No doubt, there is a lot of work to do, but not many people will actually do it. They’ll find an excuse not to reach out. You are on the front line of God’s work. If you don’t reach your friends, family, and neighbors, who will? The cold harsh reality is that not only will those people be separated from God in this life, but they will be separated from God for eternity. Right now in your heart, you’re probably having one of these reactions to these statements.
- You’re willing to reach out, but you don’t know how.
- You’re not willing to reach out right now because either you’ve tried and failed or you think that someone else will do it, and that you can just be the best Christian you can be, and that that’s enough.
- Your heart is broken by hearing this.
Which one are you? Are you somewhere in between those points, or is one of those dead-center where you are today? Hopefully God will move your heart toward Number 3, where you will be excited about reaching out to the people around you and that your heart would break for them!
According to research from the Barna Group, the people around you may be ready for a conversation about God. Many say that they pray to God and that they want a deep relationship with him. The door is open. Your friends at school, the dudes at the mall, the people at the movies sitting behind you talking or making out—many of them are open to Jesus and open to you.
Consider the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–35).
Now think about the man who was beaten up in this story. Is there anyone in your school, anyone at the grocery store, anyone on your street or in your path who needs to know and experience the love of God?
- The priest in the story who went across the street to avoid the hurting guy is like some of us who see the need but don’t want to take the risk of reaching out.
- The temple assistant is like some of you who may be willing to reach out but figure that someone else will lead them to Jesus. Someone else will do it.
- The Samaritan is the one who cared, the one who stopped and met the man’s needs, took him to where he could be healed, and then even promised to follow up and take care of any extra needs he might have. Despite their differences, he cared. (Remember, Jews strongly disliked the Samaritans!)
This is what a commitment to care is all about:
- Being willing to meet someone’s needs—their physical, emotional, or spiritual needs.
- Doing something about it, taking them to the place they can be healed or get help, and being willing to take Jesus to them and help them see how much he loves them.
- And following through by looking out for that person’s spiritual growth.
Would you take seriously this week your commitment to care? Start your commitment to care today by examining and thinking about your response to this crucial question: Do you really care about the lost people around you?
Nike once aired a great commercial that asked the question, “Is it in you?” Along with showing people achieving great things, it shows them failing and asking themselves, “Is it in me to win?” If you join this 360 REVOLUTION, you will fail from time to time. People will laugh at you; they may call you names. But what you have to keep asking is, “Is it in me to do what God said and tell other people about Jesus so they can experience the life God planned for them? Is it in you?
Check in next Sunday for the Week Two devotional – Commitment to Influence