Please remember to pray again today for the people God brings to mind. We don’t meet as many people as we used to. So, ask God to bring them to mind and then give them a call or a text message asking how they’re doing. Find a way to reconnect with someone today!
And he did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:19 ESV
Can you explain why you follow Jesus in non-churchy terms? When I ask others why they follow Jesus, I often get answers like, “Because he loves me.” While that answer is true, it doesn’t explain things very well to people who don’t follow Jesus.
In our verse, above, Jesus had an encounter with a man filled with an army of demons. Jesus healed the man, but a herd of pigs died in the process. The people of the region didn’t want Jesus to stick around, so they asked him to leave. As he was leaving the man who was freed of the demons asked Jesus if he could go along. Jesus answered in verse 19 above.
Why didn’t Jesus let the man come with him? I think Jesus asked that man to stay there because only that man could reach those people. In your work, most of your customers and coworkers wouldn’t be very interested in what your pastor has to say. If they did, they’d probably attend your church. But Jesus saved you, and sent you right back to your workplace. He sent me back too, even though I begged him to put me “into ministry.” I later realized we are all called to full-time ministry. But only a few of us need to leave our jobs and go to work for a church.
Over the next week and a half, as you appreciate and serve others, some will ask you why you’re doing it. If you work late to help someone or if you use your own personal time or money to make a difference for someone else, they will ask. How will you answer?
In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter tells us to respond with gentleness and respect. To me, the best way to answer with gentleness and respect is to answer in the 1st person, or to use “I” and “me” statements. For now, think about why you follow Jesus. Make sure you give a 1st person answer. Then, ask yourself “Why?” again. If you can ask yourself “Why?” 5 times, you’ll get to a basic answer that doesn’t presuppose the other person is a Christian.
Remember, too, most people are in a hurry. They don’t want to listen forever. And many won’t trust the Bible either. So try to boil this off to a 2-sentence answer that can be repeated in less than 1 minute. You will show the other person you’ve thought about it and provided a meaningful, reasonable answer that doesn’t make demands on them. The Holy Spirit will work on them if you can simply give them your answer. Let them decide if they want more information, and trust God. Plan to give a short answer and wait until they ask for more.
The more you think about and rehearse a two-sentence answer, the better prepared you will be when someone asks.
Thank you for your service to our Lord. Comment below or call me if you have any questions or ideas. My number is (918) 899-4239.
Your brother in Jesus!