God Is At Work Before We Arrive and After We Depart …So Be Available Every Day
While it is clear that God has plans to use Christ’s followers as ambassadors, it is critical that our perspective be shaped by God’s perspective of this privilege. A previous blog – “You Can Win an Argument or Build a Friendship, But Rarely at the Same Time” – emphasized three lessons:
Our engagement in fruitful evangelism is rooted in our enjoyment of intimate, obedient fellowship with God (2 Cor. 2:14-16).
Honest questions are stimulated by genuine interest in a person’s life revealed through gracious interaction marked by caring questions (Col. 4:5-6; 1 Pet. 3:14-16). People who harass us spiritually are often the ones who eventually ask questions, but only if we are not surprised or personally offended by their negativity (1 Pet. 4:12-14).
There is a final lesson that encourages us to be fully available in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It gives us encouragement to wisely get involved and endurance to remain faithful in this ministry. We discover in John 5:17 that our Father is always at work, that we are never the first one on the scene in the midst of spiritual opportunity. We always join with God’s ongoing work when we are engaged in personal evangelism (John 6:37,44) because the Father gives to the Son those He draws.
People must believe the message about Jesus (John 6:40) and God uses people as His messengers (Acts 1:8)…but the Father initiates this redemptive purpose and we are His partner as we share Christ in the power His Spirit.
The anxiety often experienced by believers in evangelistic settings can be replaced by anticipation of being involved with God, realizing that the response of people (Acts 17:32-34) is not ultimately about us when we put the focus on Christ.
Heaven will be a time of awesome worship and intimate fellowship with God and all who know Him through faith in the provision for salvation through His Son. Our growing understanding of God’s eternal truth will constantly enlarge our gratitude for the privilege of knowing and sharing His grace with others while on earth.
However, the one blessing we will never experience in heaven is clearly explaining the Gospel of Jesus Christ to another person. Everyone will know Him.
As you engage in spiritually significant conversations in the present, make the most of every opportunity with joy and confidence because we know God is at work before we arrive and continues to work when we leave.
~ Ken Horton