Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Are You Contagious?

But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. Acts 8:3-6

I watch as the office personnel wipe down their desks and other office furniture and equipment during the flu season.  Precautionary action is not to be disdained when the viruses begin to take aim at us.  Anything we can do to protect ourselves from contacting the germs which bring some illness is worth time and effort.

Have you ever noticed how when one member of your family gets the flu, it tends to become contagious and spread throughout the whole family.  The horrible part isn't that it spreads through the whole family; it is that after it has cycled through the whole family, it tends to start back at the source of the original infection and go through the whole cycle again.  Often it makes you wish you would have just quarantined the infected party to begin with.

The underlying principle is that if you are infected, more than likely you can become contagious.  Of course, to become contagious you have to be infected.  Acts 8:4 reads, "Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went."  Something had happened to these people that was so powerful and impacting they could not keep silent.

In this scenario, the disciples didn't make a decision to go out and share the good news. Rather, they were persecuted and were forced to scatter into different directions.  This wasn't some great journey they took; it was an escape.  Still they preached the word!  Why?  Because they had been infected by God.  There was no way to turn it off. 

You can't say to a sick child, "Stop being contagious!"  It just doesn't work.  You can't say to a bovine with Mad-Cow-Disease to stop infecting other cows.  Nor could anybody say to the disciples to stop preaching.  It would be futile and impossible.

In Acts 4:19-20, Peter and John stood before the Sanhedrin and said to them, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God.  For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."  Basically they said it was impossible for them not to preach the word which had been woven into their hearts.  You would be more likely to kill them than to stop them from infecting the lives of those around them.

As a Christian, we have been infected.  For some reason however, we don’t have the enthusiasm and mission focus that thrust those early Christians out of their comfort zone and into the streets.  We shouldn't need impact teams to get us going and spreading the word.  We shouldn't wait on mission trips.  Rather, we should need corral teams to hold us back a bit. 

Have you ever noticed how a frog sits back and waits for his food to come along.  Then as his prey lies before him he quickly swipes it up.  A lizard, on the other hand, is always on the prowl for its food.  My question to us is, are we lizard Christians or frog Christians?  (OK. Maybe that’s a bit out there but you get my point.)  Do we impact the lives of the people we come in contact with on a daily basis?  Or do we wait for someone crushed by the world to stumble into our presence before we share the good news of Christ? 

Let’s spread the virus!  Let’s see if we can infect the world with Jesus!

Scripture to Claim:
...but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;  1 Peter 3:15

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