Being a Rotary Telephone in a Bluetooth World

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When my husband Robert was on staff as Minister to Students  at Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, two other staff members, and close friends, were out in the city running ministerial errands or knowing them, maybe not so ministerial. Chip Leake was driving with Doug Godfrey as his passenger. Chip had his blue tooth in his ear unbeknownst to Doug. As they were driving, Chip’s wife called, also without Doug realizing it. Chip responded to this call by saying, “Hi, honey. How are you?” Doug responded, “Fine, darling.”
Do you remember the old rotary telephones? They were big and bulky, and when placing a call, it took time. The dial had to be spun, one number at a time. Now there are bluetooths that are attached to the ear, headsets and all sorts of devices that allow us to make calls totally hands free. All one must do is say a name, and the call is made. I am a little leery of those things. First of all, it looks like something from the show “Star Trek”. Secondly, they seem somewhat, for lack of a better word, spooky. Have you ever been in the grocery store, possibly on the soup aisle, and realized that the person beside you must have a blue tooth in her ear? A person reaches this conclusion only after realizing that the two of you are the only ones on this aisle, and the person beside you is holding a soup can, looking as if she is talking to it. Then, it dawns on you, maybe after you have tried to answer her “Hey, what are you doing?” question, that she has a blue tooth in her ear. Spooky.
We love convenience. We are all about saving time and making life easier. I have wondered, “What are we saving time for? Will we get a bank of extra days in the end that we saved?” Technology has certainly come a long way and helped us with this. Technology is a great thing, but it can bad. We can become spoiled, not ever wanting to be inconvenienced or even uncomfortable.
As a Christian, our lives are not always to be comfortable. We need to be willing to be inconvenienced. On Sunday morning, more people in my city are not in church than are. I have wondered if what we are doing to reach the lost is effective.
First, we must ponder the question, “Do we care?” Christ was willing to do whatever it took to see the lost saved. Are we? I John 3:18 states “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (NIV). Christ showed us that great love requires great sacrifice. To be truly Christ like, we must be willing to sacrifice, or get uncomfortable. If the lost are not coming to church, we must go to the lost. We must find ways to bridge the gap between the church and the world. We cannot wait on the lost to come to a church service, which frankly, if I were lost, I would be extremely uncomfortable doing. Christ was a person who built relationships, and we must do the same.
God has uniquely gifted all of us as Christians in order to build these bridges. Many are gifted at door to door evangelism, but I am not. I can, however, start up a conversation with a person at the checkout stand easily. God wants me to use that for Him. What are your gifts? We live in a creative world, and God is an amazingly creative God. He will show you how to use your gifts and life situations for His glory.
Beware; the enemy will not be happy when you get off the bench and step onto the playing field. He knows that God is great and all things are possible when ordinary people are willing to be inconvenienced and do extraordinary things by the power of Christ. Do not be like a turtle that sticks his head out and retreats at the first sign of trouble. Remember that in John 16:33 Christ said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Do not be discouraged by thinking that there are so many lost and poor that what can one person such as yourself possibly do? We feel that we cannot relate to the unsaved, but some things, such as pain, are universal. Remember that many times God has not called you to reach the masses, but only to reach one person. He wants you to minister to that one who has such sadness in his or her eyes and that He has intentionally put in your path.
Are you willing to get uncomfortable and inconvenienced to see lost people come to know the Lord? When (not if) you pray for your lost family and friends, do you cry out and beg God to save them? Do you get uncomfortable in your prayers by getting on your knees, falling on your face, bowing at an altar or praying in any other posture Christ wants to show Him that you mean business? Do you pray without ceasing?
How many people do we know that live in loneliness each day while we as Christians wait on them to come to church or approach us about Who Christ is? We will see amazing works of God only when we are willing to sacrifice as Christ did.
Are you willing to become like Christ? Are you willing to sacrifice to get the good news of Christ to people using whatever method He shows you? Are you willing to give of your time? Will you change your busy schedule showing what really matters to you? I pray that we will have the compassion of Christ, and that we will allow that compassion to change our lives in whatever ways needed. Let the next blue tooth you see be a reminder to slow down, and be inconvenienced if needed. The blessings will be worth it.

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