Easter, for most Christians, is a season to chat up our Lord a bit more than we might ordinarily do. Many of the great events of Jesus’ life make an appearance in magazine articles and blogs. There are always a few movies out this time of year – like “The Case For Christ”, which can serve as conversation starters. And if you heard your pastor say it once, you heard it a dozen times, “Invite people to church for Easter!”
The temptation may now be there to shut down all the witnessing engines, and to put away our evangelistic prayers and projects, the way we box up our decorations after Christmas. But sharing our hope in Jesus with others ought not be something seasonal we attend to only a select time of year, but a way of life that becomes part of who we are.
Consider afresh right now the Great Commission of Jesus from Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.”
Examine our Lord’s words with a journalist’s mindset. Who is the Great Commission for? It’s for every believer. What are we to do? There are several verbs here: go, make disciples, baptize, teach Jesus’ commands. When are we to do this? Until Jesus returns. Where are we to do this? To the ends of the earth. How are we to do this? In the power, strength and authority which Jesus himself will provide. Why are we to do this? Consider the stakes. What is worth more than a human soul? Just look at the cross of Jesus, and you’ll see there a living, breathing picture of how much God loves us.
Sharing our faith with others can be daunting, even intimidating. What if I say the wrong words? What if they tell me to buzz off? Especially as American believers who have had it drilled into their heads that as Americans we must not make any waves when it comes to religious belief but should respect diversity and be tolerant of everyone’s viewpoint.
Well, Jesus wasn’t an American, and he certainly wasn’t concerned in the way we are about what’s fashionable or “politically correct”. Which is why he said things like, “I am the way, the truth, the life; no one comes to the Father except through me”, and “You will die in your sins unless you believe in me” and to a Samaritan woman, “You Samaritans worship what you do not know…Salvation is from the Jews.” (If you think Sean Spicer has a tough job being President Trump’s press secretary, imagine being Jesus’?)
There’s a great old hymn called, “I Love To Tell The Story”. But sadly, for many Christians, if they were to sing the song as they felt it, they’d sing, “I kinda, sorta love to tell the story.”
If that’s your reality, then this week’s Daily Spark devotions are for you. We’re going to discuss some ideas that will hopefully help you begin to change the way you think about your mission of reaching the lost for Christ. If you feel intimidated by this whole subject, then Jesus has some questions to ask you this week which should be of help and encouragement to you.
For today though, just rivet your heart and mind on the words of the Great Commission. Think them through. Pray about them. Maybe – ee-gads – memorize them!
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