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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Keep My Commandments!, continued
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (I Peter 3:15—NIV)
If we live in Christ and walk as He walked, people will be drawn to us. Then we can respond to their questions. This is what the Bible teaches and what we ought to do.
Evangelical believers announce with one voice that "we ought to go out and get souls saved; we ought to have a passion for souls; we all have been charged to evangelize; we must bear witness to everyone we meet."
In the meanwhile many such "evangelists" often live like the devil himself with their gossip, slander, backbiting, selfishness, self-centeredness, manipulations to get their own way, divisiveness, covetousness, arrogance, haughtiness, impatience, immorality, spiritual pride, party loyalties, and everything else of evil report. Instead of being peacemakers they bring hatred and division wherever they go.
The Christian churches are bywords in America because of the evil works of the so-called Christians.
The Lord did not command us to be fishers of men, please note carefully. He commanded us to follow Him. When we follow Him He always makes us fishers of men.
First He has to get our personality straightened out. What fish is going to be drawn to a blind, deaf novice thrashing around in the water and using the wrong kind of bait?
This is what we are until we follow the Lord and He makes us a fisher of men.
There are all kinds of fish and all kinds of bait and techniques for catching them.
Each one of us is a unique kind of bait. The Lord instructs us until we are using the right technique, some for trout, some for cod, some for eel.
It may be true for most of us that the "fishing" we do we are not even aware of. It is the fruit of a personality walking continually in the light of the Presence of Christ. There is rest and refreshing in this.
As far as I'm concerned, we could do without the work of proselyting being enjoined on the newly converted!
As Oswald Chambers says, when the people around us sense our desire to proselyte them they smell the gunpowder and are repulsed. Yet Brother Chambers has proven to be quite a successful fisherman!
We are commanded to leave all and to follow Christ. Whoever obeys the Lord's command will be made a unique bait for specific fish that the Lord desires. Let Christ build His own Church. You concentrate on following Him as closely as you can.
"Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets." (Luke 6:22,23—NIV)
Christ commanded us to rejoice and leap for joy when people hate us, when they exclude us, when they insult us, when they reject our name as evil—all because we belong to Jesus Christ.
This commandment runs directly against our evil, adamic nature. It crucifies us. In order to obey it we have to pray fervently until the fires of the flesh are extinguished. Then the light and the glory of the Holy Spirit enter us and we can rejoice and leap for joy.
To be continued.