Thursday, January 30, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 41: Evangelism

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 41, January 30, 2014
Readings: Psalm 40, Genesis 37, 2 Chronicles 14, Acts 8

Have you ever shouted out to God? Proclaimed His glory? Shared His love and mercy with others? Told of the wonderful things He's done for you? The misery He has saved you from? That He gave His one and only Son to die so that you could live? That all your wealth, all your success, everything you have is His? Have you ever shared just how amazingly awesome He is?

This is something I struggle with. As my wife will tell you, I am not a "words of affirmation" person. I don't lavish praise upon people - not because I think they don't deserve it. I just don't. It's not what I do. But even so, God deserves this. He deserves it enough that I need to overcome my personality to give Him praise.

A friend of mine once said, "Everyone is an evangelist. We always talk about the things we like, or love. Our favorite sports team, a car, a significant other. When are we going to start being evangelists for God? We know how, we're just unwilling!" This hits home. I can wax poetic about my wife. A sports car. A game I enjoy. My kids. And I do this, quite often. But how often do I gush (yes, gush) about God? How often do I sing His praises? He is certainly more worthy than cars, games, or even my family.

Even though I'm not a "natural" at words of affirmation, I can still learn. I'm no natural at math, but I can (sort of) do that. And what better way to learn than to share the words of one of the best, talking about this very subject? Can I encourage you to read it? To think about how the God of the universe has impacted your life? How He is worthy to be praised?

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.

Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
non can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.

In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
Then I said, "Behold, I have come;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."

I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD.
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.

As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!
For evils have encompassed me beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
my heart fails me.

Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me!
O LORD, make haste to help me!
Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether
who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonor
who delight in my hurt!
Let those be appalled because of their shame
who say to me, "Aha, Aha!"

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation say continually, "Great is the LORD!"
As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!

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