Thursday is for Discipleship
I have written before about the “unitary nature” of disciple making. Basically, my point is that spiritual formation or discipleship that neglects evangelism is counter productive to its own mission.
Disciples that are focused on their own growth and development hurt their own growth and development if they are not sharing their faith. That is as simple and straight-forward as I can put it. But if I left it there, some would simply say, “Well, so be it. I want to grow in Christ, but I guess I will just have to settle for a lesser spiritual experience because I just can’t see myself talking to people about my faith.”
Then the justifications start:
- “I’m not good at it. “
- “I’m not out-going enough.”
- “I’m not very persuasive.”
- “What if I mess it up?”
- “I’m not spiritually gifted that way.”
- “I just don’t know how to bridge a conversation to spiritual issues?”
- “I’m afraid I will offend somebody?”
- “All my friends know I’m a Christian. They can ask me if they are interested.”
- I’m just not very comfortable speaking up.”
- “I’ll just live my life in a way that hopefully will draw people to Christ.”
Here’s a shocker. None of them work. And if we persist in them, if we will not be persuaded from them, if we will not share our faith with others, if we will not risk being rejected by others for the sake of the Name, we may not have any part in the Name. He may not be our Savior at all. Strong words? Yes.
All of these things may be true. In fact, I will grant that for many of us they are true. Most of them are certainly true for me.
But here’s the problem: Jesus won’t let me (or you) escape with such lame excuses. He promises to make us fishers of men when we obey his command to follow him. He keeps his promises. He never, NEVER, breaks a promise.
“Follow me and I will make you to be fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17; cf Matthew 4:19)
So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33; cf 7:23; 25:12; Luke 13:25)
So there is only one conclusion. If I will not open my mouth and tells others about my Savior, he’s not my Savior. I’m not saying that telling others is what saves you; that would be heresy. But an open mouth to your family and neighbors is one of the chief proofs that you are following Jesus and not some figment of your imagination.
By all means, live a holy, sacrificial, compassionate, self-giving life of service to others and joy in worship, love one another yes, that too is one of the ways that we show that we belong to him. But Jesus says that telling others about him is one of the ways and it is not optional. It is required of all of us who claim him as our own.
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