Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Domino's

                The Lord brought an object lesson from an old Children’s Ministry lesson back to my remembrance this morning. The lesson was on “The Great Commission” in Matthew 28:19-20. The question I asked the children as we started the lesson was “How does one person reach the world for Christ?” Some of the answers were missions, some said through preaching at church, and a few mentioned television.  But when I asked them to think about how they, personally, could reach the whole world for Christ, most of them didn't have an answer.

                I had set up a line of Domino’s, and placed tape over the sides with the dots, then drew stick figures onto each Domino. I showed the kids the Domino’s and the “people” that were on them. I picked up the first Domino and said, “This is you.” Then I placed that Domino back in the front. I pushed the Domino and one by one all the Domino’s fell. So I asked them again, “How do you reach the world for Christ?” One of the children raised his hand and replied, “One at a time.” That was right, one person at a time.
                When we think of reaching the world for Christ, we can get overwhelmed at the idea. We may think we have to travel to faraway lands, or spend months and even years in some remote African village. We want to fulfill the commandment that Jesus gave us in Matthew 28, but the thought of actually doing it can be scary. Most of us, when asked if we would do missions, might freak out at the thought of leaving the comforts of our home and country to go and teach others about Christ. But what if the Lord God is not asking us to focus on the world at large, but just on the world we live in now?
                The thought of the object lesson reminded me of Isaiah 55:10-11, and reminded me that one by one we can, together, reach the world for Christ.
                “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, But water the earth, and make it bring forth and bid, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11
                Reaching the world for Christ doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to leave our homes, or even our communities. One simple, “Jesus loves you” to the grocery clerk at your local grocery store can change her life in an instant. We get so caught up in wanting to say the right things that we forget that God’s Word will never return void. The word void means, “without effect”. God’s word never returns without affecting that which He desires it to.
                The rain and the snow that falls to the earth from heaven serve a purpose. It waters the ground, giving life to the grass of the fields, and the crops planted in the ground. The plants grow and provide food for us to eat and seeds for the next spring to plant.  The rain does eventually return to the heavens through the process of evaporation, but not until it does what it was meant to do- give life, growth and provision for the next season. God’s word is no different. When God’s Word is spoken, it goes forth and serves the purpose it was meant to serve- to bring life to the hearer and growth to the soul of each person it touches.
                “God’s Word never fails to accomplish His purpose. The Hebrews viewed the spoken Word as having a power of its own once it left the mouth of the speaker. Like the arrow shot from the bow, the spoken word could not be recalled. God remains faithful to His word. His Word restores life to His people as surely as the rain coming down from the heavens brings new life to the earth.” (Women’s Study Bible Notes on Isaiah 55:10-13) When we speak to someone about Jesus, or even say a simple, “Jesus loves you.” We are speaking the word of God over that person’s life.

                God’s word has something to accomplish, and the more we get in us, the more we will speak it. When you are out in the world, doing your daily errands, take a moment and think about that one person you can reach today. Jesus tells us to “Go out” in Matthew 28, which means we must do something with what we have been given. I used to say that reaching the world for Christ was not something that I was gifted at; I didn’t have the gift of evangelism. But the Lord showed me, through the years, as well as through that simple object lesson with the kids, that it only takes one to impact thousands. It only takes one “Jesus died for you” to change the life of someone. Then that person goes and tells the next person, and so on.

                It only takes one. I pray that you see and understand the impact you can have on the world around you when you take the time to reach one person a day. It may be a simple, “Jesus loves you” as you check out at Wal-Mart, or it may be at your doctor’s appointment when you talk about your faith in God above your faith in medicine. Whatever the case may be, there are opportunities for us to reach the world for Christ each and every day. Instead of looking at the whole world and becoming daunted at the task, let us focus on that one, just that one person who needs Jesus. Then the chain reaction will start and the Domino’s will fall, and one by one, we will have reached the world for Christ. It only takes one.