Think for a moment about the people you rub shoulders with on a regular basis (keeping social distancing in mind, of course). What percent of them would you guess are born-again, devout followers of Jesus? I’m not asking you to be judgmental, only observant.
You and I both know a lot of folks who, unless something supernatural happens on their journey, are probably not going to spend eternity with Jesus. Now that’s worrisome. Maybe the Lord would like to use us to help move them along on their life trajectory toward the kingdom. “But, I don’t know how to do that well, I’m shy, and God has never given me the title of evangelist. And besides that, I’ve been a believer so long I’ve about lost all of my unbelieving friends.”
“Frankly, brother Don, I don’t like the direction this conversation is moving; I’m starting to feel guilty already. Can we talk about something non-inflammatory… like music in the church, maybe? Or vegan vs vegetarian?”
Tell you what, let me ask you a question: Do you like parties? When Matthew, the tax collector, was introduced to Jesus (Matt. 9:9-11) he wanted his friends to meet Him, too. So he did what he did best – he invited them to a party at his house. Could you do that?
While my wife was getting her hair done last week she learned that the young beautician – single mother of two teens – was living in a low rent apartment without a stick of furniture. So she scrounged up some bedding, bought a microwave on sale, and located a dandy backpack for the boy. The mother was just the kind of person Jesus would have reached out to help…purple hair, tattoos all over her body, and a tongue bead. Ruthie had prayed that morning that God would lead her to someone she could bless. And of course, He did.
Stay tuned; that story is in its early stages.
Recently I discovered that Jesus’ mandate that we “go” into all the world is repeated almost word for word in each of the three synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It’s almost like God was saying, “Oh, and here’s something I want to make sure you don’t miss!” So He had it repeated three times in the eye-witness biographies of His Son.
But there is something else in those instructions I almost missed. In the language Jesus spoke, the “go” is not the command. Using our English language it would read, “As you go, make disciples…” In other words, Everywhere you go, look for opportunities to mingle, be on the lookout for those, even those who aren’t like you, folks you can hang out with, then love on ‘em. That’s what He did; that’s what He wants you and me to do. How’s that workin’ out for ya?
By Don Jacobsen