Monday, September 18, 2006

Romans 1:16-17

Okay, it’s going to be another one of these e-mails. You know the ones; where I tell you that I had one idea, but God had another and changed it. Only this time, He at least let me keep my verse (I think).

See, I had this great dialogue about how God was talking to me. He was going to tell me about all these e-mails I receive from people about Him. You know the ones, where at the end of the e-mail they “challenge” you to send it to everyone in your address book. And if you don’t, you MUST be ashamed of Him.

He was going to tell me how I couldn’t possibly be His child, because I refused to continue the chain of sending those e-mails. I broke the chain, and so now, I had to beg forgiveness.

The only thing is, I don’t believe in that kind of stuff. If my faith is to be judged by passing on an e-mail and inferring that if I don’t it means I am ashamed of Christ….whoa boy! Do you want to be judged like that?

So, here I am, getting ready to do this.

You should know, I have a kind of…ritual…I do when I am going to send out the weekly verse. I usually start up my e-mail program and have it running in the background, while I type. It’s just something I do.

Anyway, I get this urge to see what I have received. And I got an e-mail from God. Here is what it said:

Dear daddy,

John 3:16 God so loved the world that he gave his only forgoten son that
whoever beleves in him shal not parish but have ever lasting life and
thats my favorite memory verse. Thank you for your memory verse. Love, Sammy

Yeah, I know, it says it’s from Sammy (my 8 year old) but it’s really from God. You see, I just recently allowed my two youngest daughters to set up an e-mail account. And I just added them on to my e-mail list, so they would at least receive something.

And this is what I got in return, something special from God. You see, I don’t put anything in my e-mails about sending them on to someone to prove you love Jesus. I don’t challenge you like that, because it’s not me, and it would be wrong on my account.

Now don’t get me wrong, if you want to send those e-mails on, and you feel led to do so, by all means do so. But what if someone who receives it is new in the faith, or isn’t comfortable sending something like that to everyone in their address book?

What if you have caused someone to doubt, because they don’t feel right about it? I know it’s an extreme case, but the Bible talks about it a lot. Remember, if eating meat in front of someone causes them to stumble, don’t do it?

Romans 1:16-17- “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’”

All I’m doing is asking you to be careful what you ask of others. I ask you to send these on to others, not to prove you love Jesus, or are a super Christian or anything like that. I don’t need it, because this is a God thing, and God will prosper it and spread it like I said before (remember Isaiah 55:11). Pass them along IF YOU THINK that someone else will learn something about our great God through my experiences and my stumbles.

My daughter showed me that I am doing well by training her up in the way she should go. I didn’t beat her up with it; she learns by watching.

Lots of people learn lots of things about our Christian walk by watching. They don’t get it from e-mails, or chain letters, or fancy poems or anything like that. They learn about our God by watching us, and seeing how we deal with the same world they live in.

Please don’t get upset with me. You have a perfect right to delete all these e-mails that you want. Trust me; it won’t hurt me in the least. I’m doing what God (through Jim and Linda Jenkins) asked me to start. They didn’t tell me that if I didn’t, God would be disappointed in me. They asked me to use a talent I have for God.

But don’t equate someone’s walk with passing this, or anything like it, on to others. We are told to go out into the world and preach the Gospel, not e-mail it to everyone in our Contacts list. Take what you learn here, and go out and touch someone else in your circle of friends; someone that I can’t touch or reach.

Be there for someone; allow them to watch your example. Let them see firsthand and experience the love and power of an awesome God. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of words.

Oh, by the way; if you don’t send this to 10 other people in your address book, your life will be crappy for 777 years and God will look down His nose at you. You’ll be ashamed and shunned for the rest of your life and have to marry someone with a wart on his/her/its nose.

Okay, maybe not. But God will still love you, no matter what you do with this.

Be free AND blessed in the Lord,

Bo J.

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