Intro: For me Jesus is central to my life. When He isn’t I lose something…my outward focus. Some of the thinking below has been processing for many years, some conclusions concerning humility and servanthood have been consistent in theory and in practice. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed…I ponder, think and muse often. The below post is a random result of my pondering, and observation.
People matter to God and people should matter to us. God’s heart is revealed throughout the bible. He is an all nations God… Through you Abe all nations will be blessed.
1. They all lost something that was precious.
2. They are worth searching for.
3. It’s party time. Retrieved they rejoiced. Which reflects the heart of God.
People are valuable to God and they should be valuable to us.
Sometimes we discover the method without discovering the heart or the values behind the method… without the value established within a leaders heart the method can just become a method.
Learn methods and miss the value. Catch the value and your methods may change. (How the value is outworked.)
A heart for people should emerge from our involvement with people. Our vision is to enable people to become involved in the process of reaching out.
Natural Church Development…Talks about church growth by sowing certain seeds within the life of a church. One key component to develop within the life of a church is Need Orientated Evangelism.
Defined: In your sphere of influence you begin to Discern hurts / wounds; Unmet needs; Unfulfilled desires; unanswered questions. Discerning a person’s spiritual address is really important.
Bill Hybels has written a book entitled Contagious Christian. Speaks to the need of relational evangelism…
Fact: the highest percentage of people come to Jesus come to Him out of their relationships with friends, or relatives or acquaintances.
Evangelism in it’s true sense is a process.
Plowing, Sowing, Watering and Harvest. 1Cor 3; John 4 Mark 4 parable of the sower. Parable of the four soils.
How long does it take for a person to come to Christ? a unique amount of time.
Our role is to connect others to the process, and creating opportunities for people to step into that process. Breaking down barriers and building bridges as we attempt to bring people to saving faith. Spiritual decisions are almost always a process.
Recent bumper sticker. Jesus save me from these Christians.
Christians are not very good at living a ‘fruit of the Spirit life’ before non-believers.
A group of bible scholars were discussing what is it that makes us stand out from other religions of the world.
…Grace… Yet if you interview non believers and ask what the word Christian means? I doubt you would receive the answer—a graceful, and compassionate person.
When action oriented compassion is absent, it’s a tell-tale sign that something’s spiritually amiss. Whether the problem is with the organization or the individual, uncaring Christianity does not attract inquirers into its fold. Bill Hybels.
our way of life should have the attitude of Christ…
I Jn 2:6
Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (NIV)
How did He walk? Check the gospels
Interesting to me that people far from God wanted to be around Jesus. They even invited Him to parties. He was full of compassion, mercy, full of grace,and truth. Yet, He was constantly accused of being a friend of sinners by the religious right. Matthew tax collector…despised by Jew and Greek alike. Yet Jesus saw something in him and went to his home for a Matthew’s party.
People we come into contact day by day in shops, restaurants, need to see grace and compassion in action.
We may be reborn spiritually, but we need to grow socially. A great need in this generation to develop social, common sense people skills…learning to be friendly open hearted. Smiling saying hello and thank you go a long way.
To be honest… rudeness, impatience and having a condescending attitude toward one another and the people of our world are not an example of the fruit of the spirit. I don’t care how long you’ve been a believer, or your standing, or position in the community of believers. Having bad attitudes are a symptom of religious pride…thinking we are somehow better than anyone else or that we are the elite.
Consider Jesus. What was his attitude? he was fully God yet fully man…see Phil 2…
Jesus came to seek and to save those who were lost.(people who are away from God’s presence) He came not to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.
Timothy, it is a trustworthy statement Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
The attitude of the apostles amaze me.
Peter, Cornelius house, I too am a man like you.
Paul understood where he came from. I believe this understanding, kept him tender toward the people he was trying to reach.
Mars hill…he did not bind up false spirits…he presented the Good News and encouraged the people, explaining the nature and character of God, he then encouraged them to turn toward the Living God.
‘We are only servants, who have a stewardship committed to us.’ He worked… so he would not be a burden to the people in his church community. He served them practically.
Peter…Elders…’don’t Lord it over’… As each as received a special gift use it in serving.
Humility and servant-hood was a continual theme for Jesus toward his disciples. Servant hood was an area the disciples continually struggled with.
James and John were militants who wanted to nuke a city on a mission trip
And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy mens lives, but to save them.”] And they went on to another village. (NAS)
It is not Godly to want to curse people or to pray against people in the name of the Lord(oxymoron)…it is not the Spirit of Christ—it is a different spirit. ‘We don’t like the way you are doing things so we are going to pray against you. Our way is right, those who don’t do they things the way we do them are wrong.’ What’s the root? Certainly not grace, not humility and compassion. It’s pride…pride smells… Always.
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (NIV)
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.(NIV)
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. (NIV)
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (NIV)
What does all of this have to do with Evangelism. Everything! Serving our way into the heart of our community is not just a method but a value that reflects the heart of God.
J. Oswald Sanders Spiritual Leadership, “True greatness, true leadership, is achieved not by reducing men to one’s service but in giving oneself in selfless service to others.”
Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline. “More than any other single way, the grace of humility is worked in our lives through the discipline of serving.”
Gene Wilkes Jesus on Leadership “Genuine service—an act initiated for the benefit of another hidden from an audience—will always lead to humility. “
God resists the proud of heart. God gives grace to the humble
What is humility?….it is the stark realization and acceptance of the fact that I am totally dependent upon God’s love, grace, forgiveness and mercy. He is my only hope. I once was lost but now I’m found. No room for spiritual pride. Every day I need His grace, I was connected to God by grace, I am connected to God by grace and I will be connected to God by grace.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (NAS)
Paul asks us to consider, to remember, that at one time / you were. Why do we need to remember what we were? Who we were?… It makes us grateful for what He has made us in His Son. Remembering, softens our hearts toward the people of our world.
Kindness Outreach / Servant Evangelism…A method. Yes it is a method but it is more than a method. It is a life value that reflects a servant attitude expressed by action…that says…It is more blessed to give than to receive.
When we lose sight of the Grace of God we become ungraceful, un-thankful proud people. We become Holier than “them out there” and… forget our nudging others toward Jesus is the reason why we are Christians in the first place. Acts 1:8 We are blessed to be a blessing!
If we are rude and uncaring toward the people in our sphere of influence… I wonder just how Spirit filled we really are. In reality we could be a dead unfruitful tree.
Parables…Tree no fruit… curse it cut it down…Tree no fruit…dig in dung, give it 3 years if no fruit cut it down. Maybe it’s time we examine our fruit…
Steve Sjogren… Small things done with great love will change our world.
‘The kindness I’m talking about are practical acts of mercy done by followers of Jesus who are inspired by the Holy Spirit to see others through the eyes of God.’ steve sjogren
Paul writes it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. Rom 2:4
Kindness is not an apathetic response to sin, but a deliberate act to bring a person back to God Nelson’s Bible Dictionary
One of the hall-marks of a fruit bearing Christian is… Grace express by kindness.
Webster’s dictionary implies kindness as a spiritual root by defining kindness as having a sympathetic, helpful and forbearing nature.
Paul exhorts us to allow our forbearing spirit be known to all men. Phil 4:5 Forbearance is the ability to see and love people as God sees and loves them.
Remember the bumper sticker… Jesus save us from these Christians.
Our mandate: Redefine to our world who Jesus really is. How? By being a serving, a powerful and a graceful people as we proclaim the good news. These are the kind of people who stand out like lights in a world of un-grace.