Asking For What You Already Have
By Ken James
It was Johnny’s birthday. He greeted the day with excitement prompted by the prospect of receiving that new ipod that he had been requesting for months. As he made his way into the dining room, he was confronted with a beautifully wrapped gift on the table. He sat down, casually pushed the gift aside, and while pouring milk on his cereal, resumed his fervent request for a new ipod.
Johnny’s dad, with a smile on his lips, and a twinkle in his eyes, nudged the gift toward his son. Johnny casually pushed the gift aside, and continued his appeal. This scenario was repeated several times during the breakfast hour.
Finally, the father, lovingly opened the gift, and presented Johnny with the latest model of a state-of-the-art ipod. Much to the father’s amazement, Johnny laid the ipod aside, and resumed his sincere and ardent plea for a new ipod!
Does this story seem ridiculous or “far-fetched” (that’s country talk)? Stay with me now. I believe that I can draw some comparisons between Johnny’s experience and evangelism. (You’re really wondering if I can pull this one off!)
One of the great concerns of our day is the reluctance of Believers to share the Gospel with their lost friends, relatives, and acquaintances. There seems to be a prevailing thought among most believers that they just don’t have what they need to be a witness. We have promoted such an idea by creating an expectancy that folks need to attend the latest witnessing clinic, buy the latest book on evangelism, or have, in hand the latest gimmick or tool in order to do evangelism. Thus, we find folks praying, both overtly and inwardly, “God please give me (you fill in the blank) so that I might be a witness.”
As the Father hears our prayer and senses our heart’s desire, I believe that He gently nudges a gift our way, only to have it pushed aside, as we continue to make our request. Finally, in His own time and His own way, He opens the gift, and reveals it to us: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). Too often, and in too many lives, we take a quick look at the gift, and continue to plead for that which He has already given us.
The substance of the gift is very plain: Through our knowledge (knowing) of Christ, we have been given “everything we need for life and godliness”. Why do we keep asking for that which we already possess? I cannot imagine that “life and godliness” would exclude telling lost people about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
My appeal to all is that we would open the gift, embrace it, and begin by thanking the Father that we already have all we need to be witnesses of His grace. It’s a good place to start.
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