“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”    Colossians 4:5-6. 

The Impossible is a story of survival. Immediately, the fight for survival is on. Swept away from her husband and youngest sons, Maria Belon emerges from the deluge to the screams of Lucas. As the water pushes them inland, Maria swims to Lucas. After the immediate threat recedes, Maria and Lucas climb a tree and take inventory on their wounds. It quickly becomes clear that Maria needs medical attention. But how are they going to get it?  Who will see their predicament and solve their problem? There is no infrastructure. No communication. There is no app for that.

What if we had an app on our iPhone that measured our engagement with unbelievers? How much activity would it show? And what would we have to show for our efforts? How do we engage with unbelievers. It is always wise to look at what Jesus did.

Jesus’ entire adult life was characterized by a deep concern for the spiritual condition of the nonbeliever. He saw them as desperately lost, and His heart was broken because of that. His compassionate purpose for their well-being was deep-rooted, and He showed this concern specifically in the way He met them where they lived, fed them, taught them, and healed them (Matthew 9:9-11; Mark 1:33-34; 6:30-42; Luke 5:1-11).

The example Jesus set for us is to build relationships with people who don’t know Him. When we meet a person who has not yet experienced God’s saving grace, we are to have the heart of Jesus and extend a helping hand at their point of need. If they are thirsty, we can give them a cup of water; if they’re hungry, we can feed them (Matthew 25:35-40).

We can build relationships by spending time with those far from the heart of God. If you don’t have a relationship, it will be difficult to talk to people about God. And, if you don’t spend time, you won’t have a relationship. And with time, a relationship can turn into friendship and friendship into love. When that happens it is easier to talk to them about Jesus.

Concentrate on family members first. We typically already have a relationship with family members.  Be sincerely interested in what they’re interested in, even if you find it hard to be interested. Know their struggles. Encourage them. Don’t be distant. Lean in and never give up on any of them. Above all else, pray for them.

Pray for the people far from God in your life by name. Ask God to provide you with opportunities to talk to them about God. 

I think it’s clear that we, in countless ways and opportunities, can and should reach out to those far from the heart of God. We can show them love by offering them a meal, a job, or friendship, and most importantly, we can introduce them to Jesus.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How would you describe or define evangelism? How do you think evangelism should be done? How do you do evangelism in your life now?
  2. Can I witness to others when I have my own struggles?
  3. Do you regularly pray for those far from the heart of God?
  4. Have you attended the 401 Missions class?