Key: “Begat” = give birth to
Healthy sheep begat healthy sheep. Healthy Christians are instrumental in bringing others into God’s Kingdom seeing them born again (becoming sheep) and discipled.
Led anyone to the Lord recently? No! Um, does that mean that you are not healthy and thus not reproducing? Maybe you are not really a true sheep! Could be you are simply behaving badly and not doing what you are suppose to do as a healty sheep and a member of the flock. Time to take a good, hard look at yourself? I would suspect so!
In the Church today it often seems that we are expecting the pastor to be the one who is influencing non-believers and leading them across the line of faith into the Kingdom. Afterall, that’s what we pay them for. They are full time and we have a job to do in the “real” world. They have been to seminary or Bible School so they have been trained to do this. They are the clergy and we are simply the laity. Isn’t this what we pay them to do? Wrong on all counts. Absolutely dead wrong!
God’s plan was that God’s people would be telling others about His Son Jesus and the Gospel of the Kingdom and leading them into a saving relationship with the Lord. Read the Gospels! Read the epistles (letters)! Read the book of Acts! It is in every book of the New Testament. As you read the Old Testament it becomes abundantly clear that the one thing that God called His people to do – which they never really did correctly or continuously – was to influence the other nations around them and to reveal their God to them. This was and is called proselytizing and they failed miserably at doing it. So is the Church today.
Healthy sheep begat healthy sheep. Pastors don’t begat sheep; apostles don’t begat sheep, prophets don’t begat sheep. Sheep begat sheep! Christians influence non-Christians and let the light of Christ shine into the spiritual darkness. Christians share the night-and-day difference that Jesus has made in their lives with others who do not know that He can and will make a difference. Christians ernestly content for (fight for and spread) the Gospel once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). Christians are responsible for going into all the world and making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Christians are called and empowered to be witnesses (Greek word is martyrs) for Jesus (Acts 1:8). No excuses; no reasons why we can’t; no rationalizing; no cop-outs. It is simply to be a way of life – as normal as having children after being married.
We are a week into the new year. Is it really going to be “new” or is it just going to be filled with the same-old, same-old? Is anything really going to change? Will your prayer life remain as it has always been? Will your Bible study be non-existent? Will you even fail to maintain a daily Bible reading time? Will your Christian faith be something that adds excitement and life to your regular daily existence – the daily grind? Will your prayer times take on a new dynamic and a powerful edge that sees significant answers? Will this year simply be a repeat of last year and the year before and the year before and the…?
The answer is a resounding “yes” if you are not witnessing and sharing your faith with others on a reular daily basis as you go about the normal activities of your world. The only activity or focus that makes prayer, Bible reading, Bible study, and your faith come alive and become a real adventure – something to celebrate – is evangelism.
Sheep are to begat sheep and when they do the whole of the Christian lifestyle takes on a new and powerful dynamic. Once experienced you would settle for nothing less. Once experienced – you will never let it go. Once experienced – nothing else will satisfy. Once experienced you will admit that this is what has been missing all these years! Once experienced you will wonder why it took you so long to become involved.
I am praying that you will find the courage, the strength, the desire, the fortitude, and the desire to do what you know you must do to be a healthy believer. I am praying that your love level for the Lord – the passion you feel for Jesus – will literally drive you to begin to share your faith. Jesus said we are to “go into all the world and make disciples.” This was a command and not an option. Jesus also said, “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” So, our love for the Lord is seen in more than worship and tithing – it becomes evident to others when you simply obey everything He has commanded and at the top of His list is that you join Him in “seeking and saving the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
So, will 2011 be any different than 2010? You decide!