This is not a drill …
“Ballistic missile inbound.” Those three words would send a chill down anyone’s spine. It’s terrifying enough just seeing a winter storm or tornado warning scrolling across your cell phone screen. Imagine the panic that would ensue here in Kentucky. Admittedly, our state probably isn’t high on anyone’s list of strategic targets. Still, what would you do?
There were reports of people speeding home or to fallout shelters, getting out of cars and running for churches, crowding into hotel basements, crawling under tables in restaurants, being herded into military hangars, and huddling around televisions to watch the latest reports. Nearly 40 minutes passed after the terrifying alert was sent out before some heard an all-clear signal or were told it was a false alarm.
Tanya York, a Frankfort pastor’s wife, did what any mother naturally would do. She told her children that she loved them, and that she knew where she was going to spend eternity. What a solace such a beautiful note would have been if the unimaginable had happened. Thankfully, her children can rejoice that she and their father, Hershael York, are now safe at home and able to chuckle about how their Hawaii vacation has become “big news,” of sorts.
Don’t wait to tell people how much you love them.
The BP story also tells about a Baptist Campus Ministry leader at the University of Hawaii who thought of his Japanese friend who had not received Christ. The BCM leader prayed, “Lord, don’t let (him) die so he can still hear about Jesus.” He wanted another opportunity. He wanted to be sure his friend was ready.
Don’t wait to tell people how much God loves them.
Being prepared and ready to tell others about God’s love are a key part of being a disciple. Yet, we often become too busy building bigger barns (houses, businesses, even churches), like the farmer in Luke 12: “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'”
Many Kentucky Baptists have participated in “Three Circles” training. It’s a great witnessing tool. The simple outline begins with God’s design for us, explains our brokenness because of sin, and then offers salvation through repentance and faith in Christ. “Through God’s grace we are able to recover and pursue His design for our lives—from whatever place of brokenness we find ourselves in,” authors Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright explain in their book, “Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations.”
“If we’re going to reach the millions who have yet to hear the gospel, we need to rethink our current invite strategy,” Scoggins and Wright assert. “Since we aren’t going to get them to ‘come and see’ what we’re doing, we need to figure out ways to take the good news to places they live, work, and play.”
Why should it take the threat of a ballistic missile headed our way to get us to talk about God’s love with our family, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers? What would our world be like if every Christian felt this sense of urgency? “Our challenge,” Scroggins and Wright remind us, “is to take what we have seen and heard about Jesus and tell everybody—to multiply disciples by the thousands and millions.”
This is not a drill …