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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Judgment"

Date published: 06/01/2015
 
John 9:39 “Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind." (NIV) 

    Obedience to the great commission has been distorted with the concept of lifestyle evangelism. Lifestyle evangelism is wonderful, but can very easily be an excuse for not sharing the gospel. One of God’s purposes in redemption was for Christians to be a megaphone for God with the life they live. Matthew 5:16 calls us to be light, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (NIV) The truth without love is nothing more than a clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13:1). On the other hand a life without the profession of Christ looks like a good person who can live self-sufficiently apart from Christ.  Ephesians 5:14a says, “For it is light that makes everything visible.” (NIV) The reconciliation of evangelism through lifestyle or the spoken Word is understanding that both are needed, but both must be propelled with a compassion for the lost that comes from understanding their condition and knowing their destination.   

   Jesus used judgment in today’s verse as a separation between those who believe on Him and those who reject Him. You move to evangelism by prayerfully living your life, so it is constantly providing opportunities to share the good news of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In John 3:16-18 you see how the life of Jesus attracted Nicodemus to Jesus. Jesus used that opportunity in John 3:16 to share how to come to salvation, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV) In verse18 Jesus combined judgment and salvation to galvanize in Nicodemus’ life the importance of accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.” (NIV) Nicodemus went from being attracted to Jesus through lifestyle evangelism to learning how to find salvation to feeling judgment if he refused the good news. Yes, Jesus was judgmental, but Jesus knew that Nicodemus’ life stood between eternal life with God and eternal separation from God. Jesus loved Nicodemus enough to not get caught up in the flattery of a very important person recognizing something special about Him to loving Nicodemus enough to share how he could spend eternity with God. Ultimately our passion to share Christ hinges on two strongly held beliefs: 1) You believe God and His Word. 2) You love others enough to become vulnerable enough to give up stature, so another can have eternal life with God. Both of these beliefs are not based on knowledge, trickery, organization, and checklists, but by acknowledging as in 2 Corinthians 4:5 that it is not you, but God doing the calling, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.” (NIV) How should this devotion on evangelism effect you? My prayer for me and you is that we seek to have the heart of Jesus, and not be complacent about the eternal destiny of others. 

Matthew 9:37-38 “When He (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field." (NIV)    

Do you know someone who needs this message on witnessing? If so, forward this devotion to them as a blessing for their growth in Christ. 

Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Your Life in Christ” and “Transformation – Part 1.” 

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