How do we respond when people ask us about Jesus?

Matt5.16

What would be the first thing you would say to a friend if they came to you asking about Jesus? Would you say that Jesus is your best friend? A historical figure? A religious leader? As we become more mission-minded, it is an important question to know how to answer.

In Matthew 5:16 we see that followers of Jesus are called to shine their light before others. At the core, sharing our faith isn’t about giving someone a lesson of spiritual laws or a heavy theological explanation. It’s about introducing people to someone they can know personally, someone who loves them, someone who will change their lives forever.

The challenge for Christians is to communicate the gospel in a way people can understand. We undertake the awesome task of explaining eternal truths in different ways that will connect to our community today. Our impact in sharing Jesus in our schools, home, community or workplace is directly linked to our knowledge of those around us and our ability to engage with them. 

As we make an effort to understand the people God has placed around us, we will find better ways to engage with and respond to the difficulties and negative perceptions that many have against religion and Christianity.

When God wanted to connect with humanity once and for all, He didn’t write a sermon, He came to visit us in person. Our job is to be His witness, pointing our community to know God, to relate to Him, and to have lives changed by the power of His love and forgiveness. God is a person to know, not a theory to understand.

It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit is at work in us, He will always supply the right words to use in season.  When we are willing to pause and ask God to guide and prompt us, you never know what opportunities will appear.

When we allow the love of God to grow within us, dying to our old self and receiving new life, it flows out to everyone around us too.  Consider the incredible calling of sharing Jesus with those around us, begin to ask yourself – “What are the reasons I should share?” and you will find the love of Jesus will stir with you and completely overcome our fears and obstacle to sharing.

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May 28th 2017: Jae Hyun

Jae-Hyun - May 17

Many people in the world do not realise they are loved. The main point of the whole Bible is God’s love. ‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8).

1 John 4-16 esv

‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.’ (1 John 4:19).

All love is from God. Hosea also speaks of this.

What is the character of God’s love?

  • God’s love is for sinners.

God wanted Hosea to tell Israel how much God loved them. God wants Hosea to marry Gomer, an adulteress, which he did. They had children. However, she left him for another man (Hosea chapter 1).How do we know Gomer left Hosea? We are told Hosea had to ‘Go again’ and bring her back,  ‘And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.’ (Hosea 3:1). The Lord still wanted Hosea to go again to Gomer. Israel repeatedly sinned but God loved them. Gomer gave an opportunity to a lover to love her. She should have resisted temptation. We should resist temptation too, we shouldn’t give any opportunity to Satan.

‘Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness.’ (2 Peter 1:5-6). There are lots of temptations in our lives. Satan wants us to sin. The enemy, the devil, looks for someone to devour. Eve gave an opportunity to the serpent. Joseph didn’t give in to Potiphar’s wife, that’s why God blessed him. Satan is always offering opportunities to make us sin and depart from God. But God loves us, even though people depart from Him. The Prodigal Son left home but the father did not give up on him and was always waiting for him to return. This is God’s love. This story tells us God never gives up on us. God is unchanging.

  • God is love in action.

Hosea had to buy Gomer as if she was a slave, ‘So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.’ (Hosea 3:2). We were all born sinners. When we were slaves of Satan, God sent us His only son, Jesus Christ. He bought us for Himself when He died on the cross to save us. 

1 john 4-9 esv

‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him’ (John 3:16-17). To save us, God shows us His love in action.

After Hosea bought Gomer back he told her, ‘You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.’ (Hosea 3:3). Just as Hosea married Gomer, a slave, we are sinners too. God commanded Hosea to marry an adulteress to show how much He loves Israel, ‘And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.’ (Hosea 2:19).

Jesus is our bridegroom. All Christians are the bride. To be the bride of Jesus Christ is a great, great blessing. ‘And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ (Revelation 21:2). God’s love never changes. He shows His love by His actions.

  • God’s love is a great grace.

‘For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods. Afterwards the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to His goodness in the latter days.’ (Hosea 3:4-5). The culture will slowly perish as Israel departs from God, but the Israelites will come back to the Lord. How? They knew God will forgive. This is the  great grace of God’s love. We must repent, say sorry to God, of our sins so we can be forgiven because God loves us. God’s love is a steadfast love, a great grace. 

Ephesians 2 8-9 esv

What a difference between other religions and Christianity; in other religions people have to do good things. We do nothing, God does everything for us! God loves us.

God is love. Know it in your heart. Remember, God’s love never ever changes. God is ever with us. No matter what troubles we have, He is with us in all circumstances. Sometimes we forget because we are weak, but as believers we should know God loves us all the time. Right now. We must love God because He loves us. Jesus Christ died on the cross even though He had no sin. God is love in action, God’s love is unchangeable, God’s love is a great grace.

Walk confidently in God’s love today!

In Mark 4:35-41 Jesus and the disciples were out on a boat crossing the sea of Galilee when suddenly a storm arose. The disciples were clearly worried, frantically trying to get control of the boat, whilst Jesus slept. They woke Him up and asked, “Don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus rebuked the waters and the storm and they became completely calm. He said to the disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

In life we will all experience storms but we are never alone, God is always by our side.  When storms appear in your life, don’t get distracted by the noisy crackling thunder and the whistling winds. Instead, aim to intentionally focus on Jesus Christ. Jesus is with you in the storms of life and on the mountaintop, in His power and authority. He is able to command peace in any storm that surrounds you today.

Although the difficulties seek to absorb your strength and the whistling winds seek to shift your course, remember God’s love. He will never leave you or forsake you, He is right there with you through everything. God is guiding us in love and developing us into the dynamic people that we are called to be. Have faith that God will take you through your trials and don’t think that just because we go through storms God’s love is absent. God is there and to those who love Him, He is working everything out for their good, according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).romans8-28

God loves us in every season in life, whether it is great or challenging. Don’t forget that He really loves each and every one of His children. His love for us is pure, trustworthy and constant in our life. He breathed life into us and sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins and rescue us. He is wanting a relationship with each and every one of us. When we receive Jesus as our Saviour, God promises us eternal life with Him. Our name is engraved in the palm of God’s hand; nothing can separate us from the love of God!

Praise God that He doesn’t love like the world loves – on a conditional basis – but God loves us unconditionally. We may have experienced some detrimental events throughout the course of life, but I want to encourage you today to receive God’s love because He really does love you. Turn to your loving Father’s arms and thank Him for his love that He has for you now and forever.

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Although you may have experienced hurtful situations, God can use these for your good. God will never leave you nor forsake you no matter what you are going through. If you are living in disobedience, repent now and follow God’s will, His Word and way, because God sets parameters in your life because of His love for you. A repentant heart and lifestyle is necessary for a fruitful relationship with Our Heavenly Father.

Even in the midst of challenging situations when we’re searching for answers on why a loving God would allow trials and tribulations, trust in Him today. Nothing escapes God; He knows what is going on in your life, and when you begin to grow in relationship with Him you will realise the truth of His love and plans for your life.

We were created for a great purpose that God specifically designed for us to fulfil. Throughout scripture God’s words clearly identify His abundant love for every one of his children. God’s love is exercised for each and every one of us when He forgives, protects, and demonstrates His continued grace, mercy and power in our lives.

Walk confidently in God’s love today. Don’t hold onto negativity; where there is hurt and upset there is the opportunity to forgive. God gave His only begotten Son to save us and forgive us. It is the greatest sacrifice for a relationship with us. He forgave us and in return we should show forgiveness to others, no matter what has happened. Receive God’s love and in doing so you will learn to reflect God’s love to others.

I thank you Lord for your love, kindness, grace and mercy. Although we experience storms in our lives, I thank you that you are always here with us. Sometimes it is a challenge to see how everything will work out for our good when we’re going through storms that seek to hinder our praises and blind my focus on you. I praise you for being sovereign and that all my storms are subject to you! Thank you for peace, strength and growth as my faith increases in you.