Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Deal or No Deal

Everybody loves a good deal. I have a friend named Kandi who can always, and I mean always, find a good deal. She loves garage sales and Wal-Mart. She loves getting something for barely anything. And she usually makes really good money on her own yard sales. She knows what things are worth.
Yesterday morning, in Bible class, we had a discussion about the value of a soul. Looking back, I can't remember what started this discussion, but I remember the thoughts and feelings the discussion prompted in me. It seems to me that while everyone loves to get a good deal, that is not what God got with us. John 3:16 tells us that He paid the very best heaven had to offer for us! He got ripped off!!!!! His love for us must be so great for Him to have paid that kind of price. When I became a Christian, I remember feeling so unworthy, so humbled and so grateful for my salvation. I came up out of the waters of baptism, ready to take on the world, ready to tell each and every person I met about the Gift I had just received. (Hopefully that sounds familiar to many of you). I couldn't wait to share the Good News and that is exactly what I did. I told everyone, the trash man, the newspaper boy, the Avon lady, the homeless woman on the corner, the alcoholic next door neighbor. No one came into my immediate vicinity without receiving an invitation to church, a promise to pray for them and an offer to help with any need. As the years passed, I became more selective with my invites and offers. Perhaps I got burned too many times. Perhaps I grew tired of being taken advantage of. Perhaps I just became weary.
And so, I began looking at people differently. I wanted some easy "catches". I wanted to convert those who I just knew would hear the Word, believe it and make the commitment. I wanted people who were middle class, like me and who would not require much "maintenance" on my part. I wanted someone whose only need was salvation. (Other needs, physical needs made them too labor intensive). I became very adept at deciding which lost person was "worth" my time and my efforts. And as a result, my evangelistic efforts were less than fruitful.
Then, I had an epiphany---one that caused me to weep ----and pray---- and repent. It occurred to me, that God paid the exact same price for each of us and that when I decided one was unworthy, I was going around "marking them down", "discounting" them. As if, in doing this, they became less of a bargain to God.
Even now, as I write this, I am ashamed. When I begged God's forgiveness, I pleaded with Him to help me see people as souls---souls whose greatest need is Him. I prayed He would help me find ways to meet their physical needs, because that is what His Son did. I asked Him to make me better. (I did not ask to be more fruitful. I was convicted that the other changes would bear fruit and in abundance). I realized that I too, am unworthy and like the ones I had discounted, I was no deal.
I may be the only one who has forgotten the cost of redemption. I may be the only one who has been unfruitful because I only planted in my own flower pot. I may be the only one who looked at others and decided how much of my effort and consequently how much of Christ's blood they were worth. But, I don't think so. And so today, I encourage all of us to make a concerted effort to look at the souls around us the way HE looks at them---worth dying for.

II Corinthians 5:15 "And he died for all . . ."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another "ouch" and "wow" one.
Keep up the good work


9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this one! What a good thought, I need to be a better gardener.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!! (I know I say that all the time) but your posts always hit me and cause me to repent. Thank you for making me think. you are such an inspiration to me.
Love in him

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, "What can a man give in exchange for his soul?" Nothing--only Jesus can redeem--ALL souls
Good post, sister

8:12 AM  
Blogger Trey Morgan said...

Neva ... great minds DO think a like. Your post is much better than mine ;)


8:56 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Household: said...

An entry after my own heart!

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I heard you talk about this in Sunday School class, it really caused me to think whether or not i do that. I think we all devalue people based on color, income or education but most likely on church heritage. If they have not "always" been one of us, they are seen as less valueable, less deserving of Christs blood. Thank you for pricking my heart.
I am sure you understand why I am not signing my name.
In Him

8:53 PM  
Blogger Neva said...

Your comment came up on my email, I could not get it to post--so I retyped it and posted it--but I couldn't get it to say your name instead of mine so I deleted it.
I do appreciate your comments though.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Neva said...

Y'all, I am having so terrible problems with publishing comments. Sometimes I get just your name on my email but no comment and sometimes I get the entire comment but it will not publish no matter how many times I try--does anyone know why this is happening and how I can fix this?
I tried to retype a comment that wouldn't publish and it wouldn't let me submit it under any other name but my own. Anyone have any ideas?
Until I can get it fixed please bear with me if I lose your comments.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't we all struggle with lazy-man's evangelism? We will all have to shape up if we are to win the world for Him.

I enjoyed your thoughts.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

As has been said, "Ouch" and "Wow"!!

A daily challenge - looking into the eyes of the unclean, not attractive, shabbily or slutishly (sic) dressed, the sleeping drunk, of an under the influence teenager. Once we look into their eyes, look deep into their eyes we cannot help but see Jesus, reach out our hand and heart to them. These were the followers of Jesus and are still His beloved lost.

Bless you, Neva for again nudging our consciences!

11:08 PM  
Blogger Logan, Katie and Hank said...

Very well said Neva. Something my wife and I have on our minds on a daily, if not hourly basis; especially now that we are leaving to cultivate fields largely untouched by any religious group, much less Christians.
Thanks for the thoughts and the reminder of the price that was paid, and though you didn't mention it, the freedom that we have in this life because of that "ridiculous" price God paid for us.

8:51 AM  

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