Many followers of Christ have a tendency to believe that if they don’t have the gift of evangelism they are not responsible for sharing. I want you to know today that it is God’s purpose that every believer help get others into heaven. Every person becomes a candidate to be sent to tell the good news. I don’t’ mean when you become a follower of Christ you immediately sign up to go to a foreign land but you are now in a position to be used where you are to bring the message to others.
I believe that being sent means that you will become as prepared as possible to share the good news with others. Before Jesus actually sent his 12 disciples out on their own he spent time with them, he taught them. Before he sent them out he gave them authority and gave them specific instructions. Now there were also times after he healed someone that he told him to go home and specifically tell his family what God has done for him that day.
I believe that Jesus not only wants us to be able to share what God has done in our own lives (experiences) but also why Jesus is the only way. Why he is the only one able to save. Why it is logical to trust in Jesus. That only comes by an effort to search the scriptures, to know what is going on in the world today, to know what other people believe. Many people don’t take the time to learn theology because they think they can just send them to the preacher. It’s our goal as a church to help equip you to share your faith. So, you can answer statements like, “The Bible is full of divinely approved violence to children” and many other statements that Biblical opponents throw at us who love the Bible.
Paul uses an interesting Old Testament quotation in verse 15: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” This verse was first used in Isaiah. It is also used in Nahum. It’s important to understand that in Biblical times they didn’t have email or fax machines or phones. So in order for a person or king to relay a message to his hearers they sent messengers, often time they would travel by foot. Many times these messengers would travel miles to get the message to his hearer. Now, the message the messenger was bringing could be either positive or good. For instance, in Job it was a messenger that brought word to Job that his family was killed. So, can you imagine what people and communities would be thinking when word got out a messenger was bringing word to them? Their hearts would pound not knowing if the news was going to be tragic or good.
When the news was good of course the messenger was the most popular person around. I mean I would probably not like this job. People would either love you or hate you! So people would say the messenger’s feet were beautiful. Now the word beautiful does not mean in appearance—thank goodness. It means “in time” or “timely”. It was as if the people were saying, “just when I needed to hear something good.”Hallelujah!
There are people all around us in desperate need of some good news. They are going through a trying time. They don’t need to hear “suck it up” or “hang in there” or “our church has great music”, they need to hear Jesus loves and cares for you. Did you know that most people come to Christ (or are more eager to receive the gospel) during turning points or transitions in their lives? Either a move, a death in the family, a divorce, and birth of a child. When things are going really great for an unbeliever it’s harder for them to be open to their need. But boy when the rug is ripped out from under them they become open.
So, you can see Paul’s imagery here. Someone going through a tough time in need of some good news: The reply is “how timely was this in getting to me!” When is the last time someone said to you, “how beautiful are your feet”? What are you doing to bring the good news to the people around you in your daily life? Are you willing to be as prepared as possible to be an effective witness?
There was a peculiar fisherman from Minnesota who was very well prepared. He knew how to fish. He had everything you need to be a good fisherman. He had poles, nets, bait, and even a really nice boat, but this fisherman had a problem. You see, for all his preparation he never caught anything. Not one fish. Not one, not ever. And you know why he never caught a fish? What do you think? The answers easy: He never went fishing. He had all the knowledge and all the equipment, but he never got into the boat, he never left the dock..
Paul Little in his book "How to Give Away Your Faith" defines witnessing: "Witnessing is that deep-seated conviction that the greatest favor I can do for others is to introduce them to Jesus Christ."
This truth must hit every single devoted follower of Christ. Oh God, give us a fire in our hearts to bring the good news! God Bless and:
"Don't Forget To Say Your Prayers!"