The Heart of Evangelism
I know that I have stolen the title of this blog from Jerram Barrs, but I couldn’t think of a better title. I have been thinking a lot about evangelism lately. And not just how to evangelize, but why evangelize. Now some may say that evangelism is a command and they are completely right. But the more I think about it and the more that I read the Scriptures I am being convicted of so much more than just share my faith because I’m suppose to rather I share my faith because I am constantly rejoicing and praising God. When we go to the Scriptures one of the biggest reminders that we should see is that Christianity is not a duty rather a delight. Christianity is about freedom in the God we love. And finding all satisfaction in Him. While that may sound difficult and hard considering all of the other things in this world that we love this is what the Scriptures are calling every Christian to do. Take Psalm 96 for example:
Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
When I read this Psalm I am so convicted of my attitude, or heart, behind why I share my faith. So often do I treat evangelism like a duty or painful chore that I am being forced to do when the Psalmist is so filled with praise and gladness in the Lord that it is so completely natural to praise God. The Psalmist says, “tell of His salvation from day to day” “declare his glory among the nations” “his marvelous works among all the peoples!” This absolutely astonishes me! Tell of God and who He is because He is marvelous. Even in Psalm 135:4 we see such a wonderful truth: “Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.” What a truth to behold. Why should we praise the Lord? Because He is good. Because His is lovely.
Lately I have been convicted by these questions from the Psalms: Are we really captivated by God? Is He really our priceless treasure that fills us with joy and awe? I want for my life to be defined by the joy and delight I have in my King. I want to be captured by His grace and love. But instead I find the fear of man creeping in to tell me lies and trick me into thinking that my image, my comfort, my reputation are more important than the glory and beauty of God. We make evangelism so difficult. I probably more than most. When really the heart of evangelism isn’t how well we can talk or how much knowledge we have or how many illustrations we can use or how much Scripture we know. Evangelism is simply an outpouring of our joy that we have in God. It is praising Him! Telling others of this great salvation. Declaring God and His glory to other people. Speaking of His marvelous works to all the people around us.
When we look at this world we must be reminded that God is at work. God is the One who saves. And we should take great delight in that and we should trust Him and not worry about our image or our comforts. This is God we are talking about. He is the only One worthy of praise. Our boast is in Him and no one else. I truly pray that God would rip out this fear of man that I have and I pray that I would really trust Him and find Him lovely.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the name of the Lord;
Praise Him, O servants of the Lord,
You who stand in the house of the Lord,
In the courts of the house of our God!
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself,
Israel for His own possession.
For I know that the Lord is great
And that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
Who makes lightnings for the rain,
Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries.
He smote the firstborn of Egypt,
Both of man and beast.
He sent signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt,
Upon Pharaoh and all his servants.
He smote many nations
And slew mighty kings,
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
And Og, king of Bashan,
And all the kingdoms of Canaan;
And He gave their land as a heritage,
A heritage to Israel His people.
Your name, O Lord, is everlasting,
Your remembrance, O Lord, throughout all generations.
For the Lord will judge His people
And will have compassion on His servants.
The idols of the nations are but silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
They have eyes, but they do not see;
They have ears, but they do not hear,
Nor is there any breath at all in their mouths.
Those who make them will be like them,
Yes, everyone who trusts in them.
O house of Israel, bless the Lord;
O house of Aaron, bless the Lord;
O house of Levi, bless the Lord;
You who revere the Lord, bless the Lord.
Blessed be the Lord from Zion,
Who dwells in Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!