Every Street – A Pulpit

Jesus told His Church – all believers – that as they went about their daily lives they were to be spreading the good news that through Him a person can be saved and born again. Jesus gave believers the authority (Matthew 28:18) and the power (Acts 1:8) to invade places of spiritual darkness and let the Light shine. Jesus told His people that their task between His ascension and His return was to “make disciples” – not Christians, not converts, not believers – but disciples. The word disciple can best be interpreted today as “apprentice”. Someone who follows and learns from so that they actually become like the ‘master’.

Here is how Jesus said it: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 The Message Version).

We are to go into our every day world – grocery shopping, getting our hair cut, the oil changed in our vehicle, walking the dog – and share our “way of life” with everyone we meet (if they will, of course, stop long enough to listen). We are not to wait for doors to open. We are not to wait until invited to share about what we believe. We are not to witness simply by our life-style. We are to live our lives INTENTIONALLY – looking for and even making opportunities to share Jesus with others … all the time and everywhere we go!

But it has to be intentional. If we do not approach this command from the Lord seriously and intentionally it will never happen. It will get lost in the activities of the day. If we simply wait for opportunies to open up – they seldom do. So, we need to find ways to start conversations as we go about our daily activities and then quickly direct these converations into spiritual matters. Then, we need to narrow this focus so that we can present the truth that Jesus saves. This takes some practice – but it really becomes a daily adventure as we watch the Holy Spirit use our feeble attempts and actually touch lives with the eternal.

Today I am about to leave the comfort of my study – it’s Monday morning and it was a long Sunday ministering in two different locations and driving 560 Km. between them. So normally I stay home on Mondays and do paperwork. But today I am heading out to a different city for a lunch meeting regarding a church plant we are working on and then a coffee appointment with a young man I a met in another city several months ago and that I would like to have the opportunity to isciple and mentor. Then into my home city for some physical exercise at an exercise club – the evening I will be training my people in evangelism and witnessing.

Monday or not – I am excited. I will fill up with gas and talk to Wendy who will be behind the counter. I drive to the city of Moose Jaw and have an opportunity to talk with Joan who will take our order at the restaurant. I will talk to the young man who will come and take away our dirty dishes. I will speak to Susan who will serve my coffee at Tim Hortons, witness to the young man behind the counter at the Esso station as I buy a Diet Coke to sip on my return trip to my own city. I will talk with the attendant at the exercise club – she is fresh from Ukraine (all five who take care of the front desk are from Ukraine) and speaks very limited English and we are bulding a relationship (I have been going there for just a month). As well, there are three guys I speak to on an irregular basis as I see them on occasion in the locker room… Then another opportunity as I pick up the mail and speak with the British lady who is managing the Post Office and has recently returned from a three week holiday there …. you get the idea – next a refill of the gas tank (Wendy will be off shift but
Raymond will have taken over)…and so the whole day will be an adventure of meeting people and building relationships (even though only briefly making contact with some), and actually verbally sharing Jesus as well as handing out life-changing tracts. This is how I live every day – taking my every day life events and schedule and infusing these events with the Holy Spirit by stepping out and intentionally witnessing.

This is how Jesus did it. This is what The Great Commission commands that we do. And, we simply need to become obedient and do as we are told!

6 replies
  1. Sergei
    Sergei says:

    Excellent article! I’ve translated it into Russian and posted at our website. I also sent it to Dima in Kransnoarmeysk – I hope they post it at their website too.

    Before I’ve always prayed for opportunities, and was surprised how seldom they are. But we are to make opportunities, not to wait for them. Excellent word and timely.

    Reply
  2. Karen
    Karen says:

    Ralph,
    I see that what you say is truth. I hear the words of Jesus as if they are to me as well (because they are).

    How then do you get past the objections of ‘certain’ persons who say things like, “Jesus just spoke that to his 12 disciples”.

    Even this comment: [“God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 The Message Version).] can fall on deaf ears (who WILL not hear)
    So, what is my response to this person? Pray for their salvation? Arguing is senseless.

    Reply
  3. Bev Wensel
    Bev Wensel says:

    …intentional living…a good phrase…and as it’s His idea, we will be led to those who are ready to hear/ or sowe into their lives perhaps just a seed etc.
    “being Spirit led” is the key, otherwise we could come across as rude & obnoxious…not good
    H.S. will stear us, the trouble is He’s dealing with *parked* cars most of the time 🙂 B&V

    Reply
  4. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Sergei,

    I believe if you are not intentional about talking to others about Jesus then you never do. I believe that when you go out and about your daily life with the intention of sharing then either doors open or you simply notice the open doors that you missed before – either way you have open doors to step through and are able to share Jesus with others.

    Once I learned that I needed to be intentional about my sharing then many opportunities opened up on a regular and daily basis …

    Reply
  5. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Hi Bev,

    I think the Holy Spirit is leading us to talk to everyone and not just a select person here or there. The Bible states that “God wants all men to be saved” and although I know there is a timing to people getting saved I simply believe that it is “now” because “now is the day of salvation.” This way I am always ready to share and in third gear to do so and thus don’t waste time having to ‘start the car and rev up the engines’ when someone suddendly walks into view who might be interested. If I go ready, willing, and able – excited – and geared to share with everyone I will meet and have opportunity to talk to … then the Lord has only to say “not that one – they are not ready yet” or say to me “I didn’t plan for you to talk to them about My Son today”. So everyone is a potential audience for the Gospel unless the Lord says “not them”.

    So, instead of waiting for the prompting of the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel – I always share and am alert for the occasional time when He tells me not to. Backwards to how most believers apparently work.

    I honestly don’t worry about offending them – I can do that easily without even talking about Jesus. And, I don’t worry about turning them off – they are already turned off and I just might be the one to turn them on. And, if they accuse me of ‘condemning’ them – I simply remember Jesus’ words recorded in John’s Gospel – “If they do not believe in me they are condemned already”.

    Makes for a great daily adventure.

    Reply
  6. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    Karen,

    If a Christian believes that this comment in Matthew 28 was spoken only to the original disciples then I would say they are rationalizing and making flimsy excuses for their disobedience and rebellion. There is not one lover of Jesus who believes that – and not once in over 2000 years of Church history have those verses ever been interpreted that way in the born again church.

    I would not even worry about that person – other than pray either for their salvation or for their need to be obedient – as they know they are wrong and that their argument and belief cannot be backed up biblically. All through the Old and New Testament God wanted (commanded) His people to share Him with other nations … and He still does.

    It always amazes me that a Christian can hold to a belief that means they are moving in a direction that is contrary to the flow of millions (billions) of others and thousands of years of Church history and yet believe they are right and thus everyone else is wrong. Pride!

    Here is my saying (I made it up many years ago) when it comes to people like this: “Dead fish float downstream” and if we are alive in Jesus we will be swimming upstream and not want the easy way out. Spauning grounds are always uphill in fresh, fast-running water. If this Christian wants to lie on their back and float downstream so be it. Let them. Run with those who are running with Jesus.

    Reply

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