Church family,

Often the subject “making disciples” comes up in conversations I have with folks. I use the phrase “making disciples” because it summarizes what folks are really talking about. Sometimes these phrases are used: “sharing our faith”, “telling people about Jesus”, “inviting others to church”, etc. Sadly, I believe many Christians have the desire to want others to know Christ, but they just never even get started in the process. Our enemy, Satan, will raise questions that cause doubt. He is most often whispering lies in our ears like “They do not really want to hear.”, “They will get angry and reject you.”, “Maybe some other time would be better.”, etc.

Maybe the issue with us isn’t just simply making excuses, but it is a deeper issue. Maybe we just don’t love people like Jesus does. The starting point then ought to be confess (be honest), repent, believe, seek, listen, obey, and devote yourselves to God. He can give you a heart for people. He can empower you and mobilize you to love others well.

I have also heard the statement “I just don’t know where to start.” Actually, I have used it myself. There isn’t a science to it or a secret method we must discover. We must simply love as we have been loved. If you are struggling, confess (be honest), repent, believe, seek, listen, obey, and devote yourself to God.

Today I came across this article from The Disciple-Maker website called Being a Better Neighbor Starts By Noticing Your Neighbor. After reading the article, I felt I should share it with you. Every one of us lives near someone. Actually, a neighbor can be anyone in your regular paths of life. You may say, “I am retired. I don’t have the connections anymore.” Perhaps you are recently retired. Maybe you can volunteer with a service organization in your community or get a part-time job to put you with people. Maybe you can have a regular ‘game night’ with your neighbor. Maybe you cook out with your neighbor!

Maybe you are not retired and still working. As I have shared with you a few times before, if we are children of God called as ambassadors of the King, then our primary mission is representing the King. We are not first of all an employee working to make a living. Your place of work is the place God has placed you to represent the King! Maybe you need to ask God to change your perspective!

Our International Workers’ Conference is coming soon. Yes, Todd & Terri will share about their ministry. They will share about relationships that have developed where they had to simply love. BUT I promise you, because they know they are “on mission” there in France, they confess (be honest), repent, believe, seek, listen, obey, and devote themselves to God almost on a daily basis. They know that nothing spiritually life-changing will happen apart from the Spirit’s work. When they start by calling on Him and admitting they desperately need Him, it puts them in a place of dependence on the Lord to do what only He can do.

Maybe living here in America, we don’t see ourselves as “on mission.” Remember what I said Sunday from 1 Peter: we are chosen children of God, whose purpose is to proclaim the excellencies of the King! We are now a part of a holy nation called to proclaim the gospel to a world who desperately needs hope! Let me challenge you to be ‘on mission.’

Maybe your prayer should be like this, “Father, I do not love others like I should. I do not see others as people you love and died for. Father, I have come to a place where I want to be used of you to share the hope of the gospel and I know I cannot do this on my own. Father, I desperately need You to help me love like You love.  I need You to change my heart. I need You to open the eyes of my heart to care for my neighbor. Lord, give me a greater awareness and opportunities to love. Change my heart, Lord. I am yours. May You be glorified in my life.” 

May we remember that “now we are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:10b)

Walking with you,

Pastor Brian