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By: Admin on April 10, 2013

On Sunday, April 7 we started a new series called, "Stretch". The idea is that God stretches us in different ways to help us become the people he has always intended us to be. We like challenges, but we also like comfort. If our challenges were comfortable we'd be really happy. Real life isn't that way, though. Our physical bodies need to be stretched in order to stay strong and healthy. So we do exercises and push ourselves to run a little further, lift a little more or do one more lap in the pool. Our minds need to be stretched in order for us to learn and develop our mental capacities. So we'll read something a little more challenging, we'll try the harder Sudoku puzzle and we'll aim at a higher mark in the exam.

In our spiritual life we need to be stretched, too. No follower of Jesus can truly be who God has called them to be by just sitting there, content to be "forgiven" and "saved". Our spiritual lives will go the way of our physical lives if we just sit around and do nothing.

Jesus took all the commands, rules, regulations and rituals of the Old Testament and boiled them down to two: Love God. Love Others. Then he threw in a third command just before he went up to Heaven: make disciples (other followers of Jesus). This last command is actually a natural outcome of the first two.

If we love God we'll strive to follow his way and show love to him. If we love others we'll do whatever it takes to show the love of God to them. The best way to show God's love to them is to help them become followers of Jesus.

The challenge we have for this is ONE. Introduce ONE person to Jesus this year.

For some, this is a daunting task and kind of frightening. The fear is, "What if they ask me a question I can't answer like creation vs. evolution, who was Cain's wife or explain the Trinity to me?" So they just keep quiet and let someone else do the work. Of course, everyone else thinks someone else is going to do this and in the end no one does the job, we have no new disciples in Jesus, fewer people experience God's love and still fewer go to Heaven. In addition, existing followers of Jesus get spiritually lazy and, frankly, useless.

For others, they think this is the most awesome opportunity to get questions like this because they can now show off their incredible command of the Bible, philosophy, history and general blow-hardiness. This is the opportunity to put the "evil, communist, atheist" in their place. So, they DON'T keep quiet and let someone else do the work. The result is that they speak and act like fools and make the rest of the followers of Jesus look equally stupid. No love, no care, no intelligence. No one experiences God's love and Heaven stays a smaller town than God expects it to be.

To deal with both sides of this issue I introduce you to Paul, one of the greatest Bible teachers God has ever appointed to the world. In his letter to the Christians and churches in the city of Corinth he said,

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:1 & 2 (NIV)

Jesus is not looking for great orators and preachers. He just wants us to be like Philip who went out and found his buddy Nathanael and invited him to meet Jesus. Philip was convinced in his heart that Jesus was THE ONE and he really wanted his friend to know Jesus, too. There wasn't a huge speech or a huge deal. Just, "Come and See". See John 1:43 - 51

In the next blog, we'll take a look at what Paul was talking about to help us introduce one person to Jesus.

Topics: jesus, love, outreach

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