14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? — Romans 10:14 NLT
Romans 10:9-15 NLT When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we became a part of a family and took on the family name, Christian. One of the biggest responsibilities that comes with the family name is telling others about our new family and inviting them to become a part of that family. “Go and make disciples” isn’t a suggestion, it is a command. That doesn’t mean that we all have to lay down what we are doing and go to foreign countries but it does mean that wherever you are is your mission field. “Go” to your family, your neighbor, your business associate, your friends and your enemies. Telling others about Jesus should be considered a privilege and it should be a joy for us to do it. When God called us to be His child, He had a plan and a purpose for us. He has a part for each of us to play in building His Kingdom here on earth and in heaven. Can we be Christians without “going and telling”? Each of us should ask God that question and seek His answer diligently. Can we be happy, joyful Christians without “going and telling”? Since not telling is being disobedient, I seriously doubt it. If you have never experienced the joy of leading someone to Christ, ask God to give you that opportunity today. “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
All day Sunday and Sunday night, Jesus appeared to different people. As He revealed to each who He was, they were frightened. The truth of all the things that Jesus had told them had still not become a reality to them. Though for the better part of three years, Jesus had taught them in an effort to prepare them for His death and resurrection, it was still hard to accept the truth–Jesus is alive! Could this really be Jesus resurrected from the tomb? Yes, it must be so!
Looking back from this side of the cross, it would be very easy for us to criticize the disciples for their slowness to accept the truth. It would be very easy for us to say, “how could they not believe?” Yet, today when Jesus reveals Himself to us through the Holy Spirit, aren’t we just as slow to accept the Gospel as the truth? Aren’t we just as doubtful? Could this story really be true? Does such love exist? We have an abundance of information, both Biblical and historical, that these events occurred just as they are recorded in the Gospels. We have three witnesses, one of which the disciples didn’t have at this time and would not have until after Jesus ascended. Our mission is to spread the Good News knowing that the Holy Spirit will confirm it as the Truth.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Jesus had given up all His glory when He left heaven to become our Redeemer. That mission was soon to be completed. He had not lost a single soul that the Father had given Him. (Yes, Judas was lost, but he obviously was never a true believer) Now, Jesus is asking His Father to bring Him back home to be returned to that glory. He will have accomplished everything that they had planned before the earth was formed. He, once again, tells us the way to eternal life is to know Himself and His Father, the only true God. Now, it is our turn to bring glory to the Father by living the same lifestyle that Jesus lived. 35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.—Matt. 9:35, 36 (NLT)
As we go, we should always be telling the Good News about the Kingdom, but there are those that Jesus puts in our path that He wants us to talk to about Him. Our lifestyle and actions should be such that people notice a difference between us and the world. If we allow the Holy Spirit that abides in us to do His work through us then we will produce the fruits of the Spirit and that will draw people to Jesus.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
The people knew Jesus was the man the Jewish leaders were trying to kill. They wondered how He could preach in public without being arrested. Did the leaders really believe this man was the Messiah? They decided that that was impossible since they knew where Jesus had been born and raised. If they knew this and they knew the prophecies concerning the Messiah, how could they possible come to the conclusion that no one would know where Messiah came from? After all, there were hundreds of prophecies fulfilled by the birth, life and death of Jesus. It should have been crystal clear to them that Jesus would be born of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem, that He would be of the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David. Messiah must be born of a woman to fulfill the prophecy in Genesis.
15 From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”—-Genesis 3:15 (NLT)
But we should not be surprised, even today, with the myriad of historical and Biblical proof there is available, people still find ways to disbelieve. It is our job to pray and to speak the truth in love. We must follow Paul’s example.
23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.–1 Cor. 9:23 (NLT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin[f] will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’) — Isaiah 7:14
Ahaz was king of Judah. Judah was being attacked by a coalition of nations and Ahaz and Judah were in deep trouble. God sent Isaiah with a message of reassurance, but Ahaz refused to honor God’s request. His refusal to ask for a sign was not faith, it was arrogance. God gave him a sign anyway. A virgin would bear a child and call His name Immanuel (God is with us). This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew.
And God is still with us, He will never leave us nor forsake us. That’s the Good News that we are to spread to the world. That is the hope that we have as Christians. It is that hope that sustains us and gives us our joy. A joy that no one can take from us because “nothing can separate us from the love of God”. Nothing, absolutely nothing, no time, no where!!!! Rejoice, for a child is born!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
9 “And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why the Lord has brought all these disasters on them.’” — 1 Kings 9:9 NLT
God had fulfilled all of His promises and particularly those He had made to David and Solomon up to this point. God blessed David and allowed him to amass all the wealth that Solomon would need to build the temple. He had anointed David and then Solomon to be king over Israel. He gave Solomon peace from all of his enemies for the time it took to build the temple and his own palace. But the Creator of the universe knows the flesh. He knew that as time passed, the people would become complacent and return to their idol worship. So, even in this time of great celebration, God reminded them of what would happen if they abandoned Him and worshipped idols and honored created things as gods. When we forget God and when we no longer worship Him as the only true and living God, He allows things in our lives to remind us of Who He is. When God has blessed us, we must not become complacent and allow things or people to replace Him in our lives. We must continually take inventory of our attitudes and actions to be sure they are God-honoring. He is still the Creator of the universe, He is still the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is up to us to be sure He is sitting on the throne of our lives. If we forget and stray away, He will remind us of who He is and who we are. That’s the bad news. The good news is that He will coming looking for us and bring us home on His shoulders. When He has returned us to the fold, there will be a party in heaven.
3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power,with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. — 1 Thess. 1:3-6 NIV
God has chosen each of us and has a plan for each of us. We are sanctified, set apart, for a particular purpose. Our faith produces works that are a part of that process. We show our love for Christ by laboring and helping others. We are able to endure because of the hope we have in us, the hope that we have because God has poured His love into us. When the Gospel is preached, it goes forth with power to accomplish whatever purpose God has intended for it. The power is the Holy Spirit which can cut us to the bone and convict us of our need for redemption. This is the message Paul and his companions preached among the Thessalonians and in all the other places they traveled. They were successful, not because of their powers of persuasion, but because they were completely obedient to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. It is the same message that each of us should be preaching every day with our lifestyle and as St Francis of Assisi encouraged us to do: “Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words.” We should follow the example of Paul and live lifestyles that are worthy of imitation, just as we have become imitators of Christ. Then those who are suffering will receive the message with great joy. Their joy will be observed by others who will want to know the source of such great joy. The kind of joy that endures in the midst of suffering and persecution, the kind of joy that is caught, not taught.
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. — 2 Cor. 5:18-21 NIV
When we accepted Christ as our Savior, we were born again and became new creations clothed in the righteousness of Christ. All of this is a gift from God because He wanted us to be reconciled to Him. He had made us in His image to have fellowship with Him. Sin had broken that relationship. God fixed the relationship by sending His Son as the perfect sacrifice. He no longer sees us as sinners, but as the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Once we are reconciled to Him, we become His ambassadors here on this earth. We are aliens living in a foreign country. As His ambassador, God wants to use us to make His appeal to others. For that to happen, we need to talk to others about our country, Heaven, and about our King, Jesus Christ. That is what ambassadors do. They tell others the good things about their country in the hope that their leaders will gain favor in the eyes of the other peoples. So, as God’s ambassadors, we are to tell His story in the hope that the other people will want to know Him. The BIG difference is that, in this case, each person does have to choose and their are only two choices. We will all soon be leaving this country and there are only two destinations and they are permanent. One is hell and one is Heaven. It is our duty as ambassadors to spend our time and resources in getting people to make the right choice. Today is the day of salvation. Jesus is our example and here, in His own words, is the job description He gave for Himself and for us as ambassadors.
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” — Luke 4:18, 19 NIV
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.—Acts 10:34-36 NIV
Just as Peter had to be shown that Gentiles were not “unclean” in the sight of God, we sometimes need to be taught that same lesson. We are all “unclean” in the sense that we are sinful, but the reference here is whether or not we are worthy of consideration for the gospel. Peter was speaking about nations, but let’s bring that down to groups and even further, let’s bring it down to individuals. How many times have we felt the nudge to speak to someone about the message of Jesus Christ and we have not been obedient? Have we not, in that instance, said “No, Lord, they are unclean.”? Reread verse 36, it says “through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all”. God has already decided that He wants everyone to hear the gospel.
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.–1 Timothy 2:3,4 NIV
We need to pray that God will release us from the fear of rejection and failure, so that we can witness to those He puts in our path each day. It helps to remember that we are not responsible for the outcome, we are only responsible to God to be obedient to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Our success in witnessing is determined by our obedience, not by the final results. We obey, God takes care of the rest.
7 Make no mistake about this: You can never make a fool out of God. Whatever you plant is what you’ll harvest.8 If you plant in the soil of your corrupt nature, you will harvest destruction. But if you plant in the soil of your spiritual nature, you will harvest everlasting life. 9 We can’t allow ourselves to get tired of living the right way. Certainly, each of us will receive everlasting life at the proper time, if we don’t give up. 10 Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to do what is good for everyone, especially for the family of believers.–Galatians 6:7-10 (NLT)
Jesus went about doing good deeds and spreading the good news that the Kingdom of God was at hand. He is our example to follow. With all the bad news we hear each day, we need to be diligent in spreading the good news. God gives us abundant opportunities each day to plant good seed in good soil. The majority of people that you come into contact each day are looking for something to believe in and hold onto. They are looking for something solid and secure that is not going to change. We have the answer in the good news of Jesus and His free gift of salvation. People are drowning in the sea of uncertainty and doubt. We are holding the life rope they need. Take the time to throw it out and bring them to the shore to meet Jesus.
If we focus on Jesus and spreading the Good News, He will continue to strengthen us and fill us with joy. Again, we need to follow the example Jesus set by taking time to be alone with God, meditating on the Word and praying. These times of refreshing will keep us from growing weary of doing good. We will reap what we sow. So, let us be diligent in our journey here on earth and lay up our rewards in heaven.