Our Winter Of Discontent

When He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion and pity for them, because they were dispirited and distressed, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is [indeed] plentiful, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Matthew 9:36‭-‬38 AMP

When you think of all the people you know, how many are dispirited and distressed? Does it move you to compassion or judgment? Do you have pity or contempt for them?

The Lord of the Harvest is looking for faithful workers to do His will from a heart of love and compassion.

I love sharing the Good News of the Kingdom and encouraging people in the faith. But, before I knew better, I was so driven with a sense of purpose and duty that I neglected the most important thing. Follow Jesus.

If you follow Jesus, He will make you a fisher of men, and women. Really, whoever you come across in life. Our desire to see people come into the Kingdom should be birthed from a place of compassion and wanting to see them experience the freedom, love and grace that only God can provide.

If we’re doing things out of duty and responsibility, if we’re not careful, it can just become something to check off the to-do list. I shared my testimony twice today, now I can move on to the next item. That’s not going to be very effective. People can tell if you’re being genuine or if you’re just going through the motions.

Don’t get me wrong, I was taught how to share the Gospel using various tools, techniques and scripts. Sometimes it worked, most of the time it didn’t.

What I’ve come to know, and this might seem obvious, is that God is the One who saves people. The Holy Spirit is already working on people all around you. You’re just joining the conversation.

What I do now is look for opportunities to present themselves. If you want more opportunities, pray for them ahead of time. Before you leave the house, ask God to send you people to encourage and share your faith with. Do you know anyone that needs encouragement? If we’re honest, we all do. Even the encouragers among us sometimes could use a pick me up. It never hurts to be kind.

One of the things I learned in my training in street ministry was to look for the people God highlights. They’re often alone in the crowd. They look downcast. You’re not going to be interrupting something better than what you have to bring. Simply approach them as if they’re a friend you haven’t met yet. Strike up a conversation and see where it goes.

You’re not trying to close a deal. If they’re resistant, don’t worry about it. Be polite and respectful. The last thing you want to do is be one of those Christians that give us a bad name.

Ask them about their story. Find something in common you can use to bridge the conversation to spiritual matters. Share your story, with their permission first. Don’t be obnoxious. Be loving and gentle. You’re not trying to prove a point except that God loves them and so do you.

Evangelism is more of an art than a science. It’s about sharing truth in love with the people who need it the most desperately. If someone was drowning, would you look the other way? Not my job. Let the professionals handle it.

The trouble is today, or more correctly, the opportunity we have today, is that there are so many people in need of a Savior that even if all the “professional Christians” worked full-time on reaching the lost, they couldn’t do it. The task is too large. That’s why every disciple should become comfortable and proficient in leading people to Jesus.

Whether you disciple them or not, somebody in your circle of influence today needs to hear the Gospel from someone who is living it. Perhaps that’s why so few people engage in evangelism, they know they’re not a good witness. If that’s the case, straighten up and fly right. Irregardless, it’s not your holy lifestyle that saves people, it’s the Gospel and the Holy Spirit that does.

The need is great and the first step is prayer. Some suggestions on what to pray:

  • God would bring the nations to repentance
  • God would send workers out
  • Opportunities to witness and encourage
  • A heart for the lost
  • God’s power to heal and deliver

There’s so much more to be praying but I’ll trust that the Spirit will guide you. People are dying to hear some Good News right now. Don’t believe the lie that it’s rude to share your faith. People have no problem speaking up about what they believe. Let’s share the most important thing to believe, that Jesus loves you and died so that you can be forgiven and enter into eternal life with God.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but people are dying at an accelerated rate right now. Their hearts are already tenderized. Plant the seed of the Gospel and leave the results up to God. The more you sow, the more you reap.

Don’t be stingy with your love. Love your friends. Love your family. Love your neighbors. Love your enemies. Love the lost into the Kingdom of God. You might be the only one who has the access and opportunity. Do the work of an evangelist. God is with you.

Lord God in Heaven, give us a heart to share the greatest news ever with boldness, confidence and grace. May we be a sweet smelling aroma to those who are being saved. Draw them in by Your Holy Spirit and put the words on our tongues to tell them of all the wonderful things that You’ve done. Let our testimonies be powerful reminders that God saves miserable sinners just like us. Let us share Your love with the lost and hurting. Bring them in O God, bring them Home with us. Amen.

For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:11‭, ‬13 ESV

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