Photo credit: david a lea (Creative Commons)
When I was a new Christian, the group of believers I was part of participated in many forms of evangelism. We were trained by some of the best organizations in the Christian world. We went door-to-door, we distributed tracts, we told people about the Four Spiritual Laws, we witnessed to our friends. And we saw fruit. We sowed abundantly and we reaped accordingly. Certainly some of those whose lives were touched are still going on with the Lord. Our lives were centered on mission.
We have lost the skill of sowing abundantly.
We were motivated by things like the story in the last post tthat tells how most Christians are “making daisy chains” rather than caring about the lost. My question; is this a good motivation for mission? provoked an instinctive response from most of the people who responded. They recognized that the message most people will receive through the story, despite the truths being portrayed is this: “Many people are going to hell. You are not doing enough about it. You are not good enough; you are guilty.”
Guilt is not the motivation that Jesus wants us to have.
So how do we gain a heart to sow abundantly while not being motivated by guilt and obligation? I think part of the answer lies in these verses in 2 Corinthians 5 which I have abbreviated to clarify the message.
Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. Christ’s love controls us. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
What motivates us for mission? Mission originates in the heart of God: For God so loved the world that he gave his son. As we draw closer to God and get to know his heart, his love for others will motivate us.