Obey | Devotion #6: How?
Jill Osmon | Assistant to the Lead Pastor
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20
We have been talking about the great commission this week, the who, what, where, when, and why. Today I want to focus on the how, which, quite frankly, is a little intimidating. How do we adequately, successfully, and clearly give the Gospel out to the world today? We are living in the midst of a shift in America. As Christians, we are no longer the majority, we are not given the benefit of the doubt, and we are not given space to reach out as we have in the past. So, in our everyday life what does that look like? I think we first start with what God gave us, His Word.
The Bible is our conversation with God; it is our answers to how we live our lives. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
God promises to equip us to “every good work.” I do not know about you, but that is a relief. That means I do not have to do it on my human abilities. I tend to freeze up during important conversations. I think about what I want to say, and it sounds really good in my head. I sound smart, together, and eloquent. Then I open my mouth, and I sound like I have never had a complete conversation with another adult, at least that is how I feel. Can anyone else relate? I feel like a failure, like the life of that person was in my hands and I failed. However, this is what is so unbelievably humbling about God. He takes that feeble attempt, and He rescues peoples lives, in spite of my fumbling, in spite of my arrogance, and in spite of my nerves. He comes in and speaks directly to them, making our words work mysteriously. I am writing this, and I feel inspired that I can go and talk to people about my experience and God uses that, not because of me but because of Him.
Knowing when to speak is also a difficult thing to navigate. In Acts chapter 9, we learn of Saul’s conversion, and specifically in verse 20 it says, “And immediately he proclaimed Jesus.” I think it is that simple, immediately. Do not over complicate it. If you feel God’s prompting, act upon it. We all have stories where we felt God telling us to go and talk to someone, and we have ignored it. We should not do that anymore. We do not have time, and nothing else is more important. I am not advocating awkward, bursts of Gospel bombs, but a conversation, to connect with someone and tell them why your life is different. In 1 Peter 2:9 it says, “that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” If you get intimidated, scared, or unsure, remember this verse. Here it is again, because for me, when I read this all I want to do is cheer and honestly sing the song, “Into marvelous light I’m running, Out of darkness, out of shame. By the cross, you are the truth. You are the life; you are the way.” If you know the song, you are probably singing it, too!
Again,1 Peter 2:9 says, “that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” People want to come out of the darkness, they are searching and longing to come into the light. We cannot squander our chances to tell them how to come into the light.
So, as we go out living our lives, do not forget to listen to God’s prompting. Be ready to share why your life looks different, to be able and willing to give the Gospel because it is not our ability but God’s who will reach the lost. We get to be used by God to point people to Him. We can not take that for granted, nor lose out on the opportunities He gives us!