You are visible evidence of an invisible God. This is nothing short of a miraculous daily occurrence. It is also God’s plan for reaching the world with the message of the gospel of welcome, Grace Turned Outward. Don’t sell yourself short.
Last night on our Tuesday night interview on BlogTalkRadio, we had as our guest Rob Stutzman, a highly sought-after, often-quoted political commentator and pundit whose Sacramento-based public relations firm has helped a number of noted Republicans have winning campaigns. And as we mulled over this last election just a week ago, and the dangerously polarized political culture we live in, he was quick to point out, in no uncertain terms, that it was you — all of you as representatives of the gospel of welcome — who are the hope in these volatile times. You see, Rob is on our board of directors, so he knows about you and he knows what he is talking about when he brags about you. He also knows the secret about you; that it’s not you alone, it’s you with Christ in you. It’s you with your feet in the world and Christ in your heart.
Last night I got to listen in on a phone conversation between my wife and Cynthia, one of the women in her discipleship group. The discussion was around what Cynthia claimed as her life verse out of 2 Corinthians 4:8-10. This is where Paul says that he and his co-ministers of the gospel know what it is like to be afflicted, perplexed, persecuted and struck down, while at the same time they are not crushed, not in despair, not abandoned, and not destroyed, because while all this is going on, they are carrying around Christ in them. So that whatever they accomplish is accomplished by God working through them. As Marti so often says, “Everything from God and nothing from us.” Therefore, we are the visible evidence of God in the world, whatever we are going through.
The beauty of this was that Marti and Cynthia were living this, not just teaching it or talking about it. They were counting on it — taking steps because of it. The visible evidence is a real thing that is going on all the time, no matter what. You can’t even excuse yourself from the visible evidence because it is going on anyway. This is one of those times when you might as well go with it. Go along instead of fighting it, because God’s going to use you anyway.
To deny this is the equivalent of walking to the back of a train thinking you are disqualifying yourself from the will of God when the will of God is the whole train, and nothing’s going to stop it from reaching its destination. Might as well walk in the same direction. Enjoy the dining car — the observation deck — talk with the passengers. You are visible evidence of the presence of God in your life; get yourself to where you can be seen.
Oswald Chambers said in his reading for today, “We have to be so one with God that we do not continually need to ask for guidance.” That would be because we are on the train, going in the same direction. What a privilege to go with God!
Now to our plan to put more boots on the ground in the world — more visible evidences of God — we still have tomorrow, but let’s get there tonight. We’re a third of the way to goal, thanks to a large gift this morning that was a huge encouragement to me. (I was starting to fade to the back of the train.) There may be a few more of you who can afford a large gift like that, but then again, 200 $50 gifts will get us to the same place. The important thing for the future of the Catch is for every one of you who can to do something now. Now is the time. We must move forward. To stay where we are is to fall back. Forward or fold, and forward is going to cost.
Our Accountability Commission is going to kick in over the next 6 month so we can create the infrastructure for growth, but only if you, our Catch community, can get us over this first hurdle by tomorrow.
Remember, we’re promising “Visible Evidence” T-shirts as a thank you for all gifts $50 and more.
On the subject of trains, wasn’t it Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said:
“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.”
Oh yeah, he also said:
“The biggest mistake you can make in your life is to be always afraid of making a mistake.”
And this, too:
“Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.”
“Only those who put tomorrow completely into God’s hand and receive fully today what they need for their lives are really secure.”
And, last but not least:
“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”
Loved all of those quotes and thank-u 4 them too…
I was just following a train of thought – if you’ll please pardon the pun!
Dear Pastor John I read Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest” everyday and it kind of funny when u quoted him: “We have to be so one with God that we do not continually need to ask for guidance.” after I read that I instantly thought well that’s great in theory! And thanked God I read the Catch too, because I do need to ask Him for guidance often!
Not that I desire to disagree with you or Oswald Chambers – I’ll just agree to disagree with that statement.
PS Often I find Mr, Chambers to expose great theory! Yet in my humble opinion and look forward to expresses this to him in Heaven a lot of times I have enjoyed reading “My Utmost…” yet find and think Pastor John’s, his gorgeous wife Marti & the Catch and Grace Turned Outward very much more practical!