Written by: Kaylin A. Starbuck
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
Most people like to reference the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) when coming to evangelism or mission work. I wanted to start by referring to the prayer straight from Jesus’ mouth when he prayed in the garden before his capture. Jesus was praying for us. I want it to hit home that in this prayer he is directly praying for those who would come to believe in him in the future. He prays for unity among believers, for intimacy between us and God, and all of this for the purpose that others may believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the sent one, the Son of God, the one who loved them.
Who Has God Called You To?
Before we get into the different methods of evangelism and how to share the gospel, we need to start at the beginning with the who.
The simplest way to consider who God has called you to is looking at where He has placed you.
Who do you encounter regularly that you’ve built or are building a relationship with?
Local coffee shop or restaurant
Gym/Dance class/ or other extracurricular activities
Considering those around us is great when considering evangelism, but not evangelism alone. Remember that the expansion of the Kingdom isn’t just evangelism, but discipleship as well. If you are a seasoned and mature believer, look around for someone in these same vicinities who may be a new believer and can use a mentor. We’ll talk about ways to disciple someone in a later blog.
There are a few other questions to consider with who God has called you to. After all, the Great Commission makes it clear He wants believers to fill the globe, and for His good news to spread to the ends of the earth.
When we are adopted into God’s family, He changes our heart and desires. One of those things is people we are drawn to. Jesus was moved by compassion: But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36).
Who is that you are moved with compassion for?
Children, Orphans, or Widows?
Those from Latin America, Asia, or the 10-40 Window?
Those with a criminal past, individuals enslaved to depression, or those trapped in poverty?
These are people who you may not come into contact with each and every day, but it is the people that God is calling you to. It may take a little more work and effort to get to them.
Don’t get discouraged when things don’t happen right away, or as frequently as you expect. Think about how Paul longed to get to the Romans. Living in Rome is not where he spent the majority of his life, or even a good portion of it, but moved with compassion for these people, He loved them and made every attempt to get to them.
This one could be hard. It’s relatively easy to take advantage of the opportunities to share the gospel in areas you frequent, or even with people you love. What about those you are called to when pure obedience to God is your only motivation. I’m talking about the ones that you have no empathy, compassion, or love for… they may even be considered your enemy.
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Think of Jonah being called to preach to Nineveh, and He didn’t even like them. They were not individuals he encountered every day, but it was a command from the Lord. Nineveh was an enemy to Jonah’s people, and people who did not know God. Jonah fought and fought God, but at the end of the day, the people of Nineveh heard the truth prophesied and preached by Jonah, because it was the Lord's will. Not only did the people of Nineveh hear the truth and discover the grace of God, but the sailors who were on the ship with Jonah.
We must not forget that this life is not our story, it is God’s story, and we are a part of it. This is a very good thing. He is Holy, Perfect, Good, Gracious, and Just. He knows what is best for us and every person.
So for that co-worker who is always demeaning you…
For the person at school who is always manipulating you…
For those who don’t affiliate with your political views…
For the person who abused or killed your friend or family member…
Could the grace you bestow upon them, coupled with obedience to God, lead to a beautiful redemption story that looks pretty similar to yours - a person unworthy of grace and love, then embraced with love, adoption, fellowship, and blessings all because the Creator of the Universe chose to love you? He chose you.
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