Evangelism Vignette for Nov. 22, 2009
How many of you marched with us in the Good Neighbor Festival Parade? Of those who marched, how many were watching the people watching the parade? How many of you noticed that people reacted differently when a religious float went by? What were some of the reactions you noticed? I could sort the reactions into 3 groups – see if you agree.
My first group was the quiet and uncomfortable group. It was almost as if they really weren’t expecting Jesus to be at their parade. Maybe if they pretended we weren’t there, we wouldn’t notice them either.
I saw another group that nodded in quiet approval or maybe even applauded, but cautiously, as not to draw to much attention. They seemed to be glad we were there, but not too anxious to have everybody know they were glad.
I bet all of you noticed the third group that I noticed. Actually, the third group was only one man, but I bet everyone remembers that man waving his arms in the air yelling, “Yea Jesus, I am definitely down with Jesus!!!” He wanted us all to know!
After the parade, I asked myself which group I fit in … and which group I want to be in. You may have asked yourself the same questions. For me, the answer changes from day to day. For me, there are too many days when I find myself in the quiet, uncomfortable, or cautiously approving group. I’d love to spend every day yelling with reckless abandon, “I am definitely down with Jesus.” So how do I get from here to there? The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Romans 12:2 says “And do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The interesting thing is that Paul wrote these words to believers; believers who still needed to be transformed. Mark Hall of Casting Crowns paraphrased this passage, “It means I have a saved spirit, but I still think with a lost brain, and slowly but surely my mind has to be transformed. Such transformation comes but one way – by truth…by his word.” The more time we spend in his word, and its reassurance of our forgiveness and salvation, the more we have to share that word. Acts 20:32 says, “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”