The Work of a Disciple

Text: Acts 26:17-18
…”I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (NRSV)

The most important work of any Christian is to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know that there are many who will claim that Evangelism does not fall under their spiritual gifts.  However, it is clear in scripture that all of Jesus’ disciples are to follow the Great Commission of Jesus found in Matthew chapter 28.  In fact, the mission statement of The United Methodist Church is “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”.

I am one who would tell you that evangelism has never shown up on my spiritual gift inventory. I have taken many of these inventories and evangelism has never appeared as a result.  So, I take comfort in the words of Paul as he explains to Agrippa in our text for today that Jesus has promised to rescue him as he shares the Gospel message that will open eyes to the power and love of God.

It is clear that disciples of Jesus Christ are to take every opportunity to share the Gospel with everyone in their sphere of influence.  It is life and death work.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that leads to forgiveness of sins.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that gives people the power they need to turn from darkness to light.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that gives us the freedom to flee the power of Satan and receive the power of God.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that gives eternal life.

Paul writes in Romans chapter 10, “For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”  This is the beauty of God’s gift of justifying grace given freely through Jesus.  However, Paul goes on to write, “’But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?”’  It is impossible.  But when we accept Jesus’ call to proclaim the Gospel, all whom we encourage with the good news that has transformed our lives, will have the opportunity to call on the name of the Lord.

Do not be afraid to answer Jesu’s call to all of his disciples to proclaim the good news which you have already received, which is already saving you, which is already giving you unspeakable joy, which is already transforming your life.  Jesus has promised to rescue you.  Even if all Jesus really needs to rescue you from is your fear.

Pray with me:

Jesus, I know you have called me to share your love with others through the sharing of your Gospel.  Rescue me from my fear.  Give me the words to say to others that will express the joy of my relationship with you that they too might call upon your name and be saved.  AMEN.

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