or likewise giving an answer. What might a stranger think if we responded “Praise the Lord I’m doing great”, or if they do not respond to your asking give them a response like “God Bless you, have a nice day”.
Christ was not afraid to address those who needed it most. Even from the Cross he addressed a thief, not just the crowd that was gathered, but even more so He addresses you and I as He spoke, shed his blood and gave up His life so that we could hear those precious words “Father Forgive Them”. Yes, He died that through Him we could have forgiveness, eternal life and be heirs to the kingdom of heaven.
So, what is your response? Ask yourself; how are you really doing. Turn to Christ with your response in faith ASKing for His response to you, SEEKing his grace, forgiveness, love and direction for your life. Go ahead, KNOCK on His door, His heart, right now. Then in the days and weeks ahead, please remember to step out in faith, in the strength of the Lord, and ask someone HOW ARE YOU REALLY DOING?
Notes from the Staff @The Woods