The Great Commission

7 Oct

Jesus said we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel.  I know when we think of preaching we thinking of standing up on a platform in front of a group of people, but that is by far not the only way to preach, and it just might be the least effective sometimes.  As we go about our daily lives, we are surrounded by hurting people who don’t need another hypocrite telling them they need to be saved.  If we sit in church on Sunday but act like the world on Monday, we are not helping anyone.  What people need is love.   And someone to come alongside of them and listen and be a friend.

People know what you stand for without you going around spouting Bible verses all day like some Pharasee.  What will draw them to you, and ultimately Jesus, is love.  Do you care about people and what they are going through?  Do you really care that they are lost?  Jesus had pity on the people because He said they were like “sheep without a shepherd.”  Sheep need a shepherd for protection against wild animals, and to lead them to good pastures for grazing.  A good shepherd feeds and watches over the sheep.

After Jesus was resurrected he told Peter if he loved Him to feed his sheep.  Jesus needs us to feed His sheep, to be salt and light in a world full of darkness and despair.  Jesus said when He was lifted up, He would draw all men to Himself.  When we lift Jesus up in our lives, in our interactions with others, they will be drawn to Him.  So what do we do when we feel that God is leading us, positioning us, to witness to an individual but they openly reject God, refuse to even believe in His existence?  Should we haul out the old King James Bible and start reading, “In the beginning…?”  Should we tell how God saved us and has made our lives so much better, made us better people?  Should we begin explaining how we are all sinners but God loved us anyway and sent His Son to die in our place?  We can do these things but we would be wasting time that they don’t have.  Time is winding down and someday it will be too late.  So what should we do?

We should be Jesus, not preach Jesus.  Regardless of what someone might say to me – that they will never believe God exists or loves them, that they know that a good God would allow suffering, or any of the other things we hear people say when we try to convince them – I can be a light the best I know how.  I can be kind and forgiving.  I can be helpful and generous.  I can listen and not judge.  I can remain silent when I hear God accused of being uncaring and selfish and hateful; I can.  Because I know that in God works all things together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.  God’s feelings are not hurt when someone lashes out at Him in their pain and anguish and He doesn’t need us to get in a huff and tell someone off on His behalf and why?  Because we lose our opportunity to ever make an impact on someone God loves and Jesus died for.

If our God is all He says He is, He doesn’t need us to defend Him.  When the night is dark and the road is long and all seems lost He needs us to still be standing there, arms wide open as a shelter to the weak so they can see that the Jesus we proclaim really does live and He lives in us and He can be trusted because we can be trusted to love the unlovable, even when it’s hard.  Shine on, brothers and sisters, shine on.

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6 Oct

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