The mind, the imagination, our subconscious, our thinking is so interesting. I don’t know if you ever played that game as a child when you were given a word and had to speak the first thing that came to mind. Well this month the word is “four” and without blinking my mind jumped to that little nursery rhyme “One two buckle my shoe, three four, knock at the door, five six pick up sticks" and so on. There my mind settled “Knock at the Door” and my thoughts went to the very practical, helpful book by Scott McNamara called Jesus at the Door, Evangelism Made Easy. We know our Lord has commissioned us to go out into all four corners of the earth and proclaim the Good News, to share the beautiful story of man’s redemption and restoration captured so clearly, so perfectly in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Four Gospels of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was Matthew who wrote in Matthew 28:17-20 “ When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted." Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Combine this with Mark in Mark 16:14-18, "Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
In these two relatively short passages, we find our mission - to GO! The clear words of instruction to those who know Christ, who know that in Christ their eternity rests secure no matter what happens for nothing can separate us from the Love of God. “Going” takes many forms and I want to encourage every believer to see that this command is carried out in so many, many different ways. You don’t have to shy away because you are not out there evangelizing and preaching on the street corners, going out into the jungles or preaching at work. We are all different and you will get into corners and places that I won’t, and I will go where you won’t, while others will go far beyond what we may dream of doing.
I always marvel at the work of Daniel Kolenda in Africa and Tamryn Klintworth in Ethiopia, millions come to Christ through their crusades. The Holy Spirit is at work everywhere, in and through everyone who believes. Jesus fulfilled His promise when He said in John 14:16, “ I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.” Oh His compassion as He reassured His disciples that He would not leave them alone, He was/is coming back to fetch all who belong to Him, all who are sealed with His Spirit - but in the meantime He has sent the Counselor, the Comforter, the one who will teach us all we need to know. God the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist said this in Mathew 3:11, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”.
Not only does Jesus ask the Father to send the Spirit but Jesus baptizes us in Him, immersing us in the Spirit of God, filling us so that living water will pour out from our innermost being. He empowers us to be witnesses. He empowers us to go in whatever shape or form the “going” might take. Perhaps you remember we spoke about the Trinity last month, Father, Son and Holy Spirit all present and active in the work of creation. God’s perfect glorious creation of the world, the stars, the sun, the moon, His creative power to create from nothing something so unbelievably beautiful and complex as the world in which we live . God is creative! And four speaks of creativity. And God created man, male and female, He created them and made them in His image and He said it was very good. We are made in His image for His good pleasure. How important for us to know this as we realize and understand that through Jesus Christ God is redeeming and restoring what was created and making it perfect once more. There is no other way but through the healing restoring power of Christ, and it is for that reason that we encourage others to hear the knocking on the door.
It is Jesus knocking on the heart of every man, woman and child ever born; knocking that He may be allowed in. That He may come in and bring redemption and salvation setting that person free from condemnation. Not a small thing, may we never forget that the penalty for sin is death, eternal separation from God. Speaking about Jesus is not like cold canvassing. Trying your best to sell them something you think they should have. No! You can be sure the Holy Spirit has gone before you and Jesus is knocking on the door. He is knocking at the door of every heart. Why? Because it is His desire that all men should be saved. (2 Peter:3:9) And of course the choice is ours... will we let him in?
Think about that…..what made you open your heart to Christ. That is your testimony, and it is your story. It is the narrative that will touch hearts as you speak about Jesus and share how your life has changed. Sharing, telling your story can be the difference between someone coming to Jesus and someone not knowing Him. Which makes me realize how necessary, how important, how vital it is that we share our story. God is a creative God and is able to make something from nothing, he is also able to make so much, much more from a little something. Think of the two fish and five loaves of bread and how Jesus fed five thousand hungry people. (Mark 6:37) With our intentional and deliberate willingness to share our story, God can use our efforts and use it to accomplish so much more than we can imagine or dream of. Think of it this way, can you imagine if every believer decided to speak about Jesus every day, sharing just a little of their narrative and pointing to Christ, what the community in which they lived would look like? The Holy Spirit would be able to invade the community bringing the presence of Christ and a harvest would follow!
In 2010 the Lord gave me these words: “Will you dare to dream? To call those things that are not, as if they were. To see what God would see. To summon the dry bones to life. For Jesus is the perfect sacrifice.” I will stop there, He had more to say but what is relevant is knowing that God wants us to dream, to capture His vision, His dream for us. For He has a dream for each of us. His vision is to see us fully walking as His children filled up and overflowing with love and compassion for those around us. True compassion combined with the power of God which grants us the ability to not only make a difference in our own lives, but in the lives of others. It is our destiny to make His dreams a reality.
So let us pray:
Lord equip us, send us out and let us boldly share our story. May hearts be soft and open that they hear and receive. Lord bring in the harvest so none are lost. Amen.