Evangelism: Where It Starts.

July 7th, 2009

Exodus 19:5-6

19:5. `Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.
19:6. `And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.''

To evangelize comes from a word that means "a good message." It is the word behind the word "gospel." To evangelize is to spread the good message. In the closing chapter of Matthew, Christians are directed to spread the good word to the ends of the earth. But before we can take that message to anybody, it has to start somewhere. Take a long look in the mirror and start with that person looking back at you.

Nobody is perfect, and we don't have to understand all that the Gospel has to say before we tell others. A witness in a courtroom doesn't have to study law, mechanics, engineering, forensics, or any number of specialties before they testify. All they do is tell what they witnessed. That's all it takes to spread the word. Tell the part that you do know.

Now that you have a good message to tell, you can do what God told to Moses to demonstrate the change in your life. Obey, and keep God's covenant

The word "obey" comes from a word that means to hear, understand, and obey. It is actually repeated twice in the original language and comes out something like this. "And now, if you obey, and you should obey." There's one more thing we need to do besides obeying and that's to keep Gods covenant.

But isn't obeying the same as keeping the covenant? Not exactly. Doing the commands is putting them into use, applying what we learn to our regular lives. To "keep" means to safeguard, or to build a hedge around. Shepherds are with their sheep a lot, but in times when they have to leave them, they are known to build a corral of thorny hedges and safeguard the sheep in them. When ever we can, we should learn and apply God's word to our lives, and when we aren't practicing it, lock it away and safeguard it. Don't let anybody try to tell you it is wrong, or worthless, or try to steal it away from you.

living the life we talk about, obeying and safeguarding give authority to the words we say. Once we begin to do that God has some awesome promises. We will be his sealed treasure. He hides us away and safeguards us as well. We keep his words as guarded treasure, and he keeps us secure as his very own secret, hidden treasure.

We will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. A priest doesn't necessarily mean a clergyman. It is someone who serves in the temple. Think of the various people who serve your local church. Pastor, secretary, Directors of music, Sunday School, Missions, Youth, and other departments. There are nursery workers, kitchen committee, bus ministry people, ushers, and various trustees who take care of maintaining building and grounds and providing security. I know the list can go on. There is a place that you can fill in God's Kingdom, and it is exactly the right service that you enjoy. We will also be a nation that is set apart for God. Like a book mark in a page, or that special tool for that special purpose. We are set apart to be special to him.

OK, what's the big deal? Why do I even want to hang around and serve in God's heavenly temple? How boring.

Let me ask. When you love somebody don't you want to be with them, and do things for them? When I was dating my wife, and she was still my girlfriend, I always wanted to be with her. I would go to her place after school and just hang out. If she wanted something, or to do something, I tried to server her desire. Believe me it was anything but boring. It was hard to say goodbye at the end of the day and part ways to go home. Then one day we could be together. We were married and now we didn't have to be apart. If only there wasn't the matter of having to go to work during the day, I would have liked to stay home and keep doing things with my new bride. Getting to know her better, and doing things for her, because she also wanted to meet the desires that I had. The rest of the world didn't matter. We were a couple who were set apart from anybody else in the world. We were each other's treasures. With all that past tense talk, you'd think that things have changed. We are still together, through the years certain realities have set in, challenges, and problems. Even today, if it weren't for life's distractions there isn't anything else that I'd rather be doing than to be with her as we do things together. I'm pretty certain that I haven't annoyed her enough to make her say anything different,

God's kingdom is like that. Being with someone you love. Being set apart and having the time to pay special attention to each other. God is a loving and caring God, and he wants each of us to know that. He only is recorded as being wrathful or judging when people choose to live in ways that he never intended for us to live, or in ways that dishonor him.

Get involved with a relationship with God, then tell somebody about it. Spread the good message.

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