Last week, our church had to have several trees removed which were dead and posing a threat to our building and folks who came to church. We contacted Hercules Tree Service to come and remove the trees. The owner, Rich Cabrera, had his son play on my soccer team, so I had confidence in his expertise. However, I was a little worried when they showed up without a crane. One of the trees split at the base into two trees, with one side growing above our playground. We have a fence around the playground and we have the play structures under the tree. I asked him if he has going to need his crane and he confidently told me to not worry that he had things under control. So they got busy cutting the tree. Rich climber to the top of the tree, secured his lines and began to remove limbs on the easy portion of the tree. So I went to my office and came back when it was time for his to cut the branches over the play structure. I watched as he carried up some straps with him into the tree. He fastened a rope around the tree, then attached one strap to each branch he was going to cut. The other end of the strap he attached to the rope. Then he cut the limbs, one at a time. Each limb would simply slide down the rope into the parking lot, away from the play structure. He knew his job and he did it in such a smooth and precise manner. I was definitely impressed and recommend them if you live in the area and need tree work done.
As I watched his expertise, my mind wandered (As it often does) to what this says to us as followers of Christ. It hit me that we are experts in eternal life. Let me explain: I was clueless in trying to figure out how Rich would remove the tree without damaging our property. I don't do tree work, so how could I possibly know about those straps. BUT Rich has been doing this for almost twenty years, so he knows all the tricks of the trade. As followers of Christ, we forget that most people in our sphere of influence have no idea about salvation and eternal life. Most of them probably think if they do enough good works, they will get to Heaven. most Americans feel that if the good they do out weighs the bad, then they will gain admittance to Heaven (If they even believe in Heaven). However, you and I know that our works only earn us death. Romans 6:23 tell us that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus. We turned from self and turned to God's grace. We knew Heaven was unattainable on our own merit, so we became covered in the righteousness of Jesus. We received the greatest gift of all - Salvation. We made that life-changing decision and it has affected everything in our lives: Our jobs, our schoolwork, our marriages, our parenting, our sports, our free time, our money, etc. We have become experts because of the experience we have over the years in following Jesus. So, you are an expert. We have the confidence from a life that has been transformed by Jesus!
The world is waiting to hear from you. Like we talked about on Sunday, we need to interject God's Word into our conversations. We need to give people an opportunity to hear about eternal life. So stop using excuses to keep quiet, and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to tell others about Jesus.