Weekly Tip #11
Go Deep, Reach High
Anytime – Anywhere, The Time and Place Concept
Within the span of five chapters in Matthew 16-20, four times, Jesus clearly proclaims that the Son of Man would be killed and be raised from the dead (16:21; 17:9,22; 20:17). Jesus then says to His disciples in 20:28 “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
From the beginning of Jesus ministry, His calling was to proclaim the kingdom of Heaven, pointing to Himself as the Son of Man (the Messiah) who would give His life for the sins of the world. To all who put their trust in Him, they would find salvation and forgiveness of sin. They would be reconciled in their relationship with God. There is no greater honor then being right with God.
The Time and Place Concept is really a mindset, a heart attitude and the filling of the Holy Spirit. This concept begins first with any one of these questions that we ask of God anytime and anywhere we might go:
“Lord, who is it that you would want me to share the gospel message with today?”
“How might I plant the seed of the gospel message with a few words that encourages people to look to God?”
“Lord, show me who to give the ‘Knowing God Personally’ tract to with words of encouragement to read it?”
“Do you want me to take the next 30 minutes and go over the ‘Knowing God Personally’ tract with someone, page by page, and give them an opportunity to place their trust in Christ?”
“Do you want me to share my personal testimony of what Jesus means to me and how I placed my trust in Him?”
Bottom line – our first action in evangelism, under the promptings of the Holy Spirit, should be to first look to share the gospel with people anywhere or anytime. Do we think about this and is this at the top of our minds when we head to class, get in the car to go to the store, work, sporting event, movie or anywhere we might go? This is truly a mindset that the Holy Spirit will need to build into our lives as we give Him full control of our lives.
Here’s the good news – there is a Time and a Place. There is no pressure whatsoever. As you are out among people in your daily life, be looking for people you might share the gospel with in some form anytime or anywhere. If the time and place where you meet people is not the right timing and they are preoccupied, it is just fine to let it go and not force an evangelistic conversation. There is no pressure to absolutely have to share the gospel with the person next to you. The “Sometime” strategy is a great opportunity.
However, as we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and our hearts perspective is truly to share the gospel with anyone who might listen, the time and the place might be right now. Open a friendly conversation and consider any of the questions already stated above.
Be careful of the mindset that always says, “I need to first get to know the person, build trust and then I can share the gospel with them.” While this is good and often true, it should not always be our first plan in evangelism. We should first look for any open door that we can take to share the good news of Jesus death, burial and resurrection. We should take as many positive steps to communicate the gospel message under the power of the Holy Spirit. (Note: special care often needs to be observed with our international students. This will involve more relationship and bridge building).
But always remember the Time and Place concept. Our hope overall is that you would have a heart and mind to think first about sharing the gospel message.
Watch Out For Big Trucks
In the middle of writing this short tip, I was interrupted by an invasion of construction workers who came into my neighborhood subdivision to re-pave the roads. I went outside to check it out, initiated a conversation with one of the guys driving one of those huge dump trucks. The truck driver opened the door and I climbed up on the platform by his door and shared the gospel message with him. I gave him a Knowing God Personally booklet and he was very receptive to reading it. The time and the place was clearly now. It is doubtful that I would run into him again.
As we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, I think we will find a world filled with people who will truly stop and talk to us. And we have a great message for them – the gospel of Christ. If you are not feeling confident in knowing how to share the gospel message, check out this article and video link below. The gospel is a very simple message. The more you share the message, the more confident you’ll become as you talk to people. Experience is a great help. Could the time and place be here and now for you?
Talk to you next week,
Ben with Cru