I have been reminded over and over the last week that if we are seeking God and our hearts are open, God will give us opportunities to share with others about what the Lord has done for us. And I have also been reminded about some very important truths about God... truths that continued to show up this morning in our bible class.
God will always give you opportunities to tell and show others about Him. Whether God gives you a platform of 7000 people, a platform of 200 men or women, a platform of a bible class or whether He gives a platform of one; it's how we use those opportunities that will speak volumes into the world around us about who God is. Regardless of the platform God gives you, God calls you to use that opportunity well. God calls you to share with others what He has done in your life. He calls you to give them a message of faith, hope and love. He calls you to speak love, mercy and compassion into their lives and hearts, and God calls you to be a listener... because sometimes He may speak to you through the words and/or actions of others.
I love how The Message phrases James 1:19-21... "Post this at all the intersections, dear friend: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God's righteousness doesn't grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life."
James 2 (NIV) says, "Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment." Period...
Matthew 12 says, "The mouth speaks what the heart is full of", so I want to make sure my heart is full of God's love, God's compassion and God's mercy. If God's mercy always triumphs over judgement, then why do we always seem to be trying to judge others. If God's mercy triumphs over judgment and if I have God living in me, then the words I speak should always be words of Love, words of Hope, words of Compassion and words of Mercy.
So if "mercy triumphs over judgment", the question becomes... How are you going to use those opportunities when God presents them to you? What if... the moment you spend with that person or that group of people is going to be the only moment in which they will ever hear words about who God is? What if... that moment is the only moment in which you have a chance to share with others what God has done in your life? What if... what you speak in that moment defines what a person thinks about God for the rest of their life? What if... in that one moment you have the chance to change someone's life?
The what if's of how my words or actions about God can define God for someone else is humbling, it's terrifying, it's sobering, it's overwhelming.... but it's also exciting. Because in that moment, I have the chance to tell them about the God "I" know. A God who is full of Love, a God who is full of Compassion, a God who Listens, a God who has changed my life and a God who has told me through His word, that Mercy always triumphs over judgment... Praise God!
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13