Can you discuss how to truly win the lost when we see the world is getting darker and darker and Christianity is becoming more and more unpopular. How do we get out of our comfort zones and really reach people for and like Christ? How do we go from what we know into the unknown… from selfish to selfless. Many times it’s easy to get into the “Christian routine” of going to church on Sundays and living morally without actually living to make a difference in others’ lives.
Romans 12:9 (NASB)
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
When I was writing this last week, I really felt that it deserved more than one Faith Fix could answer. So let’s take this a little further, shall we?
The above scripture could also be said like this, “Let love be sincere.” In context, this section of Romans is talking about doing whatever we are called to from the place of where God has equipped us. Sincerity when we are trying to reach people is so important. I have often said I don’t prefer handing out Bible tracks to people. This is because most people simply throw them away. You can tell where people are handing them out because you often see them littering the ground! Though the heart of the one handing them out may be sincere, they come across as scripted and insincere.
So often, we feel like we cannot be effective unless we look like, well, someone else. I like to listen to Christian apologists talk about the Word. They often do so with so much knowledge and words that are the spoken equivalent of honey. Oh how I’ve longed to not stutter, to have a clear thought, not to shake when I speak or get red in the face. Truly, so many times when I have to minister or speak in front of people, it is anything but eloquent. In fact, often I have to deal with thoughts of how I was sure I screwed up the last message I preached.
Once I was with some friends helping a church ministry hand out food and share the gospel in section 8 housing in Annapolis, Maryland. I was nominated (much to my horror) to be a group leader as we went door to door. My job was to knock and be the first to speak. I was convinced not an intelligible word would come out. Have you ever heard when in times of incredibly hard circumstances sometimes people are miraculously empowered with ability they never had? I could have only hoped that that would have happened, but it did not. I stuttered and stammered at each house, leaving each feeling like a fool. How could I possibly be a blessing to anyone?
Then God spoke to me in my spirit, so clear it was as if He was next to me. As He usually does with me, first I heard a scripture. I heard 1 Corinthians 2:3-4, “I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” This was followed by, “Who cares how you sound, you’re kicking the devil’s butt right now!” What a release from my self-imagined bondage!
What I didn’t know is that God was preparing me in this time for something I had no idea about. This was the fact that many years later I would be a pastor in two churches. See, then, just like now, I don’t feel able. I don’t think I ever have entered any pulpit that I was going to preach in with a lick of self-confidence. That said, God always meets me there to help me. Even though He meets me, I still have to yield to Him. Sometimes I miss it and yield to my flesh but I’ll come back to that in a minute.
The fact is, there is probably very little we will feel like doing when it comes to righteousness but are we willing? “God, I don’t want to but I will!” I have said that so many times. See, if we truly want to reach people we are going to have to start stepping out in faith, looking for opportunity. I love what Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Notice it says “as we have opportunity.” We need to be looking for opportunity! Another scripture in the same vein is Ephesians 5:16 which says, “making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” We make the most or least of our own time!
Now, I had said I’d come back to something and that was the idea of yielding ourselves to God. Jesus taught, what is in us will come out of us, or a tree is known by its fruit. If we spend our time doing mostly unspiritual things, never reading, never praying, not going to church but instead watching a lot of tv or spending too much time on social media or constantly fighting with people, our spiritual well will be dry. When we want to tap into good things, we will find there isn’t much there. People who do not purpose for good, will not have good to use.
For example, some may say, “I always want to give into that offering but I never have any money.” Well, do you actually purpose to set money aside to fill that need or one that might arise? Do you sacrifice in one area so you can purpose to give in another? See a good heart, the right heart that God desires, is one that purposes to do right. That means it makes a plan to do and then searches until it finds a way. If there’s anything people have proven it’s that when you set your mind to do something, you will do it. It’s a universal truth and one that is found in scripture.
Speaking of the people of Babel, Genesis 11:6 says, “The LORD said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.’” People who set their hearts and mind in an area and then work to accomplish what they set out to do, so often reach their goal.
So how does one do more and reach more people? They make it their aim and then they start doing whatever they know to do, seeking God continually for His direction as they go. These are people who will fulfill their call, these are those that will please the Lord. This is faith and this is what God desires from each one of His children. So how will you go and do? You must start with going and doing. God’s will falls on no man but anyone who hungers for righteousness God has promised to fill. Are you hungry, are you willing? Only you can make that decision.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.