Friday, May 23rd, 2014
Beautiful! Like Esther (Part 26)
Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen.
Esther 10:3 (NKJV)
The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth...
I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors. (Jesus is speaking to His disciples after His encounter with the Samaritan woman.)
John 4:23-24,38 (NKJV)
The words 'gospel' and 'evangelism' mean the same thing: good news.* Good news is not delivered by threat. Good news is not delivered by condemnation. Good news is not delivered by confusion. 'For the message of the Cross is foolishness' (1 Corinthians 1:18) to outsiders.
Nevertheless, we must go outside: it's our Great Commission. Jesus demonstrated the process of evangelism in Samaria, when He spoke to the woman at the well. Consider it: 1) She was an outsider. 2) She was living in sin. 3) By tradition, Jewish men did not talk to immoral, non-Jewish women--especially in public.
Here's how Jesus brought this woman (and her city) His good news: 1) He found common ground; both races claimed Jacob as their father.** 2) He discussed their common need: water. 3) He treated the woman with uncommon respect. 4) He intrigued her with His Words... until His Identity (and purpose) were revealed.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: don't be fooled by the stars. Astrology is not your Guide--neither are the world's star makers. Don't be fooled about your purpose. It's not stardom, but evangelism--through media. Don't be fooled by church leaders--if they teach a different type of evangelism.
Just do it like Jesus did it: 1) Find common ground. That's easy; in your field, it's talent. 2) Find common need. That's easy, too; everyone needs refreshment. 3) Treat outsiders with uncommon respect.
4) Intrigue them; do it first by your behavior--as in love, by whatever means God provides. Next, intrigue them by your words. Start with your own overcoming stories. When the time is right, tell them of the One Who helped you.
Warning: if you refuse to share God's good news through the investment of the talents He entrusted to you, you face His correction--at a minimum:
'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents' (Matthew 25:26-28).
But you won't refuse. You won't bury or ignore God's talent. Like Esther, you're in it to win it. So stay in it. Keep investing. Keep evangelizing. Do it like Jesus did it, and don't give up.
To Be Continued...
* Etymology Dictionary origins of the world, gospel: Old English godspel "gospel, glad tidings announced by Jesus; one of the four gospels," from god "good" (see good) + spel "story, message" (see spell (n.1)); translation of Latin bona adnuntiatio, itself a translation of Greek evangelion "reward for bringing good news."
** How Jews were related to Samaritans, and why they hated each other: https://bible.org/illustration/hatred-between-jews-and-samaritans
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beautiful Like Esther series.