Day #9 Live with a Mission: Proclaim
Read Ephesians 1
I read that if you want to count to a million without stopping it would take you 6 days, 22 hours and forty minutes. If you want to count to a billion it would take you 31 years and 252 days. A Trillion? Forget about it. 3,170 years. What does this tell me? First, who sits around thinking about this stuff? and second, I’m not even going to try to count to any of the above because it’s too hard from the outset.
I think we can all be tempted to view evangelism in the same way. We’re tempted to give up even before we begin because we feel as if the task is too large for us. We all probably already feel as if we are not doing enough evangelism, and to add insult to injury, at the same time the task is so daunting that it seems impossible from the start. There is guilt and difficulty— not a good motivation for us to want to proclaim the gospel!
So how are we supposed to Live with a Mission if we’re too discouraged or overwhelmed to even tell people about Jesus? We remember that God is sovereign over salvation. He chooses to use us, but our effort is empowered by him to bring his chosen ones to him. Ephesians 1:4 has been a great encouragement to me recently as I have thought about this because it tells us that “he chose us in him before the foundation of the world.”
What this means is that before anything was created, before the foundation of the world, God the Father chose us in love to be his children. When we proclaim the gospel, we are sowing the seed of the gospel broadly trusting God that he is going to work by the power of his Spirit to draw men and women to himself—the ones he has chosen before all time. In proclamation, we ultimately are unable to be persuasive enough to draw people to God in our own effort. It depends on his sovereign power. But he calls us to be involved in the work of proclamation to bring glory to him and he uses us as the means by which the gospel is sown in the world.
This is helpful because it helps us to recognize that it is not our responsibilty to save the world. God is sovereign in salvation. Even if we shared the gospel all day everyday and did nothing else, we couldn’t possibly talk to every person on the planet. This is encouraging because sometimes we feel and talk about outreach in such a way that makes it seem as if it is all up to us. The task isimpossible for us, but not for God.
When we look at evangelism in this light, it actually makes it less daunting. When we tell someone about the gospel, a friend or neighbor or someone that God brings across our path, we can trust that God can change their hearts and draw them to himself because he has been involved in the work of salvation since before the creation of the world. We can be grateful for the opportunity to testify to his glory and salvation. God is leading us to the people who we need to talk to about Jesus and drawing men and women to himself. His sovereignty, our responsibility to be faithful proclaimers of the Word trusting in his power.
Live with a Mission Today: Who do you avoid talking to about Jesus because you are afraid of their response or because you don’t feel like you can answer all their questions? What truth from Ephesians 1 encourages you to speak to them regardless of how well you feel like you can speak of the gospel?