“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Eccl 3:11. (ESV)
This week we’ve examined various aspects of being the Messenger. As you think about being the Messenger were you mostly thinking about folks somewhat like yourself? What about people that are different, or have never before heard the Gospel, can you also bring a message of Good News to them too?
The answer is “Yes”, as God has placed into every human soul that there is an awareness that there is “something more” than this transient world.
When this author has been overseas, I start with introducing the Creator God, as there is a common sense that since there is a Creator, then that Creator (God) makes the rules (setting the standards for what is right & wrong). Here’s the difference: This God (”big G”) does want to be personally known. I have encouraged all to personally seek Him, as all that seek Him (with an open heart) will find Him.
Next, I share about Adam & Eve as this message impacts them (& in their culture) deeply in three ways: guilt, shame, and fear. For many Westerners the idea of guilt, overcome by innocence, tends to resonate. For others, particularly from Asia and the Middle East, the concept of Guilt and Innocence often seems like nonsense … but the sense of Shame-Honor resonates much more deeply. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God “they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness,” (Gen. 3:7). The Good News is that Jesus, through His sinless life and sacrificial death, bore Adam’s shame (and ours) and can restore our honor.
I’ve met folks from tribal regions (“animists”) who live in a paralyzing fear of offending evil spirits that interact with this physical world and cause illness, injury, poverty and other suffering. The message that even Adam & Eve experienced fear and “hid from the Lord God among the trees,” (Gen. 3:8) resonates. The Good News is that Jesus has conquered Satan, death, and even sin. Jesus is not only all-powerful, including the spiritual realm, but His peace/His presence with us can also calm our hearts (John 16:33).
Paul, though very studied in his own culture, did not require others to join his group. Instead, Paul sought to understand the hearts of those he interacted with. As Paul spoke with the men of Athens on Mars Hill he began with “Men of Athens, I see that you are very religious in all respects …” (Acts 17:22). Like Paul, I too have learned to be more empathic and to adapt the message of life that will actually bring life to the hearer.
Daily Battle Order: We have examined this week about being the messenger. Whether overseas or around the corner, you will meet people different from you. When thinking about someone different, who comes to your mind? Do you now believe that you can be a messenger of life to that person? Today, resolve to turn that belief into Action! And when doing so, train others to do the same.