Groundhogs’ Day. February 2nd. That’s my birthday! Now, I think that Groundhogs’ Day ought to be declared a national holiday. This furry creature comes out of its comfortable underground home to prognosticate about the next six weeks of weather — Surely that deserves to be honored as a national holiday!
But it’s also my birthday. My 70th birthday. And as it approaches, I want to think about a couple of issues before it is “here.”
We’re using the acronym SEVENTY as our guide. We’ve thought about the letter “S” (survival!, the letter “E” (for engagement), and the letter “V” for victory. How about this second “E”? How about the word EVANGELISM? I don’t think I have the gift of EVANGELISM, but I do care about the lostness of people around me. The late Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s statement (see picture to teh left) sometimes haunts me.
In light of the Pope’s saying it’s wrong to proselytize and the reluctance of almost 1/2 those polled in a particular generation to share their faith, EVANGELISM isn’t popular these days. But what does one do with the Great Commission?
Here the believer in Jesus is challenged not to simply make CONVERTS, but to make DISCIPLES! Contrary to liberal theology, all people are not already saved. They first need to be converted so they can begin to become DISCIPLES.
Of course, the Lord has given me the opportunity to write on this topic — and my book Unlike Jesus: Let’s Stop Unfriending the World comes from a passion to befriend those who are lost like I once was. As you think about the years the Lord has given you, do you have a heart for people who are far from God?
Pray with me? “Father, I thank You, first of all, for saving me! Give me a longing to share the Good News of the gospel with all You bring into my life. Open my eyes, Lord, to the conversations that are possible. And give me wisdom, after I’ve done some heavy listening, to say what You want me to say. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”