Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sharing the Gospel in Your World

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)

It was a Saturday morning and I had just walked into McDonald’s to grab some coffee and do some final preparation for a youth conference workshop I would be teaching in a couple of hours.  I overheard the young woman trying to sell some jewelry to another man standing in line.  After he politely declined, she moved on to me.

Her name was Kristin.  She was doing a yearlong project with a group promoting global peace and trying to raise money.  She would soon be getting the opportunity to go overseas for the first time.  Would I be interested in helping her out?  I was almost certain she was from the Unification Church, but asked just to make sure.  She was.  I politely told her I was a follower of Jesus and didn’t agree with the teachings of her church.  She moved on.  But I felt incomplete; my heart broke for this deceived young woman.  I wanted to say more.

After I purchased my coffee, I sat down in a booth, opened my Bible and began to pray for Kristin.  Suddenly, there she was standing by my booth introducing herself again.  She didn’t immediately recognize me as one she had already approached.  Then it clicked and she asked me about what problems I had with the Unification Church.  Thus began a 10-minute discussion of the Gospel and the central role Jesus plays in it. Our conversation ended with me asking where she was from.  It turned out she was from a city just down the road from where I had worked for over 20 years.  She said she was homesick and knowing I had roots in her home state made her want to cry.  A connection, albeit brief, had been made and I believe the Lord used it to plant that gospel seed just a little deeper.

Interestingly, my workshop was about creating a missions atmosphere in a youth ministry.  One of the points I had already planned to make is that missions is not confined to going overseas; it can be found in our daily lives—like at McDonald’s.  

Jesus says to go into all of the world, but that includes the immediate world in which we live—on campus, in our workplace, in our neighborhood.  The call to share the gospel is not just for “over there,” but “right here” as well.  The question is, are we ready to share when those opportunities arise?  

Today, recognize the command of Jesus to take the gospel into the entire world includes the one in which you live.  For there are a lot of Kristins in need of hearing about it.

© Jim Musser 2018

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