Very clearly in the Bible, Jesus sends us on a mission: Go make disciples.
This includes 2 parts: Evangelism (new people) and Discipleship (maturing people).
In this series, we are focusing on evangelism portion of the great commission. The next three weeks we are going fully equip you to become effective evangelists. Evangelism sends cold chills down my back. Scary. All my life it has been taught a certain way and that way went totally against my personality.
In this sermon series, we are going to look at Jesus’ model of evangelism.
You love Jesus, but you aren’t nailing it when it comes to reaching people. Speak!
- How often do you consciously think about reaching the lost for Jesus?
- How easy is it for you on a scale from 1 to 10?
- Is there anything intimidating to you about helping someone be saved?
Luke 10:1 The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit.
Verse 1 tells us that Jesus was strategic. He had a plan. It was not random. It also tells us to do it with others. We are not on our own. This still happens today. “Will, get a group of guys and go play basketball in Buda. See who shows up. Steven, go workout in the gym see who shows up. Joy, go jogging with students around the river.”
On Friday night, I will be gathering with people at Kreuz Market (eating delicious BBQ) but the main message of the night is the strategy of evangelizing and discipling people in Lockhart.
Luke 10:2 These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.
This passage is so important. It gives us the picture of what is happening with evangelism. It is the same as planting seeds, watering, waiting, harvesting. Evangelism is farming.
There are times that you will converse with people and will simply be planting seeds. You might be doing that with words or you might be doing that with the way you live your life. The way you respond to challenge. The way you respond to gossip. The way you respond to success. People are looking at you and reading you. You are planting seeds when you are living your life.
Francis of Assisi “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
Sometimes our farming is with words. We are there to love people. Listen and then pray, share truth. They are not ready to fully believe Jesus and trust him with their life, but they are receptive to the message you are living and speaking about.
Then, there is harvest time. This is when a person is ready to surrender everything and walk with Jesus. As the first century believers would say, “They are now a part of The Way.”
AND from Jesus’ perspective the challenge is not the sinners. The challenge is getting more farmers.
There will always be a plethora of people outside of God’s plan. There is plenty of soil. You don’t have to pray, “God, please let me be around sinners today.”
What we do need to pray is, “Lord, allow me to participate in growing your kingdom today. Give me the words to say. Let me know when to say nothing at all. Give me courage. Lead me by your Spirit. Anoint me for today’s journey. I want to be a harvester.”
Luke 10:3 Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.
Ok, reality check. There are going to be some challenges. There are some people out there that appear to be safe, but they are not. At the same time, don’t trust in your ability to take care of yourself!
Theologian Darrell Bock “Mission must be marked with prayer and dependence.”
When the harvest is ready, it is game time! It gets first priority. Cancel other stuff if there is a good thing going in a conversation/relationship.
This is where we need to be careful with how much entertainment we get sucked into. There is nothing wrong with rest, entertainment, and goofing off for an appropriate time, but when you get addicted to apps and shows and a large part of your evening or day is wasted with fluff, then you need to reconsider your priority.
Jesus says the kingdom is priority!
Luke 10:5 “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’
When you first enter a relationship, you bring peace. Not just their physical home, but when you enter their life, you are to be known for your peace.
This is tied intrinsically to the message a couple weeks back on Jan 31. Our baptism identities. When we are baptized into him, we are take on this identifying factors.
BC – Before Christ, you enter conversations or relationships posturing and establishing your persona/identity. Your authority, your clout, your experience, your strength. You are constantly trying to size yourself up with someone else. What are they wearing? Purse? Car?
After Christ, you enter a relationship with one thing: peace. I bring peace.
Luke 10:6 If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you.
This is the core of this whole sermon series. Jesus is saying, “Find people of peace.”
A Person of Peace is one who is prepared to hear the message of the Kingdom and the King. They are ready to receive what God will give you to say at that moment.
Over the next two weeks, we will be sharing with you how to specifically identify people of peace in different surroundings and how to appropriately respond.
Luke 9:5 And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”
Luke 10:16 Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”
This message is so freeing and at the same time empowering.
Freeing because the power does not come from us. Our charisma is not the answer. Our biblical prowess is not the answer. We bring Jesus. Jesus is the answer.
It is freeing because it says from the beginning that some people will not receive it and that is not your fault. That is between God and them. God can handle it. It is empowering because he has called us. It is empowering because he has equipped us. There is a mission. It does matter. We participate with God in building his kingdom.
As we approach March 27th, Resurrection Sunday (Easter), put these sermons to practice.
- PRAY – Start praying, “Lord, help me today see with your eyes. Let me know when it is time to sow and reap. Lord, give me the courage and power to LIVE a life that preaches the gospel.”
- LIST – write a list of people in your life that seem to be people of peace.
- ACT – Bring PEACE. Make it a priority. Share truth. Invite them to your community gathering. The easiest thing you could do is invite them to Easter Sunday morning.