Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to Win Followers

I've been thinking about the ministry of Jesus. He is God, and He came to earth to draw us sinful people back to Himself, through His life, death and resurrection.

You would think that God, THE King, would come to demand that we choose Him, but He didn't. He made us with a free will. In his coming Jesus simply lived His life so we could see and believe. He died so we would be free, and He rose again from the dead so that we could have what He came to give. During His life, He taught us about this plan. He spoke of His death, He told us what would happen on the third day. He also taught us how to love God and each other.

One of the things, I believe He taught was how He wanted His followers to reach those who hadn't heard his good news. He taught this by example.

He did NOT go door to door.

He did NOT approach those who did not want His presence to affect His life.

He did NOT push His way into any persons space to tell them they need what He came to give!

He touched the unlovely, the sick, the outcasts.

He fed them and healed them.

He spoke to them as a friend. He told them stories. He loved them.

He let THEM follow Him freely and even let them crucify Him!

Jesus came to draw people, not push them. Shouldn't we do the same? The question for me and maybe for you, too, is, how do I share Gods' love today? Can I make an eternal difference in someones life if I first live in love and then humbly befriend the ones that need to see Jesus working in me?

What would happen if I spoke in love to the government tax collectors of our day? The poor and needy? The prisoner? The unfriendly? Those who have hurt me? I know it is likely I would be ridiculed, shunned, and or persecuted, and in some cases I may even be in danger. I may even suffer these things from those who claim to be on the same side I am on! The truth is that Jesus said that we should remember He went through it too!

I can be strong in leading others to Christ by becoming vulnerable to the crowds that He came to love. Hard to do.

Jesus, You have shown us the way of gentleness. You are Kind and Good. You are Almighty! You chose to use Love as the power to draw all people to Yourself. Lord, I have pushed my way onto others before I've known or understood a person sometimes. I have failed to follow Your example of reaching out first with a heart that sees their human need for kindness and love before sharing the truth. I have not always lived my life with the fruit of Your Spirit that would draw instead of push away. Forgive me Lord! Thank You for teaching me through Your word and Your life! Thank You for loving me deeper into Your presence! change my heart O God, that I might bring a spark to help light the fire of revival and true change in our world! May You be high and lifted up!
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