As Christians we hear a lot about evangelization…. preaching the Good News”…introducing others to Christ…. “showing another beggar where the food is”.
Yet there are a couple of parts to this puzzle. One is the preaching of the good news; the other is the acceptance of this wonderful offer.
As my mother used to say, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink’…. usually said in reference to one of the “Touhill boys”. So, we need to not only speak clearly the invitation to Christ, we need to help the person recognize the great value in saying YES to the invitation.
Holiness is compelling. If you meet a holy person, a person of love and integrity and wisdom, there’s a magnetism in them. What is it about that person ….. I love to listen to that person …. that person seems interested in me … that person actually listened to me. Gee, I’d like to find out more about what he has to say.
There’s a powerful line from the book of Zechariah: “Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” (Zech. 8:23) We heard God is with you.
A good salesman is convinced of the value of his product. To be effective evangelizers, we need to believe the message. God is compelling and his messengers should be compelling. Where’s the evidence that I believe the message that I’m presenting.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Mt. 13:44) Where’s the evidence that we have “sold all for the kingdom of God”? Yikes, this BLOG is getting a bit too serious and challenging.
I have to say that I was very challenged when I read the passage from Zechariah….”Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” Is God with me…is it evident…is it compelling? I want it to be. Lord help me to show some evidence of my conversion. As former President Jimmy Carter once said, “if I was accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict me?”
So Lord, help me to further embrace the gospel in my life. Help me to sell all for the kingdom of God. Help me to love in a compelling way, so that others will see that “God is with me” and want to find out about this great God we serve. That will be good news for me and good news for others.
And as a footnote, this should put a smile on my face. Joy should be in my heart. Joy is another sign of the presence of God.