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Working Spiritually: 20,000 Reasons


Issue 108

How many tasks will you do this week? If you live by ‘to do’ lists you may be able to number them and tick them off as you go. Even the most dedicated of list makers, however, never catalogues every aspect of a job. Making one phone call could, if you were so inclined, be broken down into several detailed tasks. Itemising them all may be more indicative of a need for therapy  than a sign of thoroughness.

Now consider what makes people become Christians. When you listen to testimonies or tell your own story, you will inevitably focus on the main points, the key moments and the influential people. You could, if you were so inclined, break it down even further by adding detail. Some of the details, even the storyteller would not be conscious of.

Most people don’t realise that there is a constantly dynamic interaction between their ‘to do’ list and people becoming Christians. Each reason a person lists as significant in their journey to faith also represents a hurdle or barrier which has had, somehow,  to be overcome. Previously, a person carried with them a multitude of reasons for not being a Christian, some of which were conscious and some unconscious. As they moved from antagonism, to doubt, to searching, to faith, these reasons had to be dealt with and the barriers broken down.

Think for a moment about Jesus’ story of the king going to war. With 10,000 soldiers in his army, he has 10,000 powerful supports for his position. When confronted, however, with an army of 20,000, the wise, logical and beneficial course of action is to sue for peace.

Here is where your ‘to do’ list comes in. The thousands of tasks you perform each week can be allies in the struggle for someone’s soul. Like soldiers in a king’s army, they unite to present 20,000 reasons why someone should come to peace with God. The way you and I handle even the most  minute of tasks, amasses an army of evidence which will help someone come to their senses. Don’t be fooled into thinking anything you do is meaningless; everything you do counts and ultimately adds up. What you say and do as well as how you say and do it, means that every word and deed has a role toplay. Maybe that’s why Paul adds his voice to Jesus’ story, saying that everything, whether word or deed, needs to be done as to the Lord. The army needs you.


Luke 14:31-33

31″Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

John 17:1-5

1After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: 2″Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began

Luke 11: 1-4

1One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2He said to them, “When you pray, say:

” ‘Father,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come.

3Give us each day our daily bread.

4Forgive us our sins,

for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

And lead us not into temptation

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Series: Working Spiritually
Module: 2
Season: -
Daily Guide: No

Tags: behaviour, meaning, task, witness

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Geoff Shattock

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