Tuesday, November 06 2018
Thanks to Ed Stetzer for this article on the LOST. I couldn’t improve upon it. Read and pray.
It’s fascinating that a lot of Christians don’t seem to like non-Christians, often referred to as the lost or the unchurched. Often we want to keep away from messy people—perhaps missing the obvious that we are messy as well. Let me ask you…Who’s on Your Friends List?
It’s interesting that after coming to Christ and growing in knowledge, we often distance ourselves from former friends. We seem to have less time for the hurting and struggling. We’ve found the thing that meets the need in our lives, but keep our distance from those who need the very thing we’ve found. I don’t think this separation is intentional, but it happens, and in the end, our intentions don’t matter. Jesus lived differently.
One of the common criticisms Jesus faced was that he spent too much time with sinners. How many of us could be accused of spending too much time with the unwelcomed and unappreciated? No one better understood the importance of spiritual maturity, scriptural knowledge, a robust prayer life and positive influences than Jesus. But he also knew these things were not for his personal benefit, but need to be shared with the lost. The Christian life is not about safety and comfort, but rather about finding yourself in a dangerous place of vulnerable compassion.
Many Christians have grown up in a Christian home. That is their reality and they forget there’s a hurting world out there. We drive through it on the way to school, work and church, but we don’t come to terms with the vast brokenness surrounding us. Hurting people sometimes make their way into our pews and, by grace and through faith, respond to the good news of salvation. But too often, the only connections Christians have with broken people are made outside of church.
The true test of our maturity is not measured in how much we leave behind, but how much we love. Jesus talks about his ministry in two ways; to save and to serve. In Luke 4:18, he says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me.” He goes on to talk about preaching the good news to the poor and the captive. In fact, this type of ministry was a sign that he was the Messiah. Throughout Scripture we see the work of Christ among the widows, the blind, the broken—whoever had a need. Jesus came to save. In Luke 19:10 he says he came to seek and save the lost. And the same Jesus who came to serve and to save then says to us in John 20:21, “As the Father has sent me, I also send you.”
We have been sent by Jesus to join him in his mission. We are to serve others in his name, and we are to share the good news of salvation so that people might trust in Jesus’ work on the cross—his death in our place, for our sin.
Serving and saving were marks of Christ’s life on earth. They should be marks of his people as well. But to do that, we must engage the broken and hurting people around us.
That’s hard. But a church without the broken is a broken church.
How does your church engage the hurting? What have you done in your own life to avoid insulating yourself from brokenness around you? We need to be engaged in our neighborhoods and looking for ways to BLESS them!
B: Begin in Prayer
L: Listen to the Hurts/Hangups/Habits of your neighbors and LISTEN TO GOD
E: Engage with them (Coffee, conversation, or even better, a MEAL)
S: SERVE Strategically (Look for ways to serve and help your neighbors to build the relationships that provide open doors to Gospel conversations)
S: SHARE YOUR STORY! Use the ReachKY.Today tool and train people to share the story of their faith and life change! The world belongs to storytellers and we have the GREATEST STORY OF ALL TIME!
The NKBA recorded 468 baptisms this past year. In 2019 I am making a 10- year challenge to baptize 10,000 through the ministry of our churches (#10K4NKA). GOD IS AT WORK. WE SIMPLY NEED TO JOIN HIM IN OUR COMMUNITIES AS HE IS CHANGING LIVES!
It is a blessing to be your lead follower!