As You Go
Often times we can become so persuaded that evangelism is simply a check box on our list of to-dos throughout the day. Rather, what we see in the Bible time and again are calls to action that revolve around the routine of our lives as they are already. Instead of adding a block-schedule in our week titled "Evangelism," the Bible seems to suggest that evangelism should be infused and married to every part of our normal routine, everywhere we go, with every interaction, whomever the interaction might be with.
The fruits of a life that is filled with the Holy Spirit are good and noticeable-- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. While every conversation we have may not include opening a Bible and quoting scripture, the fruits of our lives should shine through in any situation we're in.
An apple tree is an apple tree, no matter where you plant it. It may grow into an apple tree that, due to poor watering and overall care, no longer produces healthy apples. But its purpose is to produce apples. Such is the life of a Christian who's filled with the Holy Spirit. No matter where we are, the fruit of our lives should be produced in abundance from an overflow of the Holy Spirit within us.
As we can read in the scriptures below, the original spreading of the Gospel appears to have been organic and woven into the routine of the disciples' lives. These are only a few examples, however next time you read the Gospels, make sure to notice the actions of preaching and healing taking place in the fabrics of the disciples' daily lives. It happens frequently, which illustrates how organically lifestyle evangelism was in the first century.
"As He was walking along the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew." Matthew 4:18
"As you go, announce this: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.'" Matthew 10:7
"Then, moving on, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me! ” So he got up and followed Him." Mark 2:14
"As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him." Mark 5:2
"As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him." Mark 5:18
"So as He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then He began to teach them many things." Mark 6:34
"He set out from there and went to the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Then crowds converged on Him again and, as He usually did, He began teaching them once more." Mark 10:1
"As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Mark 10:17
"They came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the road." Mark 10:46
"Just as He neared the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was also with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said, “Don’t cry." Luke 7:13
"As He approached and saw the city, He wept over it . . ." Luke 19:41
"So those who were scattered went on their way preaching the message of good news." Acts 8:4
"Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them." Acts 8:5
"As usual, Paul went to the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures . . ." Acts 17:2
How can we live in such a way as to constantly be living a Gospel-driven life? In what ways can we focus our thoughts and hearts to more organically spread the life-giving message everywhere we go?
As we discussed last week, it begins with loving people deeply and fully. Loving people the way we're called to opens up more opportunities more frequently for us to share the Gospel.