Intimacy: A Pre-requisite for Evangelism

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Matthew 28:19-20. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”.

Evangelism is a commandment by God to His disciples – “Go”. It is a direct order and a collective responsibility for everyone who sees himself or herself as a disciple of Christ. The Greek word for evangelism is “euangelizō” which means “to announce/proclaim good news”. The Gospel is the good news which is Jesus Christ; He is the center and totality of the Gospel.

The question may come to mind at this point: “what exactly will I proclaim to the world?” This is it-­­‑‑‑…. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”. The next question then should be “what has He commanded me?” If you haven’t received from Him, you cannot “Go” for Him. To receive from Him requires a close walk with Him like that of the disciples. The disciples walked closely with Jesus throughout His ministry on earth; they were at the wedding in Cana, the feeding of the five thousand, raising of Lazarus from the dead, healing miracles and the teachings.

The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are full of Jesus Christ’s teachings in parables to the people and His disciples. Though, the disciples were not the only ones present during His teachings, in fact, it is mostly recorded as a crowd of people, but the disciples were the ones He gave the commandment to “Go”; there must be something special, extra about these ones. The disciples took the extra effort and time to always seek for further explanations and clarifications of the parables. It is so amazing that the qualification to “Go” is being with Jesus, being fed daily with the Word and taking the extra step which comes only through an intimate relationship with The Word.

Going to church daily, attending prayer and church meetings, daily bible readings, being an active worker in your local assembly, memorizing bible verses; all these are wonderful steps in knowing the Word, after all, the crowd also followed Jesus to listen to Him!!!! Meanwhile, if you want to be among the special ones to whom the secrets of the kingdom are revealed, you have to take the extra dose; ask for clarity and further explanations. Study and meditate on The Word always, it is not just about reading or memorizing, remember even the crowd can do that excellently too. Ask for clarity and further explanations of the Word from the Word Himself in Prayer.

Intimacy is intentional; you decide and take intentional steps, be not only hearers but also doers of the Word. Although there is no definite template for everyone to follow, I would share some of the intentional steps I employed. I set aside a time daily to study and pray, I started with 30 minutes, with time I found out I was able to go more than that time (strength was being released). I pick a time of the day that will facilitate more concentration for me (this time may change too at times because concentration is the goal). Meanwhile, what to study might be a book of the bible, further study of a devotional, study into a Kingdom Principle and/or a book together with the Scripture. There were some times that I defaulted in this, but I didn’t let that discourage or bring me down, rather, I went ahead, after learning from it of course.

Additionally, accountability has always been a propelling force for me in being intimate with Christ. Having someone like a friend with the same zeal for the Word or a Mentor whom you can be accountable to and also share the Word with will serve as a push towards the goal which is- Intimacy.

In the face of the current COVID’19 outbreaks, with the numbers shooting up daily, now is the time to take the extra effort even with more diligence, to be intimate with the Lord in Prayer and the Word. Be intentional, set out time to meditate always on the Word till it comes to life in you, control the narrative in prayer with the understanding of the Word, feed on the Word and out of that overflow of your intimate relationship with Jesus, launch out in that strength to proclaim the Good News.

Proclaim Christ, Our Peace, even in the Storm; Our Hope even in the face of despair; Our sure Victory even in this Chaos.

Further readings: Mark 16:15-18, Matthew 13:18-43, Mark 4:10-34, John 2:1-11, John 1:1, Matthew 21:22, James 1:22-25.

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