Inviting People to Jesus
“Ah! dear friend, you little know the possibilities which are in you.”
Charles H. Spurgeon
If God asked you to be a missionary and to leave your home with little money and fly to South America when you spoke little Spanish, would you go? That is exactly what God asked untrained 19 year old Bruce Olson to do in 1959. Bruce tells an amazing story about how he landed in Venezuela and set out into the jungle to meet the Barí people. His efforts lead to him being shot with an arrow, getting very ill and being distrusted by the local people, but it later turned to him connecting with the locals and leading whole tribes to Christ. All because Bruce did what God called him to do.
This reminds me of when Andrew met Jesus for the first time and what his first response was. (John 1:35-42) Andrew is hanging out with John the Baptist the day after john had Baptized Jesus. “When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!” John 1:36. Andrew was very excited when he heard this. The promised Messiah, revealed in over 300 Old Testament scriptures such as Isaiah 7:14, had arrived. Andrew knew that this day, this man was very significant. His response here is great. “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).” John 1:41.
You might be asking, “Who is Andrew?” Here are a few facts about him.
* He is Peter’s brother
* His name means “Manley” (probably born with hair on his chest)
* He was a Fisherman, outdoorsman, and a common laborer
* He would have been on the crew of Discovery’s Deadliest Catch
* He was a quiet man
* He is only mentioned twelve times in the bible with four of the times being grouped with other people
While few know much about Andrew, his life was lived leading others to Jesus. Andrew led Peter to Jesus, but he didn’t stop there. Later in John 12 a group of Greeks want to meet Jesus and went to Philip who was unsure what to do. Philip then went to Andrew who immediately led them all to meet Jesus. For him it was a no brainer. Everyone needed to know Jesus! While people like Andrew and Bruce serve to inspire us, very few of us follow their lead.
A few years ago the Lilly Endowment did a survey of 300,000 worshippers in 2,200 churches over 8 different denominations. They found that ¾ of churchgoers came because someone invited them to church. However, 54 percent of them have not invited anyone to church in the last year. Lifeway did a poll a couple of years ago and found that 67% of Americans would me more than willing to visit a church is they were invited by a family member and 56% of Americans would go if a friend invited them, but less than half the church invites people to church and I can guarantee that even less people talk about their relationship with Christ with people outside of the church.
The problem is that most church goers see telling people about Jesus a religious exercise, a chore, a responsibility and a duty. It is not that we don’t love Jesus; it’s that we don’t realize the eternal significance. Jesus tells us that “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. We forget that if the people we love don’t love Jesus, they’re not going to heaven. This is not about the church reaching out, about you reaching out. Being a witness for Christ is not an option. Being a witness is what we are before what we do.
This week I encourage you to do these five things:
1. Ask God, through prayer, to show you the world through His eyes
2. Look for the invisible people who the world has forgotten
3. Do the unexpected and show compassion to those who need Chirst
4. Choose to love those around you with abandonment
5. Share Jesus. You must use words with your actions!
If you don’t know what to tell them then say this, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are separated from God for eternity, but God so loved the world he gave His one and only begotten son, who ever believes in him and accepts him as their savior, will not die and go to hell but have ever lasting life with God in heaven.”
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