Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The passion to evangelize
‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
One day every tongue will confess, every knee shall bow, and every heart will acknowledge that Christ is Lord and Savior. How many times have we heard that verse taken from Philippians 2 or how many of us have actually thought about how that will be accomplished? This week’s theme is making Jesus known. Let us introspect - how much of our lives are dedicated to evangelizing in the name of Christ? 1% 10% 20% 50%? For most of us, the answer is on the lower end of the spectrum between 0 and 20%. For most of us, we are more concerned about how people react to us rather than doing what we were commanded by Christ to do, which is to proclaim His name. We are afraid we will be mocked, held outcast, labeled a nutcase or fanatic or, worst of all, be completely ignored.
However, today’s passage shows how Paul was unconcerned about the reaction of others. Right before today’s passage, we read that Paul was dismayed that there were so many idols being worshipped in Athens. They were even worshipping unknown gods (verse 23). So even though he was being challenged by various philosophers, Paul showed no hesitation and agreed to share his witness and testimony about Christ. The reaction as we see in verses 19-20 is skepticism about Paul’s message.
Luckily, Paul perseveres. In today’s passage, he proudly proclaims the name of God. He did not solely rely on merely stating I am right and you are wrong as many “televangelists” try to do today. Instead, he spoke directly to the people and related to them as we see in the key verse for today (verse 28). Most importantly, he never strayed from his primary message - God is Lord and Christ is the son that was sent for us. The public reaction he received was mixed as we see after today’s passage. In verse 33, we hear that some sneered but we also see that others not only wanted to hear more but became followers of Christ. We too must realize that when we evangelize, it is not us but God who determines the heart of the men and women we encounter. Though we may not understand why, there will be times that we too will be scorned, mocked and doubted. However, the parables of the lost coin and lost sheep reminds us that even if one person finds Christ, we have done what God has commanded us to do – to go after the lost (James 5:19-20)
Let us not spend time weighing our “successes” and “failures” in evangelizing. Let us instead feel the burning that Paul feels when he said “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel “(1 Cor 9:16) and never be ashamed of the gospel because it is for Him we are here (2 Tim 1:7-12).
Prayer: Lord, enable us to remember that you did not give us a spirit of timidness but a spirit of love, power and self-discipline (2 Tim 1:7) so that we may fearlessly make known the Gospel you have entrusted for us to spread (Eph 6:19). Let us be unashamed of You and proclaim why we accept you as our Savior and Lord with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
Thought for the Day: Every day is an opportunity to witness Christ. The only question is will you answer the call?
John. C. Thomas, St. Thomas MTC, NY.