I wrote this blog last year on another site and thought it worth repeating here......For the past few years almost everywhere I've gone I've been hearing/seeing the phrase 'Now is the Time' - maybe it's because I'm nearer 50 than I am 40 but the thought of eternity has been at the center of my thoughts for sometime now. Maybe it's age related, or maybe it's because I'm an evangelist - I wonder sometimes if I'm alone (I'm sure I'm not) as I see people out and about and continualy ask myself the questions: where will that person be spending eternity, why am I not doing more to share the gospel, why does the church at times feel as if it has so many other agenda's other than mission and evangelism, and why does evangelism always come bottom on many church agenda's?
Maybe I'm being unfair both on myself and the church, but I can't help but wonder if we're missing it somewhere. In John 9 verse 4 we read that Jesus said 'I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work'. This statement, as many commentators agree refers to Jesus' own ministry and the 'night' refers to the crucifixion - however, I can't help but wonder if that statement is not also a challenge for the Church to get busy with what it is called to do - proclaim the Gospel.
We live in an age of moral declination, financial unstabibilty, and increasing political correctness. An age where by-gone values have just 'gone'.
In the wake of the UK riots last year many people asked the question 'why?' I heard various polititions, celebrities, and even church leaders try to give an explanation as to why many 'normal' people would act in such an attrocious manner. In the mix of different responses I didn't hear too many people say however that the problem was actually to do with the human heart - that our hearts are 'deceitful above all things, and desperatley wicked'(Jer 9:17) and that the only solution to this heart problem is for us to come into a relationship with the living Lord Jesus Christ and receive forgiveness for our sin.
I know for many, "evangelism" is not easy: fears, guilt, worries of rejection and failure surround like a fierce pack of wolves and cause us to become immobilised, like rabbits caught in headlights, but the word of God still stands. We have the many promises in scripture that declare that God is with us, for us not against us, and that he will equip us and empower us - we need not fear.
I'm stirred by the words of Peter and John, when commanded, yes commanded, to stop speaking of or teaching in the name of Jesus, the reply came: " Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.For we cannot but speak of the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4: 19,20) I believe we need this same boldness today, that NOW IS THE TIME.
Now is the time for us for be sharing the truth of the life giving Gospel with our family, friends, with whoever we can in whatever way we can. My prayer today is 'Lord give me the boldness to tell someone about you today' - may it be your prayer too: Now is the Time!
Some while ago, when I was on a mission in Uganda, I asked the teenage Son of my host as we were walking through the village, if he knew what he wanted to do with his life. He replied ' to be an evangelist like you' - he quickly followed this remark by asking the question 'What qualifies you to be an evangelist'?
I thought for a moment, and then replied ' well I've been to college, I have a piece of paper that says I've done a certain course and passed the grade, I have a lot of experience working in different situations, including Christian ones, but I don't think any of that qualifies me to be an evangelist' I continued...' I think what qualifies a person to be an evangelist is what God puts in their hearts, It's the passion he gives someone to tell others about Him'.
Thinking about that now it seems quite a simplistic answer, but true none the less. So often we can look to others to give us
affirmation, counsel and acceptance that we need, which is right and good - 'in the multitude of counsellors there is safety' (Proverbs 11:14) but there is something deeper than outside counsel that God puts within us.
It's interesting that Jesus called the likes of tax collectors, and fishermen to follow Him. Folks that were just ordinary people - but people that God used to turn the world upside down. Even the religious leaders, when they saw 'the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated men and untrained men, - marvelled'. The key? ....'they realised they had been with
Jesus'. (Acts 4:12)
It's our relationship with Jesus and what He, through the Holy Spirit puts into our hearts that qualifies us to enter into the
calling he puts on our lives so we may fulfil our destiny in Him.
So if you're feeling 'unqualified' - then just ask yourself, what has God given me? What desires as he put in my heart? What gifts has he given me?
Let that passion rise up within you, step out in faith, and He will carry you, enable you, and equip you in your service to Him.