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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Five Cent Notebooks

I pulled into the Walmart parking lot with the intention of picking up a few odds and ends. Mechanically I went in and started towards the health and beauty section. AND THEN I SAW IT! My glance fell on a miraculous sign "5 Cent" posted at the front of the store. I blinked. I thought I was reading the sign wrong. I went over and it was real! Tons of spiral notebooks packed the shelves and they were all 5 cent. Two other young ladies were filling their arms with as many notebooks as they could carry. I joined them and excitedly packed my arms with the notebooks. I brought about 28 of them. Not that I need that many, but because they were so cheap. Then I noticed the other dirt cheap school supplies and I decided to load up on them as well. For about $7 bucks I brought enough pens and notebooks to last me my entire time at school. Then I got on the phone and started texting. A deal this good can't be kept to myself. No, I needed to share it. My hands shook with enthusiasm as I tapped out the message "Walmart has 5 cent notebooks!"

Yes I knew that this was God's way of providing for my needs. I was not able to find a job and finances had been more tight than I could remember them being in my life. Yet another lesson came to mind. Naturally, it seems that when people are excited, really excited about something they can't wait to tell people about it just as I couldn't help but want to share my find. But this does not always seem to apply to the Gospel, which certainly trumps any notebook sale. In other words, I don't believe that people are excited about God's truth if they don't enthusiastically and intentionally want to share it.

”Oh well let's leave that to the minister, the Bible worker, or the missionary I'm not qualified for that you might be thinking”, but Christ's words contradict this notion. Check out His last words in the book of Matthew (28:18-20)
18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Notice that first Jesus establishes His divine authority than He gives what Christians call The Great Commission, and ends it with an eternal promise.

Who was Jesus talking to? His disciples. Aren't Christians supposed to be Christ’s modern-day disciples? In fact the word Christian means follower of Christ. A follower is another word for a disciple. Not only does Jesus give us this direct order, but he tells us how to go about doing it.

Examine Act 1:8. Jesus is again speaking.

8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Christ doesn't just send us out alone. He promises us the gift of His Holy Spirit. This should be encouraging to us because God does not expect us to do it alone. He sends His Spirit to do the work with us. Then He instructs us on how we are to do evangelism: First in Jerusalem, then in Judea, then in Samaria, and then all over. "What? Crystal have you lost your mind”, you might be thinking. Let me explain. The disciples were currently in Jerusalem so Christ was telling them to start where they were. Being a missionary is not limited to foreign missions. It about witnessing to those in our immediate sphere of influence. Then we can go out further and further and eventually maybe God will use us to reach the whole world, but it has to start somewhere.

Notice also that the first word in Christ's commission is "Go". Go is an action verb. We can't just stand here we have to do something. We have to take on active approaches to reaching out to others. Take for example Andrew.

Not much is recorded about the disciple Andrew. In fact we get the idea that he is the quite type, but we know a whole lot about his brother Peter. Yet Andrew was the quiet behind the scenes guy that God used to reach the outspoken Peter. This is an illustration one of my Favorite Pastor's uses here. God might want to use you to reach someone who will go on to reach thousands! We meet Andrew in John Chapter one, than again in Chapter 6 and finally in Chapter 12 and all three times this little known disciple is doing the same thing: humbly and quietly bringing people to Jesus. We might not all get to be charismatic preachers like Peter, but we can be gentle behind the scenes witnesses for Christ.

What are you enthusiastic about? Sports, entertainment, or in my case bargains at a local Walmart? Whatever it is it is nothing in comparison to the treasures that Christ has planned for us. This should be enough motivation for us to do what Christ instructed and “GO!”, do something.

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