Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away!
– Jonah 4:2
In Sunday’s sermon, we heard about Jonah and his hunch that God might actually forgive the people he himself so despised. And he wanted no part of it. Mercy for a people who had butchered so many of his own? “Thank you, God, but I think I’ll be elsewhere that day. Now how about a call a bit more to my liking?” And off Jonah went in the opposite direction, away from God’s calling, which is by definition away from God.
It’s so immature that it’s funny, but how often do we talk ourselves out of God’s call to share Jesus? To be sure, our reasons may sound better: our lack of Biblical knowledge, our lack of conversational know-how, our lack of deeper relationship with that person we would otherwiseshare with… but the end result looks suspiciously like Jonah’s. And the problem with the reasons that get us there is that they’re all about us.
Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”
What does this say about our calling as disciples and what that calling is rooted in? Is it rooted in our Biblical knowledge? Our ability to say the right thing? Our galactically-deep relationship with the person we’re with? Thank God it is not! Instead, we have a calling that is rooted not in anything about us, but in the universal authority of Jesus Himself.
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples…
What does this do for our personal evangelism? Two things: it takes something from us and gives something to us. First, it takes away all of those reasons we’re tempted to grasp at when we talk ourselves out of making disciples. But second, it gives us a reason that is unaffected by our individual insecurities. Jesus said all authority has been given to him. On that basis, and only that basis, he sends us discipling.
Okay. But how do we do that?
In our 3pm evangelism class, we discovered that actually, all of us are in the business of making disciples. All of us proselytize others to the things that we love. Whether it’s a book or a TV series, a board-game or a band, we engage in disciple-making when we share what we love. So what if we did that, except about God?
Thus our homework for this month: to get in the habit of talking about God. Each day, whether with a friend or a family member, we will deliberately take the time to talk about what we’re learning from the Bible, what we love about God. As we do this together, I think we’ll find ourselves feeling less like Jonah and more like disciples who live out Jesus’ calling both regularly and naturally. Imagine how freeing that would feel!
With you for Jesus,
Pastor Daren Redekopp
p.s. A reminder that this Thanksgiving Sunday we’ll be joining Morrow Gospel Church in their 10:45am service, rather than our usual time together. The following week we’ll be back for prayer at 3pm and our service at 4pm!