This is a post I wrote back in October of 2009, before this website existed. For some strange reason, I was drawn back to it and wanted to repost it. I hope it will inspire you to be more intentional about being Christ’s ambassador wherever He has placed you.
My son’s encounter with a non-Christian at work got me thinking and I wanted to share those thoughts with you.
I’m a firm believer in the sovereignty of God. I don’t think we can force God to do anything and any act of kindness He shows us is not owed us. He does it out of His divine goodness and for the glory of His name. It’s the same regarding a move of His Spirit. Perry Noble, pastor of New Spring Church in South Carolina once said, “A move of God can not be planned, but it must be prepared for.” Since God is sovereign, we can’t manipulate Him, but we can live in obedience to Him, realizing He will use us for His glory. In the Great Commission, He calls us to make disciples. So how do we do that? How do we go about making disciples for a God who determines when He will move and how? I’m glad you asked…:)
The way I see it, we have four roles. Since Jesus often used farming analogies, that’s what I’ll do here.
1. Fertilize the ground through prayer. No move of God will occur without His people humbling themselves in prayer. Through this we gain God’s heart for the lost, a vision for accomplishing all He wants done, a sense of direction of how we should pray, and how we should go about sharing Him with those who don’t know Him. We won’t gain a burden for the lost without asking God to allow us to see them through His eyes. Through this, we gain a passion for Jesus and a love for those who don’t know Him. We should all have non-Christians we are praying for. If you don’t, ask God to burden your heart for someone and begin praying for them immediately. Also, start prayer walking in your neighborhood, an apartment community , a park, your workplace, anywhere people are and watch how your burden for the lost grows.
2. Plant the seed. In Matthew 13, Jesus tells the parable of the seed sower. Most read this parable and notice the result of each seed. This is something we should consider, but also notice the sower wasn’t very selective in where he scattered the seed. It went on the road, between rocks, in a batch of weeds, and only some into good soil. We need to plant the seeds of the gospel in peoples lives both through our actions and the words we speak. We should be able to talk about our relationship with Jesus as naturally as we talk about our kids, our hobbies, our jobs, or the Cowboys and Sooners losing in the same weekend.(I say that with a tear in my eye) We should scatter the seed everywhere, talking about our relationship with Jesus, in a very real and non-self righteous way, through most any conversation we have. Don’t force it. Just don’t hold back. Most of us know the opportunities we miss. If we simply take the opportunities presented to us, we will scatter a lot of seed.
3. Water it. 1 John 3:18 says, “Let us not love in word or in thought, but in actions and in truth.” Once we begin to talk about our relationship with Jesus, people will watch us. We can either validate everything Jesus says, or blow it by acting contrary to God’s word. This doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes….it’s the way we handle those mistakes that will draw attention to Jesus. We need to be real, not real religious, and live intentional lives, focusing on communicating the love and grace of Jesus through our actions and words, realizing God has placed us in our jobs, neighborhoods, and communities for His purposes.
4. Be ready for the harvest. Each of us should be able to lead someone to Christ. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, if we believe God is telling us they are ready, we should be prepared to share the plan of salvation with someone. It’s not our pastors’ job, youth minister, or any other person in the vocation of ministry to lead our friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to Christ. It’s our job. Again, don’t force it, but don’t hold back. If the opportunity is there, share…and see what God does with it.
At this point, we need to realize, our responsibilities continue. God didn’t call us to get people to pray a prayer, walk an isle, get dunked, and plug them into Sunday School (Although, that’s not a bad thing!). He called US to make disciples. If God gives you the privilege of leading someone to Christ, He expects you to play a primary role in their discipleship. Meet with them regularly, go through the bible with them, and teach them to be a reproducing disciple of Jesus. Don’t know the answer to every question? Good. God likes it when you’re dependent on Him. Also, this IS your pastor or minister’s job. He will help you with those questions and disciple you as you disciple someone else….kind of cool how that works.
I know you may be saying, “but I don’t have the gift of evangelism”…..you don’t have to. Jesus said people will know we are His disciples by doing two things: Obeying His commands and loving God and others above ourselves. If we devote ourselves to loving Jesus in front of those who don’t know Him, God will use that to the glory of His name and draw all men to His Son.