The Great Need

During a conference in Florida, I was introduced to a church-going woman I’ll call Joyce. She is quite charitable in her giving, and has contributed to many worthy organizations, including Christian ministries.

This particular evening, one of my team members told me Joyce was waiting to talk to me and wanted to be saved. He’s dreaming! I thought, as I went to speak with Joyce.

But he was right. Joyce and I reviewed Jesus’ words: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” [Revelation 3:20].

When I asked if she was ready to pray, she fell to her knees immediately, and I led her in a prayer of salvation.

Here’s a woman who attends church and gives money to Christian ministries, but nobody has considered that she might need Jesus, too.

Everyone needs Jesus-even good people. And we must stay alert for opportunities God gives us to reach all people for Him.

The Great Example

Many years ago I read this statement: “God had only one Son and He was a foreign missionary. He left His own hometown of heaven and came to a foreign country.”

Think about it. Jesus left His heavenly home to live among us. He became like us, eating the same food, wearing the same clothes, and living the same life…except He never sinned. Why? To save us!

The apostle Paul took Jesus’ example to heart. He wrote: “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews… To those not having the law I became like one not having the law…, so as to win those not having the law…

“I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel. [1 Corinthians 9:13]”

For the sake of the Gospel, for the sake of all who are lost, let’s follow Jesus’ example. Let’s give up our rights, our comforts and become missionaries to those nearby and those far away.

The Great Commission

When I was a kid, we used to have a yearly youth conference in our circle of local churches. Year after year it seemed liked the motto of that youth event was “Go.”

Going doesn’t necessarily mean traveling to the farthest reaches of the world to spread the Gospel. We can fulfill the Great Commission by going to those who are nearby-our neighbors.

You can turn almost any situation into an opportunity to mention the Lord.

Do your neighbors have children? Invite them to Sunday school at your church.

Are they concerned about what’s happening in the Middle East? Discuss how some of what’s going on is prophesied in the Bible.

I’ve begun to tell people, “You know, I pray for you quite often.” It kind of sends everybody into a tailspin. But I tell them that, and it opens the door for further interaction.

Jesus gave the Great Commission-to “go, and make disciples” [Matthew 28:19] – for everyone.

So, pray for God to reveal some ways you can share the Gospel with those nearby. Then go, knowing that God will make it happen.

The Great Command: Love Your Neighbor

I once heard it said, “I love the world. It’s people I can’t stand.” That’s often true.

As we sit and pray for the world, we’re all excited about evangelism. Then we meet an individual who gets on our nerves, and winning someone to the Lord doesn’t seem as thrilling anymore.

Let’s face it. As people, most of the time we’re not very lovable so love has to transcend the moment.

Love has to go beyond others’ niceness or lack of niceness. And we have to recognize that we can’t love others in our own strength.

Love is the fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22-23], and we must rest in His indwelling power before love can overflow from our hearts to others.

I think we need to say to the Lord, “Fill my heart with the Holy Spirit so that I can love other people.

“Give me the mind of Christ so I won’t be selfish and thinking only of myself. Give me compassion for the lost.

“Help me know how I can reach out in love and share Your love with my family, neighbors, fellow workers, and even my enemies.”

The Great Command: Love God

A professor at a Christian college once asked this question: “What is the chief end of man?” His students answered, “To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

To their surprise, the professor disagreed, then told them the chief end of man, according to Jesus, is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

We often think of love as just an emotion, a wonderful feeling toward someone. But it’s much more than that.

Loving the Lord means that we trust Him, that we’ve chosen to obey Him, that we desire to serve Him, and that we want to tell others about His love.

The apostle Paul said he served God with his whole heart in preaching the gospel of His Son.

Paul loved God and demonstrated it by giving all he was to bringing God’s message of salvation to the world around him.

He couldn’t stop speaking of the great things God had done for him and for men and women everywhere, and neither should we.