Called to More

Our world is a mess because of sin.  But God wants to transform it, and he wants to use us in that process.

Some of that transformation is physical. He’s called us to stand up for the weak and oppressed.  To support the widow and the orphan.  To feed the hungry and the poor.  He’s called us to be his physical hands and feet to a broken, hurting world.  

But physical transformation is only part of what God is accomplishing.  He also wants to bring about spiritual transformation and renewal, and he wants to use us in that mission as well.  As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5, God has entrusted disciples of Jesus with the “ministry of reconciliation.”  He’s given us the good news of Jesus, and He wants us to share that good news with others.  

This is an incredible calling and one we should take very seriously.  Yet, statistically most Christians rarely, if ever, share their faith.  I’m right there too.  I’m more than willing to help people with their physical needs, but I struggle talking to people about their spiritual needs.  

Unfortunately, social justice without the Gospel is not enough.  Even if I could physically heal all the sick.  Feed all the hungry.  Give homes to all the homeless.  Jobs to the jobless.  Parents to the orphans.  Peace to the war-torn.  Even if I could meet every physical need in this world, if those people don’t know Jesus, then all I’ve done is make them more comfortable before their eternal death.  

Yes, it is important to care for people’s physical needs, to be the tangible “hands and feet” of Jesus, but if a person doesn’t know Jesus, then the relief I provide is only temporary.   It’s not solving the problem of their sin and reconciling them to God.

God has called us to more.  He has given us the hope of the Gospel!  

He has given us the hope of John 3:16 That God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

He has given us the hope of Romans 8:14-17: That as followers of Jesus, we are children of God, and co-heirs with Christ.

He has given us the hope of Hebrews 13:5: That God will never leave us or forsake.

He has given us the hope of Romans 8:31 That [because] God is for us nothing can be against us….

He has given us the hope of Psalm 30 That God can turn mourning into dancing, sorrow into joy, death into life.  

He has given us the hope of Revelations 21:4:  That there will be a day when God will “wipe every tear from our eyes, and death will be no more.  Neither with there be mourning or weeping or pain anymore for the old things will pass away and new things will come.”  

This is good news!  

So why do so many of us struggle sharing the Gospel with others? Why do we keep our mouths shut when God is calling us to speak?  Because we believe the lies of the enemy.  

Lie #1:  You aren’t qualified.

Satan Says:  Have you seen your life?  It’s a mess.  What makes you think you have anything to offer them?  Sharing the gospel should be left to the professional Christians because you don’t know what you’re doing.

The Gospel Says:  Your weaknesses are not too great for God to use you. In fact, God has done amazing things through people far more messed up than you. (Ever heard of Paul?) When you say “I’m not good enough,” what you are really saying is, “God isn’t good enough to work through me.” And that’s simply not true.

The fact is, God isn’t looking for the best and the brightest. He’s looking for the humble, the faithful, the willing.  He doesn’t need you to provide anything; He simply needs you to love Him and be willing to go when He calls.

Are you adequate for the task?  No.  But God is.  Can you save anyone by your own power?  No.  But God can. Do you have all the answers?  No.  But God does.  

LIE #2:  They aren’t going to listen.

Satan Says:  God can do a lot of things, but do you really think he can change them?  Look at them . . . they’re a mess.  They have no interest in God.  They won’t listen to you.  At best, this will be awkward.  At worst, you will destroy your relationship.  So save your time, and keep your mouth shut.

The Gospel Says:  There is no one that God can’t save.  No one who can out-sin God’s grace.  Instead of writing people off and concluding that there is nothing God can do, PRAY.  Plead with God for the lost.  Beg Him to transform peoples’ lives. Pound on the doors of heaven on behalf of those who are perishing.

This can be hard.  Heart change does not always happen quickly, and it is easy to start thinking, “God isn’t listening.  My prayers don’t matter. He’s never going to move.”   But He is listening, prayer does matter, and He will move in His divine timing.  

LIE # 3:  There is always tomorrow.  

Satan Says:  What’s the rush.  Just wait.  Wait for all the conditions to be perfect, and then tell them about Jesus.  

The Gospel Says:   Your life is a breath, a mist, a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow (James 4:14).  You don’t know how long you have, and you don’t know how long they have.  So, instead of waiting endlessly for the “right moment” to come along, capitalize on the moments you have.  Ask God, “Where do you want me go today? Who do you want me to talk? Is there anyone in need that I can help right now?” And then be faithful to do what God calls you to, even if it seems impossible.

 

Ultimately, people don’t learn the Gospel through osmosis.  Simply being around a Christian isn’t enough to reveal the full truth of God’s word to someone.  Yes, our lives should cause people to ask the question, “What’s different about them?”  But then we have to answer that question.  That is our opportunity to say, “I’m not just a nice person.  I don’t just love people because I’m a good guy.  The only way this is possible is through the blood of Jesus Christ.  The only way I’m able to love is because Christ loved me first.” When we are the “hands and feet” of Jesus, it gives us the opportunity to be His voice as well. To share the good news of Jesus to a world desperately in need hope. 

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