Friday, June 12, 2015

But...I Didn't

                Last night I had a dream. It was not a pleasant dream, in fact when I woke up this morning my heart was broken because of it. I was saddened by the truth that this dream brought to my heart. I was grieved because I realized that I was wasting my life. In my dream I had gotten up as usual, sat with my coffee and opened up Facebook, as is my usual routine. In my dream I was sitting looking at my all the different posts, when I came across an obituary listed for a long time friend of mine. I read how she was tragically killed and had left behind a grieving family. This was a friend of mine of many years, and one I have lost touch with recently. We talk occasionally through social media, but rarely do we ever call or see each other. Yet here I was, staring at her obituary and crying that one so young was taken. I told you it was not a pleasant dream.
I was grieved not only because I had lost a friend. I was grieved because she did not know Jesus. I was crying in my dream because she did not know who Jesus was, and she was not in heaven. Her time on this earth had come and gone and she never knew Him. Then it hit me, I had so many opportunities to reach out to her, and to share the gospel with her, but instead of the gospel our conversations would go to life, the world and general things. I had so many opportunities to share with her, but I didn’t. I had so many opportunities to pick up the phone and call her, but I didn’t it. I had so many opportunities to pray for her, but I didn’t. Over and over again in my dream I was confronted with the truth that I could have, but I didn’t. I realized that not only with her, but with many others in my life I have had opportunities and open doors to share the love of Jesus Christ, but I didn’t. The last thing I remember about my dream was right as I was waking up and I heard the Lord speaking to me and telling me to stop wasting time.
                I woke up this morning not only physically, but I hope a spiritually as well. My heart was heavy and broken over the reality of what had taken place in my dream. I found myself thinking about what would happen if this dream were to become a reality. What if today, those that I love and care for so dearly leave this earth without knowing Jesus? What if I could have done something about it, but I didn’t?
                “Besides this you know the time that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
Romans 13:11-12 ESV
                “For He says, ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 6:2 NKJV
                Today is all that any one of us has been promised. As I think back over my dream I realize that so much of my time is wasted time. So much of my day is wasted on things that have no heavenly impact on my life, let alone anyone else’s. I have been praying about this truth for many days. I have been praying and asking the Lord to show me about the wasted time that I have been spending on things that have no heavenly purpose whatsoever. I have been praying and asking the Lord to help me with managing my time more wisely. Being a small business owner, wife, mother, writer, teacher, and all the other hats that I wear in one day can be stressful, and sometimes I find myself doing less and less and letting my time with Him slide more and more. So I have been praying and asking Him to show me how I need to be spending my days, this precious gift of time that I have been given.
                Life is a gift my friend. There is not one moment of our twenty four hours that is not precious. As I grow older I begin to see the gift that the very breath I breathe is and how precious time is to Him. He has done so much for us. He has given us life, breath and hope in an eternity with Him. He has sacrificed so much for every single person on this earth, yes, even that one you find to be the most unworthy of all humans- even that one is precious to our God. Every moment of every day is precious, and all we are promised is the one we are living in right now. Today is all we have, tomorrow is not and yesterday is gone. We need to come out of our slumber and stop wasting this gift of life we have been given. We have twenty four hours and twenty four opportunities to live this life for Christ, but we don’t.
                Perhaps this dream was His answer to my prayers and questions, perhaps I needed to see how wasteful my days have become. Perhaps this is what I needed to wake up from this spiritual slumber I have nestled into. Paul writes to us in Romans that “the hour has come”, it is high time we stop wasting the opportunities to share Christ, to serve His kingdom, to minister to the lost. Today is the day of salvation! It is high time we stop wasting this precious gift we have been given and do something with what we have. It is high time we stop making excuses and just get up out of bed.
                When I look back over this relationship that I have had with this friend in my dream, I see the multiple opportunities, the numerous chances I had to pray for her, call her and just share the love of Jesus with her, but I didn’t. I have wasted the time that I have been given because I was more concerned about what she would think of me then I was about her eternity.
                Why do we not seize these opportunities? Because, let’s face it, we are cowards. There is no other way to say it, and to put any other word on it would be a lie. We are cowards. We are more concerned about what people might think of us if we do share Christ, then we are about what they might think of us is they wake up in hell and realize that we could have done something to help them, but we didn’t. We use the excuse that we don’t want to “cast our pearls to the swine”, but yet we don’t ever cast the ones we have. We just put our pearls in our pockets and carry them into heaven, hoping that someone else will be braver than we were.

                This dream that I had shook my heart to the core. I believe we as Christians have become so afraid to offend someone that we forget to offend someone. I don’t know about you, but Jesus was offensive. He spoke the truth and took advantage of every opportunity He could to tell people about the love of God. He not only spoke it, but He showed it. He was care-less, and so must we be. We must come to a place where we care less about what they think of us now, and care more about what they will think of us later after they see Jesus. We must come to a place where we care-less about their physical relationship to us on this earth, and start caring about their spiritual relationship with Jesus in heaven. Years have been wasted because I cared more about how she would view me as a friend then as she would a sister in the Lord. I was so focused on not losing her friendship here on earth that I didn’t care about her eternity. True love, Christ like love, cares for the eternal more than the temporal.
                Every single day I have a God given gift of time to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone and everyone. Whether in my business, at the gas station, or sitting with unsaved family and friends at dinner; every single day is another gift to share the greatest gift of all- eternal life with Jesus Christ. Every day we are given twenty four opportunities to do something with what we have. God has given each one of us twenty four chances to share the great news of His Son with anyone and everyone, but we don’t. Many of my twenty four chances have been wasted because I didn’t care enough and I didn’t love enough. Jesus says in Matthew 10:33 that if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before His Father. How many times have I had the opportunity to stand up and say that I know Jesus, but I didn’t.

                Every wasted hour is another wasted opportunity for someone to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Wake up Christian! Wake up! Today is the day of salvation! Today is what we have been given and it is a great and precious gift! Today is the day! Don’t let it be said of us that we could have, but we didn’t. All the glory and honor and praise be to You Jesus Christ, forever and ever amen and amen.