God Will Use the Least of Us to Draw People to Him Isaiah 55:10-11


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By Henry Nelson | May 1, 2010

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”I would like to ask a question. “Why are we afraid to tell people about our faith?” Amen! {{more}}There are some professions in our society that have negative reputations, when we hear about a used car salesman, politicians, insurance sales people or lawyers, we often have a picture that comes to our mind.What comes to your mind when you hear the word evangelist, or evangelism? Images of Evangelists negative: obnoxious, pushy, money-grabbing, insensitive, self centered, big hair, bad suits positive: Extroverted, Billy Graham, committed, bold, outgoing, articulate, concerned for the salvation of others…Our negative images of Evangelism can be a big obstacle. We do not have to become pushy or obnoxious for the sake of the Gospel! Our positive images can be a less obvious obstacle, but an obstacle all the same. We might say “I could never be Billy Graham” well, not likely. But there are probably many people in your circle of influence who could not even relate to Billy Graham, but they do relate to us!The point is that, in order to be effective in reaching people for Jesus, we do not have to become something odd that we do not want to be. Nor do we have to become something great that we may never be. Rather, you can be yourselves. God knew what He was doing when He made you and me. He gave you the personality he wanted you to have, and he wants to use it to spiritually impact those around you.What are you called to in sharing your faith? If you are called to evangelism, what is that evangelism supposed to look like?AuthenticEffective evangelism flows out of a genuine, living relationship with Christ where His love for the lost people passes through us to others. You may have heard it said that “You are the only Bible that some people will read.” This is why our lives must reflect our message, if you are people who do not reflect the fruit of the Spirit to some extent. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Then our light is pretty dim. The reality of our faith is demonstrated by a life that has been noticeably marked by God’s love and leadership. Amen!John 15:5 says, “Jesus said that as we “abide in Him” we will “bear much fruit” Amen! Joe Aldrich said in his book, Lifestyle Evangelism, that “Christians are to be good news before they share the good news”NaturalInstead of trying to be something you are not, Relational evangelism reflects our own personality and design. It fits who we are! This puts others at ease and gives them the assurance that what we have is real and worth looking into.PersonalWhen it comes to reaching people who need Christ, there are two possible approaches: personal or impersonal. People today seem to be growing immune to many of the less personal methods of communication such as tracts, religious radio and television, billboards, and bumper stickers. People are; however, open to talking with a personal friend. What do we do when we need advice on an important decision or need help with a problem we are going through? Where do we turn? Generally we talk to someone we know and trust. If that is true of us, it is certainly true of non-believing people we know. They do not want to talk about personal matters, especially spiritual issues, with just anyone; they want to confide as a friend.How did you come to faith? It is usually through impersonal means, or through a significant relationship? Jesus did not fly over Jerusalem dropping gospel tracts! No, he came and dwelt among us, eating and drinking with sinners. Even he was the disciples’ friend before he was their savior. Amen!VerbalI am talking about relational evangelism, which involves more than just building friendships and hoping that others notice the difference in your lives and figure it out for themselves. Paul says in Romans 10:14-15, “How can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” it to them. Just as words without actions are empty, so are actions without words. ‘Amen!We have to live and explain the Gospel. Many a romantic comedy has been made where one of a pair goes out their way to be nice to the other without the other ever figuring out their feelings. Silence and subtly do not work, you need to say something. Process-Orientated Relational Evangelism is process-oriented vs. event-oriented. To be effective, we must not inappropriately rush or push a person. It takes time to understand the message, believe it, and act on it. Seldom do people hear the message for the first time and commit their lives to Christ. We must patiently bring people along, step by step.When your friends make a commitment to Jesus, you want them to stay with him. You do not want them to be like the stony ground in the parable where the seed sprouted up quick but then was wilted by the sun. Jesus says that no one builds a tower without counting the cost. Otherwise you will get the foundation laid and not be able to afford the top. You need to allow your friends to count the cost as well as the blessings of a relationship with Jesus. Amen!Team-OrientedGod rarely uses just one person to bring someone through the entire process of coming to faith in Him. More often He orchestrates a number of people, places, and events to lovingly move a person toward Christ. There are two implications to this.First, we do not have to feel that you individually carry the full burden of leading family and friends all the way to the point of trusting Christ. Another famous evangelist put it this way: “A person’s coming to Christ is like a chain with many links. There is the first link, middle links, and a last link. There are many influences and conversations that precede a person’s decision to convert to Christ. I know the joy of being the first link at times, a middle link usually, and occasionally the last link. God has not called me to only be the last link. He has called me to be faithful and to love all people.” Amen!I truly believe that the church needs to have one hand with God and the other with the world, trying to bring them together. For the individual Christian, while our ultimate goal is to put our friends’ hands in God’s, you may put their hand into the hand of a few other Christians along the way. For people really get the message, someone has to go and explain the way. Bring you friends to one of the events, or a service, or your small group at your church. Get them to know more Christians than just you.Fueled by LoveIt all comes back to the heart. You do not want to lead your friends to Jesus so that you can feel good about yourselves. It is not about putting a notch in our Bibles. You want to lead your friends to Jesus because you want them to live their lives knowing God’s great love for them and knowing the power of the Spirit in their lives!2nd Corinthians 5:14-15 says, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” Amen!EffectiveAs we talked about the whole idea of sharing our faith someone said that we do not share our faith because we are not convinced that it works. But each of us reading this who know Jesus are living proof that relational evangelism is effectiveIsaiah 55:10-11 says, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Amen!You need to realize that anytime that someone gives their life to Jesus it is a miracle, you cannot make it happen, but Miracles are God’s stock and trade. God calls us all to share our faith we are the main means that God has chosen to spread his message of forgiveness and love. And he will use us most powerfully in the relationships that we have.