Great Plains Daily Devotional for 8/30/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Ashland, NE UMC
Missouri River District
Auburn, NE First UMC
Missouri River District
Barada UMC
Falls City Bethel UMC
Missouri River District
Bellevue Aldersgate UMC
Missouri River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 13:19

It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”

Today's Devotional

Seminary classes have a weird way of causing you to think about how we can be better in our journey as Christians. I have been through two semesters and are currently taking one class this semester, and I have thought a lot about how I can grow in my relationship with Christ. This summer, I am taking a class called The Ministry of Mission and Evangelism (this is a required course here at Asbury for ordination in the UMC) and so far, I have done a lot thinking about how I can be an evangelist in my life. With any seminary class, there is a lot of reading; in fact, in one semester I have done more reading than I ever did in undergrad. With this class, I have had to read about John Wesley’s approach to evangelism from his sermons and what others have said about Wesley, and what others have discussed what evangelism really is and what we need to do in order to encourage others to evangelize.

William Abraham, who wrote “The Logic of Evangelism,” put it simply that evangelism is just proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection. However, he goes on to say that it is much more than that. It really is the start of the process of becoming a Christian. Evangelism is what brings people into a relationship with God or helps them return to that relationship. Except, it has become something that is a special program within congregations or put on the back burner by Christians. The early Christians were so awestruck by what they had either seen or heard about Jesus that they were telling anyone and everyone about Him. Why do we not have that passion? Why are we not telling everyone around us about Christ? Why do we seem so afraid to tell people about the amazing and awesome things that Jesus has done?

Now, I understand that some people do not want to seem pushy in how they go about telling others about Jesus but hear me out. A big part of this is relationships. Building relationships with those who do not know Christ is one step in this process. We need to be out there, sharing Christ with everyone! We need to be gossiping with everyone about the awesomeness of Jesus Christ. It is like the parable of the mustard seed; it is the smallest seed when planted, but it grows into a massive plant. However, we cannot stop here! Once we announce this awesome news to people, we must walk alongside those in their journey as they start out as Christians. We must be with them one step at a time as they come into this newfound awesomeness. Of course, only they can accept this news and decide to partake in the journey of faith; we cannot coerce them into it.

Let me share one last thing before I conclude. While evangelism involves sharing the good news of Christ, it is also important that we live a life that people question why we are the way we are. I know, that sounds odd, but it is true. A lot of what evangelism involves is people being curious in why Christians act the way we do. It makes me wonder if I do this in my own life. Do I live my life in such a way that other people question “why is this guy the way he is?” Evangelism should be something that should ooze out of Christians. It is something that should come natural to us. So, my friends, do not be afraid to tell others about Jesus. We should be so awestruck by Jesus, by God, that we are sharing everything that is awesome about following Jesus. We should also live lives where people are curious about our lives and are wondering why we are the way we are. This is the start of evangelism. Get out there, tell anyone and everyone about Jesus and live lives where people are about our lives as Christians. Amen.
--Abe Ruffcorn
Asbury Theological Seminary
Certified Candidate


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