Many people believe that they have to "round" up people for the Lord. Sometimes they get frustrated when their attempts are not met with much cooperation. Somehow many of them are not deterred by their lack of success and they continue in their quest.
What they might not realize is that God is interested in their hearts ...and can work through them. If they allow God to guide them, God can direct them to the right people,. the right words to say or the right things to do. Many times they judge others, tell them what they are doing wrong and how they are going to wind up in Hell because of their lives. They sometimes seem to think God gives them the authority to judge and condemn others.
In the following scripture from Luke 19 tells how Jesus dealt with one one man, brings home how a person can be convicted in their heart without the use of hell fire and condemnation:
1Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "1Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "
8But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
9Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
The Lord will guide us, and give us the right words. Just like sugar will gather more flies than vinegar, so will sharing the love and mercy God has for us will draw more people to the Lord. Only God knows the right words. When we decide to "make" someone "change" their ways and place ourselves as Judge and jury, we are not walking in the ways of Jesus who taught the multitudes about the loving one another and not to judge, lest ye be judged. In the above story, we can see how the man knew he had done wrong and decided to change and restore to those he had stolen from.
Even in the Old Testament it says the Lord will guide us
Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Jesus said in Luke that the Holy Spirit would give us the right words to use also
Luke 12: 11,12 And when they bring you before the synagogues, and the rulers, and the authorities, be not anxious how or what ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: for the Holy Spirit shall teach you in that very hour what ye ought to say.
As wonderful as the quest is to "round" up people for the Lord, without involving God, it can be a frustrating unfruitful task.
God know everyone's hearts, he knows those who are steadfast against him and he knows those who have wandered away. He knows the words that need to be said, he knows the things that need to be done that testify to his being real.
It is an awesome feeling when you do or say something that is answered prayer or a message from God that he chose you to deliver. Looking in someone's eyes when they realize he is real and reached out to them on a personal level is such a lift to our own spirits.
A long time ago I gave God my life, to use me and work through me. I pray each day that he touches others lives through me. I already know I have the reward of eternal life through the gift Jesus gave me when he died for my sins. There is no greater reward than that. There is nothing more for me to earn. We all fell short of the glory of God and we all sinned. We all escape judgement when we accept Jesus as our Savior. My treasures are in Heaven but my motivation to give God my life, to use me and work through me have nothing to do with my personal "reward."
God gave me back my life years ago. It took me a long time to realize that I had done nothing to "deserve" to come back. One overdose event that landed me in the Cardiac Care Unit was the last time. When I awoke, I awoke with a memory of talking to God. He said I had more to do in my life and many people were counting on me. He said I couldn't afford to try to commit suicide or overdose again. He could not send me back again to my life. I remember feeling wonderful in his presence, more wonderful than I ever felt on earth. I remember smelling the sweetest smell that ever was. I have no fear of death or the after life because I was already in Heaven. I have already been in the presence of God and it was paradise as Jesus said.
After I had my two younger children, Ian age 28 and Jordan age 15, I had a mixture of emotions. I felt wonderful that God gave me these babies but I also felt bad that had I succeeded and died, they would never have been. Never when I was depressed and sucidal did I consider at 23 that I would remarry and have more children. At that time I thought that is what God meant when he said more people are counting on me...
One day I realized that when God gave me back my life and sent me back to earth, it was a tremendous gift. I realized that because of the love and mercy he showed me, I had to give him my life. I gave my life to him. Even when I think I am rambling sometimes, talking to a stranger, I have found he was working through me. I believe he has given me not a "gift" of poetry, but the very poems I write down, themselves. This is why I freely share them with anyone...and allow anyone to print or copy them and pass them to others when I have been asked...what I write is meant to uplift others and share God's love.
I don't think I know it all. I don't think I am a bible expert. I have been reading the Bible since the late 1980's when I asked God to teach me and help me understand the Bible. I only write what I feel in my heart. The Bible is a great connection we can have with God. Many of the scriptures are there to uplift us and strengthen us in our walk with God. Many times scripture can reveal different things to us in our lives. In some ways it is a tool and like a tool many times it can be misused by others, that is why I recommend others to pick it up themselves and ask God to teach and guide them.
If we want to please someone we love, one way is to find out what they want. Sometimes we can surprise and please them without doing that, like with a gift, but the best gifts often are things we want. If I need a new vacuum cleaner, and want a new one and someone gives me a new vacuum cleaner I am overjoyed. Overjoyed they somehow found out what I wanted, got it for me and now I can do a better job on my carpets. I am a very practical person and another microwave might be nice to have, but I have two already and I don't need a microwave.
I think God is the same way, he wants us to give him what he wants and we can only find that out by listening to him and finding out. We can spend a lot of time trying to give God what WE think he wants, but I believe he is like most parents, he just wants a relationship with us. If we are busy trying to give him what we think he wants we are not have a close relationship that we could have with him. He wants to be involved in our lives and I am realizing that myself more and more each day. I look back sometimes and say why didn't I go to God on that one? But all I can do is decide to go to God in the future for guidance...and follow the path he has for me more closely.
We all fall off that path from time to time, it's not easy. The world does try very hard to get us distracted. Many get depressed when they see what goes on in this world and think God is at a distance. All I can say is our relationship is what we make it, the less we allow him in our lives, the less of a relationship we will have.
If you look at relationships. a person who call another once a day, has a far better relationship than someone who calls once a month, and they have a better relationship than one who only calls on Easter and Christmas. Your relationship, in general, with others is what you make it. Your relationship with God is what you make it.
Matthew 6:20 says "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
I think this goes beyond accumulating possessions on earth. Our relationship with God is a treasure in Heaven, and if we don't have a relationship, what will we have in Heaven, will we even have Heaven? For if we don't have a relationship at all with God, we may miss out on his son Jesus, we might not realize the love, forgiveness and mercy bestowed on us, we might not value what he has given us. It's not a sometime thing, I'll accept Jesus on my death bed, meanwhile I'm going to live it up and do what I want.
You might not make it to a "deathbed" no one knows when death will reach out, dying instantly in an accident or having a sudden heart attack. There are some things we put off until tomorrow when tomorrow might not be there for us.