Guarding and proclaiming the unchanging truth in a changing world

God's Call to Witness and Reach Out to Others

29th December 2020
Audio: 

GOD’S CALL TO WITNESS AND REACH OUT TO OTHERS

In the Old Testament passage; Jonah chapter 1 we read in part;

“The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” ……
But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship ...
Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.  .....
The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.  ...
Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

The New Testament passage; Colossians 1:1-14, reads in part;

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To God’s holy people in Colosse, … 
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, ...
you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.  You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,  so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,"

We are all called to reach out to others and witnesses to God’s love in word and deed. The Bible passages alludes to:

  1. The Different ways of doing it including;
  • Like Jonah, travel out of our comfort zones to proclaim God’s message.
  • Like Paul support ongoing work of evangelism, constant pray and write to encourage those coming to faith.
  1. The possible challenges similar to the one’s faced by prophet Jonah including:
  • The feeling of inability to measure to the task of a witness and evangelist.
  • Intimidation by the possibility of awaiting negative and even cruel response. 
  • Finding excuses for disobeying God’s call.  
  • Facing the reality of heartbreaking consequences for disobeying God. 

However, when we faithfully heed God’s call, we will realize the joy of the following;

  • God’s forgiveness.
  • God’s enabling presence and even unprecedented protection.
  • Positive response and God pleasing changes in the lives of targeted people. 
     
Prayer: 

“Dear God we heartily confess that we often disobey your call to evangelize. Inspire in us the joy of witnessing to others in our day to day lives and the support the work of proclaiming the gospel faithfully to the nations. For the glory of your name." Amen.

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