Ever noticed how everyone on twitter would rather have more followers as opposed to follow more people? It is human nature to view ourselves higher than others and so we want people to listen to our opinions as opposed to listening to theirs. Listeners are learners, learners innovate and change the world. I for one decided to do a radical thing and go against the grain on my twitter account by following more people than those following me. That is how I came up with the tag line: You tweet, I follow.
The generation that we live in is quite cynical and rebellious especially with regards to personal space and who we listen to. In light of these, how we present the gospel in this day and age needs to be considerate and also well thought out. Driving a point from the position of ‘my opinion is better than your opinion’, is often not received well by any human being, saved or unsaved. Such a stand only leads to arguments that bring either criticism of the faith or even total blocking of the minds of those we are trying to reach out to. Some may claim that this would lead to compromise in the gospel but I call it being considerate. The reason why we all fell in love with Jesus is that He took us just as were and loved us before we even thought of loving Him. He did not batter us in wrath; He just buttered us with love. Tough stands only meet tough minds.
Paul had sincere concern for the affairs of the people he went to speak with. He wrote letters, listened to reports and even prayed for them as they went through different things. Even when he was far from them, through his letters he offered counsel over different things such as how to conduct themselves in the church, going further to mention and appreciate people by name. It is in such commitment by Paul to know the needs of the land that he could effectively minister God’s word. The same needs to be said of us, that we actually care about what people are going through in their lives. Walking with people through life opens up their hearts and our words bear meaning to them. Praying for immediate needs allows us to empathize with people and our evangelism moves from goals and targets to person-hood. Genuine care is a sign of genuine friendship that leads to true transformation. It is often said that people do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care. The reason why social media has grown in the last 10 years is the caring sensation that people feel they are receiving, though it is virtual. The idea that someone miles away can congratulate you on your wedding or send get well soon messages to your child in hospital, displays care and draws people to social media. Our challenge is to offer that social media experience to people in real life-appreciate their contributions in public, quote them every now and again, compliment how they look-these little things will go a long way! Rom 1:8-9 First, I thank God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.
Not only did Paul write letters from afar but he also spent time with people. Many of his epistles start with how he longs to be with them and just fellowship with them. He understood that spending time with people will help in understanding each other and breaks down the misconception. He was introducing a new belief system to people who had their own ways and unless they bonded in love, these people would never receive the gospel. Furthermore, Paul sought to understand the cultures of the people to make his teachings relevant; at one time he quoted one of the Roman poets as he elaborated some truths about God. The love that came from fellowship also helped Paul grow spiritually and so he cherished every opportunity he had to be with brethren. Fellowship is still important in our ministry at present times as it allows us to understand better and see perspectives that we could not see. It gives space to vulnerability and it is this vulnerability that creates community. We should not let our time with people be spent on only trying to get them saved rather we should find even more time to know about their lives, dreams and aspirations. We should not just say we love them, we have to show them that we do by spending time with them. The best use of life is love; the best expression of love is time; the best time to love is now. The greatest win for me with social media is the ability to get immediate access to people despite the busyness of life. Many spend their time on social media and catch up quite often. Some say this is replacing actual contact with people but I see it as a need that is being met. People want to be with people and social media offers this opportunity. What if as Christians we would actually take time and be with people, meet the very need that social media is feeding-would Christianity be the next big thing? Rom. 1:10-12 …making request, if by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established. That is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Everywhere that Paul went, he had a word of encouragement for the people he met. He always mentioned the good things and appreciated the efforts made towards the gospel. Rather than condemn people for not following the law, as he did before getting saved, he encouraged them on the steps they had made and insisted on God’s strength to see them through all things. By bringing out the best in people he was in a sense saying, “you are not there yet, but you are headed in the right direction, good job.” Paul knew that it is only by grace do we walk in righteousness and that the one thing that made people not to accept this grace was the misconception that they were unworthy. He had to encourage the Gentiles that they also had access to God’s grace that was sufficient for all things. Instead of stomping on the weaknesses we need to try a new strategy congratulate the positives, they will increase in frequency.
- How Do We Speak of the Gospel (stuartdelony.com)
- Does Grace Make You Lazy? (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)
- The Gospel Message is a Message of Comfort (jesuscarriesme.com)
Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 I communed with my heart saying, “Look I have attained greatness and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.” And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceive that this also is grasping for the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
It would not be fair to leave you with this information and let you try to change by your own wisdom and strength-it is like chasing the wind. Only in Jesus Christ does all this make sense and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit will we know the way to go. Say this prayer and receive a new life..
Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life, according to Romans 10:9-10—”If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” I do that now. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead.
I am now reborn! I am a Christian—a child of Almighty God! I am saved! You also said in Your Word, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). I am also asking You to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, rise up within me as I praise God. I fully expect to speak with other tongues as You give me utterance (Acts 2:4).
The prayer was obtained from the Kenneth Copeland Ministries.