And the Answer Is

Vol. 7, No. 12 – March 27, 2022

I must prepare for my journeys, not simply go with the flow. While in the belly, I remember that even dead fish go with the flow” –from Echoes from the Belly of a Whale: Thoughts for our own Conundrums of Life

It seems as though Jonah and John Wesley had some things in common. Jonah had preached for a while among lost people and had great results; many came to faith. Wesley preached, visited the poor and sick, preached at Oxford, then went to minister to the Indians in the state of Georgia, U.S.A. Jonah acted as if he was unsaved, even hating the Ninevites. Wesley did not love the Indians well and preached to them with great expectations. His missionary endeavor was a mess. Wesley discovered he did not have a genuine relationship with the Lord. Likewise, Jonah was exposed for his lack of a proper relationship with God.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. –Matthew 7:7-8

Do you remember the I Found It campaign? There were billboards, mass prayer meetings, crusade-type meetings, bumper stickers, free Bibles—the works!

There would be people honking at one another if they both had the bumper stickers.

It was an early “seeker-friendly” type of outreach. It was the talk of the community. Some would come up to you and say, so you found it? Now what?

Do you mean there is more? I thought I found Him.

When someone comes to Christ, under your watch, what do you do with them? You have told them that the answer to life is Jesus. They found Him. Now they are asking what is next because no one told them. I have taken at least six—evangelism training courses. Only one of those courses offered a section on follow-up. There is something wrong with that picture. Finding Him is not the end of the process.

If someone is seeking faith and tells you they found it, is that the end? Is it the end of their problem with sin? The end of their obligation to meet together for Bible study and worship? Or do they just have to hang on to the end and hope things will go well as they stand before Christ?

The answer IS Jesus, but there is so much more. God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit (our 3 in 1 God), is more than we might imagine.

Have you read about Paul? Surely, you have been exposed to his life. When he had that experience on the Damascus Road, was everything over when his sight returned? Was he immediately liked? He had been blinded by the revelation of Christ.

As you read through his life, his great desire was to know Christ, not just about Him. It was his passion. It was his motivation. He spent years in the wilderness being directly taught by God. He did not consult any man that we know of during this time.

He has the experience of being caught up in the third heaven and said he did not know if he was in his body or out of his body. He told of things he saw and heard that were so awesome he could not express them.

He went on missionary journeys that included beatings, shipwrecks, miracles, starting churches, and even disagreements with those traveling with him.

Still, while in a Roman pit for a jail, he was still desiring to know Him well.

Life Application

Where are you in your journey in life? Why? Why do I ask?

I am not at all sure of how much longer I will be here on this earth. My writing, my teaching, and my blogs will one day halt. My life is in one great hurry to spend time with people who need to hear about Christ, what God has done in Christ, and how God has provided the Holy Spirit to live within us. It is an awesome life, yet one day I will step into eternity.

So, the reason for my passion for blogging, teaching, conversing is living out a life reflecting Christ. I cannot know how all those folks I speak with will ultimately respond. However, I care deeply about them. I deeply want those I speak with to come to faith in Jesus. He is the answer.

What about you? Since the words above address (in the in-between lines), you—does the blog place you in a position where you begin to contemplate your own life? Hopefully, that is a yes.

When someone “finds” Christ, it is not the end of all. It is a beginning. The journey is as long as Christ permits, but it is long enough to complete the journey. In order to complete the journey, you have to step out on the road. Paul did. You can as well.

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

March 27, 2022

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