Relationship and Community:Are they important to you?

“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;   male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them,“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:26-28; Ge 3:5, 22; 11:7; Ps 100:3; Isa 6:8).

Part 1 Scenario:

God created us to live in “relationship” and “community” with Him and with each other. God began his relationship with mankind at creation.  It has never stopped. Why is this important? Both of these terms affect the way we involve ourselves through personal evangelism in a contemporary world. How does an understanding of this impact the way you live out your faith outside of the church, with people at work, your neighbors, friends, etc.?

Relationship

According to William McRaney, God created people to live forever, and this demonstrates his desire for an everlasting relationship with mankind; today “Christians have to invest in a relationship”.[1]  This statement empowers the believer to go forward with the act of personal evangelism knowing that sharing the gospel with an unbeliever fulfills this deep desire of The Heavenly Father.  However, we cannot share anything with another individual if we do not have a relationship with them. Jesus demonstrated this model when he met people.  He began his ministry by meeting people at their point of need.

Jesus went throughout Galilee,teaching in their synagogues,proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures,  and the paralyzed;and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him (Matthew 4: 23-25 NIVLk 4:15, 44;Jn 6:59; 18:20; Mt 8:16; 14:14; 15:30; Mk 3:10; Lk 7:22; Ac 10:38).  The Lord took the time to serve. He was real with the people with whom he came into contact.  They knew that he cared for them.  He established a relationship, ministered to them spiritually then fed them physically.

The Lord took the time to serve. He was real with the people with whom he came into contact.  They knew that he cared for them.  He established a relationship, ministered to them spiritually then fed them physically (Matthew 14:13 : 14:13-21pp — Mk 6:32-44; Lk 9:10-17; Jn 6:1-13) .

The contemporary culture is searching for something that is lasting, real, and deeply personal.  A relationship with God meets that need.  Personal evangelism focuses on relationship building and reconciles man to God it also opens the door to membership in the community of God. [2]

Community

The author states, “God desires to establish a redemptive relationship with all of humankind. . . .The Bible refers to [believers] as a community of faith.”[3]  The construct of “community” began with the Triune God, and he wants to extend that oneness to mankind.[4]  Personal evangelism that results in an acceptance of Jesus Christ as one’s Savior grants that person entrance into this community (Ephesians 4:4 : 1Co 12:13; Eph 2:18).[5]  It impacts the believer’s walk because each believer represents that community.  The outside world must see a representation of a place, concept, or a community of unconditional love that they yearn to be a part of when they look at the lifestyle of believers. This leads this writer to want her life to reflect the concept presented in Ephesians 4:32 New International Version (NIV).

Notes Part 1

[1] William McRaney, The Art of Personal Evangelism: Sharing Jesus in a Changing Culture (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2003), 7 and 15, Kindle.

[2] McRaney, The Art of, 16-17.

[3] Ibid.,16.

[4] Ibid.,17.

[5] Ibid.

Part 2

How this might the above discourse immediately impact your approach to evangelism. Are you an effective listener? Do you tend to walk by evangelism/ministry opportunities because you are consumed by less important issues related to daily life? Are you busy and distracted by non-essentials? If so, what steps do you need to take in your life to become an effective evangelist?

The EA ministry has been involved with teaching, preaching and discipling; however, the scope has been limited to an online venue.   These activities are impacting many nations, but personal evangelism in thesocial media community is an area in which the team has not been effective.  Partial obedience is not an option for any believer.  Therefore, stepping outside of one’s comfort zone is pivotal to absolute obedience to The Lord. .  Dave Earley and David Wheeler declared “evangelism is more than passing on information . . .  [moreover, it] is not a spiritual gift”.[2]  This clarified the confusing construct that many believers have heard presented in sermons over the years. It is each person’s responsibility to take The Great Command and the Great Commission seriously and with humility.  God does not need to know what we think we know.  He already knows that.  He also knows what his commission is to his people, Matthew 28:19 : Isa 49:6; Mk 16:15, 16; Lk 24:47; Ac 1:8; 14:21.

Notes Part 2

[1] Dave Earley & David Wheeler, Evangelism Is–: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2010), 18, Kindle.

[2] Dave Earley & David Wheeler, Evangelism Is–: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2010), 283 and Location 63, Kindle.

[4] Ibid.

Bibliography 

Earley, Dave and David Wheeler. Evangelism Is–: How to Share Jesus with Passion and Confidence. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2010, Kindle.

McRaney, William. The Art of Personal Evangelism: Sharing Jesus in a Changing Culture. Nashville, TN: B & H Academic, 2003.

Great Commission Relationships

I just read a very powerful statement.

“Only the hand of God can build a relationship that lasts for eternity— a relationship with God, fellow believers, and those who know not the love and power of our infinite God.”[1]

This is so true, his hand was on his servants in the Old and New Testament as they built relationships!  They, “Humble(d) [themselves]. . . . under God’s mighty hand” (1 Pet 5: 6a NIV).[2]

If anyone belongs to Christ, they are a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself, and God gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him. God was in Christ. . . We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5: 16– 21 NIV).[3]

“What is happening to us that prevent eternal relationships from being established? Could it be our hardheadedness and unwillingness to forgive? Or maybe it could be because we have the “I am rightitis!”    You know what I mean. The “I don’t care what you say I am right and to the hot place with you attitude!” Not trying to be judgmental here, just trying to be truthful.

When we choose to destroy relationships, we choose to be disobedience to God, and we choose live a lonely life.[4] We also choose to live lives filled with activities and here today gone tomorrow relationships! God created all of us to be in a relationship with him.[5] Then he expected us to worship him by being a member of a community of believer who are consistently developing positive relationships with others to grow the Kingdom Community of God.[6] According to David Wheeler and Vernon Whaley, “God is in the process of perfecting you and me for the task of Great Commission worship.” That requires relational worship. [7]  Does establishing relationships with people equate to worship or Great Commissional Worship?  Yes it does.  We cannot witness to people without having a relationship with them. For the life of me I do not understand why we are all so ready to dump people on the garbage pile of life as if they are compost.  What would we do if God did that to us?

Yes, I know that it is unbelievably hard these days! We live in a time when “feel good” relationships are good enough. Accountability for what we say and what we do to others is almost non-existent. We justify our actions by stating things like..” that is who I am and that is who I will always be,” However, Jesus has called us to be transformed from this world. We must try to work on establishing positive relationships with people.

The apostle Paul said, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18 NIV). My whole life I have wondered why he said, “If it is possible”. Did you ever notice that? I think that it is because some people don’t want peace. They don’t want loving relationships that last forever. Here is the caveat..we cannot change them. Only God can –if they will let him!  So love them even when they hurt you.  Pray for them even if they, “. . . . curse you, . . . . and despitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 KJV).  Why? Well, “Only the hand of God can build a relationship that lasts for eternity— a relationship with God, fellow believers, and those who know not the love and power of our infinite God.”[8]  I know it is hard my dear friends.  I also know that the hurt is so deep sometimes that it just tears you up inside. But ask God to help you to let it go.

Father God,

You know how difficult relationship with hurtful people can be.  You also know how impossible it is to get them to speak with you when you may want to be reconciled with them.  However, we cannot carry out the great commission with grudges and hateful thoughts towards others. We must make an effort.  Forgive us of any sins we may have inadvertently committed against the other person and give us a heart that is willing to life a life that is intentionally relational for the purpose of the Great Commission.  WE BIND THE SPIRIT OF DIVISION AND CONFUSION THAT THE ENEMY IS PUTTING OUT THERE TO DESTROY FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES IN JESUS MIGHTY AND PRECIOUS NAME AMEN!!

Let us know how we can help you to establish Great Commission Relationships with others as the Kingdom of God grows from your efforts.

[1] David Wheeler and Vernon M. Whaley, The Great Commission to Worship: Biblical Principles for Worship-Based Evangelism (Nashville: B&H Publishers, 2010) Locations 1008-1009, Kindle.

[2] Ibid., 933. & Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009).

[3] Wheeler and Whaley, The Great, Location 1530-1534, Kindle.

[4] If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18 NIV).

[5] Ibid., 1554

[6] Ibid., 2866

[7] Ibid., 1552

[8] David Wheeler and Vernon M. Whaley, The Great Commission to Worship: Biblical Principles for Worship-Based Evangelism (Nashville: B&H Publishers, 2010) Locations 1008-1009, Kindle.

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