Evangelism - IN HIS STEPS
Happy Father’s Day… As I was praying for today’s service I was reminded of the importance of Fathers in our lives. On July 19 1910 the Governor of the State of Washington called for the celebration of fathers. Father’s Day was preceded by Mother’s Day and yet there was some who wanted to scrap these days and instead celebrate Parent’s Day. It was not until the early 1970’s that Father’s Day became official in the USA and was also celebrated yearly in Canada.
In light of Father’s Day I would like to take this morning look at Jesus’ relationship to his Father, especially in the context of evangelism. We know 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” (John 3:16). No matter how you recognize the relationship between God the Father and Jesus His Son, one must understand the their unending love for each other and for mankind.
- John 3:35 - The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.
- John 5:20a - For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.
- John 14:31 - The world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
- John 15:10 - If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
The love relationship between Jesus and His Father in heaven was foundational and expressed through the life of Jesus by his obedience.
Footprints in the Sand
I am sure many of you have read the poem Footprints in the Sand, by Mary Stevenson. This poem reminds us to walk side by side with God and when look and see only one set of footprints - be reminded that is when the Lord carried us. There are times in life when the struggles seem to rise up like a tidal wave. The Lord is there to carry us. We may feel alone, depressed, overwhelmed, or tempted to sin - these are the times when we need to let God’s love win our hearts and let him carry us for a season. Today is Father’s Day and what better to to let God have those challenges of life and let him carry you.
In His Steps
I believe the greatest desire of Jesus was to fulfill His Heavenly Father’s will. In other words, Jesus sought to walk in His Father’s steps while completing his ministry on earth. Jesus knew that his time on earth was “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). We are told in the Scriptures that “the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing… (John 5:19). It was His Father’s leading to preach and demonstrate the Good News of the Kingdom of God. As Jesus walked through life, loving His Father and obeying Him, he pleased God by going “through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt 9:35–38). This is what the Father was doing through Jesus… As Jesus ministered evangelistically, he also encountered many challenges… It was during these times the Father offered his support and comfort. The Father sent his angels to strengthen Jesus, the Father sent sign and wonders to remind Jesus who he was, Jesus walked on water, fed the five thousand… All of these experiences would have encouraged Jesus to follow In His Father’s Steps, even to the point of death on the cross.
Followers of Jesus
How does the life of Jesus relate to us as workers sent into the harvest field? Sharing the Gospel can be intimidating for many reasons, however let’s remember that we have a perfect evangelist to learn from - Jesus himself. Just as Jesus followed His Father’s leading so we now can follow his examples from Scripture while being empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are to exhibit a lifestyle of evangelism, in season and out of season, with all kinds of people in all kinds of settings. We must not force evangelism on anyone or make it about a program; sometimes people share their faith to satisfy their needs where true evangelism is about the unsaved. As well, evangelism is more than getting someone to pray, it is all about making disciples and teaching people how to live for Jesus today and until Jesus returns. I want to five ways to overcome our fears and to intentionally engage in sharing our faith.
- Let’s remember that we have received the Spirit of power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7-8) so that we don’t have to be fearful or ashamed of sharing about Jesus. We need to be daily filled with the Spirit of God… Overflowing…
- Jesus often asked questions… To the religious “why are you thinking such things? To the poor “why do you worry about clothes…” To the sick “what do you want me to do? Asking questions is a great way to get someone sharing life… It is OK to talk with “sinners” about everyday life…
- Let’s start a conversation with people who are different in their thinking or lifestyles. We need to overcome awkward social norms of our secular culture. Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman, a woman caught in adultery, the rich young ruler… He overcame the barriers of the 1st Century culture. Jesus knew who he was regardless of what others thought or said about him. Jesus will show us how to share our faith, maintain purity while practicing love and also being Biblical
- It is OK to agree to disagree and still have a conversation or even a friendship. We must engage in respectful dialogue. No one believes or thinks perfectly, we must be willing to have conversations with people, even if we see their ideas as confused or unbiblical. If a conversation gets to heated politely back off…
- It is important to share your own struggles in life and the opportune moment. We need to be vulnerable when sharing our faith journey. It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Rom 2:4), therefore be gentle and graceful and sensitive when sharing about life’s challenges.
Recently, we have been studying about the Second Coming of Jesus and the importance of sharing our faith. Sometimes we feel that the evangelist should be the one evangelizing, however, Jesus has given each one of us a personal testimony. This morning is Part Three of our church questionnaire. The purpose of these surveys is to help us corporately put evangelism into action especially in the areas of our gifts and talents. This is another tool to help us reach out and share our faith here in Saskatoon and to the ends of the earth.
Courts of Praise Outreach Questionnaire
Circle the way you prefer being contacted:
Text Messenger Phone Call Email Other:
1. If you could list a topic that you have a lot of knowledge about and would love to contribute to in a neighbourhood conference or seminar, what would it be?
2. Do any of these topics have enough value to you that you would be willing to invest significant time or resource to invest in?
How to Raise Healthy Kids Parenting 101 Marriage Enrichment
Premarital Counselling Counselling Financial Advice Making A Will
Conflict Management Social Justice and the Kingdom of God
Understanding People - Personality and Psychological Profiles Bullying
Healing Addictions Boundaries Health Physical Healing
Nutrition Grief Counselling Healing from Divorce Addiction Prevention
Help with English as A Second Language Teaching a Second Language
Inner Healing Cooking Baking Knitting Global Citizen
ESL Other (please specify)
3. What areas of missions excites you most? Specify and/or circle one
Local Regional National International
Social Justice Preaching Prayer Performing Arts Written Word
Other (please specify)
4. Are there any opportunities or ideas that would relate directly to evangelism and building the house at Courts of Praise that you would like us to be aware of?