Summary: The first necessity of getting evangelism in-hand is that we learn to have a heart for the lost - a heart like the Father's
Today we’re starting off this series “Getting Evangelism In-Hand.”
We’re also asking for you to have a part in it. There are handouts today asking you to give me some information that we will be able to use as a part of the message in 3 weeks. So, please, take a minute and fill out that simple handout today. Let me hear what has worked when it comes to sharing Jesus with people.
Until then, I have a bag. It’s my “Getting Evangelism In-Hand” bag. Today, I’m taking out this simple reminder of one of the things we need in-hand to do this thing we call sharing our faith: (pull out a heart). We need a heart – specifically, we need the Father’s Heart.
Ill - Anyone who ever watched Star Trek knows about Mr. Spock. Spock is ½ Vulcan – a human-like race with blue blood, pointy ears, and no emotions. Spock was the one who would always approach every crisis situation so detached and analytical it was nearly comical. His favorite word was “logical,” and his 2nd favorite was “fascinating.” No matter what happened, Spock was always as dead-pan and emotionless as anyone could be.
I think we have a tendency to be kind of Spock-like in the Church. We believe in the word. We believe in the importance of teaching and learning it. No one can become a follower of Jesus without it. So, making sure we know what we need to know has always been an important feature of a lot of us RM churches. But we tend to learn and then equate that with spiritual growth. It’s not. It’s the foundation for growth. You can learn a whole lot and do nothing about it. That’s not what makes a person a follower of Jesus.
If we’re going to get evangelism in-hand we’ll have to know, feel, and do some things. Today, we’ll talk about what we need to feel. To set the stage for that, let’s look together at…
Matthew 9:35-38 (NIV) Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
I want to get very personal with everyone today and talk to you about your splangchna. That’s the Greek word for the day. It’s in v36. Normally, I don’t mention a Greek word, but splangchna is too great to pass up, especially when you see the way it usually gets translated in the KJV.
Philippians 2:1 (KJV) If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Bowels and mercies – that’s the KJV translators’ efforts at this word splangchna. It’s a word to refer to our innermost feelings. In our culture we say, “With all my heart…” In 1st cent. Greek, they went a little deeper to describe the way our deepest feelings affect us. You’ve experienced this.
When you suddenly get bad news, where do you feel it? In your splangchna! When you’re in love, and you get around that special someone, it makes you get butterflies…where? In your splangchna!
When Jesus saw crowds of people, harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd, it moved Him inwardly. It got Him in the splangchna. He didn’t encounter those people and do a Mr. Spock, “It is illogical that these people should reject their Creator, given all the cognitive data they have received.” He didn’t look at them and then just look away and go on with His day. Jesus saw the crowds and had that stomach-upsetting feeling of compassion, because these people needed help. He had a heart for the lost.
If, after the 4th week of this series, we’re going to have evangelism anymore in-hand, we’re going to need to become engaged with God’s heart for the lost.
There’s a lot about God I don’t know. There’s a lot about God I don’t understand yet. But I can real quick know and understand that God has a heart for lost people. Here’s how…
1. His intentions to reach all nations
One of the great messages that came across by going through The Story is that the plan of God, all along, was to bring to Himself people from all nations. He didn’t raise up the Jews just to be His personal possession with no one else around. His intent was for the Jews to turn around and share their faith with the other nations.