By Tom Chase
Have you ever wondered why some people are so open to hearing the message of the Gospel and others are not? I wish I knew the message that each person needed. I wish I could say all the right things that would make a difference!
The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 states,
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
I am reminded then, it’s God who really makes the difference . . . and what a difference He makes!
But in Matthew 28:19–20, we are told:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
So why then has God called me (us) to go and make disciples? Isn’t that His job?
Yes, it is, but He has asked me (us) to be a part . . . to be a disciple! He clearly involves us (me and you) in the process of helping others to be connected with Him!
So then we recognize that God does what God does and we do (or get to do) what we are to do!
He has His part and we have ours!
I was recently listening to Michael Ramsden of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). He was talking about ways of communicating the gospel to people and, as an aside, he said he had a novel approach. It’s called “talking to people.” J Why didn’t I think of that?!
But then he went on to share a story (see this link for the fuller message).
Basically, he relates an interaction between himself and the owner of a hairdresser’s shop. She starts out not even really talking to him but saying, “I wish there was more to life ….” But, as the conversation progresses, Michael begins sharing various points of the Gospel and she stops and writes them all down. She was so open to all that Michael shared. This woman then goes home and shares all that Michael had shared with her. Her husband tells her, “You’re preaching at me.”
What was the difference between the woman and her husband? She was asking questions, but her husband was not.
The phase, “You’re preaching at me!” and the associated attitude resonates with me as I think about people in my sphere of influence with whom I am hoping to share Christ. I really don’t want to just be “preaching” at people.
So, as a result, here are the kinds of things I’ve been beginning to pray:
- “Lord, help me talk with the people who are asking questions.”
- Even, “Lord bring people into my path that are asking questions.”
- And, “Lord, bring questions I can answer with Your help.”
- “Lord, I don’t want to be just preaching at people.”
- “But Lord, I do want to share the words of life . . . Your words that You can use to draw people to You.”
- “Make me sensitive to what you are doing and the questions people are asking. Use me today!”
So now I am waiting to see what God wants to do. I have relationships with people in which I am hoping to share and others that are just in my sphere of influence.
“Help me see what You are doing, God.”
“God, will You do what You do? And please help me do what I should do!”
As I am putting together the closing thoughts of this Last Word, the song by Keith Green, “Make My Life a Prayer to You,” is just welling up within me. I stopped and listened. (Maybe you will want to, too.)
I think it expresses what my heart needs and wants to be about. As you listen, maybe you, too, will be both challenged and encouraged.
And may God receive all the honor and the glory!!! Amen.