You mission for this week is simple.
Write you names on the the 8 to 15 card you received on Sunday, pray for them and expect God to give you opportunities to love them. If you didn’t get a card we have some for you in the church office. Or you can get one next Sunday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go ahead and make your list.
How do I come up with my list? Your list is the 8 to 15 people God has put in your life for you to reach out to. So, your list can be made up of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, students, people you ride the bus with, people you car pool with, people you golf with or bowl or play pool with, your mailman, your milk man, you superman.
Once you think through all those areas of your life, you should start noticing names that come to mind. There should be some non-believers who need Jesus that you can be Jesus to. Those should be on your list. There might be some people who used to follow Jesus, but have walked away for whatever reason. They should be on your list too. Maybe there are those who follow Jesus, but don’t go to church anywhere. They should be on your list too. Maybe there are some who follow Jesus and go to a church, but they’re dissatisfied with how things are going, they’re not serving or building relationships. They could be on your list too. However, the primary group that should be on your list are those who don’t know Christ. Those are the ones we most want to reach.
Once you have your list, start praying for them every day. I have my list of 11 people I just prayed for this morning. I went through my list, one name at a time and prayed this prayer:
“Father, please send your Holy Spirit to work in _____’s heart. Draw them to Jesus and make them Kingdom warriors!”
Now, here’s the fun part, expect God to create opportunities for you to be the light of God’s love to that person. Expect God to create opportunities for you to reflect God’s glory in your life, your fragile vessel, your jar of clay like we talked about yesterday.
Here’s the key, this takes faith. You need to pray for this person, while seeing in your mind’s eye the future hope that they have. Even if they have not yet experienced it. Pray with faith that God WILL send His Holy Spirit to work in their heart. Pray with faith that God will draw them to Jesus and make them Kingdom warriors. And as you pray in faith, believing in the unseen, believing that even though they aren’t believers yet they will be, God will start to create opportunities for you to be the light of His love to them.
Warning! Don’t think that every single one of these opportunities will be the candy room in Willy Wonka’s factory. For some of them, that might be the case. For others, it might be more like riding the boat of doom through the snake tunnel, where everyone is terrified. In other words, God might use some hard circumstances in your life to shine His light into the lives of your 8 to 15. Your 8 to 15 are watching you. And, yes, they will watch you during the good times. But all of their antennae are up and watching how you handle the bad times. So, don’t miss that opportunity. Never waste a trial. God wants to use it to grow you, and He wants to use it to show His glory through you.
Warning! (#2) Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see success or even progress right away. There are some people who have been on my list for years. Years! And I have seen no progress at all. There are others who have been on their for years and I’m just now starting to see some movement. But, I am seeing movement. There have been others along the way that get on the list, and in a short while, they’re off the list because they came to Christ. We have to be faithful to pray for them until the day we die. And it might be a lifetime of prayer combined with our death that eventually leads them to Christ.
Make the list.
Live the Light of God’s Love.