Christians usually remember the Great Commission: Jesus sent out His disciples after He had risen from the tomb and He gave them authority to do what He had been doing. John records these words, “As the Father sent Me, so I send you.” Matthew says, “As you are going, make disciples of all nations: baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And Look, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Mark has a fragment of that in a more general blast: Announce the Good News to all creation. Luke 24:44ff is more of a Bible study, which includes the message, the Messiah, the method, and the missions base. Acts details Jesus’ mandate that after the Holy Spirit comes on us, we will be witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and to the extreme parts of the earth. Sort of waves of mission activity going out.
But the common action in all these is going. Last night I chatted with 2 guys on the busses I rode. One was a saint and one was interested. With both I sought to make known the Love of God. It really is a simple message when you boil it down.
The problem with boiling down the message is that you will face some heat in the process. Earlier in the day, when eating with a guy who calls himself a saint, a neighbor came up and asked if I was proselytizing. To be honest, I was a little offended. Perhaps my neighbor was being kind and giving me a compliment. However, I don’t see myself as a proselytizer, but as a propagater, spreading propaganda. Whether I am encouraging people to quit smoking or to practice other good health practices, I want to bring Good News to people. Jesus cares about people’s health. If I am encouraging people to be financially responsible, I want to do so in view of the fact that Jesus is financial responsible. The fact is Jesus is so financially responsible that He provides for people food and drink and clothing around the world every day. He even paid the debt of sin we owe to God and gives us an inheritance in heaven. God is good.
So, I don’t see myself as a proselytizer who convinces people to follow me and give up all that they enjoy. Rather, I see myself as a giver: I plant seeds of hope, for both time and eternity. I build trust in the One who is truly reliable. I pour out deliberate acts of kindness.
Some regard kindness as a random thing, but it is not, there is a deliberate agenda behind kindness: to treat people as you would want to be treated in view of the fact that God has treated you as He would have wanted to be treated if He were in your position.
Personally, I think of the many ways I have taken God for granted and ignored His grace, then I immediately want to repent and express each day that I go out: God is good & His faithful love lasts forever, so I am thankful to be alive. I am also thankful you are alive. Maybe you searched the internet today thinking: “How can I die?” “Where can I find a sexy woman?” or just typed in “customer service jobs” or “how to make money” and you read that Jesus can help you with all these … but then Jesus offers something much better: Life after death. Love beyond sex. Managing-self to serve others, and giving money to receive wealth that will never disappoint.
So, go … search the internet and find what this means: I desire to show mercy & not your sacrifice. It is from Hosea, my paraphrase.
Basically, a guy goes crazy, marries an unfaithful woman, he serves her, she takes his money, but then she sells herself as a slave/prostitute, so the prophet buys her back.
You and I are like that woman: foolish & self-destructive. Hosea, whose name means salvation, is like Jesus, whose name Y’shua (from Yehoshua) means the Lord saves.
And if you know Jesus, go, tell somebody else about him so that you can share that joy of your salvation with them. You don’t have to make them conform to your image and proselytize them. Our goal is one of restoration: restoration to the image of God.
Go in peace & serve the Lord.