Daryel O’Barr, Drawing the Net Ministries
REALITY CHECK; our lives should serve as a welcome mat into the church.
If we say that something is a REALITY Check for someone, you mean that it makes them recognize the truth about a situation, especially the difficulties involved in something they want to achieve.
Most of us remember that “first love” feeling when you became a Christian. You were fired up with a mission to reach people for Christ and to see His church grow.
REALITY CHECK; think about it for a minute. In the last week, how much time did you spend pondering the fact that God has a mission for your life and for His church? You are an integral part of God’s plan for this world.
We are His WELCOME MATS. We serve to enhance entry into His house, to extend a welcome.
What is the truth about the situation here in Titus 3:3-11?
In this passage Paul lays down a foundation for leading life that is demonstrably different from unbelievers. He speaks of the appearance of God’s goodness and the possibility of change. Paul gives personal TESTIMONY as he describes the characteristics of life without Christ. He speaks of enslavements to passions and pleasures, sensual desires and of the merry-go-round life that was difficult to get off. He speaks of his life toward other people, how he lived in malice and envy and the destruction of others to preserve himself.
Paul then speaks of his rescue, of his becoming a Christian, of when he experienced the grace of God, His goodness and mercy. He then speaks of the nature of salvation. He speaks of the washing of new birth, the renewal of the sprit. The whole passage establishes the way to a new life.
We must not forget that WELCOME Mats are also used for dirty feet.
Unbelievers sometimes work overtime to argue the facts of the Bible. They can come up with ideas that sound plausible but they cannot argue with someone’s story of an experience they have had in their life. Either they believe it, or they don’t, but they can’t argue with it.
REALITY CHECK; our lives should serve as a welcome mat into the church. Your testimony is an integral part of God’s mission for your life and for His church.
I discovered the following written in the flyleaf of my Bible:
Your story is unique (even if you don’t think so). Your testimony may be extreme or radical, or a calm profession of true belief. Both reveal God’s love and mercy because all (both loud and quiet sinners) have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
God’s Word tells us to share our hope as a believer. As God’s welcome mats are always to be ready to share your hope as a believer, and to explain it in a gentle and respectful way.
People love to hear stories – both believers and unbelievers. Our story helps others to relate, help to see from another’s point of view. They help to see beyond our own little world.
It removes fear and gives courage. In speaking about what God has done in my life, I am also remembering all of God’s goodness.
Unbelievers will have a hard time disputing what you say is your story. If your story shows the living and active God that cares for people they might want to believe it.
It creates transparency within the church. The more we are honest about mistakes we have made in the past, the more other people can relate to us.
You become a resource for others. Our stories of how God has worked in my past helps me to encourage others who may be going through something similar now.
You keep your initial salvation testimony alive in your mind. The more I tell my story of meeting Christ, the more I keep that first love feeling alive!