me or HIM

13522871_10154923299979256_2180644574309091322_oIf we are honest, as we live life, and do life, it sometimes would seem its about our agenda, our own desires. Have a look at the picture on the left. What do you see? What do you notice? 

Please hear my heart, this devotional is not from a judgmental point of view but rather writing from the point of view of those young girls taking a selfie. This photograph I snapped was in Chicago. We were doing street evangelism and we trained up young people how to share their faith in a coversational way. The young lady Emma Reynolds from Corner Stone Bible church in Minnesota, youth pastor Micah Siebert doing some great work among his youth youth group. She is sitting on the floor sharing the gospel with the young women. Then you have 3 young ladies who were taking selfies of themselves. Where would you place yourself? If we are honest yes, life is about us and what we can get out of life, I am sometimes taking a “selfie” in life, I am focused on my agenda, my worries, my possessions my life,!

I did engage these young ladies, they were waiting for the bus, and they did say we know who Jesus was but I was blown away by this simple truth they knew about him, but did not know Him and engage life with Him. That is exactly how we can be in life, we can be so busy with all the “selfies” of life and miss the true picture and that is doing what Jesus called us to do. 

Jim Elliot In his diary he said, “God I pray to you, light these idol sticks of my life, that I may burn for you. Consume my life God, for it is yours.” And then he said,  “I seek not a long life but a full life, like that of Jesus Christ.” His prayer was answered. His life was not that long. He died taking the Gospel to the Auka Indians. His life was full. 

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4).

Live life from an eternal perspective. If you do this you will live life differently. You will see life differently. The “selfies” of this world will not seem to be the focus. If we look at the picture again, the focus is not on the selfies but rather on lady that needs Christ and that is having an eternal perspective! Where is our focus area, what is our minds on? We need to remember our past life (selfie self) has died, it is hidden in Christ. Wow lord help me to pray what Jim Elliott prayed! Can we do that? Can I do that, I am in mission leading a movement and Lord I feel like I am not doing anything. I fill my life with everything but you. Do I truly hunger and thirst for Jesus. 

If we were to stand before God right now, what are the “selfies” I would be embarrassed about.  We can be so busy with the “selfie” life and miss out on what Jesus truly wants from us as an individual or even as a ministry and Church. We can all be caught up and I am in the same boat. I think of guys I try to connect with but they are simply to busy and understandably and the local church can get to busy for even what Jesus called her to be.

Thom Rainer says this: “By almost any metric, the churches in our nation are much less evangelistic today than they were in the recent past. In my own denomination, we are reaching non-Christians only half as effectively as we were 50 years ago (we measure membership to annual baptisms). The trend is disturbing.

We certainly see the pattern in the early church where “every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). In too many of our churches today, the congregations are reaching no one for Christ in the course of an entire year.

The Poll

I conducted an unscientific Twitter poll recently to see what church leaders and church members thought of this trend, My specific question was: “Why do you think many churches aren’t as evangelistic as they once were?”

The responses arrived quickly and in great numbers, both in public tweets and in direct messages to me. Indeed, I was still receiving responses four days after I sent my Twitter question.

The Results

The response was highly informative for me. Here are the top fifteen responses listed in order of frequency:

  1. Christians have no sense of urgency to reach lost people.
  2. Many Christians and church members do not befriend and spend time with lost persons.
  3. Many Christians and church members are lazy and apathetic.
  4. We are more known for what we are against than what we are for.
  5. Our churches have an ineffective evangelistic strategy of “you come” rather than “we go.”
  6. Many church members think that evangelism is the role of the pastor and paid staff.
  7. Church membership today is more about getting my needs met rather than reaching the lost.
  8. Church members are in a retreat mode as culture becomes more worldly and unbiblical.
  9. Many church members don’t really believe that Christ is the only way of salvation.
  10. Our churches are no longer houses of prayer equipped to reach the lost.
  11. Churches have lost their focus on making disciples who will thus be equipped and motivated to reach the lost.
  12. Christians do not want to share the truth of the gospel for fear they will offend others. Political correctness is too commonplace even among Christians.
  13. Most churches have unregenerate members who have not received Christ themselves.
  14. Some churches have theological systems that do not encourage evangelism.
  15. Our churches have too many activities; they are too busy to do the things that really matter.

When I read this I am saying this is happening in South Africa.  What should our eternal perspective look like?

Here are some questions to help.

  1. What is the main cause of your life? Jesus words Make Disciples Matthew 28:19-20
  2. When Jesus calls us to follow me, and fish for men do we? Jesus Words Matthew 4:19
  3. Are you making disciples? Jesus words Make Disciples
  4. Are we truly seeking the kingdom of God first? Jesus words Matthew 6:33

Yes I truly believe we seek Jesus, but as we look at the picture, the young ladies taking the selfies who claimed to know Jesus did not truly seek Jesus, but my question is simply this do you seek his kingdom first. Regardless of your ‘status’ from leader, pastor to CEO, are you putting the kingdom first. Are we seeking to have an eternal perspective and that is seeking the Kingdom first this side of eternity.