Celebrating the Process (Celebration Week, Day 4)

Celebrating the Process (Celebration Week, Day 4)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Galatians 6:9-10

One of the topics we will cover on Day 5 of Team Times is the concept of overcoming objections. This is something that causes all of us to fear and maybe even cause us to not want to share our faith in the first place. “What will I do if they ask questions?” This is a very reasonable and often voiced concern surrounding the idea of evangelism.

First, let’s deal with this fear head-on. God wants us to celebrate the process.  What that means is that God’s desire is for us to engage those around us and have conversations about Him and His Gospel. People will have questions – that’s the reality. The change needs to come from inside of us. We need to see these questions as more of a positive instead of a negative. When you go fishing, you don’t get upset when you get just few nibbles. That means something is happening. You certainly don’t get all worked up when something grabs ahold of your line and starts fighting against you. That is really good news! In the same way, when people listen to what we have to say and then start asking questions, that is a great sign that they are interested in hearing more about Christ. Rest assured, most of the questions they ask will be ones to which you will be able to respond. I know you don’t think so, but you will – I promise! In addition, a link will be provided with this devotion to help you do some research to help prepare you for these discussions. However, the mindset here is really the main point. We have to believe that God is working – not only in the lives of those to whom we are reaching out – but also in our own lives. Enjoy the process! What you will find in these conversations is that God has been preparing you all along, even if you didn’t know it. And, as He promised in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus will go with us as we are doing this work! And, here’s one final thought: it’s okay not to know all the answers. It actually shows those with whom you are talking that you are an authentic, genuine, flawed follower of Christ. As you seek out these answers together with them, you build more and more respect in their eyes.

God wants us to enjoy, and even celebrate, the process. Remember that our job is to sow the seeds of the gospel message. In Matthew 13:5-6, we see these words (part of The Parable of the Sower) as recorded by Jesus:

Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

Based on this, a case could actually be made that a quick response to the gospel is not what we want at all. Someone who asks a ton of questions before making a decision might be developing deeper roots into their faith decision. One of the reasons for all of this emphasis here is that you and I might very well have a tendency to withdraw from a person who is asking too many questions. We think they must not be into what we are saying, and they are just going to get more and more antagonistic toward our efforts. We have to guard against this mindset. Instead we need to go into this mission week (and even our everyday encounters) will a focus that says, “I will not give up.” I remind you of the story shared in church on Easter Sunday this year of a kid who was forced to leave Dodger’s Stadium before the end of the game. You might recall, he heard the Game-Winning Grand Slam from the parking lot. Don’t give up on what God is doing, whether that is in your life or in the life of someone to whom He has called you to minister. Don’t see objections as something to fear, but rather a sign that God is working. God’s desire for us who are preparing for this year’s Germany Mission Trip is that we would Celebrate the Process!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You know all things. You know my heart – why I am going on this trip, what my hopes and dreams are, as well as my fears. Today – help me to lay all of this down at your feet. Help me to put my trust in you. I will trust that you want me on this trip, that you will use me to share Your Good News, and that you can help me overcome my fears so that I am fully available to You. As we have already prayed this week, I ask that You help me to see this trip as an adventure that we are on together. As I put my faith in you and am obedient to whatever you call me to during this week, my prayer is that I will grow stronger in my walk with You.

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