Obedience in spite of fear
    March 25 2014 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

    I hope you are hearing more and more from fellow North Carolina Baptists about impacting lostness through disciple-making. I also hope you are listening to God’s Spirit when He impresses you to pray for and converse with family members, friends, neighbors and acquaintances about the wonderful opportunity to accept Christ as Savior and grow in this relationship. There are many people in this state who do not even realize that God loves them and wants to give them eternal life.
    Our supreme motivation to share Christ with others is His command to us in Matthew 28 to make disciples. In John 14:15, Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” In 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, we learn that sometimes God uses one person to sow the seed of the gospel and another to water the seed, but it is God who actually gives the seed life. He is counting on us to share this good news with others, and He will fulfill His responsibility.
    You are not alone if you are missing opportunities to share with others because you fear that you will fail, be rejected or mocked. However, we must each ask ourselves, “Am I willing to disobey God’s command for me just because someone may respond with unkindness?”
    In his latest book, The Insanity of Obedience, Nik Ripken writes about missionaries and pastors who don’t make excuses. He tells about people he has interviewed in different places in the world who are persecuted daily; they are being tortured and beaten for sharing the love of Christ. Ripken reminds readers in Chapter 3 that Jesus’ ultimate priority for His followers is the sharing of the good news of grace.
    As the Good News is shared, according to Matthew 10, Jesus assures us that there are times when persecution will occur. The goal, therefore, is not to reduce or eliminate persecution but to see persecution as Jesus sees it: as an inevitable result of the obedience of His followers.
    The Apostle Paul, in 2 Timothy 1:7-8, reminded Timothy that God has not given us a Spirit of fear, but of power and love. He challenged him to not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, but by God’s power to accept his share of suffering for the gospel.
    Instead of being shy and afraid of sharing the Good News, be confident that God will empower you by the Holy Spirit to do His command. Recognize that the reward of sharing the gospel is worth more than the risk itself.
    Think about this reality: Our brothers and sisters serving Christ in different parts of the world are performing this task under the hardship of persecution. Is it logical that those of us living in North Carolina should remain silent in our Christian witness because we are afraid someone will not like us? What is your excuse?
    3/25/2014 11:15:54 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Impacting Lostness, NC Baptists, obedience

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