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“GREAT INTENTIONS” – Mar. 5

March 5, 2013

“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.” Acts 8:35

I have been asked a couple of times, “Why would you want to do that?” after explaining my goals for the coming year.  These goals include:

A few (at least two) triathlons; one of them being Emmett’s Most Excellent Triathlon.

Cycling the 4 summit challenge and riding a century (100 miles).

Running a 10K race.

I realize that these activities are not what many will list on their recreational itinerary.  They are not on my recreational itinerary either.   On my list of preferred activities, the endorphin rush has yet to displace the sedentary sedation of a shade tree and glass of iced tea.   Physical endurance activities can be satisfying but anything that involves some sort of physical discomfort is hard for me to categorize as fun.

I did not pick these goals to be a source of entertainment.  I set these types of goals so that I might achieve a very specific and important long term goal.  My long-term goal is to be fit.   I simply feel better when I am in shape. I prefer to live the type of lifestyle that being in shape affords.  I hope that my later years of life will be blessed to be very active.  I want to be that guy who people consider helping across the parking lot but are then blown away by him on the ski slope.  I want to be that grandpa who can teach his grandkids what a hard day’s work means.  I want to be that old guy who everyone in the Church under-estimates his age by twenty years.  It is unlikely that I will have an active future if I exist in the sedation of a sedentary present.  The best way of realizing that future me is to start working on this present me.

When is the right time to get into shape?

I am full of great intentions. We all have that image of the person who we want to be.  I think that the day-dreams of our youth still reside in most of us but have been relegated to the mental trash heap of the unrealistic to be compacted by the weight of adult responsibilities and expectations.  I wonder what the younger you would think of the older you?  Great intentions need a push to transform into anything else.  I have learned that I must be intentional for an intention to become a reality.  There are so many distractions that can sidetrack good intentions into the languishing world of unrealized dreams.

It is important for me to make a goal in order to push intention into intent.  My intent motivates me to prepare for these shorter-term goals and the shorter-term goals do the transforming work of achieving the longer-term goal.

I think that we stay spiritually fit in a similar manner.  We should have shorter-term spiritual goals to help us stay on task for our primary goal.  It is so easy to allow our good intentions of getting serious about our faith to languish as an unrealized dream while we are distracted by a pursuit of entertainment and the weight of adult responsibilities. We need to evaluate our lives and determine those areas where the Spirit is leading us to get serious.

When is the right time to start glorifying God and enjoying Him?

It is important for us to move from intention to intent.  Most of us know what we should be doing.  Most of us have great intentions but we are caught in the spiritual sedation of busy lives.  We need to allow the Spirit to lead us from our great intentions and motivate us to prepare for these short-term, realistic goals and these shorter-term goals will transform us into our true desire to glorify God and really enjoy Him for forever.  Aren’t you tired of living with unrealized intentions?

EvangelismI don’t know what the most glorifying things we can do for God are but I have to think that evangelism has to be very high on that list.  There is a celebration in heaven for each soul who is born again.  That should tell us how big a deal evangelism is from God’s perspective.  I don’t know how I can love God with all that I am without the wonder of my Savior spilling into my conversations.  I don’t know how I can love my neighbor as myself without telling him about the most loving act that has ever been done for him.  It is actually unloving not to tell someone about Jesus.

It seems to me that evangelism should be part of the life of every follower of Christ who is striving to glorify and enjoy God.

I think that evangelism is one of those great intentions that many Christians have but don’t act upon.  I have heard many folks talk about sharing the gospel in terms of “I could never do that.”  The context is often relegated to the realm of  “giftings.”  Those who have the “gift of evangelism” are the ones who should go about sharing the gospel.  I believe that God has gifted some brothers and sisters with a wonderful and unique ability to proclaim the good news about Jesus.  However, I don’t believe that gets the rest of us off the hook.  Just because one servant is gifted such that they bring in a ten-fold harvest does not make it right for me to bring in no harvest.

Many people steer clear of spiritual conversations because they do not feel confident explaining the “good news” and their faith.  They often are disappointed when they see an opportunity float by and are uncertain what to say.  It has happened to me.  I don’t want to be like that.  I have let too many opportunities drift past due to an insecure hesitation.

I want to be like Philip.  Philip was great at glorifying God.   Philip could engage a conversation, jump into the scripture, open his mouth, and explain the good news about Jesus.  I want to be like Philip; that is my great intention.  I want to be ready to open my mouth and let the Lord take a conversation where He wills it to go.   I want to glorify God.  I want to bring in a harvest of some kind.Evangelist Ray Comfort open-air preaching at a...

Now, here is my reality.  I am more of a writer than a conversationalist.  A long conversation can easily exhaust me of words and land me in the world of awkward silence.  Meeting new people is as uncomfortable as a dental appointment for me.  I am not a quick thinker.  I like to ponder and mull over my responses.  I do not have the gifts of what I think an evangelist should have.

However, I still want to be like Philip.  How will I push my intention of sharing the gospel into the reality of doing it and glorifying God?  I will probably always fight my insecurities of real-time conversations so the best way for me to be like Philip is to prepare to be like Philip.

I participated in CRU when I was in college.  I think that they prepared us very well to be like Philip.  They had us practice our testimonies.  We wrote out our own personal stories of how God transformed our lives and then we memorized it.  We were prepared to tell our own story of Christ’s grace and mercy in a concise, non-rambling, logical manner.  I need to go back and update my testimony and know my story of personal transformation. 

We practiced sharing the gospel.  We practiced by using tracts and we practiced just talking about God and bringing it back to the good news of Christ.  I shared the gospel a lot more when I was prepared.  I was better prepared when I was involved with other people who were preparing with me.  Preparation and accountability resulted in actually doing what we wanted to do.  I need to practice making a clear presentation of the gospel and find some folks who are wanting to do the same thing. (Ray Comfort has some excellent tools to teach us how to share the gospel at the Way of the Master.)

I believe that being intentional about preparing and sharing the good news about Jesus is a wonderful way to realize the good intentions of a desire to glorify our Lord and Savior.  We get the blessing and enjoyment of participating in the miraculous work of the salvation of the lost.

That is the life I want to live.  That is the life I want when I am old.  That is the life that I want now.  Let’s get spiritually fit and bring in a harvest that we always intended but have never thought possible.  All things are possible for those who are the Lord’s.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for giving us such incredible news to tell this world about.  Thank you for using us to preach that good news.  Use me Lord.  Prepare me Lord.  Give me eyes to see the opportunities that are floating around me.  Give me confidence to open my mouth for your glory.  Lord, I want to see your word go forth; I want to see lives transformed; I want to see your Kingdom expanded and souls saved.  Father, I love You – use me as You will.    Amen

10 comments

  1. […] as this one awhile back, about the need to be prepared to present the good news of Jesus Christ.  GREAT INTENTIONS – March 5 .  Sherry, a fellow blogger at He Hath Said , made the following comment to that […]


  2. I don’t want to write a “long, rambling” commentary, but lately the Lord has been impressing on my heart about evangelism, and your discourse is so timely and beneficial for me…. And thank you for visiting my blog; I probably might never have seen your wonderful posts.


  3. Thanks, JD. Great post, as always!


  4. Amen. Great post, and great prayer. Convicted as well as encouraged.
    May God bless your words…


  5. this weekend I was challenged with this statement: “You have not made a disciple until your disciple makes a disciple!” Hmmm, I think in some way you are saying that! Being intentional … and Spirit-filled!


  6. I believe those Christians with blogs, no matter the subject, should have a page that introduces their unregenerated readers to Christ Jesus and the reason they need Him as their Lord and Savior. We must look for opportunities to share the Gospel in any godly way possible. But, let there be prayers by all for the raising up of laborers to bring in the harvest as well as the preparing of an unsaved soul by God’s Holy Spirit to receive the salvation upon hearing the Word of God presented.


    • That is an excellent idea. I think I will start working on a “what I believe” page. Thanks for the suggest.
      God Bless!
      JD


      • God bless you in all that you do for His Kingdom, by His power and for His glory! Amen~


  7. Wonderful post. Thank you .


  8. it will take me a while to fully digest this one.



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