My head is so full of thoughts and inspiration I feel like I am going to explode. So I decided to relieve some pressure…. I recently have been made ever more aware of the extreme importance of relationship. Relationship are so important that Jesus chose relationship over position. He could have come as a King that resided over the people, that gave decrees, that set rules and made the masses follow him. By his power and eloquent speaking he could have wooed crowds, and won their hearts with his charm and wisdom. But instead he chose the way of relationship. He plunged into relationships with men like Peter, who one minute would say “I will NEVER turn on you Jesus!” and the next min, Jesus would be saying to him, “get behind me satan!” Those are strong words to say to a friend. Peter was a zealous young man, who jumped out of a boat with all his clothes on to swim to shore when he saw his Master only to be asked “Peter do you love me?” If I was Peter I would think, “what??, I just jumped in the ocean and swam to shore to come see you and you are asking me if I love you? Did this amazing, passionate, outward expression of my love not speak loud enough?” Yet Jesus asked him 3 times, “Peter do you Love me?” Each time it was followed by “feed my lambs Peter, tend my sheep Peter, feed my sheep Peter.” (John 21)
I believe relationship is the most effective and natural way to “go into all the world and make disciples.” In a culture full of noise, with people who want to have a voice so people will listen to them, like Martin Luther King Jr., preachers that want to preach a message that shakes you to the core, like a Billy Graham and singers that want to sing that one song that moves your heart to tears, like a Michael W. Smith. Sometimes we fight the life we have been placed in looking for something with more sparkle or position. We are taught that as follower of Yeshua that we should be evangelizing the lost world. And maybe we think we need more power, more position, more money or more sparkle to do so.
Then there is another side, the really awkward, un-natural approach to evangelizing we have been taught. We are suppose to sit down next to someone at Wendy’s and strike up a conversation with them ask them if they know Jesus as their savior, lead them in the “sinner’s prayer,” then finish our Jr. bacon cheese burger, say “see ya” and go on with our day. Who does that? How many of us when we see boys on bikes dressed in suits ring our doorbell, act like we are not home? Why do we respond this way? Because it is NOT natural. I believe this is a twisted idea of “witnessing.”
Christ’s way was simply this; 12 men, pour everything I have into them, period. Along the way others got touched by his ministry, by his love, by the passion of his followers, yet he did not seek crowds or position he just simply WAKLED with 12 men.Who are your 12? It starts at home. I have a Koby, Zekiah and Levi and they need to KNOW Christ. This is a totally skewed take on this verse, but I keep thinking about Matthew 16:28 what difference does it make if I “save everyone in the world” and lose my own soul, my own DNA, my own flesh and blood, my sons. (“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”) Then from home it goes to the people around you. Are we being good stewards of the relationships God has placed in our hands right now. The Lord has challenged me in this season were I am right now to “care for people.” I am honored to be in a season of life were I have time to think about and care for other people. With everything I am I want to embrace the call or the command Christ gave to Peter, “If you love me, take care of my people.” Be careful that you don’t put your Christian glasses on and think that only means “people in Church.” There are a bunch of people on this Earth that need someone to take care of them. Don’t get the message twisted, WALK with some folks and watch the Lord make disciples. Remember Jesus did not hang out at “church” he was found “eating with sinners.” (Take out the word sinners and replace with people) Jesus hung out with people, he ate with people, he walked with people!
One last thought. I was watching the Pixar movie “UP” last night with my boys. If you have seen it there is an older man and a young boy in the movie who both need someone! The older gentleman is on a mission and he is going to accomplish his mission, because that is the MOST important thing!!! The young boys is just in the way and if he can move fast enough and do what he is told, he can stay around but he better not interfere with the mission. As I am watching this movie I am asking myself, how many times a day do I do this, to my family, to my co-workers, to the people around me? How many times am I more worried about verbs than nouns. (Doing things Vs. the people/nouns in front of me) By the end of the movie the older man realizes that this little life, this little boys was his mission, and he has to let go of what he thought was MORE important. God’s heart beats for people, always has always will…Take care of my sheep.