Jesus amazed his listeners in explaining deep spiritual truths by using common life situation and things around Him to illustrate a point: sheep, goats, coins, candles, salt, cities, sand, grain, wine, water, bread, family relationships, farming, fishing, storms, birth, death and a multitude of other metaphors. Life Lessons from Chess is an attempt to follow His model.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

23. One Move Closer

Key Bible Verses: Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor. (John 4:37, 38, NIV)

During his day, Benjamin Franklin was one of the top chess players in America. Often he played socially with diplomats and then used time after the game to talk about foreign affairs. This picture shows Dr. Franklin and Lady Howe playing chess.  The game was actually an excuse to secretly develop plans to deal with relationships between the Colonies and England.

What happens after the game is often more significant than the game itself. I recall a visit I had at a chess club in Clearwater, Florida. We finished our match and then our conversation turned to other matters. After discovering I was with The Salvation Army my opponent responded by saying, I appreciate what you do to help people, but, I’m totally against the religious part. Realizing this was not the time for a theological defense, I simply made the statement, it sounds like you had a bad experience. After 30 minutes of conversation circling the issue he finally told me his personal story. During World War II he and two friends escaped from Poland. He could still hear the bullets pass his head and, in his mind, see his buddy fall down dead next to him, all in the name of Hitler’s, Nazi Christian god.

My mind began to race as I prayed, Lord give me your words. It was as if God spoke to me and said, this is not the time for reaping. It is time for sowing by bringing him one move closer to me.  After listening to the gentleman describe the details, I responded by saying, what a horrific experience! I know with all my heart that is not what God, as seen through Jesus, would do or want. He is a God of love and only wants the best for you. After a long pause . . . he said, maybe so. We talked another 30 minutes. I often think back wishing we could have a follow-up conversation. I thank God for the experience.

My Response: Lord, help me be sensitive to your Spirit as I strive to bring others “one move closer” to you.

Thought to Apply: Fundamentally, evangelism is about submitting to God’s agenda in a social situation, in a conversation, in your moment-by-moment life. (Bill Hybels)

No comments:

Post a Comment