Switching on the Light

on . Posted in A word from Richard

SWITCHING ON THE LIGHT

One of Jesus' most famous commands is in Matthew 28:19: 'go and make disciples of all nations.' There is a clear emphasis on going, and then helping people become life-long followers of Jesus. However, we, as followers of Jesus, still struggle to follow through on the 'go' command. The general opinion, if comments are true, is that we’re worried about being rejected.

I'm guilty of this too. I don’t like being rejected or laughed at, but rejection is an inevitable outcome of evangelism, of telling others about Jesus.

Jesus Himself was rejected by many. He preached to thousands in His years of ministry. He healed so many, and he raised the dead to life. But after He ascended to heaven, His number of followers is recorded at 120 men and women, including the 11 remaining disciples (Acts 1). Plenty of people in 1st century Palestine rejected Jesus, or at best parked Him for another more convenient time. So we can expect to know rejection or disinterest as well.

A Mission Partner working overseas was reflecting on this dilemma: they understood the importance of ‘go’ but they knew the worry of rejection. Before heading out to a shopping mall, the little group of Christians they were with gathered to pray and prepare. It’s daunting going up to strangers to talk about anything, let alone a topic that could potentially leave the other person laughing at them.

Their experienced leader drew their attention to Jesus’ words in John 6:44:"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day."

The leader reminded them that opening hearts and minds to God’s love is God's business, not ours. We don't have to carry the burden of drawing people to God. We don’t have to win the argument or show great theological knowledge. God is in charge, and drawing people to Himself is something only He can do.

That leader left the group with a simple idea: the concept of ‘switching on the light' - while moths are drawn to light, cockroaches run away from it. There are conversations where we can potentially ‘switch on the light of the gospel.’ We are then to see whom God draws in, and to share the story of Jesus only as they are interested to hear of it.

The act of sharing the gospel is as simple as that: look for opportunities to just ‘switch on the light.’ It's something we can do in our own home, by having neighbours or friends over, praying for God to lead you to those who are secretly interested in Him. And also at work, in the street and with our friends.

Like anything else we do in life, the more often we ‘switch on the light’, the more natural it becomes. Of course, it’s not easy. I struggle too, keen to look to the quiet life.

But then I try to remember: God hasn't asked me to draw people to His love. I’m only charged with being faithful in telling people of His Good News. I trust Him to use me however He chooses.

Who can you switch on the light for today?

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