Thursday, December 29th, 2016
Do-Gooders (Part 44)
Recruit Through God
Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.'
Matthew 9:37-38 (NASB)
No one can come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me...
This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him by the Father.
John 6:44-45, 65 (NASB)
One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.
Acts 16:14 (NASB)
If earth's nations are filled with lost people, if we're commissioned to go and find them, if we want everyone to come to Christ so we press outsiders vigorously (especially the ones we know and love), then we may have missed an important step:
God is the primary Recruiter. His employment agency is headed by none other than His Holy Spirit.* If Jesus the Man depended on God to choose and draw His early disciples, then we must respect the proper channels and place our work orders via prayer.*
If we push the case for Christ to closed ears or urge men to a premature plunge,** then we risk two unfortunate outcomes: 1. We're wasting time and gaining bad P.R.; 2. We're encouraging shallow commitments.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Your job goes rogue without the Lord's lead, so don't become His artless artists. (Overeager proselytizers need to read the Gospels more closely.) As for you, ask the Lord to use you to help open ears and soften hearts.
And while you're waiting, an artful way to carry news about God's kingdom is through unquestionably good acts: like love, joy, peace, patience and kindness; goodness, faithfulness and gentleness. Add on unusual self-control in a world accustomed to blow-ups... and you're practicing evangelism.
To be Continued...
* Excellent, referenced article: 10 Reasons the Holy Spirit Sovereignly Draws Men to Salvation: https://airocross.com/2011/10/26/10-reasons-the-holy-spirit-sovereignly-draws-men-to-salvation/
** Quick, impulsive conversions and/or baptisms before the heart and mind are fully aware/connected/engaged are often followed by ineffective discipleship. This combination sets the stage for backsliding. Studies reveal a large percentage of quick conversions are followed by backsliding and/or departures from the church.
** Interesting article and website: How To Avoid Backsliding, http://www.billionsoulsforchrist.com/avoidbacksliding.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.