Daily Devotional - 15 July 2020
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them” (Romans 10:14)?
We are to be excited to share with others the great things Jesus has done. To use a current day metaphor, His should be the most shared ‘posts’ of all time! We should be ‘learning and living the Way of Jesus,’ meaning that others should be able to see Jesus reflected in our lives and hear from us directly how they can know Him too. However, there’s a problem. Too many Christians have insulated themselves from non-Christians for so long and to such a degree that we don’t even know any non-Christians or have the kind of relationship that would make someone willing to listen. How did this happen?
As followers of Jesus, who desire to live our lives faithful to His directions, we are cognizant of the fact that we still have too great a propensity to be unfaithful. We have read the words that discourage us from being ‘of the world’ and as a result have locked others out. In order to safeguard our own ability to keep in good standing with God–to live rightly–we have held others at arm’s length. The rationale appears sound, ‘if you don’t want to become contaminated by the world, you must not interact with the it.” However, there’s one huge problem. God has also called us to be ambassadors–citizens of heaven–quick to share about our new country of origin. We are to be actively engaging others. When we remove ourselves from relationships with non-Christians, we refuse to accept part of God’s terms–we are literally condemning others to hell by our lack of sharing. God forbid it! But, what to do? The simple answer is relationship.
We are not to befriend the world and adopt it’s sinful ways, yet we are still to intentionally mingle with people who don’t believe and act the way we do. Take Paul’s words for example,
“When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some” (1 Corinthians 9:20-22).
What was Paul’s advice? Find ‘common ground.’ We do not have to change and reject the Way of Jesus in order to disciple and build relationships with others; rather, we are to look for shared experiences and interests–connection points upon which to build a relationship. We cannot afford to maintain an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ mentality–‘Christian’ vs. ‘non-Christian.’ God created every human being in His image and He wants every single one to have the opportunity to choose between accepting or rejecting a relationship with Him. Those of us who have accepted God’s terms need to recognize our own lostness without God–it is only Jesus in our lives that distinguishes us from others in God’s eyes.
Today, I would encourage us all to be intentional about building relationships–go beyond ‘Hi, how are you?’ Find common ground in order that you may be permitted to share the Way to Jesus!
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!