From “Christ is Everything to His Followers.” Used also in counseling and prison ministry.
I am so thankful that Jesus refuses to give up on us. His stubborn love passionately pursues us to protect us. Jesus takes on demonic thugs and kidnappers who try to steal us away from Him.
God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. (1 John 5:18 NLT)
Because Christ hunts for us and rescues us, we should join Him in hunting for and helping lost people who need Jesus and His salvation. We are not better than non-Christians. We are only sinners ourselves saved by God’s grace. And we don’t want to hog Christ’s blessing. We don’t want to go to Heaven alone. Jesus says, “Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matt 10:8)
Christ-followers are like a tree of life, and whoever is wise captures souls for God. Jesus makes us fishers of men, women, girls, and boys that He gathers and cares for forever. Believers who live wisely and well will shine brilliantly and those who put others on the right path to life will glow like stars forever (adapted from Proverbs 11:30 and Daniel 12:3).
Studies show that 75-90% of people who come to faith in Christ come through the influence of a friend, relative, associate, or neighbor. That reminds me of the friendship evangelism program called Operation Andrew. It is based on John 1:40-42—Andrew heard what John the Baptist had said and began to follow Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah (the Christ).” And Andrew brought Simon to the Lord. Some elements of Operation Andrew are:
1. Identify people who need Christ. Ask God show you others who don’t follow Jesus as Lord and Savior.
2. Pray daily for them. Ask the Spirit to make them hunger and thirst for Christ and help us “make the teaching about God our Savior attractive” (Titus 2:10).
3. Build bridges of friendship. Spend time with them, invite them to your home or out for a meal or coffee, genuinely care for them, listen to them without judging them, help them in concrete ways.
4. Share Christ’s good news with them. As you listen and befriend people, the Lord opens opportunities for us to tell why Jesus is precious to us. Evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.
5. Help them grow in following Jesus. If your friend prays for salvation, don’t abandon them. Help them connect with a faithful church to grow in Christ. A new believer is like a spiritual infant and needs a family of more mature spiritual guides and mentors to help them.
6. If your friend does not receive Christ, don’t be discouraged. Continue befriending, loving, praying for them, knowing that God commands us to spread His love and truth, but only He can bring spiritual life and growth. “No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:3)
Let us run again to Christ by faith today ourselves. He is our refuge and our safety. And let us help others come to Jesus and continue with Him.