Tag Archives: evangelism

Mountain Roads

Have you ever taken a trip up a mountain road? I’m not talking about one with pavement or that your Ford Focus could cruise along. I’m talking about a mountain road that will take you above tree line.

When you embark upon a mountain road trip, you must begin with the proper frame of mind. To think you are doing this for a joyride will have you met with frustration and worry. Taking a trip up a mountain road is an adventure.

Depending on the time of year, you may be met with all sorts of adversity. You must have high clearance, and four wheel drive is recommended, for you are going where normal cars cannot, and you’re doing this for the scenery, access to places few can go, and adventure.

On a few occasions, I have met sharp rocks and bald tires. I have changed flats on mountainsides in the rain. I have had to move boulders to forge ahead. I have encountered streams that needed to be crossed and snow banks that needed to be traversed. I’ve even come upon logs that either had to be moved or driven over. A few times I have even come to a place where the vehicle could no longer go, and I set out on foot to see what lays ahead.

Driving mountain roads is definitely an adventure.

As I said before, it is not a joyride. If I was looking for scenery without danger, I would be nervous from the drop-offs and narrow roads. It would ruin my day when an obstacle arose. My attitude would be adjusted by every unforeseen circumstance.

But I drive mountain roads for the adventure, and that adventure brings me joy.

I have seen mountain sheep and tundra. I have been to alpine lakes with pristine water. I have breathed clean air and seen for miles and miles. I have driven places most people will never see and found treasures absent in lower elevations.

The adventure is worth it, for the benefits outweigh the trials.

In our churches, we pray, a lot. Nearly every week I hear others pray on numerous occasions, and one of the most common things prayed for is safety. Are we called to be safe? If I was striving for safety in my wanderings, I would never attempt to drive a mountain road, and I would never see the places I’ve seen.

If we walk this life looking for safety, we will never achieve the goals God has set for us to reach the world for Him. Safety is not possible when you are evangelizing. Safety isn’t attainable when you are pouring yourself out for others. Safety is not a goal of the church that belongs to Jesus.

Jesus has redeemed our life – bought it – He owns us. He wants to use us, and in the name of stewardship, we seek safety. And the church dwindles.

Have you experienced the joy of seeing a friend and loved one give his or her life to Christ? Then, you have taken the risk of rejection. Have you poured yourself out to the point of exhaustion in service to someone? Then you have experienced the joy of selflessness. Have you loved unconditionally only to be burned? Then you know what Christ experienced. Have you heard the call to visit (mission trip) or move (missionary) somewhere new for the sake of the kingdom? Have you heard the call to reach your neighborhood? Did you pray for safety?

Christianity is meant to be an adventure. You are meant to live in ways few live to change the world for the better. You aren’t created for safety. Safety is for those who do not need a Savior.

The next time you pray, pray for courage, boldness, strength, power, love, mercy, faithfulness, and other such things that will cause you to live an extraordinary life in Christ, by His Spirit who lives in you. And be adventurous for Jesus.


Most Owned, Least Read

Annually, bibles sales account for over $1,000,000,000.00. Yet also annually, only about 20% of the population say they read their bible regularly. The Bible is the most widely owned, least read book in history.

Why is this?

Every week, church people gather to worship and hear a message from the Bible. The more devout followers also attend bible class and/or small groups one to three other times during the week. Yet, for even these, the Bible isn’t read until they are in those study settings.

Again, I ask, why?

The Bible is an intimidating book. 66 books written over two-thousand years ago at the latest, and some of them nearly 3500 years ago. Yet for 35 different authors over the course of nearly 1500 years to write a book that contains a single thread bringing hope to generations is a miracle!

The Bible contains many teachings that are hard to understand. Does anyone really know for certain what Revelation is about, in detail? There are so many religions claiming the Bible as their book, yet they differ dramatically in their practices. How can a simple person understand it? Why even try? Isn’t it easier to trust that what my preacher/teacher says is reliable?

That’s awfully trusting of you!

For years I have wondered what it would be like to preach a sermon from the pulpit and completely make up all the scripture references and tell a message that gets close to but doesn’t match up with what is really in the Bible. I’d have the fake verses on the screen. No one opens their bibles during that time anyway. How many people would even notice I’d be lying? You wouldn’t notice, unless you already knew the book.

Preachers and teachers, even the most sincere ones, are fallible humans, just like you. They make mistakes, just like you. They have limited understanding, just like you. And they can’t read minds, just like you, so they do not know how a particular passage of scripture directly applies to you, personally.

Instead of waiting for the preachers to preach and teachers to teach, what if we read the Bible for ourselves? Then, when we engaged the preachers and teachers, what if we had questions about what we were already studying? What if our study led us to feel more confident in sharing God’s truths with others? What if studying the Bible daily created transformation inside us that others could see? What if we found greater contentment and joy through the perspective given us through the scriptures daily?

If we didn’t look to the Bible for guidance and a moral foundation in our lives, then how would we be different than the atheist who claims no moral truths? We could make up whatever we felt was right, and many religious people do just that.

No! We need the Bible to show us the path God intends us to walk. We need the Bible to help us connect with the God who loves us and gave Himself for us. We need the Bible to combat the temptations of the evil one. We need the Bible.

But we cant get to the truths of the Bible through osmosis. The words of scripture won’t dissolve through the cover and enter our bloodstream to fill our minds with goodness. We have to open the covers and read for ourselves, or listen (there are many, free audio versions of the Bible even for your phone).

Do you know what’s in there? Do you REALLY know? It’s time to start your journey into the text today. Most translations are written on a 6th grade reading level. If you find something you don’t understand, then connect with a spiritually mature person who can help you. Be transformed by the word so that you can be used to transform the world.


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