B214 - Act as an ambassador for Christ
In 2 Cor 5:20, believers are called ‘ambassadors for Christ’. As ambassadors, we are our country’s exemplary representative in the foreign land.
We do not belong to this world; we are, like our forefathers as described in Heb 11:13, just pilgrims. Jesus was really an ‘ambassador’ for the Father, howbeit bearing the highest credential as that of the only son of the Father.
Jesus, however, gave specific instructions to his disciple-ambassadors.
‘Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town’ – Matt 10:9-14.
Jesus’ guideline to his ambassadors was to travel light, live a simple life, and spread the good news.
As ambassadors, we are to go and share the Gospel to places where we are welcomed.
B215 - Do the work of an evangelist; the 'fields are ripe for harvest'
‘Lift up your eyes and see that the fields are white for harvest.’
In Matt 9:37-38, it extrapolates,
‘The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’
There are lots to be done in reaching out the world for the Lord. Christian workers are effectively going into ‘enemy territory’ to pluck people out of the world as we are considered by the world to be ‘aliens’ (D177 – When we become Christians, we become aliens to the world).
To reach out to others may require us to get out of our comfort zones. Most of us are perhaps too comfortable to do so. But there are many means to engage non-believers.
There is without doubt an even greater urgency to reach out to others for the Lord as we move towards his second coming.
See also B195, Pray for provision of (church) laborers.
Perhaps this short note might trigger new ideas to reach others for Jesus?
B216 - Be driven by compassion for souls
‘When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick’ and
‘I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with me now three days and have nothing to eat.’
Why did Jesus reached out to us? It is always about compassion (agape – godly love); the sort of love that is selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional.
Reaching out to others is not a job but a calling of love. How do we look at people in a crowd? Can we feel the love that Jesus would have for them?
B217 - Be a peacemaker
In the Beatitudes, we are reminded by our Lord that we are ‘peacemakers’ (Matt 5:9).
At the Mount of Olives when Jesus defused the situation involving an adulteress caught in the act, his final advice to the woman was
‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more’ (John 8:11).
Jesus never condemned. Neither should we. Condemnation comes from the devil and Pharisees.
Jesus’ counsel to sinners had always been the same,
‘Go (and from now on), sin no more.’
Any sinner is welcome into church because that is what a church is for. But after knowing the Lord, our counsel should be the same,
‘From now on, sin no more.’
We should never expect people to start off as ‘ideal’ church goers when they arrive at a church. Believers should be reminded to be wary of having the wrong attitude.
B218 - Be not ashamed of the Gospel
In 2 Tim 1:12, Paul declared,
‘But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.’
We are not to be ashamed of the fact that we are Christians when meeting up with other people. In fact, the Apostle Peter and John were bold when they declared Jesus (Acts 4:13).
Jesus gave a more ominous warning when he said,
‘For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory (that is, his second coming), and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels’ – Luke 9:26.
Hence, do not be ashamed of the Gospel but go out and share.
B219 - Share our testimonies
Jesus had just healed a person of demons. The man wanted to follow him. Instead, Jesus told him to go back to his family and tell them everything God had done for him (Luke 8:39).
Rev 12:11 shares that believers overcome the evil ones through the ‘blood of the lamb and the testimonies of the saints.’
Our testimonies are powerful.
Consider Paul’s defence in front of King Agrippa to learn how he used his testimony to influence King Agrippa. Here are the steps:
- Paul started by acknowledging King Agrippa (Acts 26:2-3),
- Paul went on to share who he was before his conversion (Acts 26:4-11),
- Paul proceeded to explain what happened to him and how he became a Christian (Acts 26:12-23),
- Paul completed the cycle with an invitation to King Agrippa to join him (Acts 26:27).
People love stories and none more so than our own stories on how we became Christians. We can start by preparing our own testimony.
Always be thankful and be prepared to share the goodness of God to each of us.
B220 - Use stories
Jesus used a lot of stories (or parables) to get his messages across in a simple manner. Mark 4:2 says,
‘He was teaching them many things in parables and in his teaching.’
Jesus was a master teacher and utilized stories extensively. People love a good story.
We do probably require some degree of training and natural inclination to tell parables but the easiest story that we have is probably our own testimonies.
B221 - Be ready at all times
B222 - Witness to everyone
‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.’
The mandate for Christians is to witness to everyone in the world.
With B221, Be ready at all times – it implies witnessing to anyone at anytime that has been presented to us and who are prepared to hear our testimonies.
B223 - Invite people to just 'come and see'
In John 1:45, it shared the moment when Philip invited Nathanael to meet Jesus. Then, there was the time when Andrew invited Simon Peter to come and see when he said, ‘We have found the Messiah’ in John 1:41.
Not all of us are adept in sharing the Gospel but one way that we can do is to invite others to evangelistic outreaches when a preacher can put the message of Christ across in a more succinct and relatable manner.
Invite others to ‘come and see’ for themselves.
B224 - Preach repentance and move in the supernatural
‘And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.’
Jesus sent out his disciples and they were able to perform the same supernatural acts of healing and demon-casting. Meanwhile, we find copious demonstrations of God’s miracles among early Christians in the Book of Acts..
In Acts 5:15-16, while in Jerusalem, the hotbed of Jesus’ crucifixion, even the shadow of the Apostle Peter could result in healing. In Acts 8:6, Philip, not one of the disciples, could exercise healing on the lame and paralyzed. In Acts 9:34, Peter healed a man who had been bedridden for eight years.
In recent times, we see the works of an 81 year old evangelist Gim Hock Thio, a Singaporean CEO of a real estate company. Thio was imparted the gift of healing by the hands of the late Reinhard Bonnke, the great German evangelist.
Subsequently, Thio held his first rally in India where on the first night, a boy with polio was healed miraculously. Word got around and the crowd swelled from 3,000 on the previous night to 20,000 during the second night. Miracles continued to follow Thio as he ministers in countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, and Russia (Siberian).
Miracles still exist and the impact of supernatural healing can be a most powerful companion for evangelism.
It involves prayer and seeking the Lord in order for Christians to move in the supernatural. Evangelists must preach repentance and move in the supernatural. Please also reflect on B188, Pray for signs and wonders.
B225 - Move on if we are rejected
In Matt 10:14, Jesus told his disciples when doing evangelism,
‘If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake the dust from your feet as you leave.’
Effectively, his disciples were his ambassadors. If his ambassadors were not welcomed, they were to move on and go to another place that welcomed them (NB: It was not just a person, it was an entire town). We are not to waste our time around toxic situations; Jesus did not (Mark 5:17).
If our sharing is rejected (and/ or the demonstration of healing and casting out of demons), we should go to the next town or person.
In fact, to reject God’s truth as an entire town/ city did during the days of Jesus, can result in severe judgement for the town/ city.
Luke 10:12 says,
‘I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.’
B226 - Adjust culturally to win souls
‘For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews, I became as a Jews, in order to win Jews. To those under the law, I became as one under the law that I might win those under the law. ….. To the weak, I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.’
Paul adapted in order to win people for the Gospel.
It is not easy to adjust culturally. For example, many churches offer a monolingual service even though the environment has become more multilingual. The potential to win souls by adding just another service with a different language (or even just by offering translation services) is often overlooked in order to stay in a comfortable space for their current attendees.
To all believers, Paul would say
‘Be prepared to adjust culturally in order to win souls.’
B227 - Go and seek out lost souls
Matt 18:10-14 shares a parable about a man going out to find one single lost sheep among his herd of one hundred. The man left the ninety-nine and ventured afar in order to seek out the ‘one that went astray.’
In the same way, believers might have to go to far out places to seek the lost sheep of Jesus.
How prepared are we to leave our comfort zone for the purposes of winning souls?
See also B226, Adjust culturally to win souls.
B228 - Teach new converts to observe the things of the Bible
Matt 28:19 tells us to
‘Make disciples of all nations’.
In 2 Tim 2:2, Paul explained to Timothy,
‘What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.’
Both verses are about discipleship.
Discipleship is a vital piece of glue for Christians and it is an under-emphasized and lost art.
Jesus was the best disciple-maker; he had twelve disciples minus one who betrayed him; later, in the Book of Acts, another person, Matthias, took the place of Judas Ischariot and was recognized as one of the twelve (Acts 1:26).
Jesus spent three and a half years with them. Through them, he built Christianity to what it is today. Out of his twelve disciples, based on church tradition and historical records, eleven of them gave up their lives for advancing the Gospel while the twelfth, the Apostle John, only survived because he somehow could not die despite being boiled alive.
Amazingly, Jesus never asked us to plant churches. Rather, his mandate was to make disciples and to ‘teach them to observe the things of the Bible.’
How did Jesus disciple them? Consider this limited list below and add your own:
- He spent time with them as one of them (They gave up everything to follow him),
- He taught them (The Lord’s Prayer, Forgiveness, Don’t be like the Pharisees),
- He modeled relevant behaviors (Compassion, Servanthood, Prayer, Commitment, Self-Control),
- He challenged them (He got Peter to walk on water),
- He gave them hands-on, practical assignments by sending them out two-by-two (Luke 9:3, Luke 10:3).
For people who have been given the joy of parenthood, perhaps the best place to start discipling is at home beginning with our children. For others who are older in the faith, it might be refreshing to ask ourselves how we can fulfill the Great Commission.
The Gosinnomore’s website is also intended to teach believers (old and new) how to ‘observe the things of the Bible.’
B229 - Be prepared for affliction in sharing the gospel
In 2 Tim 4:5, the Apostle Paul advised Timothy to ‘be sober minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.’
Many evangelists suffer because of their pioneering work among unreached people. We can think no further than all the disciples who went to strange countries and were killed for their role.
Closer to our days, in 1999, the Australian Graham Staines and his two young sons were killed in India while the family was doing outreach in a group of remote villages.
All of us are called to do the work of evangelists but there will be some who have a calling to be evangelists in tough places. For those who know, Paul’s words are still the same, ‘Fulfill your ministry.’
We cannot help but speak of the goodness of God because God has been good to us. It flows naturally from our spirit to reach out.
Hence, be prepared for affliction that may come our way even as we reach out.
B230 - Work in pairs (generally) when doing outreach
Throughout the Bible, Jesus always encouraged his disciples to go out in pairs when doing ministry.
In Mark 6:7, he commissioned them
‘two by two and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.’
Maybe that is why Christians are encouraged to pray as a pair. Matt 18:19 says,
‘Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.’
Christians generally do not operate alone. In evangelistic work, the suggested mode of operation is a pair; of course, there are exceptions like the case of Philip the evangelist (Acts 8:5). Christians are not hermits.
Jesus discipled a group, and sent his disciples into the community as pairs when they went to do outreach.
B420 - Befriend and love the 'outcasts'
‘Those who are well have no need of a physician but those who are sick.’
Hence, Jesus associated himself with many who were considered outcast in his days – tax collectors and sinners.
He traveled in an entourage. Yet, he would get down to the lowest sinners and reach out to them; he went to the house of Zacchaeus, a chief tax-collector at Jericho, and probably considered a hated figure in the Jewish community (Luke 19:1-10).
When it came to evangelism, Jesus went to the outcasts; those whom the religious people would not touch.
What does it tell us about ourselves? How can we befriend and love the ‘outcasts’?
No one is beyond his reach.