After Christ’s death and resurrection, Jesus spent some time with His disciples who were, no doubt, amazed every time they saw Him. Before He ascended to heaven, He had some final instructions that He wanted them to be sure to understand because they would define the rest of their lives.
He told them in Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
It was time for His Disciples to become Apostles, spreading the good news to a broken world. It was their time to evangelize to the ends of the earth and their preparation was nearing completion. Now they would be called to continue the work the Savior had started.
I’m sure having the Son of God Himself give the message did much for their confidence. We can read of their transformation throughout the rest of the New Testament. Even facing the prospect of death, they did not waver from their calling to evangelize. They modeled the prophet’s call from Isaiah 62:1, “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch.”
That same calling has been extended from generation to generation right up until this day. We are the next in line to evangelize the world, “For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). It is now up to us to step from our comfort zones and evangelize, not just in deed but in word.
The definition of evangelize is to preach the Gospel and each of us have been sent to do that by thought, word, and deed. No, we don’t need to shout from a ladder on every street corner, but we are called to make it as much a part of our lives as it was the disciples. Given the urgency of the message it should be in the forefront of our every action. We should be looking, constantly, for opportunities to share the Good News.
This is much easier said then done, however, because of the fear we have over the reaction that may follow. Its one of people’s greatest fears to speak in front of crowds, even to individuals we know.
The devil keeps reminding us of our own shortcomings and whispers in our ears, “Who are you to make a stand for Christ? What makes you qualified? Why should anyone believe you after how you have lived your life?” He does this because he knows how powerful the message is. He knows how devastating to his plans the Good News would be.
That is why we must overcome the devil’s whispers by being the mouthpieces of God even in our fear of the unknown. You don’t have to be an eloquent speaker or a Biblical scholar, you simply need a story, your story, as to how God has shown Himself in your life.
Even people like Moses and Jeremiah and Paul struggled at time, but they overcame their inhibitions and accomplished incredible kingdom victories for God. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ the crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration pf the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
Paul overcame his shortcomings by the power of God found in His Word through His Spirit. That is the same source from which God wishes you to find your power to evangelize the nations. It all starts with telling that first person. God will be with you in great ways and small and, if you are willing, He will work through you to do mighty things in His name. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for your gracious presence in our lives that works in us the courage to tell Your story as a part of our own. Give us the willingness to evangelize to the world in the understanding that you will never leave us or forsake us when we do. Amen.