Sunday morning at Bedfordview, 24 December 2017. Craig Herbert looks at Ephesians chapter 3.
By Phil Pillans
A fair amount of time at church is spent on preaching and teaching about the Great Commission. In other words, Christ calls us to make disciples of all nations and to baptise them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Does this scare you? Guess what – this is perfectly normal.
The first thing that you should know is that Christ can use anybody – whether you are a so-called people’s person, or shy. The first requirement of the Great Commission is faith. You can nurture your faith through prayer, reading the Word, and connecting with other believers.
So what’s next? Here are a few pointers.
1. It’s not about you. Always show respect for the other person’s beliefs and private life – we cannot change them, that’s the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:15-16).
2. Pray in the Spirit. Pray quietly in tongues and listen to them and the Holy Spirit while the other person is speaking. You are changing the spiritual realm around you and may receive a word of wisdom or knowledge for them. Tongues is also a weapon of spiritual warfare (2 Cor 4:4, Eph 6:18 & 2 Cor 10:3-5).
3. Spread the Good News. It is especially important to tell potential believers that God loves them and they were put on this earth for a purpose (John 3:16).
4. You can’t be a person’s conscience. Don’t try and be the Holy Spirit and convict people of their sin. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job (Romans 2:4). It’s the goodness, patience and kindness of God that leads to repentance because love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8) for we are saved by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).
5. Be a friend in Christ. If a person on the street responds and you lead them to the Lord, try to walk them down to the church so they know where it is, and if available offer them coffee/ tea/ biscuits and, most of all, friendship. Jesus didn’t say we should make converts, He said we make disciples, which happens when a person is integrated into the life of a church, sits under biblical teaching, builds relationships, and matures in the Lord (Matt 28:19).
God will always take the little faith we have and multiply it!
We did some math sums this week. We worked out that this year we had approximately 76 hours to impact your children at Children’s Church. That means that we had just over three days out of 365 days to build relationship and teach our children. That little number can seem disheartening, but God used “three days” this year to do incredible things in our children’s lives. We are amazed when we look back at the time, passion and resources our leaders put into this year with the deep desire to see your children know Jesus better. It was encouraging and somewhat sad to end the year this past Sunday.
This Sunday we ended off our theme of God’s love by looking at how His love is for everyone and lasts forever. We are so accustomed in life to expect things to run out: money runs out, petrol comes and then is gone, batteries have energy and then die, food is fresh but then rots etc. We can live with this anxiety that everything will run out one day. But God’s love is so different. His love does not run out, dry up, die or rot. His love is eternal and He gives it to everyone.
Enjoy this holiday season with your family. Spend time showing love to each other and to others. Keep talking about the gospel for that is great evidence of God’s great love.
We look forward to the new year!
– The Children’s Church team