About a week and a half ago, our daughter had to do a project on another country for school. She picked Ethiopia, which was a huge plus because Jon has been there twice and we have lots of pictures.
The night before her presentation she was practicing all the things she would say. She had to answer a few select questions, the last one being "Would you go there and why?"
As she got to this final question, she said "Yes. I would go to Ethiopia because I want to tell people about Jesus, like my daddy."
Wow! What a reminder that others are watching. Our own attitude and interest in going somewhere WILL affect others' attitude and interests. Our reason for going will affect others' reason for going. And whether we are influencing our own children, or anyone else in our lives, we better be sure that the example, attitude and interest we display is that of Christ Jesus and not our own.
So, the example above is a win...daddy went to Ethiopia to share the gospel. Our daughter got that and wants to model it. But it makes me wonder what her answer would be if the question were slightly altered.
What if she were asked, "Would you go to a certain poor, rundown area of your town?" Would her answer be yes or no? And if she said yes, would her reason be a desire to share the gospel?
What if she were asked, "Would you be friends with a particular person who is difficult to love?" Would her answer be yes or no? And if she said yes, would her reason be based on a desire to show that person the love of Jesus?
What if she were asked, "Would you like to participate in a certain afterschool activity?" If she said yes, would her reason be fueled by a desire to build relationships in the community for the sake of sharing the gospel?
I have to ask, "What example am I giving?" "Why do I do what I do?" Is my ultimate goal and purpose to tell others about the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross?
Because truly, that is all that matters. And I don't want to miss my purpose here. I need to evaluate: Why do I shop at this particular store? Why do my kids swim or dance or play soccer in the community? Why do I live in the neighborhood I live in and cross paths with the people I cross paths with? For one primary reason...to share the gospel!
At any point in my day am I focused on this? Do I wake up and walk out the door and go through my daily routine with the gospel on my lips and Christ's love for others in my heart? Or do I run through my day, checking things off my list, getting kids from here to there, without ever thinking about WHY God may have placed me here?
David Platt just published an excellent book titled Follow Me. In it he states, "This is God's will in the world: to create, call, save and bless his people for the spread of his grace and glory among all peoples. This will is not intended to be found; it is intended to be followed. We don't have to wonder about God's will when we've been created to walk in it. We have no need to ask God to reveal his will for our lives; instead, we each ask God to align our lives with the will he has already revealed. God's will for us as disciples of Jesus is to make disciples of Jesus in all nations. Therefore, the question every disciple asks is, 'How can I best make disciples of all nations?'"
Lord, I am so thankful for my relationship with You. I am thankful to know You and thankful for the freedom of forgiveness. May You be praised in my life. Please continue to open my eyes and guide me in the direction of Your will. I want to be obedient to You. I want to be a disciple making disciples.