Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 1 April 2016

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Mark 16, verses 15-20.

It’s ironic that today is April Fool’s Day.   It’s a day when people play pranks on you, hopefully all in good fun.   It’s a day when you might have to ask yourself what you believe about what you’re being told. And it’s the day I change up how I’m writing this blog.

It fits because Jesus’ charge to His Disciples – and thus to us – is to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”   That’s a charge we shouldn’t take lightly.   In fact, it’s what we should be doing in every moment of our lives.   Should we be talking about Jesus in everything we do?   Yes, actually we should; it’s what He commanded and asked us to do.   Practically speaking, if we do everything as unto the Lord (see Colossians 3 and Ephesians 6 for more), then every time we use our abilities, live out our Godly passions, or speak well with our neighbor, we’re preaching Jesus.   We’re preaching that He saved us for such a time as this (see Esther for that one). Be the church, not just in the church building.   Live Jesus by living as He would. Six years (and several books ago) I undertook that task with this blog and now I’m going to re-tool it to do that same thing but in a slightly different way.   After a few weeks away to regroup, let’s re-convene here to talk through more practically proverbial items to help us each live Jesus a little more in these daily wars we fight called “life.”

Yet remember this:   it’s not about me.   It really isn’t. Jesus sent those 12 men, I don’t know how many women, and dozens of other followers out into the world to talk about God, God’s love, God’s justice, God’s mercy, and God’s peace in a world that needed all of them.   The world still does and (like the song says) ‘we are the world.’   If we are the world and our task is to talk about Jesus, then in being part of this world, it can’t be about us.   It shouldn’t be.   In truth, where would the fun be if it were about me?   Focus on me and you’ll find a chubby middle-aged consultant who’s simply doing his best to get by.   Just me and I’m just those things. Just Jesus and me and Katie bar the door.

And if you read those verses again, you’ll see they’re all about Jesus.   I know that some folks use them to justify picking up snakes and drinking poison.   Brother, like Jesus said, “do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Yet in all we do, dangerous and timid alike, we get to talk about the risen Lord, the forgiving God, my brother and my friend, Jesus, and He who spoke all things into creation.   It’s not a ‘have-to’ kind of task.   We get to do this.   We get to do this until He comes back in the same way He left.   I’m not too worried about what that’ll look like or when it’ll happen.   I’ll be content just to know that it will.

That’s what makes it easy to walk away a little, change things up, and go into the world to talk about Jesus. I’ll be gone for a few weeks, then crash back into your electronic mailbox.   What that’ll look like, I don’t know.   It may or may not be a practical proverbial; a name change might happen.   One of my new projects is called “manage God’s way;” we’ll see next month. Until then, follow Jesus, do your best, rock on, and love generously. Really.   No foolin’ about it.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the opportunities to live out my faith in You.   Thank You for friends, readers, fellow believers, and fellow life-warriors.

Read something from your Bible daily.

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