I love to write (and talk), and all who know me will agree that I am not a man of few words. As a windy minister, it only seems logical that I would be involved in the world of communication.
For the last few years, I've been writing "Living on Purpose," and it's truly been a pleasure. I just want to say that I sincerely appreciate all of you that take the time to read the column and the many thoughtful and encouraging emails that I receive each week.
I've been writing sermons, articles and music for a long time, which eventually branched into a weekly blog. From there it evolved into being accepted as a regular weekly columnist with my local newspaper two and half years ago and has now expanded larger than I could have ever imagined.
Just like shooting basketball or playing the piano, God's grace works together with our faith and diligence. However, I also realize that sitting in front of the computer every day can only take me so far, which is why I must listen and daily depend on him to somehow use me to relay what he wants to say. It's amazing how the Lord can use our gifts and talents for his glory even if it's something like the gift of gab!
After serving in several churches over the years, I'm now trying to step out of my comfort zone and become more focused on those who live outside the walls of the church. When we venture away from the safety and security of our familiar routine, we discover the attitude of the world is not as sympathetic toward our cause for Christ.
For example, we can give a praise report at church and receive enthusiasm and excitement from those who are like-minded, but in a crowd of nonbelievers, we will notice some eye rolling and a few disrespectful yawns. Why? Because a non-Christian couldn't care less about anything associated with God.
Jesus explains in John 15:18-19, "If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love his own: but you are not of the world because I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."
The idea here is whenever someone becomes a Christian, their spirit is transformed into a new person and this changes their spiritual identity and citizenship. As we remember the old saying, "Birds of a feather flock together," it's clear that when we become born-again we become a different bird indeed. Thus, we understand why there has always been a natural spiritual resistance from the world toward God and his followers.
For those of you who want to know more about our ministry and some of the projects we are involved in, the easiest way is to go to our website, billyhollandministries.com, and pull up a comfortable chair. There are pictures, original music and more than 500 articles to download for free.
I'm very excited about meeting Christian pastors and leaders who are contacting us from around the world through the site. Most are from very poor countries, and we have felt the Lord leading us to purchase Bibles from bookstores in their communities and having these ministers pick them up and distribute them.
Some send us pictures, but we are careful not to post them because if they are recognized, their lives would be in danger. To see their spiritual hunger and thirst for God is truly refreshing, yet we wonder why many churches here in this country appear to be spiritually asleep. Have our blessings and pleasures distracted us and caused our love and compassion to wax cold?
Yes, we might not be called to go to Kenya, Poland or Japan, but we can at least pray and financially support those who are. In 1 Corinthians, Chapter 3 describes that some will plant the seed and others will water it, but only Jesus can make it grow. In Matthew 28 and Mark 16, Jesus instructs his disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel along with baptizing and teaching all nations about God. However, as the nickname for evangelizing the globe is called the "Great Commission," our highest priority as a serious follower of Jesus Christ is actually more about personally demonstrating God's love than just telling everyone else how to live.
Dr. Billy Holland is a Christian author, an ordained minister and a community chaplain. Read more articles at billyhollandministries.com.