Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Love them enough to tell them
by Erik Momsen
The greatest act of love that can be shown to another person is to present them the opportunity to turn from their former ways of living and thinking to follow Christ. The world does not need more money, knowledge or technology. We have infinitely more of these things than generations before us and yet the crisis in the world is only deepening. We need the Love of Christ working though us and our society. Only that will change the world.
I visited one of our hospitals a while ago. The building is large and new and must have cost many millions. There was no shortage of money to build it. Yet I was almost overcome by the smell of sick and dirty bodies. The toilets were also something to stay away from. Water and soap cost very little but require loving hands and hearts to use them on sick people. The world needs more loving hearts and hands - not more money.
Our world will change as more and more Christians live and tell the love of Christ. Show and tell, and both required. Some wise person said, "People do not want to know how much you know until they know how much you care."
Peter instructs us to tell others about our hope in Christ.
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15)
- Set your heart apart - The key to telling others is your own relationship with Jesus. Our ability to tell depends upon our love and obedience towards Him. It is a decision we make to take Jesus as Lord over all areas of life.
- "Always be prepared" - this is a decision and a "readiness of life". We make the decision to be ready when the next person asks. But our inner and outer lives must also be ready. Am I in contact with Jesus and is my life in a state of relative peace, hope and joy?
- Gentleness and respect - more harm than good can be done by harsh and arrogant Christians.
Paul also has instruction about telling others:
"And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (Colossians 4:3-6)
- "Pray ... that God may open" - it is all about God in the end. His Spirit has and is working constantly in people's lives and we are just the messengers.
- "Pray that I may proclaim it clearly" - The Holy Spirit helps and directs us as we tell others. Faith in His ability to help replaces our fear.
"Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit." (Mark 13:11)
- "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders" - actions do speak louder than worlds and people will be receptive or not before you start speaking. Your pre-history with them will largely determine how they receive you. Build up favour with your community.
- "Make the most of every opportunity" - this is linked to Peter's call to "in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord". There is a heart and mind readiness that is required.
- "Conversation be always full of grace" - one cannot over emphasis the importance of how we speak. It is difficult to start talking about Christ if one has just been critical or coarse in one's speech.
WHY DO WE NOT TELL OTHERS?
Mark 4:18 "Still others, ... hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful."
- Our fear is greater than our love for Jesus.
- Love of wealth and things is greater than love of Jesus.
- Our Pride is greater than our love for Jesus.
- We might not know how true the message of Jesus really is.
- It hasn't changed our lives enough to excite us into telling others.
WHAT ARE THE REWARDS OF TELLING OTHERS?
- The presence of the Holy Spirit as you witness.
- Seeing people set free from fear and pain - into knowing Jesus.
- Seeing them become fruitful for Christ.
- God rewards in all kinds of physical ways as well.
Date Added: 2011-06-28
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