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Feb 02, 2022 08:00am
3 Ways to Lead People to Christ
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When I sit down to write, I usually begin with a story of something I have personally seen, heard, or experienced. Something that I think might be of interest, relevance, or help.

But occasionally, there is a topic I feel led to write about where I don’t have a personal story to start out with. Or at least not one as good as a guy named Mark told in the Bible. The story he tells is indeed one that I think will be of interest, relevance, and help to you, even if reading the Bible is not your thing. So let’s start out with his story and go from there.

“When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.” (Mark 2:1-4)

Do you see why I don’t have a story to compete with that?

These four men had such a passion for getting the paralyzed man into the presence of Jesus that they went to the extraordinary effort of hauling him up to the roof, digging a hole big enough to put him through, then lowering him down to where Jesus was.

Just to be blunt, I don’t see examples of that level of passion for personally getting someone into the presence of Jesus. I’m sure they are probably out there, but I haven’t seen them. And frankly, I haven’t seen that level of passion in myself either.

But I want to.

You see, I was a latecomer to the presence of Jesus in my life. I have experienced the difference it can make in this life, let alone the promise of what comes afterwards. And I desperately want everyone to experience that presence now and to be assured of it eternally.

It has always been God’s desire that every single individual be reconciled to Him. And the only avenue to that reconciliation is by coming to Jesus. So it seems to me that following the instructions of Jesus to love both God and people includes us doing our part to get people into Jesus’ presence.

But what is our part?

OUR PART

Well, first of all, I think our specific part is unique to each of us. The Bible teaches pretty clearly that we are given individual talents and abilities. And those individual talents and abilities determine our individual parts to play. So whatever your particular talent or ability, God has a place for it.

But let’s return to Mark’s story for a minute. Because I think it gives us an insight to a part that many of us have not recognized or have ignored. 

I think that every one of us sees daily evidence of people needing the presence of Jesus in their lives. And no, I don’t think that is judgmental, although it can become that. And like the four heroes in the story, I think there are more opportunities for us to play a personal part in than we realize.

For those who blatantly reject Jesus, our part is NOT confrontational engagement. We never see Jesus choosing the road of judgement and condemnation. We always see him choosing the road of love and grace. Even in his last moments before death on the cross, he chose to pray for those who were killing him. So I think our part is following the example of Jesus.

Then we see those who don’t overtly reject Jesus himself but are resistant toward the whole ordeal of organized religion. And they erroneously equate the two. Well first of all, they are in good company. Jesus also resisted the whole ordeal of organized religion in his day. So we probably need to tamp down our judgement on that resistance.

Secondly, I think this is becoming a predominant issue of our day. And if we insist on our organized religious structure as the gateway to Jesus, we will become a barrier between Him and them.

I think our part with this group is to continually engage lost people with little drops of encouragement, love, grace, and faith modeled in our words, actions, and attitudes. After all, one of us may be the very person they are watching to see if Jesus really does make a difference in our life.

There are others we find who are receptive to Jesus but just have not reached the tipping point of faith that gets them to Jesus. I think this is probably where we have a much bigger part to play than we are currently playing. This is where we actively look for opportunities to personally share our faith and our personal stories of experiencing Jesus. 

It is those stories of personal experience that allow us the most influence in leading others toward the presence of Jesus. But to do that we must have had that personal experience. So make sure you have taken care of first things first. If you have any doubts about that, stop reading right now and seek the presence of Jesus in your own life. You can’t help others move toward Jesus unless you are already there.

I want to wrap up our time together by sharing a few thoughts on being ready when God gives you the opportunity to be a part of the awe-inspiring final moment when a person accepts Christ as their Savior. There are no checklists or rules to follow. Salvation is a personal experience between an individual and God, but He just might ask you to steward that moment. And that is an opportunity you do not want to miss.

OUR RESPONSIBILITIES

1. BE AVAILABLE

As I mentioned earlier, I see being available for God to use in leading people to Christ as an integral part of loving God and loving people. So I encourage you to make a commitment to God that you are available if He chooses to use you in that way. I hope you will even go beyond that and pray for opportunities. Like those four men in Mark’s story, you just might be somebody’s unlikely hero.

2. BE OBSERVANT

I mean, be actively observant. I believe there are always signals that someone is moving toward or is ready to accept Christ. But we have to be looking for those signals. I can’t tell you exactly what those signals are. Because from my experience, each time has been different. Some are very subtle, while some are very obvious. Just be observant and let God lead you in discerning those signals.

3. BE OBEDIENT

Not only will there be signals from the person moving in the direction of Jesus, but I believe God gives signals that it is time for us to move on His behalf. Your signals will likely be different from mine. But each time I feel the prompting that this is the opportunity He has for me, it is accompanied by an unmistakable pounding in my chest. Maybe that is just fear of getting it wrong. But I have come to fear missing an opportunity more than my fear of making a mistake. After all, God redeems mistakes. Our job is to just be obedient in the process.

This world needs Jesus and it needs the passion of those roof hole guys.

And it needs each of us to do our part.