"You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you." - Song of Solomon 4:7

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Making Disciples in a Modern World

Most times that people think about reaching others with the Gospel of Christ, they conjure up a mental picture of a preacher standing at a pulpit or a missionary serving others in a poverty-stricken nation. Many believe that in order to follow the Great Commission and “make disciples of all nations”, as Jesus exhorted us to do in Matthew 28:19, they must evangelize in a very traditional sense of the word. I believe differently. Knowing that “God is love,” according to 1 John 4:8, I believe that I can most effectively spread the Word of God through loving others. I also firmly believe that Christians today can utilize modern technology to their advantage in leading others to Jesus.
The beginning of 1 John 4:8 in the Amplified translation of the Bible states that “He who does not love has not become acquainted with God.” If a young person like me seeks to spread the message of Christ to others, they must first be acquainted with love, the very essence of our God. Without knowledge of love, I have no authority to try and communicate to others who Jesus is to me, because not knowing love means not knowing Jesus Himself. Those who do not know God are simply not connected to His type of love. They have never had the advantage of another human being demonstrating Jesus’ compassion to them. The absence of a revelation of God’s love has resulted in the absence of God. Jesus often speaks of love to his disciples. He tells them in John 13:35 that “all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jesus is informing His apostles of the fact that they can most effectively get their Message out to others if they simply love. I believe a person can lead most strongly through example. Ephesians 5:1 exhorts us to imitate and follow the example of God as children imitate and follow the examples of their earthly Fathers. We are called to live as an example of Jesus’ love and conduct ourselves in accordance with the Great Commandment. We must love each other in the same manner that they love themselves. Once Christians decide to do this, they will prove love “as strong as death (SOS 8:6)” and the life that is in Christ will empower people as it never has before.
Technology continues to present all people everywhere with opportunities to spread new ideas with incomparable speed and ease. Thankfully, when in the right hands, modern technology proves itself a blessing. New forms of communication can mean new ways to spread love to others. People can make a phone call, send an e-mail, or even instant-message or video-chat words of encouragement swiftly. However, those called to full-time ministry can also use their gifts in new ways with the help of modern inventions such as the internet. Videos of church services are constantly being streamed all across the globe, ministries are staying connected to their supporters through the likes of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and worship albums are now downloaded from Itunes—and I support it entirely. In Esther 4:14 in the Amplified Bible, Esther’s relative Mordecai says to her that perhaps she has “come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” I believe that my generation and the modern amenities that it has been equipped with have come into God’s kingdom at the just the right time. With the help of the internet and other new forms of communication, the gospel can be spread and impart peace to those who most need it.
As a young Christian, I believe that my Heavenly Father has placed me where I am and with the opportunities that I have in Him for a reason. I believe that people my age can take advantage of the gifts that we have been given in the forms of new devices and use them for the Glory of God. I believe that empowered by love, young men and women can go out into the world through many different mediums and show others Christ. 

Photo Attribution: By Bill Snowe (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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