Peace on Earth

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Every December, when the frigid air comes to rest in the valley, one of the tallest buildings in town transforms into a beacon of hope. It’s hard not to notice the grand red lights shining atop the structure. But no one is looking at the building, they’re staring at the message crafted by the simple string of lights. In giant block letters the words, ‘Peace on Earth’ beam down upon the city.

Most years this message is a delightful Christmas greeting amidst all the other holiday lights strung around town. This year, however, the sounds of the busy street below seem to mock the message. Roaring headlines of terror, war, and poverty seem to drown out any idea of peace. I was reading an online news article yesterday about the fires that are ravaging southern California right now. Out of curiosity I did something that I don’t normally do; I read the comment section. What I read absolutely broke my heart. There were no comments of sympathy, grief, or a care in the world for the people who were losing everything they had. Every comment I read was dripping with sarcasm, political jabs, and cynicism. I sat there disgusted by what I saw, all while the words Peace on Earth seemed to now taunt me as they floated over the city.

How did we get here? How did a message of hope turn into taunting? Maybe the real question I should be asking is simpler than that. Maybe the question I should be asking is, what is peace?

In Hebrew the word peace is שָׁלוֹם (shalom). Each of the four Hebrew letters that make up the word shalom have a specific definition that brings a captivating depth to the word. The first letter שָ means ‘destroy’. ל means ‘authority’, וֹ is a connector, and ם is ‘chaos’ or ‘overflowing cup’. So together peace is defined in Hebrew as “destroying authority connected to chaos”. How cool is that?

The question now is what or who is the authority of chaos? Consider a weed in your yard for a moment. A weed is never really gone until you rip it out by the roots. You can cut off the head, tear off the leaves, but until the roots are pulled out, that weed is still alive. There might be many people or things you consider an authority of chaos, but if we desire peace in our life, then its going to begin by recognizing the root of chaos.

God’s Word tells us that the authority of chaos is Satan. He is the thief who has come to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He has no other desire than to mess things up and cause utter chaos for humanity. Satan doesn’t do that by making us spill coffee on clean clothes or cancelling our flight or getting our children to throw tantrums. He can certainly use those, but ultimately, he wants to distract us from the Peacemaker, Jesus.

When we are born, we are born into a world of brokenness and pain that is caused by the poison of sin in humanity. While we are capable of doing good, we are bound to sin. We are selfish, gossip, lie, cheat, steal, and so much more. No one is perfect, so we are bound to sin and the consequences that it brings. Satan loves it when we sin, because it creates chaos and drives us toward an eternity of chaos. But Jesus doesn’t want us to have to live in an eternity of chaos. He doesn’t want us to have to live without love, joy, and peace. So, God created an escape plan to break us out of the chains of sin. He sent Jesus to die on the cross, to accept that penalty of sin in our place. But He didn’t stay dead. Jesus rose again, He conquered the grave, thus freeing us from the bonds of sin. As a result, He offers us forgiveness, freedom, and peace.

For those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, we have received peace from the Enemy, Satan. Christ has destroyed the authority connected to chaos. We are no longer slaves to sin, but walk freely with the peace of Christ wrapped tightly around us. That doesn’t mean that life is perfect. We still spill coffee on our clean clothes. But there is a peace that surpasses all understanding that covers our lives. I know peace in my life because of Christ. There are anxieties and fears that are gone, because I know that I am loved by God. It is a peace that is available for everyone. If you don’t know Christ as your Savior, that peace is available to you, you just have to believe in Him (Romans 10:9).

For those who believe and walk with God, then you must ask yourself a question today. In the season of giving, how are you giving peace to others? God has blessed you with a peace that covers your eternity. This is not a gift that is meant to be withheld, but shared with others. When your brother or sister is grieving, how will you bring peace? When you are holding onto grudges or resentment, how will you bring peace? When you learn that someone does not know Christ, does not have the peace of God knowing that they are saved from their sins, how will you share God’s peace with them?

How will you make “Peace on Earth” a reality today?

Ephesians 2:13-16, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”

 

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Death of the Golden Rule

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It’s something that neither of us expected. My wife and I have had a bizarre year in restaurants. It wasn’t the food or atmosphere; it was the service. Almost every time we went on a date we were overlooked, ignored, or forgotten. Once, I was standing at the front counter waiting to put our name in. When the hostess returned, she looked past me and proceeded to check in the couple standing behind me.

On another date we decided to stick with water to drink. We finished our first glass before the salad and asked for a refill. We never received a refill that evening, but we did receive several refills of apologies followed by several prolonged absences by our waitress. Most recently were waiting with friends for a table for lunch. After our estimated time passed, we asked the host where we were on the list. He replied that it would only be ten more minutes. As the minutes passed by so did several other parties that had walked in after us. Probably any normal person would have found another restaurant at that point, but we were committed. We were committed to waiting over an hour before one of my friends (an employee of the restaurant) started her shift and promptly sat us.

I don’t know how we got so lucky this year. Part of me is still scratching my head when I wonder how two adults with their master’s degrees were repeatedly treated like children without a parent. Maybe its pride. Maybe its because I don’t always speak up. Maybe its because I make up excuses for servers since they don’t have the easiest job. Whatever it may be, we had a very bizarre year.

While I was surprised at my experience this year, this occurrence is all too common. Not usually in restaurants, but in everyday life. We look out for ourselves, rather than others. The Golden Rule we grew up learning, seems to be dead. We don’t treat others as we would want to be treated. We put ourselves first. I’m not trying to propose anything new. It’s been happening since the fall of man. Sin has long enticed us to look out for ourselves, rather than others. Yet for some reason I feel like it happens more often. Maybe I’m just more aware of it today than I was yesterday.

I still remember the shock I felt when I heard the news report from New York in 2010. A homeless man had rescued a woman from a knife-wielding attacker, but was stabbed several times during the confrontation. The man collapsed on the sidewalk laying in a pool of blood. For over an hour he laid there with nearly 25 people walking past him, taking cellphone pictures, staring at him, and even bending down to look at his face. It wasn’t until an hour and twenty minutes after the man fell to the ground that someone shook him and called 911. By the time firefighters arrived, he was already dead. As he was taken away, a security camera silently hovered above having captured the entire scene.

Why do we allow this to happen? I wish I could write this and say that I’m different. I’d like to think that I am. I’d like to think that I’d call 911 immediately or that I’d put the customer first. But I can’t say that without some doubt, knowing that I’m human, prone to the bystander effect and prone to sin. I can be selfish. And I believe that if you take a close look at your life, you’ll find that sometimes you’re in the same boat. Maybe we would call 911 right away. Maybe we would put the customer first. But at some point in your life, you’ve put your wants and desires above the needs of others.

My humanity is not my excuse to follow the status quo. My humanity is my call to humility. See, despite my selfishness, God still loves me. He still loves you. God believes we were worth dying for so that we may be set free from the bonds of sin. My selfishness did not deserve His selflessness. Yet Christ still sacrificed His life, rose from the dead, and all so that we may have forgiveness. His love is humbling and it is compelling. His love beckons us to believe and follow. As we follow Him, we desire to walk as He did by putting others first. When we set aside our own desires and serve the needs of others His love shines forth. This week strive to put others first and serve their needs before your own, just as Christ did for us. How will you serve others?

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:3-8

Little Blessings

Panic raced through my mind as the tiny light flashed in the car. The Maintenance Required light had just turned on. What’s wrong? Am I going to make it to my next stop? Is the engine going to fall out? After a quick glance across the dashboard, I realize the problem; it was time for an oil change. My alarm dissipated, and I continued to drive.

An oil change meant another expense for the month, not something I was looking forward to. My panic turned into procrastination. After weeks of postponing, I finally dragged myself in to get the oil changed. When I arrived, I remembered that I had a punch card from previous oil changes. Unsure of how many holes were on the card, I rummaged through my glovebox. Maybe, just maybe today would be the day. To my relief and delight, the punch card was full, and I could receive a free oil change and inspection that day. My procrastination had been pointless, along with my dread of the expenses. All thanks to a little blessing.

We are in the season of counting our blessings. As families and friends sit around a table next week for Thanksgiving, we are reminded of all that we are grateful for. For loved ones, for God’s provision, and of course the bountiful meal. Maybe you have a job, maybe you have a roof over your head, you might even have heat to keep you warm. These are only a smattering of the things that we can be thankful for.

May I challenge you with something this week? Remember to be thankful for the little blessings. There is plenty that I find myself taking for granted. God provided a free oil change this week. I am reminded of His blessings and good timing in all things. Both big and small I have a lot to be thankful for, but it tends to be the little things that go overlooked. This morning I woke up with breath in my body. Praise God that He gave me another day! I got to read my Bible today. Praise God that I have a Bible and the ability to read it! Last night, Tiffany and I had a friend over before she travels for a while. We are both deeply thankful for her friendship and for the many friends God has brought into our life. Praise Him who has blessed us with such amazing friends!

We all have a lot to be thankful for. Maybe you don’t think so. You look around at your life and you don’t have a whole lot. But that’s part of this challenge; too look past what we might consider the big things in life and recognize the little blessings that we do have. Recognize the things in your life that you don’t often praise God for, the things we take for granted. You might even take time to write them down and put the list somewhere you can see it as a reminder of the little blessings.

May you and your family have a wonderful season of thanksgiving this week. Remember all the blessings, both big and small, which God has given you. He deserves our praise for it all. He deserves our praise most importantly for the grace He extends each person through His redeeming love (Romans 5:6-11). For those who have accepted this gift, we have a ton to be thankful for. In light of God’s great love, we recognize that He is more than worthy of our praise for the big blessings and the little ones.

Psalm 9:1, “I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”

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#RelationshipGoals

couple-holding-handsScan social media for #relationshipgoals and you will find millions of pictures and posts from people who believe they have captured that ideal relationship. The boyfriend and girlfriend who pull out a perfectly choreographed dance. The husband who creates an elaborate date night for his hardworking wife. The cute couple staring longingly into each other’s eyes with a warm fire in the background. These are the moments we search for and try to recreate.

While it feels good to post that perfect relationship moment, what about the rest of your time together? Memories are worth making without a doubt. But are those the goals that will make your relationship endure and grow?  Is the depth of your relationship as retweetable as that surface snapshot? Let me offer you 5 #relationshipgoals for a relationship worth pursuing.

5. Friendship Foundation

When my wife and I reflect on our dating and now married relationship, we continuously point to how thankful we are that we started out as friends. We hung out with other friends, went to movies in groups, and even worked on staff together during a summer camp. These gave us priceless opportunities to get to know one another without the pressures that can come from a dating relationship. We didn’t have to try to impress one another, we could be transparent among our friends and see one another in real situations. When we began dating, we were more confident and relaxed because we had a foundation of friendship on which to stand.

4. Read Religiously

Relationships require regular interactions. And no relationship calls for a more consistent exchange for a Christian, than his or her relationship with God. Just like any friendship, the more time we spend with God, the more we get to know Him and the stronger the relationship becomes. That is why reading His Word is so vital and it is just as vital in our relationship with another. As a couple pursues one another, they should also pursue God by reading the Bible together. Now I get pushback on this point and I understand why. There is an intimacy that takes place when one engages God one-on-one that can potentially get transferred or lost when reading with a significant other. There is danger in projecting our relationship with God onto a bf, gf, or spouse who will never be able to meet the intimacy we find with the Father. However, I believe this danger arises when time with God only occurs with your significant other. If I only get into the Word with my spouse, then I might fall prey to projecting. We must be consistent in taking time with God one-on-one if we are to read His Word in a relationship. And when we get into Scripture together, relationships flourish.

3. Learn to Listen

Hearing is simply the ear receiving sound. Listening is about receiving those sounds, processing their meaning, and then responding. We cannot just hear others, we must learn to listen to them. Love is reflected in listening to others. Do I care enough about the person to concentrate on what they are saying? Am I willing to put down my phone or turn it off altogether so that they know they have my full attention? There are plenty of distractions around us, but if we love someone, then they are worth setting aside those distractions. Now, I’m not perfect in this and my wife will let you know I have a tough time not looking around when we’re sitting in a coffee shop. But I am continuing to recognize and adjust so that I don’t just hear her, but that I listen to her. I engage her in conversation no matter what I’m feeling or if I think the topic is relevant to me or not. Because I love her, she deserves my attention and she deserves to be listened to. Learning to listen will bring strength to any relationship.

2. Fall Forward

We all mess up in life and it’s no different when it comes to relationships. What matters is how you respond to your faults. In his book Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas takes an entire chapter to highlight the importance of forgiveness. Relationships don’t make perfect couples that live happily ever after. We are still broken people. “This is the reality of the human heart, the inevitability of two sinful people pledging to live together, with all their faults, for the rest of their lives.” We’re going to mess up and rather than falling backwards into anger, resentment, and hate, we must learn to fall forward and forgive. Since Christ was willing to forgive us of our grievous sins against Him, we ought to extend forgiveness to others. His gift is certainly not one we can withhold.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

1. Serve Sacrificially

Finally, make it a goal in your relationship to serve sacrificially. Biblical relationships, especially marriage, are about serving sacrificially. Our society has a growing sense of entitlement, which believes that one should get what is desired with a minimal amount of effort. Yet relationships that endure and are worthwhile take a great deal of effort. We are called to sacrifice just as Christ has sacrificed for us. Ephesians 5:25 specifically commands husbands to love their wife as Christ loved the church. What did Christ do? He laid down His life for the church. Christ sacrificed His life for us out of love. That is how we are to love and serve others, by putting their needs and desires above our own. We are called to love out of the same kind of sacrificial service in our relationships. When we set these kind of relationship goals, we experience a depth and joy like no other.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

 

Birds of a Feather

On any normal week, people in Oregon walk around in the rain, with some attempt to not get too drenched. They put on a rain jacket, step out the door, and embrace the deluge. This past week, was not a normal week. It’s been sunny with the temperatures in the mid to upper sixties. However, one thing remained the same. People were still concerned with what might fall from the sky. Some people continued to don jackets and others held tightly to umbrellas waiting to spring them. Many were captivated by the activity above and so memorized that it did not even occur to them that it might be wise to take cover. What was so concerning? Hundreds upon hundreds of geese.

It is that time of year when birds begin to make their migratory travels, most notably the loud and abundant flocks of geese. With such pleasant weather this week, there was hardly a moment when you couldn’t turn your head to the sky and watch countless silhouettes crossing the air. It was an absolutely stunning sight, even if you did have to be careful of objects falling from the spectacle above. Despite the notorious mess geese tend to leave behind, they also leave behind a significant lesson for observers below.

Geese are a very unified group of birds. As the adage goes, ‘Birds of a feather, flock together.’ Few birds exhibit such togetherness as geese. Consider the V pattern these birds flock in. It actually has an important purpose. The wind from the lead goose creates an updraft for those behind it, thus the rest of the flock does not have to expend as much energy to fly. If a goose were to fall out of formation it would quickly feel the effects and must beat its wings harder. When the leader gets tired, it will drift to the back of the line and the next goose will take its place at the head. If one goose were to get sick or injured, they will fly down to the ground for rest. But they will rarely have to stay behind alone. Two other geese usually follow to take care of the ill one. These birds demonstrate tremendous unity.

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We could learn something from the geese. Are we flying as one in our families, our churches, or our teams? Are we encouraging and creating “uplift” for those around us? Are we caring for the needs of others, by being present with them rather than just sending well wishes? Geese exhibit a unity that we ought to pursue among the body of believers in Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-21, 26, Paul speaks at length about the necessity of unity among believers. He uses the analogy of the body, recognizing that although there are various parts, they are all vital for the proper function of the body as a whole. Every organ and tissue has a specific role and contributes to the greater wellness of the body. Believers ought to reflect the unity found in the human body and even observed through a common flock of geese.

As a unified body we need each member in order to support the whole. Each goose in flight plays a vital part to enabling the one behind it to fly. Each person plays a vital part in Body of believers. We may not often feel like that. We may not feel like we matter, like we can contribute something to the whole. The voices that tell you that you don’t matter are lies. God knows you better than anyone and when you look at His Word, He says that you matter. You mean something to Him. He made you with worth and value. You have so much worth, that Christ believed that you were worth dying for so that you may have eternal life. Since God created you with worth, you bring something to the table, to the body of believers. You play a vital role and you are needed in the formation.

Your family needs you, your church needs you, your team needs you. And we as the body ought to recognize that we need one another. Just as we need every part of our physical body in order to properly function, so too we need every believer to better follow God. We cannot do it alone. Remember, the goose that is not apart of the V formation must work a lot harder than if he was with the flock. He does not receive the updraft or uplift from the other geese. The body of believers brings encouragement and challenge for us to mature in Christ. Apart from fellowship and unity, we lack a dynamic part of what God calls us into as believers.

So this week as geese fly over your head, observe their unity in motion and consider how you can pursue unity with those around you.

Second Best

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If you had your choice between having a brand-new car in prime condition or the same car but with a few thousand miles on it, which would you choose? Or try this. If you could have a fresh slice of pie or a slice of day-old pie, which would you choose? Most of us would probably choose the better of the two options. Given the choice, we would pick the best of the best over a slightly lower quality. We do this at the grocery store, finding a seat at the movies, or picking out the day’s outfit. We go for the best option. Most people would not settle for second best.

There have been studies on the displeasure of second best with Olympic athletes. Out of the three possible medals, those who receive silver for second place are the least happy among the winners. Psychologist David Matsumoto of San Francisco State University found that most gold and bronze winners immediately smiled after winning their matches, but none of the silver medalists did. Their focus was on how close they were to winning gold, while the bronze medalists were focused on the fact that they beat fourth place. The silver medalists demonstrate a fact that we all experience; no one really enjoys second best.

If no one wants second best, then why do we gravitate toward it every day? When the best is right in front of us, why do we settle for anything less? And yet we do, I do. We tend to choose our way, over God’s way. We tend to choose false gods, over the true God. Proverbs 3:5-6 is a well-known verse among Christians, yet we frequently practice the opposite and depend on our own wisdom rather than God’s. Our wisdom seems much more promising in the moment and so we make plans without first consulting God or His Word. He’s the Creator of the universe, King of kings, the Alpha and Omega. Yet despite this, we reject the Best of the best and settle for ourselves; second best.

We’re not alone in this. In the Old Testament we read that Israel made similar decisions. They experienced God firsthand as He rescued them from slavery in Egypt, conquered their enemies, and provided food for them in the wilderness among many, many other faithful acts. Yet despite these great wonders, Israel consistently chose their own way and turned to false gods. God extended grace numerous times, but the people of Israel continued to choose second best. Every time they chose second best, they regretted it. Israel’s decision for second best led to extreme illness, humiliation by their enemies, death, and wandering in the desert for an extra forty years.  Their false gods couldn’t save them, their armies couldn’t save them, they couldn’t save themselves. Nothing compares to the Best.

When I read the Old Testament I often find myself shaking my head at Israel. God’s love and power seems so clear, how in the world could Israel choose themselves instead? Why would they have chosen second best, when the Best was right there in front of them? My criticism does not get very far as my words bounce off the pages and right back into my face. I am no different, we are no different. We place priority on many things in our lives other than God. Our schedules reveal that there are things we believe will bring us more fulfillment and joy than God. It’s why we so easily skip reading the Bible daily, sneak into church late, and welcome excuses to miss small group. We set second best as our priority.  While the Best reveals Himself to us, we keep looking for love, comfort, and purpose in second best. And second best will always be empty wells. They are wells of false promises that will only meet part of our needs, but never the deepest and never for very long.

Jesus offers us living water. In John 4, Jesus was talking with a Samaritan woman at a local well. He remarked “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (Jn.4:13-14 ESV).

Christ is that living water, He is offering us the Best. His love which was demonstrated through his sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead makes it possible that we might be forgiven of our sins. We can turn from our sin and brokenness to find love and grace in the arms of God. There is nothing else that will offer us true love and grace as God does. Anything else is only an empty well, momentary fulfillment and pleasure, but will never be eternal. Christ is the Best of the best. Our ways, our plans, our things will never compare. If we believe He is the Best, then we ought to treat Him as the Best in our lives. We must learn to lean on Him for our needs and place Him as our priority. In Him we find life and life abundant (John 10:10). For those that have accepted this living water, we know what the Best is. We will not find anything more fulfilling, more wrapped in true love than Him. We may search far and wide, but nothing will compare.

Why are we settling for second best?

Gospel Cookies

Growing up in the church I had this idea that if I acted like Christ, the best that I could, then people would walk up and ask me about Jesus. It was one of the main messages I heard every Sunday from the kid’s class. If I acted enough like Christ, in His kindness, generosity, and gentleness, then someone would approach me. We were told that they would ask why I was being so nice and then we could tell them about Jesus. It was a guaranteed Gospel strategy; to be noticed and asked. The white WWJD wristband didn’t hurt these efforts either as it too could spark conversation. Time and time again, in every Sunday school class and church I attended during my childhood, this message continued to pop up.

What a surprise it was when I was never happened.

As a kid, I was never asked by a non-Christian why I was so nice. No one even asked me about my cool WWJD wristband. How confusing for the kid trying to do what he thinks Christ wants him to do? Why didn’t anyone come up to me and ask so that I could share Jesus with them?

It certainly wasn’t for a lack of good behavior as even some of my classmates would tease me by calling me a “goody two-shoes”. It wasn’t because what I was trying to do was unbiblical. There are a plethora of passages calling Christians to reflect God’s character that other may see and know Him.

Matt 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Scripture speaks to our actions being a testimony for Christ. So why then was no one asking me about Christ? Why wasn’t I getting to share Jesus after picking up trash or saying something nice to my teacher or sharing my food with a classmate? What happened to this guaranteed Gospel strategy I learned?

This dilemma is alive in both childhood and adulthood. When some adults are asked about the last time they shared the Gospel, they dive into a story of brining their neighbor cookies. As they describe how thankful their neighbor was, I am left searching for when Jesus was mentioned in the conversation. Rather than hearing a story of sharing the Gospel, I get a story of sharing cookies.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love cookies. I wish people would share cookies with me more often. But sharing cookies is not the same as sharing the Gospel. These ‘Gospel cookies’ don’t say anything about Jesus by themselves. It can certainly be a first step. It can certainly be a way to build friendship, so that eventually the Good News is shared in a genuine and caring relationship. Sharing cookies, however, cannot be the only thing we do expecting that our neighbor will ask about Christ because the chocolate chips tasted heavenly.

As Christians we must be intentional in what we do and what we say, taking opportunities to share Christ. How we act is absolutely important. If our actions contradict the message of Christ’s love, then no one will listen. But my childhood strategy, to wait for someone to notice and ask, is not enough. It’s not enough because there are plenty of non-Christians that act just as kind, if not better, than a lot of Christians. Our actions do not always set us apart. It’s also not enough because God didn’t call His followers to act like gravestones. I am not to be some motionless monument that someone may notice, stop to read, see that I did some honorable deeds, and be left alone to ask why. Waiting to be noticed and asked is not enough.

Earlier this week I heard someone say, “We are not a ‘Build it and they will come’ ministry. If we build, sit back, and wait, little will come to fruition. We are not a ‘build it and they will come’ ministry, we are a ‘bring them and they will come’ ministry.” The Gospel is relational, its about community. We must bring people into the Gospel. I cannot wait for someone to come to me and ask about Christ, I must bring Christ to them. Christ was relational with those around Him. He engaged them. Sometimes He got to know them and other times He didn’t. No matter the situation though, He met people where they were at in life and was intentional about sharing the Kingdom of God.

I cannot simply bake cookies and hope that someone will ask about Jesus. I must share the cookies and the Gospel. Good News is worth sharing! We don’t shove it down someone’s throat, we don’t force it on anyone. When we get good news, we share it with an open hand giving the listener to chance to take it. But we share it, we don’t hide it in our pockets waiting to be asked, we share exciting and joyous news when we get it. Why would we treat The Good News any differently? As followers of Christ we cannot passively hold onto His message of love waiting for someone to notice and ask. We must actively bring the Gospel to them, in both deed and word, and they will come to Christ. If we bring it, they will come.

 

Romans 10:13-14, “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”